Forum Comments

Terrorist Organizations
In Counterterrorism
Nicolas McNaughton
Spring 21
Spring 21
Feb 25, 2021
Many Ideological differences can create a wide verity of terrorist. Same can be said with any organization, there are always going to be difference in the exigencies of a group. Look at religion sects, there are a ton of different ideologies which cause complex relationships in community, however they can always trace back to the original religion of that sect. We can relate this to the document of the day. Jemaah Islamiyah, which translates to "Islamic Congregation", is a terrorist group in Southeast Asia who were labeled as a terrorist organization after the 2002 bombing of Bali; they then were linked to ISIS. It was later discovered that Hambali was also responsible for laundering the money to fund al-Qaeda terrorist plots such as the world trade center bombings injuring 1000 and killing six. We also see recruitment methods in this document where "JI provided relief to victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in order to attract support for its cause." which makes people want to serve under him; similar to gangs in Mexico giving back to their community and gaining followers. This leads the community to give back to the gang/terrorist organization as a symbol of gratitude, and the document also highlights this on page 4 "JI fundraises through membership donations and criminal and business activities". Overall if the organization keeps growing in numbers, there might be a problem in Southeast Asia to the point countries will have to get involved.
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Terrorist Organizations
In Counterterrorism
Nicolas McNaughton
Spring 21
Spring 21
Feb 23, 2021
In adopting its resolution 2253 back in 2015, Da'esh became the center of attention in the fight on terrorism in the UN. In this report, they state how over 10,000 ISIL fighters are still active in the cause, thus creating continuous concern over border security. With this being said, the question at large is "how has covid-19 restricted terrorist cells?". In short, its heavily implicated the hiring process where "States’ curfews and travel restrictions have complicated terrorist planning and operations, making it harder for terrorists to move, recruit, raise funds and mount attacks" (UNSC 2). This ultimately means less large groups to attack and a halt on recruiting people. However, with the halt on traveling and people being stuck at home, that device in everyone's pocket can be a portal to online recruitment. In order to gain recruitment though, ISIL has to attack groups; over time these small cells have been moving across Europe, Africa, and Asia. Due to these movements, military meetings for counter-terrorism organizations met (like in Jakarta) in order to put terrorists' in court and tried swiftly. Furthermore, laws were passed that follow suit with the "directorate within the framework of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact" which has a specific guide to online recruitment after the "use electronic evidence stored by service providers in cross-border criminal investigations, including through an expert group meeting held in April 2020 to develop a training module". As I stated before, technological advancements in smart city building should be done in surrounding countries, not to invade on peoples privacy, but to ensure their well being from terrorist actions and more heavy monitoring should be done in order to prevent other attacks or recruitment.
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Counterterrorism in the European Union
In Europe and Eurasia
Nicolas McNaughton
Spring 21
Spring 21
Feb 18, 2021
What constitutes as terrorism is the “unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims”; and when looking into the document, it is a bit confusing to understand if the mental state of these perpetrators are being labeled accordingly. Another form of terrorism that seems to get confused for political terrorism is the religious side of terrorism where extreme heinous acts are carried out on specific ethnic groups. On page 35 we see that Jihadist terrorism is better suited for those with mental instability which cause a radicalization effect which in turn blurs the ideological conviction of the crime. Take for example on page 36 when a court case came about involving “The Hague (Netherlands) on 5 May 2018, for example, the court held that there was no terrorist motive and that the perpetrator’s actions were the result of a psychotic disorder“. If we look at statistics though we see there is a steady decrease in arrested suspects in the EU, from 687 people in 2015 to 436 in 2019. I feel that implementing AI to facial recognize people at airports would be beneficial to catching those that may inflict harm on others for political gains or mental instability. To further explain my thoughts on AI software and in airports, I feel that right after exiting and entering the aircraft, one should have their picture taken and uploaded into a database to track individuals on how long they have been gone and to have their picture in a database to reference later. If a camera picks up their face signature after an attack and the perpetrator gets away, it would send a signal to authorities with both a clear photo from the airport and a small clip of the person in action committing the crimes. This would fall under defense innovation and counter terrorism measures.
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Counterterrorism in the European Union
In Europe and Eurasia
Nicolas McNaughton
Spring 21
Spring 21
Feb 17, 2021
Facial recognition will be the next thing when it comes to catching criminals and being able to develop such technologies that can understand how someone ages is around the corner. We call this DEFENSE INNOVAITON. Using facial recognition here in the US would be valuable, as seen with the FBI, they simply post pictures up and hope for the public to do some of the work. Whereas, if you could cut out the people and rely a little more on technology to do the work, it would be a win for the FBI. Nevertheless, I saw encrypted data through companies which is also a smart idea. I would like to talk about the history of terrorism though the EU to better understand why such rules were implemented. The IRA has always set up bombings in Ireland and has been pushed back to Northern Ireland over the years, however there is always a threat of an insurgent putting a bomb in a garbage can or underneath a car to create havoc. Border security was heightened at the time of the Paris Bombing. The document highlights how "It is estimated that 50 000 persons have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join jihadist groups, including 5 000 individuals from the EU, of which around one third are still located in the area." which shows the importance of having AI to help police officers detecting if someone is wanted or a terrorist in facial recognition. The prevention and mitigation techniques are like our procedures in the United States as well from what I have read. Religion was also discussed and how people may be targeted more often; as seen with the Christchurch, New Zealand attack, so some policies were made to protect those in places of worship as seen on page 12 “foster cooperation between the different faith communities and the relevant national authorities as they exchange experiences. As from 2021, the Commission aims to support projects that enhance the physical protection of places of worship in close coordination with Member States”. This leads us to how terrorists attack people through means of firearms, where the EU laid out a plan to “the Commission will adopt an implementing regulation under the Firearms Directive, establishing a system for exchange of information amongst Member States on refusals to grant authorizations for acquiring a firearm” which means if denied in one state that individual will be denied in other participating states. Next on the list are bombs, I mentioned bombs above, but bombs are a generic term with a broad audience. There are several types of bombs used and the restriction of allowing people to obtain specific chemicals would be implemented. The four types of bombs are “chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear” which can wreak havoc in small locations. I think this document did a fine job in reviewing past events in history to make well decisive defense plans for possible future events.
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International Counterterrorism Frameworks
In Counterterrorism
Nicolas McNaughton
Spring 21
Spring 21
Feb 01, 2021
Even though this document is for a broader audience, I would like to take away some things that could be implemented in our country's policy. Terrorism is all over, but in the American educational system, most do not know about the Oklahoma City Bombing and kids in school today; 9/11 is pure history to them in regards to not being alive for it. I do not even want to talk about the fact that even more of the population has no knowledge on the Khobar Tower Bombing in Saudi Arabia where a U.S. forces were bombed due to the lack of preparation. I would like to bring into discussion the recent event that had happened January 06 2021, the riots of the Capitol. The main focus from this domestic terrorism act was due to extremism on the right side of the spectrum, and under further inspection was caused due to the people not believing Biden was elected fairly. However on the Left wing side of things, their main focus is on revolutionary socialist doctrine and view themselves as protectors of the people against the “dehumanizing effects” of capitalism and imperialism. Under "Measures to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism" it states how extremism can be reduced through means of reducing a "marginalization" and "victimization". This is extremely difficult to achieve, after all where there is light there is dark, and someone is always in the dark side of the spectrum. Nevertheless a good way to stop any terroristic actions would be to target social media. Facebook is notorious for creating "groups" where people can join and be informed on rally's and protests. A good way to combat this issue would be to look out for extremists posts and deleting specific "groups" that fit into a criteria. When it comes to counter terrorism in the United Nations and how to create mitigation plans, many will use a method called "red team" and "blue team". These two teams are responsible for mitigating threats from past events and looking into the "what-ifs" of possible future events. This document highlights many past events that had occurred and created plans for such scenarios. In the United States, we even birthed three agencies for our own country. These agencies were "Hart-Rudman Commission" (1998), Gilmore Commission (1999), and the Bremer Commission (2000). These agencies were in charge of National Security and some were even built on FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Assossociation) who deal with weather damage and domestic terrorism. This document has many similarities to policies in the United States.
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Nicolas McNaughton
Spring 21
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