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On Historical Experience in Combating Terrorism Oleg M. Khlobustov * Regional Society Strategic Security Assistance Fund In order to develop a modern strategy for countering terrorism and political extremism, it is very important to consider historical experience in combating these social phenomena. This consideration should include both domestic Rus- sian historical experience and foreign experience. From this perspective, let us consider the problem of opposing terrorism under current conditions. It should also be mentioned at the outset that a number of scholars of the phenomenon of modern terrorism are currently beginning to speak of new and nontraditional possible forms of terrorism in the twenty-first century (see, for example, O.V. Damaskin, 2000, "Terrorism Under Conditions of New Technol- ogies," Problems of Combating Terrorism: Materials from a Scientific-Practical Conference, March 21, 2000, Moscow, pp. 83-86~. However, in our opinion the same substantive characteristics of this criminal phenomenon that were used to describe political terrorism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries still retain their significance. These characteristics include the presence of various ideolog- ical-theoretical conceptions (foundations for bringing like-minded individuals together), stage of development, and conditions for terrorist activity. We proceed on the understanding that terrorism as a historical phenomenon represents the totality of individual actors and groups operating in a certain time period, recognizing terrorist means of political struggle, and developing con- cepts for the creation, justification, and tactical utilization of those means. In our view, a study of the activities of a number of Russian (late nineteenth- early twentieth centuries) and foreign terrorist organizations from Europe, Asia, and Latin America makes it possible to identify a number of objective character- * Translated from the Russian by Kelly Robbins. 76
TERRORISM AND THE LAW 77 istics of the organization, creation, and operational tactics of terrorists. These characteristics are very relevant to the organization of efforts to counter this threat in current conditions. 1. First of all, it should be noted that the appearance in society of terrorist groups, at times even uniting into larger terrorist organizations, is preceded by a certain preparatory incubation period. This period varies in length, sometimes lasting up to 10 years. This period is characterized by the circulation of certain documents, ei- ther anonymous or "authorized" on behalf of some group of "like-minded indi- viduals," containing incitements and calls to carry out terrorist actions. At the same time, radically opposition-oriented segments of the population are discuss- ing the permissibility, expediency, and justifiability of beginning a terrorist "po- litical struggle." 2. Many of these terrorist organizations not only are based on some funda- mental ideological-political construct (a maximum program or "ideology"), but also often have legal political wings. Examples include Sinn Fein and the Irish Republic Army (IRA) in Ulster (Great Britain); Herri Batasuna and the Basque ETA (Spain); the Movement for Self-Determination and the Front for the Na- tional Liberation of Corsica (FLNC) in France; and others. 3. Despite the periodic blows inflicted on them by law enforcement agen- cies, some terrorist organizations continue to exist and operate for many years: the IRA in Northern Ireland since 1914, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt since 1928, ETA in Spain since 1959 (although it first announced itself only on June 7, 1968), the RAF (Red Army Faction) in the Federal Republic of Germany since the late 1960s, the Red Brigades in Italy since 1970, the Japanese Red Army (JRA) since the early 1970s, the Grey Wolves in Turkey since the mid-1970s, Direct Action in France since 1979, and Hamas since 1987. It is this support on the part of the population that also ensures the "re- birth" of organizations and groups in cases of their destruction, as happened with the Executive Committee of Narodnaya Volya (People's Will) in the 1880s and with the RAF in the 1970s through l990s. 4. Another characteristic feature of the functioning of terrorist groups and organizations is their increasing radicalization, at times leading to the splitting off of groups of especially "uncompromising" opponents of the existing social and governmental order. 5. Some of them are separatist organizations (IRA, ETA, FLNC). In others, their "ideology" combines nationalist and religious elements (IRA, Muslim Brotherhood, Grey Wolves, Hamas), which attests to the heightened survival capacity of organizations that rely on the sentiments and aspirations of signifi- cant segments of the population as a real social support base for their ideas. This circumstance is particularly important for predicting probable terrorist activities and organizing countermeasures against them.
78 HIGH-IMPACT TERRORISM 6. In the 1970s and 1980s, contacts were established among various Euro- pean organizations, the JRA, and Palestinian terrorists. At present, there are known ties between Muslim terrorist organizations (and their legal political wings) in Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, and other countries with sympathizers in certain countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Russia (Chechnya, Dagestan, and others). 7. Terrorist acts are sometimes carried out on the territory of other states, at times "under a foreign flag," including even cases where this is done with the consent of the true "bearers" of that flag. 8. As shown by the experience of foreign countries, when one form of terrorism (predominantly "left" or"right") becomes sufficiently widespread and persistent, its ideological antithesis can also appear: the Protestant Ulster Volun- teer Force (since 1966) and the Ulster Freedom Fighters (since 1971) in North- ern Ireland, the Ku Klux Klan in the United States and since the late 1960s the Black Panthers, which have in turn used terrorist methods as well. Other exam- ples include the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front and the death squads in E1 Salvador, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces, the White Hand, and the death squads in Guatemala. This last circumstance should receive special consideration in organizing countermeasures against terrorism and political extremism, inasmuch as separat- ist extremism and terrorism can give rise to a "fundamentalist" response under the very popular slogan of "united and indivisible power." It should also be noted that at times of their peak activity, terrorist organizations abroad are not mere groups of conspirators, fanatics, and ascetics, as had been typical until recently. Instead, they are full-fledged concerns with internal division of labor, workshops, warehouses, printing plants, laboratories, shelters, hospitals, and profit- making enterprises. They have turned bank robbery, racketeering, and the taking of hostages for ransom into a highly profitable sort of business. They have planted their agents in various segments of the government, industry, and finance (see, for exam- ple, V.V. Vityuk, 1993, "Terrorism in the Post-Perestroika Era," Sotsis [Sociological Studies] 7:45~. In this way they have become especially dangerous and especially conspiratorial branches of organized crime. We note here that in an article with the very significant title "Can Terrorists Be Stopped?" U.S. federal judge William Webster, who previously headed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (1978-1987) and the Central Intelligence Agen- cy (1987-1991), also includes "criminal cartels" or organized crime under the heading of terrorism (Reader's Digest 3 [19971:81, Moscow). Adaptation and utilization of foreign experience in the fight against terrorism is associated with a number of questions. The following substantive questions may be drawn from a study of foreign experience in the fight against terrorism: · The practice of legislative regulation of the fight against terrorism;
TERRORISM AND THE LAW . 79 The organization of countermeasures against terrorism (including princi- ples and special characteristics of strategy and tactics combating terrorism, the distribution of function and authorities in this sphere of law enforcement activi- ty, the organization of preventive measures against terrorism, et cetera); and . Activities regarding the application of laws. Based on published research, it is possible to highlight the following special characteristics of legislative regulation of the fight against terrorism. Its develop- ment is tied primarily with tendencies and features of the crime situation in a given country, the presence of political will among the country's leadership to combat terrorism, characteristics of the country's political traditions and culture, and the presence of certain circumstances related to international law that in turn must be implemented in the appropriate legislative acts. At times, the development of an adequate system of measures for countering the terrorist threat requires a significant period of time, as well as flexible reac- tion to changes in the crime situation and operational circumstances. This reac- tion must be based on a study and consideration of both domestic and foreign expenence. For example, the experience of the Italian intelligence services in combating the terrorism of the Red Brigades, including the reduction in punishment for repentant terrorists and the strengthening of overall preventive work by law enforcement agencies, had an impact on changes in legislation in Great Britain and the Federal Republic of Germany. The creative application of this experience, in our view, led in mid-1998 to consecutive declarations on halting terrorism made by the RAF in Germany, the IRA in Great Britain, and ETA in Spain (Pravda, December 3, 1999~. (ETA later announced an end to the "cease-fire," and since January 2000 this organization has already carried out more than 30 terrorist acts.) At the national level, the organization of efforts to combat terrorism are characterized as a rule by the following: · The creation of an organ with special powers to fight this threat (the Coordinating Council on Combating Terrorism in 1991 in Germany, the Execu- tive Committee on Ulster in 1991 in Great Britain); · The improvement of administrative and preventive regimes; and · The organization of international cooperation to combat terrorism. On the whole, the UN-recommended and most commonly practiced forms of international cooperation in combating terrorism are the following: · Facilitation of extradition, that is, the transfer to interested states of ter- rorists or other persons justifiably suspected of involvement in terrorism; · Provision of assistance in criminal investigations;
80 HIGH-IMPACT TERRORISM · Development of regional and bilateral intergovernmental agreements on combating terrorism; · Training of personnel for antiterrorist law enforcement units; and . Pursuit of joint scientific research and exchanges of information on prob- lems of fighting terrorism, including specific operational information. All of these require painstaking study and analysis on the one hand and legal regulation on the other. The topic of utilization of foreign experience would also include the develop- ment of new intergovernmental agreements or conventions countering the growth of terrorist phenomena in specific spheres, as well as certain recommendations adopted by the United Nations and its specialized institutions. In this regard, the utilization of favorably tested foreign experience includes the following: · Its study and analysis, the identification of strong and weak points, and the development on this basis of direct recommendations for legislative and law enforcement activities; · Its inclusion in various adapted forms in the systemic legal base for com- bating terrorism, that is, its incorporation into the nation's legal system; · Its use in the training of law enforcement agency personnel, including the preparation of textbooks, monographs, and scholarly papers; and . Its direct use in preventive antiterrorism measures. This practice has re- ceived its most widespread use in Israel, Great Britain (since 1973), and the United States (since 1996~. However, it cannot be said that foreign experience provides only positive examples. For example, despite all measures taken, for about 60 years now Great Britain has been unable to eliminate the Irish Republic Army, just as the German police have been unable to eliminate the RAF and the Spanish police have not liquidated ETA. More than a thousand operations carried out by Israeli special forces units aimed at physically liquidating terrorists still have not brought peace to the Middle East. It should also be emphasized that as historical experience shows, the "slide" of a country and society into the realm of armed violence can occur relatively quickly, while getting rid of terrorism sometimes takes many years or even decades. However, we believe that positive foreign experience is still not being fully utilized. Specifically, legislators and law enforcement officials have not paid attention to the participation of the mass media in efforts to fight terrorism. Meanwhile, certain press publications could be viewed as textbooks for potential terrorists. Unfortunately, in the opinion of many analysts and experts, prospects for defeating terrorism are rather bleak, at least in the first decade of the twenty-first century. We shall note in this regard a novel factor on the international scene,
TERRORISM AND THE LAW 81 namely, the appearance of history's first "terrorist international." I am referring here to the April 1998 formation of the so-called International Front for Jihad by extremist religious circles in a number of Islamic countries (Saudi Arabia, Paki- stan, Egypt, Sudan, Afghanistan, and others). Many nations of Asia, Africa, Europe, Russia, and other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States have already become a staging ground for its activities. This organization is not an official union of states; rather, it involves the unification and organized coop- eration of a number of religious and political organizations based in the above- mentioned states. Furthermore, several participants in this "front" are in their countries illegally. In conclusion, it should be emphasized that the system of antiterrorist mea- sures is constantly being improved and its effectiveness continually analyzed, both in Russia and abroad. Therefore, the study of foreign experience amassed in the battle of intelligence services against this national security threat must also be conducted in a constant, systematic, and planned manner. What can and should be done to counter the threat of terrorism? In our view, all world experience indicates that the fight against terrorism is waged by law enforcement agencies, but it can be won, or more precisely "survived" or es- caped, only by society itself. The mass media also play a large part here, if they recognize their place and their role in this process. (For more on this topic, see O.M. Khlobustov, 2000, "The Mass Media and the Struggle Against Terrorism," Contemporary Terror- ism: Status and Prospects, Moscow, pp. 176-180.) It is impermissible not only for the mass media to carry any sort of justifica- tion of terrorism and terrorists, but also for them to repeat the statements that are at times heard to the effect that terrorism is a highly effective and relatively cheap means of achieving goals. The same applies to the slogan that "power comes from the barrel of a gun"! The attention of society should be focused on the fact that terrorists have never managed to achieve victory at any time or in any place. The results and consequences of terrorism have been only its numerous senseless victims. Thus, counterterrorist propaganda should be promoted under the slogan, "Let' s leave terrorism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in the past histo- ry of humanity!" Along with the mass media, an effectively functioning system of public education, including the promotion of legal knowledge, is also highly significant in the cause of preventing and suppressing terrorism. In our view, instilling a culture of peace among the population must be part of this process. As is generally known, the UN General Assembly at its fiftieth anniversary session on November 20, 1998, supported the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) resolution on pro- claiming 2000 the International Year for a Culture of Peace and adopted a five- year Program on Education for a Culture of Peace.
82 HIGH-IMPACT TERRORISM The concept of a culture of peace includes all forms of behavior that respect the right to life, dignity, and human rights; reject violence in all its forms; and promote principles of peace, justice, solidarity, tolerance, and understanding among individuals, groups, and governments. It has been proposed to UN mem- ber states that they promote education . In the spirit of a culture of peace, human rights, tolerance, and interna- tional understanding; · In the spirit of protecting and respecting all human rights without dis- . . . cnm~nahon; · Promoting principles of democracy at all levels of societal development; · Adding impetus to the fight against poverty and for progress and prosper- ity for all; and · Ensuring for all citizens a quality of life appropriate to human dignity. However, as history shows, contemporary world civilization still has a long way to go before the philosophy of a culture of peace truly becomes a reality.