Nepal: International Terrorism: Threat to Global Security

Panna Kaji Arnatya, Ph.D.

Nepal Political scientist

Part one:

The global scene nowadays seems to have been dominated by all pervasive violence, terrorism is the most virulei manifestation of such violence. It is true that people are living through the age of terrorism. Nobody is immune from the octopuses of terrorism. The purposeful, deliberate and systematic assassinations, maiming and kidnapping of people, particularly the innocent, hijacking and/or bombing of airplanes and other means of transport. Destruction of embassies and other public and private buildings or their unlawful and illegitimate seizure, attacks against public authorities and others, hostage- taking and for killing of hostages have become regular occurrences. Market places, airliners, buses and other means of transport, public and private buildings. Places of social, cultural, historical and economic significance a sports and so on are all vulnerable to terrorist attacks, schools, cinema balls, stories, factories, hospitals, medical facilities, religion sites and places of worship. Communications facilities, police stations, military installations etc. are the common targets of terrorist incidents.

Terrorism and its perpetrators, i.e. terrorists, have become part of the present-day international politics. Almost all the states have had a test of terrorism in one way or another in recent times. Afghanistan, Brazil, Burma (Myanmar), Canada, Colombia, Egypt, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan ,Jordan ,Lebanon, Pakistan, the Philippines, Salvador Spain Sn Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom , The United States, Uruguay and Many others states have been entangled with this problem. The Ejercito Revolution del public of Canada, the Bander Meinhoff Group (Bander Solidarity Group) of Germany, (People’s Revolutionary Army) of Argentina, the Front de Liberation du Quebec (Quebec Liber Front), the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, the United Liberation l of Assarn and the Khalistan Commando, Force of Punjab of India, the pro-Irish (Irish Republican Army), Japanese Red Army ofJapan. The Palestinian Guerillas and Arab Terrorist Groups such as; Black September Ot of Palestinians, the Hukilamps of the Philippines, the Tupamaros of Peru etc. are some of the familiar names of the terrorist organizations in the world. They have been trying to settle political scores through violence. State-sponsored terrorism is the most heinous, barbarous, and dangerous form. Some 1500 terrorist groups, parties, movements or organizations have been listed throughout the world. (Schmid: 1984)

Although, terrorism is as old as old as the civilization of mankind itself. it has tremendously grown in shape and size in the contemporary world and has assumed an international character in view of many growing links among separate terrorist organizations and groups all over the world. Their access to ample funds, modern weapons of mass destruction, regular training programmes. ever- available sanctuaries, diplomatic assistance and other support services provided either by sovereign states themselves or their opponents and other protective services made available to them. Such international terrorism has posed perhaps the most serious threat to the very existence of states and, ultimately, the global security and international order. The multiplicity of the use of the weapons of mass destruction and nuclear power plants may bring about a very dangerous situation in the world. Terrorists have been using ground-to ground and ground-to-air missiles, radioactive materials and nerve gas. And there is considerable concern that terrorists will be able to go nuclear power exercise, This will sure enough result in nuclear war, which may mean the annihilation of the entire humankind. Therefore ,terrorism has attracted the attention of a the communities and sensible human beings of the world so that terrorism might be fought, resisted countered and eliminated.

Terrorism is sometimes correctly and sometimes improperly used as a synonym of rebellion, insurrection, guerrilla warfare, coup d’etat, civil strife, street battle or any of many other related terms, which induces fear or terror.

Most of the times, such careless and indiscriminate use of the term may make the understanding of the specific meaning and character of terrorism more complicated and intricate. Terrorism is difficult to define precisely, objectively and scientifically except that the primary act of terrorism is to terrorize arrives at a common definition of terrorism, which can satisfactorily cover all the varied analyses. Only generally agreed definition of terrorism in the briefest form is the use or threat of violence to achieve certain objectives and goals by way of inducing a state of fear or terror in the victims or other target groups.

The word ‘terrorism’ was first used in 1795 according to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (1973:2268) which defines terrorism as “system of terror government by intimidation, a policy intended to strike with terror those against who in it is adopted the fact of terrorizing or condition of being terrorized.” ‘the Chambers Dictionary (.1993 :1787) defines terrorism as “an organized system of violence and intimidation, especially for political ends: the state of fear and submission caused by this.”

Terrorisms both historically and theoretically in an inexact concept, and, therefore, there is no commonly accepted definition of it. To define terrorism is very perplexing. One of the earliest attempts to define it was made by Hardman who defined terrorism as “the method or the theory behind the method whereby an organized group or party seeks to achieve its avowed aims chiefly through the systematic use of violence.” (Hardman: 1957)

Alex P. Schmidt, the widely recognized authority on a detailed research guide to terrorism, has listed 109 different definitions of terrorism given by the authorities on the subject. Besides, many more have been added to the literature, still, it has become unrealistic to expect unanimity on the definition of terrorism. However, Schmidt himself attempts to give a better and more comprehensive definition of terrorism:

These instrumental victims share group or class characteristics, which form the basis for their selection for victimization. Through previous use of violence or the credible threat of violence other members of that group or class are put in a state of fear (terror). This group or class, whose members’ sense of security is purposively undermined, is the target of terror. The victimization of the target: of violence is considered extra normal by most observers. From the witnessing audience on the basis of its atrocity, the time (e.g. peacetime) or place (not a battlefield) of victimization or the disregard for rules of combat accepted in conventional warfare. The norm violation creates an attentive audience beyond the target of terror, sectors of this audience might in turn form the main object of manipulation. The purpose of this indirect method of combat is either to immobilize the target of terror in order to produce disorientation and / or compliance, or to mobilize secondary targets of demands (e. g. a government) or targets of attention (e.g. Public opinion) to changes of attitude or behavior favoring the short or long — term interests of theses of this method of combat. (Schmidt: 1984).

The essential components oi, more or less, a consensus definition of international terrorism may be given as follows: # International terrorism is the systematic and purposeful use of threat of extraordinary and intolerable violence, individual acts, or a campaign of violence, designed primarily to terrorize or instill fear.

#International terrorists use or threaten to use violence, indiscriminately or selectively, against either enemies or allies to achieve political ends.

#. International terrorism involves a consistent pattern of symbolic or representative selection of the physical objects. .

International terrorism is deliberately intended to create a psychological or physical effect on  specific group of people or victims in order to change politic behavior and attitude in a manner consonant with terrorists objectives and goals. # International terrorism is aimed at the people watching more than the people being victimized. International terrorism contains an international element or is directed against an international target and ha s international consequences. International terrorists may include revolutionaries, political extremists, and criminals professing political aims and even authentic lunatics. International terrorists may operate alone or may be members of a larger and well- organized group(s) or may even be governments. International terrorists’ motive may be personal gain, e.g. money, or revenge, or the destruction of all government or self- rule for a particular ethnic group and so on.

# The ambition of terrorists may be limited or local, e.g. the overthrow of a particular regime, or may be global, eg. simultaneous worldwide revolution.

# International terrorism is applied to all acts of violence: all ransom kidnappings, all hijackings and all thrill killings which may not be intended by their perpetrators. International terrorism may be a single incident or a campaign of violence waged outside the accepted rules and procedures of international diplomacy and war.

# International terrorism is often designed to attract the worldwide attention to the existence and cause of the terrorists’

# The actual victims or victims of terrorist attacks and the target audience may not be the same; and the actual victims may be totally unrelated to the struggle.

#  International terrorism is essentially criminal, illegal, ruthless and in human.

# International terrorism is politically motivated and. any political group, convinced of the rightness of its cause, may resort to violent means to advance that cause.

# International terrorism transcends national boundaries, through the choice of a foreign victim or target; commission of the terrorist act in a foreign country, or effort to influence the policies of a foreign government. International terrorists strike abroad, or at a diplomat or other foreigner at home, because they believe they can thereby exert the greatest possible pressure on him or her or another government or on world opinion.

# International terrorists may or may not wish to kill their victim(s), but they often find occasions to kill their victims to enhance the credibility of their threats even though they do not wish to kill them.

#  International terrorism is directed against a government, or another group, class or party.

# International terrorists may seek to cause political, social and/or economic disruption, and, for this purpose, adopt all means at their disposal.

For further clarification of international terrorism it has to be said that international terrorism is involved when a terrorist group in one country receives financial and other resources from outside that country. An element of international terrorism comes into the picture when specific persons ot one nation are designed as targets by the members of another group outside that nation. It is therefore, described as a “warfare without territorially, sporadic battles may take place worldwide. It is warfare without neutrals, and with few or no civilian bystanders.(Tenkins: 1974) “International terrorism comprises those incidents of terrorism that have clear international consequences: incidents in which terrorists go abroad to strike targets, select victims or targets, because of their connections to a foreign state (diplomats, executives of foreign corporation), attack airliners on international flights, or force airliners to fly to another country.” He further states that such terrorist activities may be perpetuated by non-governmental groups by governments, their armies and secret police. (Jenkins: 1980) The internationalization of terrorism is fast growing day by day. It is very aptly remarked that: “An operation may be planned in Germany by Palestinian Arab, executed in Israel by terrorist recruited in Japan, with the weapons acquired in Italy but manufactured in Russia, supplied by an Algerian diplomat financed by Libyan money.” This may be only one example of international terrorism. There may be many more worldwide connections involving more than one state.” (Saje and Alder: 1973)

Terrorism is as old as the civilization of mankind and has existed in all ages in one form or another, which might be identified with anarchists, revolutionaries, fundamentalists or dissidents against the established authority.

Some more to follow: Thanks PN Campus journal. Ed.

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I agree


  • Posted on - 2016-01-10    by     Raju Karki
  • Whoever told Whatever about terrorism, sir, it would have been so nice of you if you had touched the current situation of Nepal and its significance (breeding ground) for terrorism