The 9/11 attack was the major game-changer in understanding what terrorism means in the eyes of the people and how the government reacted to it. Terrorism for one can be a freedom struggle for others or an act of revolution. Every government in the world which faces such violent act countered it so that such activity is never seen in its soil. Hence they work on blacklisting terror organizations or proscriptions around the globe. Understanding how proscription works, the key factors involved in its process of implementation, and the effects of it will be discussed in this assignment. As counter-terrorism is a long process thus proscription of terror groups differs from country to country according to the threat perception and challenging civil liberties (Jarvis & Legrand, 2018). To stop terrorism, governments across the globe consider proscription as an effective strategy. Proscription is an act of prohibiting something or someone to stop the effect caused by them. The proscription has been used to banned several organisations to stop violence and terrorism churned out of conflict. Though proscription is a popular strategy to suppress the terrorist group and control the violence, it has also been a failure in many cases.
Meanwhile, the extremist group is pushing threat to society, the laws of proscription represent a serious challenge to the core principle of the society. Thus, the effectiveness of proscription has always been questionable because there are mixed results of proscription success. There are two objectives of proscription as symbolic and material. The act of banning extremist and terrorist organisation is material and the governments' efforts to stop such groups and their fundraising is a symbolic rejection. Also, some claims that proscription has substitute effect, the first effect is that the group may migrate or move to another country or region and in the second situation, they may turn into another form of aggression (Legrand, 2014). Thus, this paper aims to find the reliability of proscription to counter-terrorism. Further, it discusses the advantages and disadvantages along with other relevant discussions.
Terrorism has been a topic of debate in the past decades and all the people perceive it differently. The meaning of terrorism is difficult to define universally as each nation has a distinct perspective toward terrorism. Considering to the meaning given by the UN (United Nations) High Commissioner for Human Rights (2008), it is referred to an act of instigating violence targeting to civilians and hurt them for the political and ideological motives. In other words, it is an act of intentionally provoking the fear and terror in the society by a person or a group. This act is considered dreadful and condemnable and it may be based on religion, political, philosophical, racial, ethnic, ideological and many more. Moreover, the impact of terrorism is itself adverse such as a threat to the dignity and security of human beings, loss of innocent lives, fear among people, jeopardization of freedom, increased in organised crimes like drugs trafficking, money laundering or arms trafficking and many others.
It also impacts the economic and social developments of states and provinces. International terrorist attempt to impose their ideology or religious message to create terror in public. They target the nations and create high influence and impact on the general public of the targeted nation through the violence and tries to show that their government is incapable of dealing with them. To teach a lesson to the public, they even kill some high officials people in the nation that creates a strong vibe of terror across the nation. There is a difference between the old generation terrorist and the new generation international breed terrorist. There are contractors who are also terrorist and the rogue states hire their services and also there is some freelancer terrorist who is an independent terrorist leader but they also come to combat with the rogue regime in a short term basis. Some of the notable examples of contractor terrorist are Abu Nidal, George Habash of the Popular front of the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and some example of Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, Ahmad Ramzi Yousef and Osama Bin Laden (Hudson 1999).
There are several approaches to analyse terrorism such as multi-causal approach, political approach, Organizational approach, Physiological approach and psychological approach. According to multi-causal approach, terrorism is the result of numeral causal factors including religious, political, sociological, economic and psychological. The causes in any of these forms may instigate to tend toward terrorism. Under the political approach, the person who aspires to become a terrorist is generally inspired by the environment The conducive environment leads to the rise of terrorism including both national and international environment. Many of the terrorists were first influenced by the Marxist-Lenin ideology and by other such ideology. In the view of organisational approach, the terrorist undergoes a rational course of action which is decided by a group.
The terrorism is not the individual decision but collective decision of group that holds a common belief and these groups together decides an act of terrorism. As per the physiological approach, it is claimed that the role of the media is significant in promoting terrorism. The media features the news of other terrorist group activity across the world and such news inspire the like-minded terrorist to imitate the action. Also, there is a psychographic approach that deals with the study of terrorist, their recruitment and induction into a terrorist organisation or a group. Similarly, there are many hypotheses about the terrorist such as frustration-aggression hypothesis, negative identity hypothesis and narcissistic hypothesis. The Olson hypothesis propagates that all the individual who participates in terrorism and revolutionary violence predict their behaviour on cost-benefit analysis. The frustration-aggression hypothesis of violence is the results of frustration of numerous personal, economic and political needs and objective. Also, some studies claim on the basis of Marxist theory that the terrorist has its own values and subculture that invoke terrorism in them (Hudson, 2018).
The negative identity hypothesis suggests that an individual turn to a terrorist because the basic rights, proper justice and fair treatment in the society or oppression. The person who faces such consequences develops a feeling of becoming a negative man that hates humanity. Narcissist Rage hypothesis poses that some people are mentally ill and are kind of arrogant, sociopath and possess grandiose self. Moreover, there is a psychology involved with the terrorist that provokes a desire to become a terrorist. Terrorist motivation comes from the personality dynamic of individual terrorist and the causes that pushed them to join the terrorist organisation. The psychological terms avoid the actual economic, social and political factors, activated radical activities. Also, there is a possibility that biological and physiological variable may also influence them in such a situation.
There had been a lot of research on the terrorist group but there is limited research conducted on the individual terrorists. The person recruited into the terrorist organisation majorly belongs to the low class and are often unemployed, socially alienated or boycotted in the society. The less educated individual tries to join a terrorist organisation out of the boredom and have a dream to experience adventure and are engaged in the terrorism and also there may be some people who are educated and can also get influence a terrorist organisation because they might have a strong desire or will to make a bomb in reality. The model of personal path-away suggests that terrorist comes from a selected at-risk population and this model is used to influence to confront with the police or to have a personal connection with the terrorist group (Majeska et. al, 1998). Additionally, there is some terrorist who is insane and thinks to plan a bomb blast and on an airline or keeping bomb in a moving vehicle in the city and or planning a serial bomb blast at several places in across the city. Some of the terrorists are suicidal fanatics who have no fear of dying and ready to sacrifice their life to meet the objectives of terrorism.
The key factor in the present world powers in countering terrorist activities is largely based on the situation of threat levels possess by the group or organization. Countries such as the US, UK, Canada, Russia, Australia, India, Pakistan, and Middle East countries have faced a series of terror attacks. Their stringent counter-terror security forces and intelligence agencies have always searched for the methods in which youths are radicalized and joining terror groups. Blacklisting includes any members caught would be charged with terror laws, freezing of financial transactions, and not participating in any elections. Every terror group existence is a headache for the government all over the world. Hence blacklisting doesn’t guarantee to stop terrorism permanently but reducing it to a considerable amount (EU news, 2018).
Every proscription regime in this world formulates strategies that lead to either wiping out or containing any terror strike in the country. But such strategies are limited with lone-wolf attacks and not in a large scale war. For example, blacklisting Al-Qaeda or Taliban was a strategy in which the US believed to reduce terror attacks. Even after the death of Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban controlled 60% of Afghanistan, and the US moved in with the peace process and safely removing the US soldiers posted there. With significant factors of terrain, mobility of troops, and acceptance by the local and international community for the sake of the future of Afghanistan US was bound to accept that the country is easy to conquer but difficult to control. Hence leaving Afghan people in their own fate was necessary for a long sustainable future of Afghans is the best possible peace deal. Similarly, a major group such as ISIL, which was involved in inhumane torture, was crushed by Syrian and Russian troops. Even after blacklisting such groups, militant attacks have not stopped in Iraq and Syria. The same continues for Boko Haram in Nigeria, Tehrik-e-Taliban in Pakistan, and Hezbollah in Jordan. These groups follow Wahhabi and Salafi form of Islam and demand of Islamic Caliphate all over the world.
Understanding the diversity and the role played by the proscription regimes requires focussing on the legal and political setting in any country. Different countries have different judicial and parliamentary processes to identify and to designate the groups. In Australia, they follow the “Judicial” and “executive” pathways for proscription. The judicial relies upon the executive for the designation of any group on the terrorist list. In Canada, the two-way pathway is also followed here but membership of a group doesn’t make a person a terrorist rather involving in illegal activities will. In US multiple lists a formulated such as FTO (Foreign Terrorist List) and SDTG (Special Designated Terrorist Group). The freezing of assets of a group in multiple countries requires the collaboration of countries for mutual understanding and benefits. EU has specific policies for terror asset freezing irrespective of the region it belongs to. Global terrorist groups working in multiple countries need isolation from a broader community and fixation on intelligence for counter-terror measures. FATF(Financial Task Force) under OECD ( Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development) which formulates the sanctions on countries supporting or sponsoring terrorism has put North Korea and Iran in the blacklist and 12 countries in the grey list (RadiofreeEurope, 2020)
With proscription being practised for a long time many consequences have left the process from gaining to its competent level. Almost every country has seen a rise in anti-Muslim feelings during or after any major terror attacks. And the harassment in the name of security of the nation has raised the concern for violation of human rights. The radicalization in Muslim youths to join the jihad or any extremist group supporting separatism needs to be investigated with open arms. Racial discrimination and subsequent painting of a community to be the key architect in any terror attack have left scars on the young minds of the community. Prescription implementation in underdeveloped countries has an adverse effect. With high inflation and a huge population, poverty comes to the doorstep enabling the so-called religious leader an upper hand in radicalizing unemployed youths to wage terror attacks for a better afterlife. Whereas in developed countries implementation of the Proscription is the most effective as it reduces the chances of major threat (Dudouet, 2011).
Though the effectiveness of the proscription is not studied much in the past there are some other ways in which it can be determined whether the proscription is a good idea or not. The proscription has been used to engage an armed group like in the year of 2011, there were 37 armed conflicts going on and out of that 36 were fighting within the states itself. The arms led to the conflict was of asymmetrical nature and pushing the state against other non-armed states actors. Around half of the major violence conflict was including the armed groups and the United States along with United Nations declared a list of stating the names of the terrorist involved in this and proscribed them also. As a result of this, the terrorist organisations withdrew their team from violence. In this way, the government successfully created a fear among the terrorists and calmed them down to the peace by engaging the by proscription.
While the effort was not merely made by the US and UN but there were some other third-party actors who played a significant role by mediating between the governments and these groups. These actors played an important role in the pre-negotiation phase and they played four roles in this understanding the armed force, influencing the way the group perceive themselves, affecting the strategic calculation and convincing training the group for the negotiation. The proscriptions lists have a major aim to disrupt the armed group's activities and their cruel intentions. US proscription regime is among those who criminalise the most third party actors with these groups. However, the proscription severity and intensity vary from states to states or country to country. Like the UK has the most flexible proscription compared to its other counterparts. The list is based on the methods and objectives of the terrorist group and the type of proscription is subject to them.
There are two preconditions that are necessary for the proscription known as Access and Trust. Access is way to reach or to use something and here it means to reach to the armed group through the third party actors. It is not generally cleared what actually needs to be done and what actually an individual or the group of the people want. There were two instances in Afghanistan where in the first case the proscription affected the government actors' access and in the second case the non-governmental actors were affected. Another precondition is a trust which is having faith or belief in others. This trust has helped to build a mutual belief and confidence between the third party and the armed forces. There was a significant effect of the proscription on the role played by the third party. The first role played by the third party was to understand the armed group which not an easy task nor it can be understood by reading the news. Thus, it required to see everything from their lens that the third party did so well and got access. Later, influencing the armed group, here the third party influences these group because they understand the environment well.
Under affecting strategic calculation, the third-party determines whether to go violently or the other way. The last stage is training in conflicting resolution, here the major challenge is that the terrorist organisation are not experts in terms of diplomacy and negotiation but the third guides them here also by giving their best effort to resolve a conflict (Haspeslagh, 2013). Thus, to initiate the peace process with the terrorist organisation the role of the third party is crucial and listing the terrorist group can be very helpful for the third party to improve the possibility of understanding the armed group. Proscription also decreases the number of people engaged with the armed forces. As per most of the cases, the consequences of proscription regimes seem to be successful in making a peace process on an average. The governments should focus on the going peaceful way initially and use of the third party is effective to come to peaceful process which will eliminate the violence further and losses caused due to retaliation of such groups.
Proscription by any nation requires participating by all the stakeholders of the society. Analyzing the target group, their communication channels, the flow of money, and leadership requires double check by reviewing the process by the involvement of third parties and if necessary remove them from the list. The designation process by the UN, EU, or any country must have a transparent process of how they clarify proscription and de-proscription. There must be a clear cut set of principles for freedom struggle to Trans-criminal activities which are different from the religious-based terror attacks. The main goal is to ensure regional stability and safety of the people who are trapped in between this conflict. Every measure should be calculative since the life of million depends on the Proscription regulation.
Hence the policy of peacemaking along with the security of the nation should go hand in hand. Terrorism is a complex thing to understand from a single point of view and it is important to understand about the terrorism before implementing proscription because the strategy may and may not work. There are multiple kinds of terrorists and terrorism group and each of them has distinct motives and objectives. The role of the third party is crucial to come to peace processing and based on the evidence in the essay, it can be said that proscription is somehow effective in creating peace and avoiding violence for negotiating with a terrorist group. All the company should deal with such group strategically and should endeavour to go peacefully, in order to protect loss and damages caused due to war. Also, it is important to keep an eye on the third party who will act as a mediator in the process of peaceful negotiation because they may also worsen the situation.
EU Parliament news. 2018. How to stop terrorism: EU measures explained. [Online]. [Available at] https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/security/20180316STO99922/how-to-stop-terrorism-eu-measures-explained-infographic. [ Accessed on] 12/05/2020
Haspeslagh, S. (2013). “Listing terrorists”: the impact of proscription on third-party efforts to engage armed groups in peace processes – a practitioner’s perspective. Critical Studies on Terrorism, 6(1), 189–208. doi:10.1080/17539153.2013.765706
Hudson, R.A. 1999. The sociology and psychology of terrorism: Who becomes a terrorist and why?. Library of Congress Washington Dc Federal Research Div. pp.1-40
Hudson, R.A., 2018. Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why?: The Psychology and Sociology of Terrorism. Simon and Schuster.
Jarvis, L. and Legrand, Tim. 2018. The proscription of listing of terrorist organisations: Understanding, assessment, and international comparisons, terrorism and political violence, JSTOR, 30(2), pp199-215.
Legrand, T., 2014. Banishing the enemies of all mankind: the effectiveness of proscribing terrorist organisations in Australia, Canada, The UK and US. In Critical Perspectives on Counter-Terrorism. pp. 166-184. Routledge.
Majeska, M., Savada, A.M., Metz, H.C. and Worden, R.L., 1999. The sociology and psychology of terrorism: who becomes a terrorist and why? A report prepared under an Interagency Agreement by the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. pp.1-28
n.a. 2008. Human Rights, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism. [Online] United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner. [Available at]: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/pages/home.aspx . [Accessed on]: 30th May 2020.
RadiofreeEurope. 2020. Global terrorism finance watchdog blacklists Iran grants reprieve to Pakistan. [Online]. [Available at:] https://www.rferl.org/a/global-terrorism-finance-watchdog-blacklists-iran-grants-reprieve-to-pakistan/30447712.html . Accessed on 12/05/2020
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