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          • Year: 2003
          • Home Page Analyses

          • In the last decade of 20th century and at the beginning of 21st century, terrorism - particularly the international one, threatens not only territorial integrity of sovereign peoples and countries but also jeopardizes peace, freedom and progress of entire humanity.

        • Source: www.un.org

          The terrorist attack at world business centre in New York and military strategic buildings in Washington on September 11th 2001, with the biggest number of victims in the history of terrorism warned us off the forms, means, methods and far-reaching consequences of this modern evil but also inspired the total mobilisation of counterterrorist forces in many countries in the world. Counter-terrorist organising, planning and operations with all available counter-terrorist forces gained special importance and therefore, huge finance is provided for their equipment, training and readiness to prevent and suppress all forms of terrorism at any time.

          Counter-terrorist actions taken by the USA and other, international coalition forces against talibans and Al Kaida in Afghanistan and other countries, building and testing US antimissile shield of America, threatening that nuclear weapons will be used against those who protect and support terrorists, as well as the attack against Iraq and other "manufacturers" of biological and chemical weapons for mass destruction - marked the close and long-term strategic goals the US, as a mega power, has in this sphere. At the same time, new security, protective, military, strategic, legal, scientific, expert, international and other aspects of combat against terrorism were created.

          Terrorism and counter-terrorist actions in the region of present state union of Serbia and Montenegro have similar characteristics as they have elsewhere in the world, in recent and distant past. Secessionist movements, war conflicts and even (legitimate) process of forming new states on this territory (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia) and involvement of international forces in this region have caused both calming and escalation of terrorism. Armed rebellion in Kosovo and Metohija in 1998 and NATO aggression against the FRY in 1999 contributed, indirectly, to the emergence and terrorist actions of so called Army for Liberation of Kosovo (OVK), mercenaries and "travelling" extreme terrorists from numerous, first of all - Muslim, countries. Democratic changes and processes in Serbia in the period from October 2000, adopting the Constitutional Charter of state union of Serbia and Montenegro supported by the European Union, further development of structural processes in state and political parliamentary scene and the outcome of political and security situation in Kosovo and Metohija and in South Serbia, are the evident indicators of the complete political and security situation in the country and serve as a barrier against terrorism in this part of the Balkans.

          On the other side, still present radical social and economic tensions, unemployment, discontent, poverty, organised crime, possession of arms, ammunition and various explosive devices, current problems in establishing the rule of law and functioning of legal system and state governance - keep creating the favourable conditions for single and organised terrorist actions.

          Entire international community and all state organs and defence and security forces within the countries are getting involved with the process of combat against terrorism. Counter-terrorism includes numerous preventive, protective, security and defence measures as well as the activities of intelligence and counterintelligence, legal and security systems, aimed for termination or reduction of terrorist risks using the minimum of armed forces actions. The focus is, therefore, on preventive and suppressive measures:

          - constant care about taking and improving protective measures in all companies and other parts of community;

          - constant development of security culture (knowledge and motives of an individual to oppose personally against terrorist activities);

          - developing social awareness;

          - spreading knowledge about the methods and means used by terrorists;

          - exchanging international experiences;

          - preventing direct access to vulnerable areas, buildings and zones that can be terrorists’ targets;

          - providing security devices and systems in such areas and buildings;

          - qualified physical security to control whereabouts of visitors in such areas and buildings;

          - minimising releasing data that can be of any use for terrorists. 

          Suppressive activities include the total of punishment policy carried out by the state in combat against terrorists. Those are criminal, administrative and other legislative measures and actions. In order to enable a state to use them efficiently, it is necessary to improve laws and adopt adequate international conventions, to develop functional security systems (defence and protection) in order to prevent possible dangers and criminal investigation against all participants of terrorist activities in the state, as well as the demand for extradition of terrorist according to general legal regulation and conventions.

          Combat activities are carried out by specially organised forces - units - according to the stages, which are different in application of operative, technical, and tactic measures and actions, timing and characteristics of different terrorist groups. The activities of these forces depend, in a great deal, on the collected intelligence (counterintelligence) data, first of all, on the organisation, location, grouping, arms, intentions of terrorists, associates, as well as on their personal data (personal characteristics, criminal files, etc). These data are being collected by:

          - findings and activities of certain state organs (diplomatic and consular representatives, state security service);

          - informative talks with citizens in the country and abroad;

          - surveillance of certain foreign citizens staying in the country, who are suspected to have connections with terrorists and associated services and organisations;

          - analyses of foreign media;

          - investigation against terrorists and their groups;

          - scientific and expert analyses of committed terrorist actions and all relevant data collected.

          The combat against terrorists is led by the organised subjects of state protection (counterterrorist forces). The stages of combat activities are as follows:

          a) collecting the data on certain terrorist group: discovering its location in general and in our territory particularly, findings about its members, activities, whereabouts, intentions, arms and equipment, connections (associates), connections abroad, etc;

          b) planning armed counterterrorist action;

          c) covering the area;

          d) precise locating terrorist forces (group), by searching the area and questioning the local people;

          e) surrounding and attacking terrorist group;

          f) chase after runaways.

          Creation and development of counterterrorist units show that certain countries formed them, as a rule, immediately after more serious terrorist acts were committed. In some countries, they operate within army, in others they are situated within police and in numerous countries they operate within both army and police. However, no matter what is their organisational background or how many members these forces include, there is always a central, main counterterrorist formation, with the longest experience, which is most often to carry out the most dangerous actions and which is the main force in counterterrorist combat (in cooperation with the other state organs and services). In Great Britain it is SAS, in the USA - „Delta Force", in Russia - „Alfa", in France - GIGN, in Germany - GSG-9, in Italy - GIS, in Israel - „Sayeret Matkal", etc. Hence, there is no European country that does not organise counter-terrorist units.

          Terrorist activities are criminal, illegal activities carried out - in peace and war - individuals, groups and illegal organisations, which were formed unconstitutionally and illegally, as well as a state (against other state or against its own citizens), by illegal methods and means. The goals are to terrorise, first of all, civilians and to destabilise the system or the state, in order to overthrow the regime, to dissolve the country or to split its territory. The important characteristic of a terrorist activity is unselective, organised violence - first of all - against civilians and state organs.

          25. october 2003. 
          Miroslav Talijan, MA 
        • Tags: terrorism, counter-terrorism, counterterrorist unit, global security challenges, USA, Al kaida, Serbia and Montenegro, FRY
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