Analysison the presence of terrorism in the modern Europe: its impact andcurrent challenges
Iwould like to express my gratitude to my friends for theencouragement, enthusiasm and help from the beginning of my thesis upto this moment.
Inaddition, I am very grateful to my supervisor, prof. Dr Hab. NorbertKapferer, for his help and support in the process of writing mymaster thesis. The supervisor suggested new ideas, right source andperspective that I used to improve my thesis.
Lastly,I thank my family for their financial and moral supports during alltime of my student life. I appreciate their efforts for encouragingme at any moment when I was despaired of my studies and other aspectsof my life.
Inmodern world the word terrorism is very common and it is heard eachday on the radio, in the TV news, in the speeches of politicians andamong all people around the world, who feel now constantly afraid andconcerned about their security after last horrific terror attacksthat occurred globally. In the 21stcentury Europe has become of the main targets for terrorist groups,where the Islamic State so far is the biggest threat for Europe,since the network of this terror organization spread significantlywithin Europe during the last several years. European countries withthe highest terror risks are France, UK, Belgium, Germany, Turkey,and others, but any other European country can be next target for theterror attack. Such events drastically turned upside down the commonbelief that Europe is safe, thus, pushed politicians to rethink andadopt new security strategy on terrorism in Europe up to the newthreats. Further, terrorism has huge social and economic impact inEurope. In the context of social impact, media plays a big role insettling the mood in the public, since media, by presentinginformation about terrorism or aftermath of terror attacks, caninfluence further audience’s perception and understanding ofterrorists, Islam a religion, while mostly Muslims are fighters ofterror groups, and can change overall attitude of people towardsnational and foreign policy of their government, for instance thepolicy of welcoming so many refugees in Europe rises concerns andfear of population that coming refugees to the European countriescould be fighters of the Islamic radicalized groups. The rise ofterrorism in European countries challenges them in different ways,therefore, hinders Europe effectively prevent further terror attacksand respond to them in comprehensive way.
Keywords:media,terror, Islam, Muslim, Europe
CHAPTER 1 8
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT TERRORISM IN EUROPE 8
1.1 Description and history of terrorism 8
1.1.1 Description of terrorism 8
1.1.2 History of terrorism 10
1.2 Penetration of terrorism in modern Europe 13
1.3 Causes of terrorism 14
CHAPTER 2 18
ANALYSIS OF TERRORISM IN ISLAM 18
2.1 Why Islam is connected to terrorism 18
2.2 Images of Muslims in the Western world 20
2.3 Deadliest terror groups existing in the modern world 23
2.3.1 The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) 23
2.3.2 Boko Haram 26
2.3.3 Al-Qaeda 30
2.3.4 Taliban 32
2.3.5 Hezbollah 35
CHAPTER 3 37
REMARKABLE FACTS ABOUT TERROR ATTACKS IN EUROPE 37
3.1 Major terror attacks existed in Europe 37
3.1.1 Terror attack in Spain (Madrid) – 11 March 2004 37
3.1.2 Terror attack in United Kingdom (London) – 7 July 2005 39
3.1.3 Terror attacks in France (Paris) – 13 November 2015 40
3.1.4 Terror attacks in Belgium (Brussels) – 22 March 2016 42
3.1.5 Terror attacks in Turkey (Istanbul) – 28 June 2016 44
3.2 Effects of terrorism in Europe 46
3.3 How terrorism shapes foreign policy of EU 48
CHAPTER 4 49
MEDIA COVERAGE OF TERRORISM AND ISLAM 49
4.1 Relationship between media and terrorism 49
4.2 Terror groups using social media 49
4.3 Media framing on Islam and the Muslim world 51
CHAPTER 5 53
PERSPECTIVES ON TERRORISM IN THE EUROPE AND THE WORLD 53
5.1 War on terrorism in Europe 53
5.2 Challenges of terrorism 56
5.3 Perspectives 57
Thismaster thesis is devoted to the presence of terrorism in modernEurope and the way media reports about terror activities that happenon the European soil. I chose this topic for my thesis becauseterrorism has become a burning issue of concern of all peopleglobally and due to the last terrorist attacks in Europe, one of thebiggest threats that Europe faces up to date. So far, there are a lotof terror groups which commit their terrorist attacks in the name ofIslam, nevertheless killings, suicide bombings and other kind ofmassacre that kill people contradict the initial understanding ofIslam as a religion. In fact, every terror organization pursues itsown political goals, and in order to achieve them, exercise terrorattacks.
Inthe last couple of years, the security of Europe has significantlybeen shaken by the terror attacks that were conducted by the soldiersof the so called Islamic State. The horrible terror attacks in Paris,Brussels, Nice, Istanbul and others challenged Europe economically,politically and socially.
Massmedia is one of the first sources from which people get information,and one of the main actors who in the process of deliveringinformation to people can shape and hugely influence individual’sperception on a certain issue. In the case of terrorism and Westernmedia, media can shape peoples’ feelings and fears it can presentevents not objectively or can mislead information, or can be acontributor to more stereotypical and prejudiced attitude of publictowards Muslims, who are associated wrongly with terrorists.
Dueto my big interest in the topic terrorism generally, and due to theanxiety and concern that I felt personally, while living in Europeand observing atmosphere in politics, public, media, among mycolleagues at the university in the aftermath of the recent terrorattacks, I decided to make my own research and analysis in thisfield.
Thus,the goalsofthe thesis are:
– Todetermine how terrorism influences foreign policy
– To determine politicians reactions to terror attacks
To explore the horrific terror attacks which were committed in Europe in the 21st century
To examine the issue of media coverage related with terrorism and Islam
To describe the prospects of tackling terrorism in Europe
To analyze the way terrorism relates with Islam
To analyze the impacts of terror attacks on Europe
To investigate the challenges Europe face after the acts of terror
After researching about terrorism in Europe and analyzing literature, to make own conclusion on how terrorism, particularly recent terror attacks on the soil of Europe, have shaken and changed Europe.
Researchquestions:I presented several research questions, which guide the writings ofthe paper. The research questions are as follows:
When did terrorism penetrated Europe?
What are the major causes of terrorism?
Why Islam is connected to terrorism and how Western people think about Islam and Muslims who live in Europe and who flee conflict zones and are refugees in Europe?
How terror groups affect Europe?
How terrorism influenced the EU foreign policy?
The role of media in the context of terrorism?
What are the challenges and prospects of the war against terrorism?
Methodologythatwas used by writing the thesis, and which helped to answer on allabove mentioned analysis research questions and to meet the goals ofthe paper includes Secondary Analysis, Content Analysis, elements ofthe Framing Theory and Discourse Analysis.
Thesecondary analysis method implies the use of already existed andresearched data on the following topic in order to write an own studywith placing new research questions and goals1.This method was applied in this paper in view of the followingfactors. Firstly, analysis of secondary data, as Vartanian T. P.interpreted, can involve any data that were examined and analyzed toanswer posed research questions other than the questions for whichthe information were originally collected2.Secondly, secondary data can be collected from numerous differentsources, such as government-funded datasets, records and archivestaken from the universities’ websites, academic journalsupplements, research articles, online newspapers, monthly or weeklynewsletters, journalists and any authors’ websites and others. Inthis context, the archive data allows to analyze and interpret thefindings faster by using previously collected information, and inturn, present results in answering the research questions3.Secondary analysis can include qualitative or quantitative data. Allabove mentioned features of the secondary analysis were relevant andsuitable for writing of the thesis. The secondary data of thesisinclude: numerous reference books, online publications, online andpublished journals, large amount of the data collected from onlinepublications and articles with authors opinions in the online Englishand German newspapers such as BBC,Independent, Business Insider, Franfurter Allgemeine, Express,Frankfurter Rundschau, The Wahington Times, The New York times, TheGuardian, Expressand others.
Anothermethod that appeared to be relevant in this study is ContentAnalysis, since this method facilitates work on numerous texts inorder to determine patterns and to investigate the representation ofcertain events and actors in mass media4.In this context, the findings presented in this thesis were takenfrom the primary collected sources, particularly online articles fromabove mentioned German and English newspapers with the timeframe ofcollected data between 2015 and now. Particularly, the focus was onthe newspaper articles following the aftermath of the last terrorattacks in Europe that are described further in the paper. In thisway, it was possible to address the current state of terrorism inEurope and to analyze not only the way media presents the terrorattacks, but also to investigate the reactions of political leadersin the European Union and experts towards the topic of terrorism.Svantesson to follow, the use of the method is crucial forunderstanding what importance and preferences are given to certainevents5.Furthermore, the media findings were further analyzed through theglass of Framing Theory, since framing creates a link betweenreported events and their understanding and perception by audience ina certain situation6.
Thedata for the study was also collected and further analyzed throughthe glass of Discourse Analysis. In this way was possible to reply tosuch research questions of the thesis as the perception of Muslims inthe Western world, especially in Europe, following the recent terrorattacks. Discourse analysis is applied when it comes to theexamination of connection between discourse and context of the test,and implies that language shapes social reality7.Furthermore, Discourse Analysis gives a possibility to investigatethe link between discourse and reality, and helps to understand whatimpact media has on creation of reality, and in this process ofobserving how certain events are presented by media and which meaningthey carry, the application of Discourse Analysis approach isrelevant in collecting and analyzing data8.With the use of Discourse Analysis it was possible to understand howin the context of the rising terror activities in Europe media shapessocial the perception of the society. In particular, the thesisstudies the change in objective perception of Muslims and overallmood that reigns presently in the public debates on this topic. Inturn, public mood may indirectly contribute to the rising popularityof far-right movements in Europe, which reach their objectives due tothe changing attitude of the society to the refugees arriving toEurope, who are mostly Muslims.
Thesisstructure:this thesis has five chapters and each chapter has key informationrelated with the thesis. These chapters are as follows:
Chapter1 consists of three subsections. In the first section is describedthe description and the history of terrorism. In the second sectionis discussed the way terrorism penetrated in Europe. In the thirdsection are presented several causes of terrorism.
Chapter2 contains three parts. The first part presents the reasons of whyIslam is connected to terrorism. In the second part is analyzed theimage of Muslims in the Western world. Finally, in the third part aredescribed five main terror groups that exist in the modern world.
Chapter3 has three sections. In the first section are presented the majorterror attacks occurred in Europe. In the second section are analyzedthe effects caused by terrorism in the world and Europe. In the thirdsection, I have observed the way terrorism changed the foreign policyof the EU.
Chapter4 explains media coverage on the issue of terrorism and Islam. Therelationship between media and terrorism is presented. Moreover, theexamples of the terror groups, which use social media, are analyzed.In this chapter I also focus on the way media presents informationrelated to Islam and Muslim world.
Chapter5 consists of three sections. In the first section is discussed thewar against terrorism in Europe. In the second section, I haveanalyzed the main challenges we face because of terrorism. In thethird section are described the perspectives on the war againstterrorism.
CHAPTER1 GENERALINFORMATION ABOUT TERRORISM IN EUROPE
Description and history of terrorism
Inthis section, the description and the history of terrorism fromancient time to modern world are presented separately.
1.1.1Description of terrorism
Terrorismcan be described in many ways dependent on the nature of a certainterrorist activities. It is described as the use of violence andthreats to coerce, for political gain9. Achieving a definite definition of terrorism is impossible. It issaid that to create a description of terrorism that satisfies allit’s aspects, is an impossible undertaking. It is much easier toidentify the defects in existing notions and how the term is used,unlike providing a definition that will be accommodating enough to beuseful for academic research purposes on the subject and beacceptable to most observers. Present depictions of terrorism areeither too vague or too specific. They focus on specific andhypothetically arbitrary features of the phenomenon, whilede-emphasizing others or confusing prescriptive and descriptiveterminologies. Firstly, semantic ambiguity has assisted to create it.It is extremely hard for scholars to continuously learn theoccurrence, since, the same term is used to describe a wide array ofhappenings, extending from civilian deaths and dictatorship, toshootings of the public by lone wolves. Secondly, normativedescriptions of the word try to make a portrayal of terrorism in theintangible manner without intending to:
a)Examine a terrorist happening as an example of a broadenedclassification of events in relation to other types of politicalviolence
b)Define terrorism using an approach where it is contrasted with otheroccurrences that already have reasonably established definitions10.
Figure1: Types of Terrorism
Source:Makhutov N., CounteringMetropolitan Terrorism in Russia and in the United States.,“National Academic Press” 2006, p. 211-2012
Modernterrorism can be classified into three groups: intellectual,technological and traditional.
Traditionalmode of terrorism is always aimed at physical annihilation, whichconstitutes murder abduction of agents of government, mostly averageeveryday populaces it is done to attain political and socioeconomicgoals. Presently, the activities of radicals are focused towardspersons and exercised through, kidnappings, arsons, bombings, and soon. Desire damages are inflicted when the activities accomplish theirdesired task.11.
Technologicalfor of terrorism are acts of sabotage directed towards a government’sinfrastructure, these setups are usually crucial to the security ofthe state. These activities are accomplished by the use of modern upto date dangerous knowledge, devices and resources. With this form ofterrorism, the first factors a terroristic act generates techno genicaccidents and catastrophes with a considerably higher level of lessereffect factors that influence the attacked targets, their populaceand the environs12.
Intellectualextremism is a type of terrorism where primary happenings arecovertly introduced in monitoring or technical certificates andengineering design elements in the creation of new infrastructure inthe techno sphere or the existing operational ones. Such activitiesare gifted in introducing lesser influences and injuries leading toa series of tertiary happenings, it is also known as covertextremism.13.
1.1.2History of terrorism
1stCentury BC-13th Century: Terrorismhas existed since humanity started using force to influence events.The Sicarii aJewish group existing in the first century, terminated its enemiesand their traitors while trying to remove the Roman leaders fromJudea. The Hashshashin,the source of "assassins," the English term, were amysterious faction of Islam origins present in Syria and Iran duringand around the 12thcentury. Their theatrically implemented eliminations of Seljuk andAbbasid politicalheads horrified their colleagues14.Assassins and Zealots are not regarded as terrorists in a modernperspective. Terrorism is identified as being a present occurrence.It’s properties is influenced by the global system of governments,and its accomplishment is dependent on the press to spread themessage of fear among people.
1793:theword terrorism originates from the era of Maximilien Robespierrecharacterized by terror, which he instigated after the revolutionagainst the French.. Robespierre was among the new leaders who weretwelve in number of the newly formed government that murderedantagonists of the uprising and mounted a tyranny to bring harmony tothe state. He justifiedthese approaches as needed in ousting of the monarch and install aliberal democracy, while subduing the opponents with a help ofterror. Robespierre`s feelings set the grounds for present dayfanatics, who believe that with only viciousness will fear spreadallowing for the achievement of their goals, NarodnayaVolya wasexpectedto bring to an end the rule of the Tsars in Russia durig the 19thcentury period. However, the portrayal of a state as terroristic innature faded, and the conception that an attack against a politicalentity being terroristic was propagated and accepted15.
1950s:the use of guerilla tacticsby independent persons rose at the end of the twentieth century,this was attributed to a number of reasons. They include theappreciation of minority nationalism especially by the Basque and theIrish,negative attitudes on colonization in the French, British, and manyother different empires, and the rise of communism as a new ideology.Terrorist groups with ideas of nationalizing thee minorities weremolded almost in in different sections in the world. For instance,the republican militia of the Irish was founded by Irish Catholics,who wanted to rule themselves independently and not be part ofBritain. The Kurds too have been looking for the aspect of nationalcohesion since the start of the twentieth century another party thatused terroristic strategies to publicize its agenda for Kurdish rulewas the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)16.
1970s:Internationalterrorism started being a major problem during the late 1960s whenterrorists discovered hijakings. In 1968 a liberation party from rhePalestine hijacked an El Al Flight, the PFLP. After two decades, thePan Am flight was bombed bringing the world to a standstill. This eraalso produced theatrical means and ways that terrorist groups reactedwhen they had grievances with given political states. The happeningsin Munich during the 1972 Munich games were politically induced. Thekidnapping and killings of the Israelite athletes preparing tocompete by the Black September group who were planning to use thekidnapping to negotiate for the discharge of incarcerated Palestiniandetainees employed highly dramatic tactics to air their grievances17.
Theunderground market in the Soviet Union that produced light weaponrywas maximally utilized by terrorists, rifles such as the AK-47assault rifles manufactured during the Soviet Union’s collapse in1989 provided extremist with the deep belief that violence is anecessary path towards their destination of equality.
Duringthis time in America also arose special group similar to theWeathermen, later called Weather Underground, whichrosefrom a student’s non-violent group pushing for a democratic societywhich later turned very violent in its efforts to protest the VietnamWar, it employed tactics such as setting off bombs and rioting18.
1990s: The kind of terrorism that is based and enforced on religiouspillars is the most terrifying form of radicalism. Groups thatjustify their violent tendencies on their religion comprise ofHezbollah, Al-Qaeda, who have based their practices on the Islamfaith. Other faiths have brought to life their own extremism groupsthey include, Judaism, Christianity, and other religions too. Thesegroups most often manipulate religious script to fit their ownselfish agendas, knowing too well that religion brings along with ita blind following19.
Penetration of terrorism in modern Europe
Terroristattacks were more common in Europe between 1970 and 1994, this werepropagated by the Basque separatists of Spain, Anni di Piombopolitical group of Italy, and the Irish Republican Party of NorthernIreland. These groups organized bombings in their respectivecountries. Terrorism as the current threat from the Islamic State isjust as threatening as it was a indigenous occurrence then20.
WesternEurope has witnessed over 16,000 terror attacks in the past 45 years,this is an average of 350 attacks yearly this is in reference to theGlobal Terrorism Database. The highest numbers of attacks were in1979 when Europe had a total number of 1,019 attacks, through 1970 to1990s attacks were carried out to an average of 10 weekly. From 1997,the trend of terror attacks has been decreasing. The number of thedead and wounded has been above average in the past 45 years, thoughstill below the figures of 1970 and 1980s. The year with the highestnumber of deaths was 1988, terrorists claimed 440 victims, most ofthem were from the blasting of the Pan Am Flight 103 in Scotland,this was an attack which Muammar Gaddafi the Libyan leader acceptedresponsibility. The highest number of the wounded was in 2004, withthe assaults in Madrid21.
Figure2: Terror attacks in Western Europe (1970-2015)
Source:ATLAS| Data: Global Terrorism Database
Figure3: Injuries and dead in terror attacks in Western Europe, 1970 –2015
Source:ATLAS| Data: Global Terrorism Database
Causes of terrorism
Tocounter radicalism, it is important to fathom what drives terrorism.By identifying these factors, we enable policy makers to formulatepolicies that tackle the root causes of terrorism, and ways foridentifying those who become radicalized. There is constant debatebetween scholars over the initial causes of terrorism. Below are themost common sources of modern terrorism.
Theyearning of the people to distance itself from the ruling entity andbuild a government of their own can be the beginnings of terroristactivities. This desire was clearly evident in the 20thcentury, when colonies and regions attempted to attain freedom fromthe colonial rulers. Ethnic nationalism extremism existed for years,even before the world wars. Maybe the most notorious of these groupswere formed between the two world wars and the inspiration was drawnfrom weakening stately powers, existed the Jewish Irgun Avai Le’umi,that campaigned against England’s colonization of the Palestine soas to realize the formation of a Jewish state. Hamas is one of themost ethnic nationalistic group in the world, always carrying outattacks and bombings at Israel’s government, with an agenda ofbuilding a Palestinian government. Chechen extremist groups areconsidered to be ethno-nationalists for they wage retaliationsdenouncing Russia, with an aim of creating their own government.Minority groups in every country are often inclined to be active interrorist activities, pursuing their own political aims, forinstance, to gain independence or at least some form of independencefrom the state. This shows that ethno-nationalism will continue beinga principle foundation of terrorism. It should be recognized that,politically including the segregated in the government system willsubstantially reduce those radicalized to join terror causes, thoughothers will still use terrorism to achieve their goals of independentrule.22.
Manyauthors have pointed out a feeling of discrimination experienced byDiasporas, especially those residing in Europe, as a motivationtowards extremism. Newcomers often experience segregation in thecountries they emigrate, what leads to the feeling of being astranger in the society and further to the complete isolation. Thesepeople, most usually, migrate from war torn countries that are poorto countries experiencing peace which are mostly rich, in the hope tohave better life: attend school/university or get well paid work, butthe most important wish of most of them is to live in peace. Thehosting nation’s culture being considerably diverse from what theyare used to, in the way of mentality and religion, thus, motivatingsegregated individuals to seek out those with whom they sharetraditions and culture. These groups may become tired out of thehostility towards them from a society they do not fit in, andtherefore people feel excluded. Eventually, shared sentiments ofdissatisfaction through discrimination may propel the members toaddress their issues through radical philosophies23.
Inthis context, particularly in the case of Europe now, one of thebiggest concerns of politicians being that these migrants, who becameradicalized due to segregation in their present society , now holdEuropean identification thus, radicalized people are free in theirmovements within Europe, and as well it makes them much easierentering America compared to non-Europeans. Consequently, theypresent a threat to both the United States and the European Union.
Themost common belief today is that religion propagates terrorism. Thisis not always the cause of terrorism, religion has been used as atool to distribute terroristic thoughts, and religion in terrorism isusually attributed to fundamentalism in Islam Ideological extremists,in the name of Muslim glory and creation of Islamist state, by beingassured of plunders in the afterlife, are motivated to carry outdifferent terror attacks, as mass bombings. However, in the historyof terrorism there are other examples, where religion is not a reasonat all for exercising terror activity, an example is the group thatattacked Sarin in Tokyo with gas, called the Aum Shinrikyo24.
Terroristsmay be motivated by the need to seek what they have been denied andthe inability to rise socially in the community. Globalization andmedia has increased awareness to the poor on what they lack that therich take for granted and show how the rich acquired their wealth,making the marginalized in the community angry. This leads tofrustration of the victimized, and those who lack are humiliated forbring different, or being unable to make it, undereducated, andunemployed the young Islam is able to make comparisons of hissituation and those of others in the society themselves and theWestern, some people in underdeveloped countries get infuriated,thus, tensions and hostilities are constantly increasing. This allowsextremist entities to gain attention and manipulate the groups thatfeel aggrieved because of social injustice. The only true way totackle this problem is by introducing economic development activitiesto the community, region and country as a whole, but that takes time.Globalization, by making the making it impossible to differentiatethe economic position of persons more affordable to people, willcontinue to spread the feeling of dissatisfaction among them.Therefore, there will be always those, who will feel disgruntledbecause of living standards and welfare globally in comparison tolocal standards opening doors to frustration and anger. 25.
Alack of inclusivity in politics, very common in authoritariancountries, lamentations against a given ruling class may influencecitizens in joining or creating extremist groups to address theissue, while being frustrated by political will in their state, canturn to violence in pursuing their political alternative to theexisting political system. While in some ways parallel toethno-nationalist bases, these grievances are born to address changein the existing government and not in the creation of independentgovernments. From this perspective, political Islam could be as aresponse to authoritarian regimes and its foreign campaigns. Theimplication of Western powers in the conflicts of other states, forinstance the intervention in the Middle east conflicts, and in somecases their backing of oppressive dictatorial administrations tofurther domestic interests, have virtually allowed themselves to beproponents of extremism of an infuriated population in the regimes,who display their contempt aggressively as a substitute to declaretheir radical expression26.
ANALYSISOF TERRORISM IN ISLAM
2.1Why Islam is connected to terrorism
Theincident of terrorists’ activities has existed in the world for thepast 100 years. In the early 20thcentury, there have been various radical Russian communist groupsthat have engaged in terror attacks. It is evident that in recentdecades many terrorists’ activities have both in magnitude andquantity occurred within Muslim the context. People seem to haveshort and limited knowledge on terror history. They have been easilyconvinced that Islam is related to terrorism by recent attacks. Thereis a perspective that the high number of terrorism that is linked toIslam is a local phenomenon that exists in our era and is notnecessarily a product or the actions of Islam as a religion or theMuslim culture.
TheIslam claim that the allegations that they are promulgated by swordand violence is a myth spread by infidels heathens, perverts, andthe Jews who are envious of their peaceful religion and their ProphetMuhammad. The Quran and Islam teachings and believe states otherwise.There are those who commit atrocities in the name of the Islam, butthere are also other terrorists with a different motive. It is thusnot right to create an assumption that all the Muslims areterrorists27.Despite this, Islam faith has caused some radical Muslims to go toextremes. The call of restoration of morality and the defense of theIslam nation, the fear of hell and their belief that martyrdom is theonly way to ensure entry to a promised paradise has made themterrorist but only those who misinterpret and fit the Quran for theirown selfish reasons. This has resulted in formation of the jihad.Jihad is explained as a way in which an Islam is defending theirnation against attacks from the enemy.
SomeIslam believes that Allah stated in the Quran that whoever dies inthe jihad is spared judgment and are automatically granted access toparadise. Every verse in the Quran that talks about jihad cancelsout the verses that speak of love and kindness. The teachings in theQuran are always misinterpreted by those who read it since they havesome controverting statements. Some of the ideologies arecontradicting, for instance, in another section, it is written,“Christiansare good people who love and worship one God, so you may be friendswith them(Surah 2:62, 3:113-114) while in another section it says “Christiansmust convert, pay tax, or be killed by the sword (Surah9:29).28
Mostpeople still wonder how Allah, who is said to be powerful andalmighty, would change his mind and contradict himself extremely. The Prophet Muhammad of Islam nation always exercised his faith in avery contradicting way. The Quran says that the prophet was sent tothe world to show love and mercy to people, but instead he becamedictator in the military, killed, attacked, and even took propertythat was illegally obtained to finance his luxurious empire5.Islam is full of discrimination against Christians, non-Muslims, Jewsand even their women. There is a lot of hatred that has been builtinto the religion and as a result, its followers are depicting thefruits by becoming terrorists. There are five pillars of Islamradicalization. These principles have been spread throughout theworld through the use of cyberspace the websites, to help win moreMuslims hearts and minds.Theseguiding principles are Islamist must rule, faith is the reason,Jihad is the only way to win, obey no law but Islam law and infidelsare all around5.One of the principles Islam must rule has made Islam terrorists. Theywant to caliphate back, and they want to rule the whole world.Caliphate is a way of submission to Allah.
TheQuran in Surah 24:55 say “Allahhas promised, to those among you who believe and work righteousdeeds, which he will, of a surety, grant them in the land ofinheritance, as he granted it to those before them…29”andIslam obey and follow the Quran so that they will receive want theyhave been promised. The Quran further instructs Islam believers tosmite the necks of the non-believers. It says “Therefore,when you meet unbelievers (in fight) smite at their necks at length,when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (onthem)…30”themedia has reported many cases of terrorism the world has beenhorrified by the types of videotapes they watch, like the beheadingsin Iraq. This is a way to show that some terrorists who relate theirattacks to the Islamic faith are just following the scriptures fromthe Quran. The choice of words used to explain terrorism has alwaysbeen a problem. The USA secretary of state said that words should bewisely and carefully chosen to avoid scapegoating other peacefulMuslims or rather driving them into the hands of terrorists.
PresidentObama also confirmed this by saying that, words matter whenaddressing the issues of terrorism. He said that the fight againstterrorism can only be won by using the battle of the heart and themind. Andrew Neil a BBC presenter called the Paris attackers asIslamist terrorists he said that “thereisa link between Islam and terror. That is an indisputable fact.31”He supported this statement by saying that the perpetrators of theParis attacks had claimed that they were doing so in the name of theIslamic faith. He also claims that all the attackers identifiedthemselves as Muslims. He further explains that the link does notmean that all Muslims are terrorists or even a significant number.
Theterrorist in the current atrocities are grouping the hostages thosewho can recite the Quran verses and those who cannot. Neil says thatthe truth will help to fight the terrorists. “Thelink between Islam and terror exists because it is made by terroristthemselves and breaking it will crush them to dust.32”TheIslam religion has nothing to do with the terrorism, but those whocarry out the attacks do. Most of them have sworn their allegiance tothe Islamic faith. They have found a loop hole to hide their motivesby stating that they are carrying out the atrocities by quoting someverses in the Quran that work in their favor.
Therefore,whether the world is at peace or war, all the acts of terrorism isnot only condemned in Islam, but also declared foreign in Islamteachings. This means that Islam advocate for peace and love bysubmitting to the will of God who is the Lord to all the living andnon-living things. Hence, a world free of terror and allegations canbe achieved by conforming to Divine laws.
2.2Images of Muslims in the Western world
Thecharacterization of Muslims in the media differs greatly. Due to theWestern concerns of the constant terror activities in the lastdecades, Islam has been being portrayed as the enemy of the west andthe Muslim world is characterized as the heart of terrorism thatintimidates and puts Western development with all its democraticvalues in danger. While hegemonic powers of West conduct foreignpolicy towards resolution of conflicts in the countries of MiddleEast, and towards fighting terrorism in those regions, the society,by being strongly influenced by the information that is reported,creates often a negative image of Muslims, who subconsciously areassociated with terrorism33,thanks to media, which reports these issues not always objectively.
Inthe contemporary history of U.S. external policy, former U.S.President George W Bush has exercised expansionist policies. Thesepolicies were a catastrophe for the indigenous people in Iraq andAfghanistan, who suffered from the inhuman treatment, capture, abusesof prisoners by American and British military forces. In that time,there were huge violations of the human rights, especially when thelocal population resisted American occupation and tried todesperately to oppose it34.
Massmedia plays an essential role in audience’s perception andunderstanding of the foreign policy of its country. By portraying anddelivering the information to the public, media may misrepresent andmisinterpret the current events this or other way, what later hashuge negative effects on peoples’ minds. One of such instances,when media either misled or dramatized information too much whilereporting recent terror attacks in Europe (terror attacks in Paris,Brussels, Nice and others), is a big fear among all population ofEurope towards refugees, who are fleeing from the conflict war zonesto their countries. This fear is strongly felt now in France andGermany, states which so far accepted the largest number of refugees.As mentioned above, while being influenced by the presentedinformation in mass media, the population starts to feel deepcontempt towards immigrants from the Middle East, thinking that eachof them could be a potential terrorist35.
Thetendency of the domination of headlines that provoke the worrimentand fear has been observed in reporting of news for the last twodecades. For instance, titles as: ‘Sword of Islam’, ‘TheIslamic Threat’, ‘The Roots of Muslim Rage’, ‘Islam’s NewBattle Cry’ and ‘What went wrong with Islam?’ appear quiteoften in the media. Hence, it becomes easier to understand from wherethis unrest and negative attitude to all Muslims, among people inEurope, come. Further, Islam is not anymore perceived as a peacefulreligion, but rather as a threat that the Western powers face, whenit comes to the overall security of the states and their economic andpolitical spheres. However, some people disagree with this view, andclaim that ‘threat of Islam’ is groundless and West is powerfulenough to resist such threat36.
Inthis context, when media exerts powerful influence on audiences’mind, it is interesting to look at the case of Danish newspapersJyllands-Posten,particularly, the popular “Muhammad cartoons”, and to analyze thedifference of the views and reactions of readers on suchpublications. Some might say that Muhammad cartoons are offensive andimpolite gesture towards Muslims, while others say that it is nothingmore than a freedom of speech, which refers to the one of thefundamental values of the West. Such cartoons are also viewed to beas a leverage of right-wing political parties and Christianfundamentalists, who seek to provoke negative attitude towardsMuslims and, thus, contribute to creating a wrong image of people whoexercise Islam in general. One of the reasons of publishing suchcontroversial cartoons, that were openly racist and xenophobic, couldbe a desire on the one hand to provoke animosity between Christiansand Muslims and on the other hand, to show that Muslim migrants arenot welcomed in Europe.37
Variousopinions about the purpose of mass media to publish quite offensiveremarks and commentaries towards Muslims can be heard in the publicdebates. Some individuals call them fanatics and terrorists. Sincesuch publications often lead to the non-objective perception ofMuslims in the western societies and raise the feeling of prejudicedhostility to the Muslims, eventually people ask themselves more oftenwhether Islam is a threat to the Western world. Some believe that itis being done in order to create tensions between people who exerciseIslam and those who practice different religions, mostly Christians.It becomes very dangerous when Muslims feel constantly offended.Sometimes this can provoke an angry backlash, which can be expressedin the form of terror activities, as a protest to the society thatdoesn’t want to accept, by making the division between ‘us’and ‘them’38.
Theanti-Muslim publications started to appear more often since thebeginning of the 21stcentury, after the most horrible terror act 9/11 happened. TheWestern media has changed the image of Muslim people, by portrayingthem as those, who spread violence, terror and conflicts in their owncountries and abroad. In their publications media avoided thepresenting of deep understanding of the conflicts in the Muslimcountries, the factors that were drivers of instability, such as poorsocial and economic situation in those countries. Consequently, thewrong image of the Islamic world gradually emerged in the West. Itis now often associated with brutality and tyranny39.
TheWestern media has given a rise for most negative stereotypes that areconnected to Islam and Muslim countries in general. The firstassociation that comes to peoples’ minds in the Western world whenthey think about Muslims is that these people are fanatics, who areinclined to violence and that they are dangerous. Thus, Islamappeared to be a religion that is considered to be as one whichspreads violence, violations of human rights, repressions of women,and finally which is a threat to the West. Obviously, some can arguethat it is partially true, but still this controversial belief basedon stereotypes and perceptions obtained mostly through the mediashows irreverent attitude of the West towards all Muslim people40.
Inthis context, it is important to understand that cultural differencesalso play big role in how people see each other and further, fromtheir personal side perceive and understand the information that ispresented by media. It is clear, that cultural differences are anatural phenomenon, which is unavoidable even in constantly shrinkingand globalizing world. Therefore, it is essential for media first ofall, to understand cultural differences while presenting events fromother parts of the world, and secondly to prevent further possiblemutual hostility between nations and their religious, which can leadto disastrous consequences41.
Theattack on the World trade center on 11thSeptember 2001had its deep political motivations it was as a manifestation ofstrongly disagreement with the foreign policy that was led by the inthe Middle East by the United States. As a response to this event,Washington started War on Terror, which gave vent to endless grief,violence, thousands of deaths, destruction and instability in theMiddle East that lasts up until now. Since that time, the term ‘Waron Terror’ started to be used in the Western media. In theaftermath of the 9/11, some Western media presented information thatagain was creating a wrong perception of Islam and led to evenstronger ingrained belief that Muslims could be potential terrorists.
Eventually,after analyzing several examples, the conclusion would be that thereis clear tendency in Western media of presenting Islam and Muslims inrather negative way, associating them very often with terrorism anddanger to the Western powers. However, that it is very important tounderstand and differentiate Islam as a peaceful religion andterrorists that have their own understanding of Islam. Millions ofMuslims who live in the United States and Europe are not connected tothe bombings and other terror activities, but they become quite oftenvictims of negative prejudices and stereotypes that Western mediabring42.
2.3Deadliest terror groups existing in the modern world2.3.1The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)
ISIL, theArabic shortform is Dāʿash or Daesh,is otherwise known as IslamicState in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) andsince June 2014 is called theIslamic Stateis so far, one of the biggest and dangerous transnational Sunniterror group. ISIS actively runs its activity mainly in western Iraqand eastern Syria. The group started its activities in April 2013,and later in 2014 set up an offensive that threw armed services ofIraq out of important cities in the West of the country. At thistime in Syria, the terrorist group participated in the Syrian CivilWar, while fighting against government forces and different rebelfactions. In 2014 the head of the terror organization, Abu Bakral-Baghdadi, stated the establishment of a caliphate43.
Theroots of the ISIL go back to the War in Iraq that started in 2003,where thepredecessor of the organization was Al-QaedaIraq (AQI),which was one of the main forces that fought against government ofIraq and its foreign allies. Abu Musab al-Zarqaw was on the top ofthe terror group and is known for leading the most brutal attacks inthat region. Later, in 2006 the leader of the organization died, whatled the group to the association with other various extremist groupsand to a new name, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). A new morepowerful organization had intention to control huge amount ofterritory and had an aim to be recognized as the leader of theIslamic community. However, in 2007 the ISI was weakened because ofthe Sunni population on the West of Iraq that rose against it, due tothe often inhuman treatment from the side of the group towards thepeople in that region, and due to the counterinsurgency strategy thatprevented participation of Sunni population in the further attacks.Moreover, the organization had big losses of their best fighters,while fighting with U.S. and Iraqi armed forces. The famous Abu Bakral-Baghdadi became head of a terror organization in 2010. However,Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was earlier a prisoner for five years at theprison in the South of Iraq that was run by the United States44.
Theatmosphere that reined in that region only favored the expansion ofextremism in the West of Iraq, since there were constant repressionsof Sunni population that were organized by the Prime Minister, Nurial-Maliki, who claimed that he was fighting against al-Qaeda andelimination of the remnants of the Arab Socialist Ba’th party.Therefore, Sunni’s grievance was only rising together with theirexercising of terror activities, which led to the recovery of AQI/ISIin 2011 by gradual pullout of the Western troops from the region45.
Figure4: A map of areas under ISIL control
Source:Stratfor., IslamicState in Iraq and the Levant Activity.,accessed 14 June 2016, available at:https://www.stratfor.com/image/islamic-state-iraq-and-levant-activity
InJanuary 2016, Europol has warned that terrorist organization IslamicState had increased the network of their activities across Europe byestablishing secret training camps, the aim of which is to get ISILfighters ready to exercise further terror acts either in the UK or inthe EU-member countries. Europol to follow, last year such campswere organized in remote Bosnian villages. The European Police Officealerts, that it is very likely that refugees who came to Europe couldbe easily recruited by ISIL to their camps in order to conductfurther terror activities in Europe. Further, Europol warns about aspecialist “external actions command”, which was developed byISIL to practice terror attacks globally. According to theestimation of the Europol: ““In selecting what to attack, where,when and how, IS shows its capacity to strike at will, at any timeand at almost any chosen target…”46.
Figure5: Attacks organized by ISIL
Source:Levant Research Institute., Mapped:Terrifying Growth of ISIS in Just One Year and how Asia & Russiais Next Target.,accessed 15 June 2016, available at:http://levantri.com/en/mapped-terrifying-growth-of-isis-in-just-one-year-and-how-asia-russia-is-next-target/
Anotherbig terror organization that is connected to the Islamic extremism isBoko Haram. If to translate the name the organization callsthemselves, Wilāyat Gharb Ifrīqīyyah andJamā`atAhl as-Sunnah lid-Da`wah wa`l-Jihād,it means IslamicState West Africa Province and a group constituting the people ofSunnah for jihad and preaching. Boko Haram is active first of all, inthe Northeast of Nigeria, and others regions of Chad, North ofCameroon and Niger. According to the Global Terrorism Index’sassessment in 2015, Boko Haram was declared to be the deadliestterror organization in the world47.
Theterror organization was launched in 2002 and was constantly movinginto more radicalized direction, and in 2009 with the uprising ofviolence it was managed to execute the leader of terror group.Nevertheless, the activity of Boko Haram was again very active andsuccessful in the period of 2010-2011, while the terrorists wereconducting sophisticated terror attacks. One of them was a carbombing where the target was the office of the United Nations inAbuja, around 70 people were wounded and 21 lost their life’s’.This attack was different from others, since it was first time whenthe terror group targeted the international organization, thus, itchallenged not only the government of Nigeria, but whole world. Inthe aftermath of this attack, the government of Nigeria extended thestate of emergency to the next two years, but the terrorist attackscontinued48.
Followingthe statistics, since May 2013, 2.3 million people were displaced tothe neighbor countries as Niger, Chad and Cameroon. At the same time,the number of displaced children increased up to 1.3 million. Thecrisis in Nigeria turned to be the biggest and fastest displacementcatastrophe in Africa49.In 2014 Boko Haram took responsibility for kidnapping of 276 girlsfrom school in Chibok, what showed once again its cruelty, inhumantreatment of women and indifference towards human rights50.In the same year, the terror group visibly enhanced their abilitiesin exercising terror activities, almost every day were reporteddifferent attacks against and the targets were almost all: police,security agencies, schools and universities, national media,politicians and those who practice Christianity. The internationalpublicity Boko Haram received in March 2015, when the group announcedits loyalty to the Islamic State and started to call itself as“ISIL-West Africa Province”51.
Figure6: Operating areas of Boko Haram
Source:National Counter Terrorism Center., TerroristGroups: Boko Haram.,accessed 16 June 2016, available at:https://www.nctc.gov/site/groups/boko_haram.html
Inreference to Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, 2015 wasBoko Haram’s the most fatal year so far, thus, the terror groupkeeps on spreading violence and destabilizing further already verycritical situation in the regions it is active and overall inAfrica52.
Takinginto account above mentioned facts about Boko Haram activitiesthrough the last several years, it is not excluded that this terrorgroup poses a huge threat not only to the countries of Africa, butalso to the Western world.
Figure7: Boko Haram attacks
Source:Thing Link., BokoHaram by Gentry Prince.,accessed 17 June 2016, available at:https://www.thinglink.com/scene/763865507588734977
Arecent al-Qaeda attack that happened on 14thof March 2016 in Ivory Coast beach and took 18 people’s life’s’,among which were citizens of Europe, reminded once again the worldthat al-Qaeda has not disappeared and continues its activity53.Notwithstanding the diminishing activities of al-Qaeda through thelast several years because of progressive Islamic State, the historyof the group that urged in 2001 a War on Terror worth attention.
Al-Qaedais a militant Sunni Islamist organization which acts globally throughpresent, was founded in 1988 by Osama bin Laden and several other hissupporters. Initially, the organization worked as a logisticalnetwork that helped Muslims to fight against the invasion ofAfghanistan by the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Later, after thewithdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan, the organizationcontinued its activities by fighting corrupted regimes in Islamiccountries. At the same time, al-Qaeda stood firm against presence offoreign forces in the region54.
Al-Qaedahad connections to numerous other Islamist groups, and with some ofthem, being the Egypt’s Islamic Jihad, it merged. The groups hadsimilar aims and views, which later brought them to joint war againstU.S. That happened before 9/11, when the leader of Al-Qaeda in hisfirst fatwa in 1996 announced “Declaration of war against theAmericans occupying the Land of the Holy places”. Bin Ladenmentioned that his most important duty is to push Americans of theHoly lands, therefore, he addressed to all Muslims that they need tokill and defeat the enemy in the name of Allah. In two years waspublished second fatwa (1998) that was already created in thecooperation with the leaders of other militant organizations such as,Islamic Group, Jihad Movement in Bangladesh, Jihad group in Egypt andothers. The second fatwa called on to all Muslims with furtherinstructions:
“Theruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians andmilitary — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it inany country in which it is possible to do it…. Every Muslim whobelieves in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God`s orderto kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and wheneverthey find it.55”
Duringall these years of existing, militant group organized a lot of campsaround the world where they recruited Muslims and then trained them,by developing needed skills that they would need in preparing andcarrying out terrorist acts. On 7thAugust 1998 Al-Qaeda undertook terror attacks on the offices ofembassies of the United States in African countries, when itorganized explosions at the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya and almostat the same time in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. After these bombings,the United States, as well as whole Western world, started seriouslyto be concerned about this terror group, which could further endangerand undermine the security of its citizens and states overall56.
Indeed,the West was completely right in their assumptions of the possibledanger that could come from terrorists in the future, since alreadysome years later in 2001happened the deadliest terror attacks on theUnited States, known as 9/11. There were sophisticated terror attacksorganized by extremist organization al-Qaeda, where 19 members of theextremist group conducted series of airline hijackings and suicideattacks targets were: World Trade Center in New York, and thePentagon but in the end the plane crashed in Pennsylvania. More than3000 people died in the September 11 attacks57.The reaction to these attacks was the decision of Washington toinvade Afghanistan in order to, first of all, attack and destroyal-Qaeda and secondly, to oust Taliban from power58.
Following9/11 attacks, next new attacks through next 6 years that happenedglobally had quite often links to al-Qaeda, while the group highlydeveloped its activity in the Internet, which became a useful andeasy tool in spreading its propagandistic videos and ideology, andrecruiting new fighters to the organization from all the world. Someobservers believe, that in this first decade of 21stcentury extremist organization reached its peak of success inexercising different terror activities, and that U.S.strategy was not sufficient enough to be able to defeat the terrorgroup59.
Theleader of al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, after long tries of U.S.Intelligence service to locate the terrorist, in the end he wastraced and terminated by the forces of the United on the 2ndof May 2011 in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The operation of killing OsamaBin Laden, the president of the United States, Barack Obama, declaredto be the biggest achievement in the fight against terroristorganization60.
Figure8: Al-Qaida Operations around the world
Source:Joscelyn T., AQAPPublishes Insider’s Account of 9/11 Plot.,accessed 17 June 2016, available at:https://counterjihadreport.com/tag/al-qaeda-in-the-arabian-peninsula/
TheIslamic fundamentalist political movement Taliban arose in the early1990s in the North of Pakistan subsequent to the withdrawal of Sovietforces from Afghanistan. In 1994 the Taliban emerged and becamepopular as one of the leading group during the Civil war inAfghanistan. The members of faction were mostly students who werefinanced by Saudi Arabia, which practiced a hard form of Sunni Islam.On the top of the movement was founder of the movement, Mullah Omar,who worked actively on expanding the activities of the movementthroughout almost all territories of Afghanistan61.
Theidea of the movement was to bring back peace and security to thePashtun areas that included Pakistan and Afghanistan. Moreover, theTaliban wanted to implement their own from of Sharia. ThroughoutPakistan and Afghanistan were supported and exercised Islamicpunishments, for instance, public murdering of condemned assassins,or amputations, in case when the person was guilty in stealingsomething. The Taliban had its own strict regulations: men needed togrow beards and women were mandated to hide their faces with theall-covering burka television and other entertainment (films,theaters, even music) were banned. Most students who joined theTaliban were initially educated and trained in special religiousschools in Pakistan, they are called madrassas. Remarkably, Pakistanwas one from those three nations that acknowledged the Taliban’sgovernment in the time when the movement came to power in Afghanistan(mid-1990s -2001), and was later also the last state what stoppeddiplomatic relationship with it. Another two countries were the U.A.Eand Saudi Arabia62.The Taliban’s control over the country lasted until the Americans,following the 9/11, invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and brought down themovement. In that time, the Taliban was focus of the attention of theWest, since the Islamic movement in Afghanistan was accused of givingto al-Qaeda, especially to Osama Bin Laden, a sanctuary. The Talibanwas later realigned again and was active in fighting againstAmerican-backed Karzai administration and the International SecurityAssistance Force that was led by the NATO63.
TheIslamic fundamentalist political movement has been always stronglycriticized and sentenced by the international societies, AmnestyInternational, UN, Human Rights Watch, for its hard exercising ofIslamic law, which led to violent treatment of the civilians, wherewomen suffered mostly. While the Taliban stood in power inAfghanistan, United Nations to follow, the movement was responsiblein 2010 for 76% of the civilian casualties and up to 80% in 2012.Further, the movement was accused of imposing their extremistideology on Afghan civilians and using them in practicing theirterrorism activities64.
Inthe recent years the Taliban conducted numerous attacks on Kabul, andextended in Afghanistan their presence and influence more than at anyother time since American intervention in 2001. Thus, such resurgenceof the movement puts into danger the government of Afghanistan and atthe same time poses new threat and challenges to the remained theirAmerican. and NATO armed forced. The state in Afghanistan remainsvery unsecure due to the Taliban’s spring offensive that theylaunched in 2015. The resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistanhappened due to some important factors: first factor is that the USand NATO combat mission in Afghanistan was finalized in 2014, whichwas followed by withdrawing of a lot of foreign armed forces from thecountry, thus, the Taliban obtained more capabilities to expand theirzones of influence. Next NATO-led Resolute Support internationalcoalition started in January 2015, when 12,500 foreign soldiers wereresponsible mostly for training and supporting the security forces inAfghanistan, by giving needed advice and assistance secondly,foreign fighters mostly Uzbeck, Arab and Pakistani, that were locatedin the North Waziristan Tribal Agency came to the Afghanistanafterwards the military of Pakistan in 2014 organized its OperationZarb-e-Azb. Hence, the fight against the government of theAfghanistan was escalated. Finally, third factor that plays role inthis situation is that Afghan security forces and army have huge lackin financing of new recourses and equipments, and lack ofprofessionalism therefore, their capabilities to oppose the Talibanare very low. Therefore, the movement has managed to conduct numerousattacks throughout all Afghanistan, since their number of fightersand their capabilities are bigger than Afghan ones65.
Atthe present time, there are 9,800 U.S. soldiers and 3,000 troops fromother NATO members, who are responsible for trainings and assistanceof the Afghan forces. At the same time, under the command of the U.S.Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, is being conducted a counterterrorismmission, Freedom’s Sentinel, that has an aim to the Talibantogether with other terrorist organizations as al-Qaeda and ISIL66.
Figure9: Taliban area of influence 2015
Source:National Counter Terrorism Center., TerroristGroups: Afghan Taliban.,accessed 18 June 2016, available at:https://www.nctc.gov/site/groups/afghan_taliban.html
Onemore Islamist militant group that reigns in the Islamic world isLebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah or in other words the Party ofGod. The militant organization is a political party, the Faithfulnessto the Fighting Bloc, in the parliament of Lebanon67.
Thehistory of Hezbollah starts from the invasion of South of Lebanon byIsrael in 1982, when Muslims organized a movement, which wassupported and financed by Iran, to oppose Israeli occupation. Theleaders of Hezbollah’s movement were followers of the Iranian ShiaMuslim leader, known in the West as Ayatollah Khomeini, and werebacked by the Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. The group conductedattacks on the South Lebanon Army, which was reinforced by Israelfrom 1982 till 2000 in fighting Hezbollah. The presence of foreignpowers in Lebanon was seen by Hezbollah also negatively, since itdeclared in 1985 that the United States and Soviet Union were Islam’smajor enemies68.
Afterthe end of the Lebanon’s civil war in 1989, when the Taif Agreementrequired demilitarization, Hezbollah proclaimed their military outfitto be “Islamic Resistance” force, which mission is to stopIsrael’s presence, and in this way Hezbollah kept their arsenal. In1990s Hezbollah became active in participating in the politics ofLebanon, where in 1992 for the first time it took part in thenational elections69.
Thenext decade of their activities is connected to the continuedopposition towards Israeli presence in different disputes territoriesof the country. One of the attacks of Hezbollah was cross borderattack in 2006, where eight Israeli soldiers lost their lives and twosoldiers were abducted. In the aftermath of the attack the reactionof Israel was edgy, when the Israeli government ordered to bombpositions of Hezbollah in the South of the country and in Beirut. Thecasualties from both sides in the conflict were considerable, around1,125 Lebanese and up to 200 Israeli70.
In2008 Lebanon’s government that was supported by the West, wanted totake down Hezbollah’s private telecommunications network and tofire the security chief of the Beirut airport, who, supposedly, hadconnections to the Islamic movement. In response to this, Hezbollahtook control of almost all Beirut and started to fight against Sunnigroups in the country. This conflict almost was a start of the newcivil war in Lebanon. Eventually, the government gave up and in thisway contributed to power-sharing agreement, which gave Hezbollah aright to disagree with any cabinet decision. However, in 2009Hezbollah obtained 10 seats in Lebanese parliament71.
Hezbollahhas grown politically and military, being even more forceful than theLebanese Army. With the seats in parliament, privatetelecommunication network, TV channels, social services Hezbollahappeared to be a “state within a state”. With the escalation ofthe civil war in Syria, Hezbollah sent their fighters to help Basheral-Assad to fight against opponents of the Syrian government.Moreover, the militants of Hezbollah went to Syria and Iraq to fightagainst Islamic State. The Hezbollah’s support of Syria’s Shiaelite and their fruitful cooperation with Iran urged the hostilityfrom the Gulf Arab states72.However, all members of the Gulf cooperation Council (GCC), mostlySunni, have recognized Hezbollah as a “terrorist” organization,due to their hostile actions. This classification of militant groupsupported as well 22 Arab League members, U.S., Canada and Australia,while the European Union blacklisted the Hezbollah’s militarywing73.
CHAPTER3 REMARKABLEFACTS ABOUT TERROR ATTACKS IN EUROPE3.1Major terror attacks existed in Europe
Inthis section, the major terror attacks that occurred in Europe havebeen discussed. These terror attacks had occurred in Spain, UK,Belgium, France and Turkey.
3.1.1Terror attack in Spain (Madrid) – 11 March 2004
The 2004Madrid train bombings weresyncronised instantaneous attacks against the Cercaníaspassenger train network in Madrid,Spain. These attacks were carried out three days before the generalelections on 11thMarch 2004. 192 people were killed in the explosions and 2,000 morewere killed74. Investigationscarried out by the judiciary in the country concluded that theattacks were works of an faction inspired by Al-Qaeda, though thedirect participation of Al-Qaeda was not recognized. The Spanishmineworkers that actuated the availability of explosives werereprimandedthough there was no direct link of them to the attack.
Howthe bombings were handled and presented brought about a controversy,with Spain’s two main opposition parties condemning each other ofcovering or changing evidence for polling aims Spanish SocialistWorkers’ Party (PSOE) and the Partido Popular (PP). threedays after the general elections, incumbent JoséMaría Aznar`sof the PP party was ousted. Instantly following the bombings, membersof the PP party demanded that there was evidence vindicating BasqueSeparists organization Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) actuated thebombings. Islam obligation would have been disastrous for it will beseen as a significance of PP taking Spain to war in Iraq, which is andetested policy with the Spaniards75.There followed protests and demonstrations on a national leveldemanding that the government be truthful. Politicalanalysts observe that the ruling party were defeated as a result ofpoor management of the terror activities rather than the actthemselves. Theterror campaign established the most lethal terrorist in Spain’shistory. It was the most horrible attack to happen in Europe afterthe Lockerbieattack in 1988.
TheMorocan nationa lJamalZougam, among other culprits were processed for participation in carryingoput an attack by judge Juan Del Olmo. This was after 21 months ofinvestigation. The ruling on September determined that there was nolink or known link to Al-Qaeda, though experts have on a number oftimes said in Spanish low there is nothing as an intellectualauthor76.
Figure10: Madrid train bombings, 2004
Source:Geller P., Madrid:Islamic Jihad Massacre, 11 March 2004 – #11-M.,accessed 19 June 2016, available at:http://pamelageller.com/2015/03/march-11-terrible-anniversary-of-madrid-jihad-bombings-11-m.html/
3.1.2Terror attack in United Kingdom (London) – 7 July 2005
The London bombings carried out on 7thJuly 2005, were coordinated suicide bombings that were aimed atcrippling the civilians public transport systems 77.
OnThursday, 7 July 2005 in the morning, three bombs were detonated btfour independent suicide bombers consecutively aboard trains inLondon city, and the fourth later at an English bus bus at TavistockSquare. The death toll was 52 people and more than 699 persons wereinjured, this made Britain the worst hit country by terrorists since1988, when the Pan Am Flight was bombed.it was also the country’sfirst Islamic suicide attack78.The bombs were made through homemade techniques using organicperoxide-based devices packed into backpacks. There followedattempted failed bombings in the following weeks. This 7/7 attackswere carried out the day after London had won a bid to host theOlympics games, which had emphasized the city`s diverse status79.
Figure11: London Bombings, 7 July 2005
Source:Pike J., Attackson London Transit System.,accessed 19 June 2016, available at:http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/ops/london-jul7.htm
3.1.3Terror attacks in France (Paris) – 13 November 2015
On13thNovember 2015, Paris was attacked through a series of coordinatedbombings, at 21:20 CET the northern suburb of France, Saint-Denis wasstruck by suicide bombers, this was near the Stade de France. Massshootings followed in Paris at public spaces coupled by a threesuicide bombings.80.
Theattack took the lives of 130 persons. At the Bataclan theatre wherehostages were taken, another 89 people were killed here is wherehostages were taken before the terrorists had a shootout with thepolice. The injured were 368 in number 80-99 people were seriouslyinjured81.The police managed to kill seven attackers while they continuedsearching for their accomplishments, this were the deadliest attackspropagated against France since the second World War, it was also themost fatal attack since the Madrid bombings in the European Union in2004. Francebeing on high alert since the incident of January 2015, where aJewish supermarket and Hebdo offices were attacked killing 17 peopleand wounding 22 others did less to stop the attack82.
The IslamicState of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)claimed obligation for the attacks, itsaid that the attacks were acts of retaliation for the airstrikesFrance had overseen in Syria and Iraq, FrançoisHollande,the president of France described the attacks as being acts of war byISIL, prearranged in Syria, structured in Belgium, and conducted withthe help of French populations. All known aggressors were citizensfrom the European Union and had served in Syria. Most of them hadgone back to Europe disguised as refugees and migrants83.
Dueto the severity of the attacks, a state of emergency was declared inFrance, it run for three months. It was dedicated to the fight ofterrorism, it constituted the banning of public gatherings, it alsoallowed police to carry out searches without warrants and placecitizens under full time house watch without trial. Blogs thatpropagated or stimulated acts of terrorism were shut without notice.In response, France launched its biggest airstrike against ISIL on15thNovember, striking Al-Raqqah an ISIL target, the suspected leader ofthe terrorist attacks, AbdelhamidAbaaoud,was killed by police in a attack at Saint-Denis84.
Figure12: Targets of terror attacks in France, 13 November 2015
Source:Willis A., ParisAttacks: 100 Hostages Thought Dead and Two Terrorists ‘Killed’After Police Storm Theatre.,accessed 20 June 2016, available at:http://metro.co.uk/2015/11/13/at-least-100-hostages-taken-in-third-paris-terror-attack-in-theatre-5500691/
3.1.4Terror attacks in Belgium (Brussels) – 22 March 2016
On22ndMarch 2016, three simultaneous bombings happened in the morning atBelgium’s Brussels Airport in Zaventem and another at Maalbeekmetro station in Brussels. In these attacks, the dead were 35inclusive of three bombers, over 300 persons were injured. Policediscovered another bomb while searching the airport, ISIL claimedresponsibility for the attacks85.
Theseattacks were the worst kind of terrorism activities in belgiumshistory, calling for three days of national mourning. The attacksbrought Brussels to a standstill, the European Union issued globalwarnings for people to steer clear of Belgium, and this promptedother world cities to up their threat levels, governments planning onhow to protect areas that are otherwise unprotected86
Themost wanted person in Europe was unrecognizable, and his assumedcollaborators identified as Belgium nationals, who were assumed tohave died at the explosions87.
Figure13: Brussels attacks bombings, 22 March 2016
Source:BBC., BrusselsAttacks: Two Brothers Behind Belgium Bombings,accessed 21 June 2016, available at:http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35879141
3.1.5Terror attacks in Turkey (Istanbul) – 28 June 2016
A terroristattack,characterized by bombings and later shootings happenes on 28thJune 2016 at bombings and gun attacks, occurred on 28 June 2016atAtatürkAirport in Istanbul,Turkey. Attackers with rifles and rigged belts launched synchronized attacks on the internationalterminus at the airport, killing 45 people including three attackersand injured 239 people 88.
Itwas indicated that the attackers were thought to come from CentralAsia and from Russia It was reported that the bombers wereindependent people action with inspiration from the Islamic State,and that their origin was Syria No one claimed responsibility for theattacks. It was proposed that the attacks may be due to mountingforce against IS by the Turkish authorities89.
Twoattackers approached an xray scanner at a security point, shortlybefore 10:00 pm and started firing, the police in turn fired and theattackers detonated the explosives on them. The bombers were 24meters inside terminal 2 when he detonates his bomb, based on asecurity camera. Inthe footage the explosion can be seen in the proximity of a group ofpeople. One of the blasts is supposed to go off at the car parks lotacross the lane of the terminal90.
Anotherfootage shows an armed man walk towards people while shooting at themwhile in the terminal, the gunman was then shot by a securitypersonnel, upon falling, the officer proceeded to investigate only torun after noticing the explosive belt, after which the explosivematerial detonated. While the attack was taking place, many of thepassengers could be seen trying to find hiding spots within theairport, in cafes, benches, and behind pillars91.
Twoattackers detonated their explosive devices, and one of theassailants was shot by the security personnel. However spectatorsreported there being four men running from the blast. Police did notconfirm the allegations. Intelligence agency told news that theattack lasted an approximate of 9092.
Figure14: Ataturk airport attack, 28 June 2016
Source:BBC News., IstanbulAtaturk Airport Attack: 41 Dead and More Than 230 Hurt.,accessed 22 June 2016, available at:http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36658187
3.1.6Terror attacks in Nice (France) – 14 July 2016
Thisterrorist attack has happened in Nice, France in 14 July 2016. Almost84 people reported dead and more than 300 people injured. This attackwas strange compared with the ones occurred before because it causedby the truck driver known as Mohamed Lahouaiej. People celebratedBastille Day in nice when suddenly occurred the cargo truck to theirside. The police officials tried to stop the cargo truck by shootingthe drive until they killed him. People gathered to watch fireworks93.
TheISIS claimed to be responsible from this terrorist attack. ISISthrough its media group Amaq Agency said that they targeted to killFrench citizens because the French forces are in coalition fightingthe ISIS94.
3.2Effects of terrorism in Europe
Theterror attacks in Europe for the last several years have hugelyaffected Europe in different ways. Main negative effects of thesehorrible events are: undermined security of the whole Europe, veryclear social and economic impacts of terrorism, rising uncertaintyamong public towards the foreign and national policy of the EUleaders, growing clash of opinions on the question of constant flowof migrants to Europe and their integration to the society, risinghostility towards all Muslims in Europe due to the prejudicesobtained through the mass media, and other. Thus, the last terrorattacks on the European soil definitely changed Europe with itscitizens who feel psychologically hurt and insecure.
Accordingto Jacob Funk Kirkegaard from Peterson Institute for Internationaleconomics, the economic effect of terror attacks on public isshort-term, that could last up to few weeks and the losses areregained in the next month. The consequences of the attacks aremostly observed in the sphere of tourism, since people, while beingunder shock from the attacks, quite often cancel their planned tripsand don’t travel in the following months. Further, people in thefirst aftermath of the attacks also refrain from eating out and goingto other public places. Hospitality of the public also changes,particularly towards foreigners or refugees from the Islam world95.
TravelCorrespondent from the English online newspaper Independent,Simon Calder, in the aftermath of the November Paris attacks 2015analyzed how these events affected tourism sector in France. Thedecision of people to travel to France now is being taken with moreconsiderations and caution. Following the attacks, President ofFrance, Francois Hollande, established full border control throughall the borders of the neighboring countries. All people who wantedto enter France needed to present their passports and ID cards thatprove their allowed free movement within Schengen area. The transportin Paris in the wake of attacks didn’t work according to its normalschedule. Some Metro stations were closed, suburban train and severalbus services together with the airport were also working withdisruptions. In aftermath of the attacks, main tourist attractionsdue to the security measures were closed, but later reopened again.According to Simon Calder, nevertheless, the situation in Paris andwhole countries remains strained and some people are still in thecondition of shock and fear, but British correspondent believes thatthe normal atmosphere will come swiftly back96.
Followingthe Paris attacks, next horrible massacres on the European soil inBrussels and Nice, conducted by the extremists in the name of theIslamic State, urged again a very worrying mood among Europeans, andhad a direct impact on tourism sector in the targeted countries andthe whole Europe. According to the president of a tourism consultingcompany in Paris, Georges Panayotis, France experiences now a change,“a phenomenon of war on our doorstep that didn’t exist before.”97 The success of tourism sector is very dependent on the situation inthe country, and in case of France, a lot of businesses suffered dueto numerous cancelations of hotel reservations. Particularly,Americans and Japanese changed their decisions to travel to Francedrastically. Therefore, a lot of restaurants and hotels needed to cuttheir staff or even close their business until the situation incountry stabilizes again. Everything would be not that critical, ifnot for an attack in Nice on Bastille Day that once again shatteredEurope. The massacre in Nice stroke recently recovered feeling offear, incited anxiety in people’s minds, has once more affected oneof the most important business branches, and overall had a seriousimpact on the French economy. On 29thJuly, the European Union announced that the French economy is now instagnation, due to its zero growth in three months from April to June2016. The tourism sector in the EU accrues to 10% of its wholeeconomic activity, where France accounts for most of the income inthis sector, since France continues to be the first country in thetourists’ list of the most desired destinations in Europe98.In 2015, the country attracted around 84 million people, but thisyear, the number will be definitely decreased, due to numerouscancelations of bookings. The French finance minister, Michel Sapin,mentioned: “The world has already known terrorist attacks. Buttoday, the frequency of the attacks is creating a new situation ofuncertainty, with significant economic consequences.”99Therefore, the terror attacks by being more often exercised in themain tourist destinations in Europe put further growth of this branchinto danger, and have a negative effect on the general economicgrowth of the EU.
Apartfrom the huge impact on the economy of Europe, the effects ofterrorism on the political preferences of European citizens shouldn’tbe underestimated either. In the aftermath of the last terror attacksin Europe, far right parties and movements, as Marine Le Pen’sNationalFrontin France, or Frauke Petry’s Alternativefor Germany (Afd)in Germany, only gain their popularity and support among thepopulation, since they stand for countering radical Islam in Europeand refugee crisis, what people these days perceive as a threat andassociate mostly with terrorism100.
Inmy opinion, because of the load rhetoric of the far-right politicalparties in Europe in the wake of the recent terror attacks, morepeople start to support them because of the fear of new possibleterror attacks, where Muslims are potential perpetrators in theireyes. The hostility and non-objective perception of people whopractice Islam, especially of new-coming migrants in Europe, risebecause of the prejudiced attitude towards Muslims and limitedknowledge about Islam as a religion, imposed views of the far-rightmovements that can be heard more often in public and in the nationalmedia. One great example of this is the recent announcement of Afdthat Islam does not belong in Germany and that the party calls onbanning of the construction of mosques101that sounds very disturbing and alarming.
Themost worrying aspect in the supporting of such far-right politics, isthat with the rise of these parties in Europe, particularly in theEU, groundless violence rises against Muslims among public. Moreoften incidents are being reported in the news when either migrantsare targets of violent actions, or citizens, who are victims ofmigrants’ sex attacks or harassments, muggings and other crimeactivities, which apparently leads to stronger support of far-rightparties102.
Onerecent event, when a series of muggings and sexual harassment towardswomen were organized by men with North-African background on the NewYear’s Eve 2016 in Cologne, near the main train station of thecity, urged harsh debates and different responses from German publicand political leaders, where far-right movements’ reaction was thefastest ones. One week after the horrible night in Cologne, far rightGerman groups Pegida (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation ofthe Occident) and Pro-NRW organized demonstration with the motto‘Pegida protects’ in the support for women, who were victims of“Islam rape”. Further, the members of Pegida movement also wantedto show their opposition to the “MultiKulti-Madnass”103.In this context, Pegida was trying to express that they are againstforeigners in their country who are mostly Muslim asylum-seekers.
Theassault on women on the New Year’s Eve in Cologne appeared not tobe the most horrible event that Germany faced in contemporaryhistory, and not the event that impacted mostly the mood of German’spublic regarding burning issues. Later violent attacks that happenedin Germany one after another significantly shook whole country,challenged the government and had a huge social effect. The firstviolent attack happened on 10thof May 2016, when a man with a knife killed a passenger and severalother people were wounded at the Grafing train station (Bavaria). Theknifeman screamed “Allahu Akbar – God is Great”, butessentially, the case was investigated and no connection to theIslamic extremism was proved. Next attack was on the 18thof July, when 17-year-old refugee from Afghanistan also with shouting“Allahu Akbar” attacked the passengers with axe. The policekilled the man and found a flag of Islamic State in his hand. Ahorrible shooting in Munich (22.07.2016), when 18-year-old man, AliDavid Sonboly, organized shootings in consequences of which 9 peoplewere killed happened four days later. The attack happened on thefifth anniversary of the Norway massacre. Two days after this attack,a machete attack happened 24thOctober2015 in Reutlingen where Syrian refugee killed pregnant woman104.The last attack in Germany so far was a suicide bombing on July 24,2016, when a man blew himself up when he was refused to enter musicfestival in Ansbach by security. As police found out later, the manwas an asylum seeker in Germany but was rejected in asylum earlier105.
Allabove mentioned attacks in Germany were motivated and conducted dueto the different reasons, starting from mental illness, fanaticismabout Norway murder Anders Breivik, failed asylum and finally Islamicextremism. Thus, these attacks raised two main concerns among peoplein Germany as well as in whole Europe. The first one is aboutcontinuation of flow of migrants to Europe and whether it is right tocontinue to apply “welcome” policy to all of them. The secondconcern is threat of the Islamic State that manages with a help ofpropaganda in cyber space to recruit Europeans and migrants inEurope, in order to organize further terror activities on theEuropean soil. One more consequence of these terror attacks isstrong criticism by the public, politicians and other authoritiestowards the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is now blamed foropen-door policy to migrants from Middle East. For instance, theoutraged response to the terror attacks by director of the GermanPolice Union Rainer Wendt was as following: “We gave up controlover our borders last year and didn’t allow the police to checkeverything that should have been checked. Neither the identities ofall of the people who have come here nor their mental and physicalhealth have been examined…Even though we see these days thatpsychological instability, terrorism and criminality are mixed uptogether.”106At the same time, there are still supporters of Angela Merkel’spolicy, who believe that not all migrants have direct link to theterrorism, and that mostly people are fleeing their countries becauseof the war or other dangerous conflicts, and the only thing they want- to live in peace and feel safe107.
Ishare this opinion and find the response of one columnist at TheGuardian, NickCohen, very true and appropriate in this context: “People runningfrom real terror know our true state better than we do. They fleeto Europe,not from Europe.108”Further, I find that hostility and violence, which people exerciseagainst Muslims as highly inhuman, wrong and unjust. I believe thishappens because of their fear of terrorism, concern about migrationcrisis that reigns in Europe and imposed opinions of far-rightmovement. Only in 2015 429 attacks on migrant camps in Germany wereconducted, in comparison to 153 in 2014109,which shows growing negative attitude towards new-comers in thecontext of refugee crisis and in the context of last terroractivities in Europe, and confirms my argument.
3.3How terrorism shapes foreign policy of EU
TheEU has established foreign policy counterterrorism whichdistinguishes itself from internal policy. This policy focuses on theexternal borders and expands its international relations. This policyfocused on determining all aspects from planning, fundraising andtraining. Due to the increased threat to the European members onterrorism most of the EU states decided to combat terrorism110.
TheEuropean countries have invaded with the extremism originated fromthe Middle Eastern countries. The European states now have changedtheir foreign policy to have better strategies to fight againstterrorism, particularly big threat comes from the countries fromNorthern Africa and Middle East. The EU adopts different measuresthat are coordinated on prevention of further terror attacks, tothese measures refers for instance freezing of terrorist funds inorder to reduce the power of the terror groups The Lisbon Treaty hasexpanded the role of the EU to cooperate with the internationalorganizations to determine the accounts belonged by the EUcountries111.
Someof the terrorists have used money laundering as the source of theirfinances. The EU has taken some measures to reduce the moneylaundering by investigating on the financial sources of someinvestors who suspected from the terrorist attacks. The EU secretlycooperates with some banks internationally to reveal and freeze theaccounts under suspect112.
TheEU can impose sanctions to countries whose government support terrorgroups, and in this way pose a threat to the European countries andthe world as a whole113.Terrorism has posed a lot of danger to the rights and freedom ofinnocent citizens, the security of a nation and to the values ofdemocratic societies. Though most of the terrorist have linked theiractions to their religion, the acts are unjustifiable under anycircumstances. The EU has proven to be an area of increasingdiversity in their undertakings hence the aspects of inside andoutside security is essential.
Theterrorist have abused the increasing interdependence which gives roomfor free movements of the people, technology, ideas and resources soas to achieve their selfish motives.
EUis currently struggling to deal with the biggest and the worstimmigration crisis since world war two. There have been a lot ofdivisions in the member states due to the introduction of bordercontrols .There are four pillars that shape the EU counter terrorismstrategy prevent, respond, protect, and pursue.
TheEU using these pillars recognizes that it is important for them tocooperate with other third world countries and also some otherinternational institutions so as to succeed in the fight againstterror. Terrorism before the 1960s was viewed as an internal problemthat was within the realms of policing, but not as a foreign policy.It was until eleven Israeli athletes were captured and were takenhostage in 1972 Munich Olympics that is when the counterterroristunits within many Europe nations were established.
Thereis a threat of Europeans radicalization whereby the numbers of thosewho are travelling abroad to fight is increasing and will betremendous in the coming years. Thus, the member states of EU arecalled upon to help fight terrorism across the border. Since theParis attacks in 2015 the European Union has reinforced its responseand has also accelerated the implementations of the agreed measures.The measures include cooperation with the international partners,preventing radicalization and safeguarding values and to ensure thattheir citizens are safe. In January 2015, EU adopted a Strategyfor Combating the Phenomenon of Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq114.Despite EU reforms on immigration due to terrorism, David Cameronasked the union to regulate the rules so as to maintain economic tieswith other continents. The police ministry in Athens said that,during the Paris attacks, a Syrian passport was found next to thebody of one of the attackers. This proved that some terrorists poseas refugees. The refugees entered Greece from Turkey. The newminister of European Affairs Konrad Szymanski said “Polandmust retain full control over its borders, asylum and immigration”115.
Thehead of Europe for the political consultancy Eurasia wrote “combinedthe attacks in Europe will increase xenophobic and anti-migrationsentiments across EU, which has already been rising in light of theEU’s ongoing refugees’ crisis,”some hours after Brussels attacks116.Mike Hooken added that the horrific acts of terrorism shows that theSchengen free movement, a negligent border controls are a big threatto security117.
Mostpoliticians agree that terrorism is no longer a matter of homelandsecurity but has become part of Europe’s external affairs. EUafter Paris, the attacks still is to come to terms with thechallenges faced by foreign policy. The challenges which are posed bythe self-styled Islamic state and other Islamist groups may force EUto take other strict measures apart from restricting freedom ofmovements118.
CHAPTER4 MEDIACOVERAGE OF TERRORISM AND ISLAM4.1Relationship between media and terrorism
Thegrowth in terrorism activities in recent years has provided manyexamples of mutual relationships between the media and terrorism. Inall large-scale terrorist attacks in the world, be it in the UnitedStates, Europe, Africa or the Middle East, it has been observed thatterrorists have exploited the media for gathering information,propaganda schemes, operational efficiency and recruitment. Asexplained by Ahlim and Carler, the relevance or strength of a groupdoes not matter119.Media-connected goals are always constant, they need to berecognized they are seeking attention, respect and legitimacy oftheir operations. Media receives the attention it needs for itsexistence and growth from the public this makes it the perfect toolfor communication. They argue, terrorist activities would be wastedand confined to its immediate victims without coverage, because,goals of terrorists include, but not limited to, winning theattention of the national and foreign publics and the government andshowing a clear symbiotic relationship between terrorists and media.Terrorism is an attractive topic to the press this is becauseterrorist attacks make for larger viewer ratings, and growth inprofits. The role of the media not only lies in presenting ofinformation. They also have the ability to shape opinions andperception of reality. Based on this, all parties, authorities andterrorists have put efforts to collaborate with the media, for theyare the sole agents for giving information and creating awareness120.
Accordingto Akbarzadeh and Bianca, the media plays a critical role in themaking of a terrorist organization, and this is why their operationshave shifted from rural guerrilla attacks to urban ones since 1960121.The confusion caused by attacks forms the basis on which the mediaproduces dramatic news to attract attention of the public. As for theterrorists, they make calculations on when, where and how to striketo gain maximum media attention. The more they are featured in theseoutlets, the greater their feelings of power, influence andaccomplishments. Thus, terrorists gain the maximum leverage byspreading total pain and horror.
Asthe Algerian insurgent, Ramdane Abane wondered in 1956, if it servedbetter to terminate ten adversaries in a village “where nobody willnotice” or “to kill one man in Algiers that will be publicized”by persons who could influence policies122.The statement indicates the plot that terrorists are following tocarry out attacks where the coverage is sufficient. Media is used byterrorists to shape people`s realities. It is used not only to spreadfear but also to unleash public resentment against a government or anordinary Muslims. Acquired bitterness may make an ordinary Muslim tojoin extremist groups due to the public perception that Muslimspropagate violence. This acquired resentment, in turn, will makegovernments respond to attacks. The emergence of new digitalplatforms has increased the competition for an audience this hasbrought about the dramatization of the way terrorist attacks andother activities that are reported to garner more views. As the lateDaniel Schroll said, “being on television confers a kind of realityon people much more so than being written about123.
Mediacoverage being a ruthless business helps further terrorist`s agendaby the over-sensationalizing news. Once the tract of the attackswears off, media stations scramble to be the first to exposeundisclosed facts, or exclusive police interviews and evidence thatwas previously not publicized. This kind of detailed coverage ofterrorism depicts the media as attention seeking enterprise thatleaves the enemy on the spotlight124.
Whenreporting how terrorist plots were foiled, it increases the views ofthe press. This is because the news sells, on the other side, theterrorists take points on what went wrong, where, and how to perfectthe next attack using the media’s information. Other media outletsgo as far as creating simulations of how events occurred. Ratingsprimarily drive Media. The coverage of terrorism news is presentbecause editors can emotionally evoke public attention by theirpieces and maintain their audience. ISIS has utilized the media tofurther its agenda, capitalizing on the refugee crisis125.Many European countries have been played by terrorists into declaringthat they would only accept Christian refugees, a good example is thePolish and Bulgarian authorities. One of the attacks on France wascarried out by a refugee with a fake passport126.ISIS evidently wants the public to relate refugees with terrorists,and has found a perfect recruiting ground among refugees. All thishas been achieved through manipulation of the media.
Mediais traditionally seen as a terrorism tool because it does not onlyspread fear to a larger audience, but also to the primary group ofvictims. It provides a platform for attracting attention andspreading the message of these extremist groups. Press also portraysterrorism not just as a tool for killings, but rather an instrumentfor disseminating terror and uncertainty among a population. It alsospreads a message through the worthiness of its attacks. Thisportrays the press as sympathetic to terrorism127.
Theidea of terrorism is likely to be shown as a salient concern for thepublic decision formulators come under pressure to act on theanxieties of the public. The higher the public relevance to terrorismthere are lower chances that the government is likely to formulatepolicies without considering public opinion128.
Newseditors ought to look at how they describe terrorist organizationsthis can be done by highlighting and downplaying others to achieve abalance, so as not to promote terrorists129.A good example is the use of the phrase “Islamic terrorism” thisattaches the religion of Islam to terrorist activities perpetrated bya few, playing right into the hands of terrorists. One cannot preventterrorist groups from gaining public attention. However, the questionof how they gain public attention should be addressed to prevent,their agendas from reaching the public130.
4.2Terror groups using social media
Terroristgroups of all forms are constantly utilizing social media to raisefunds, radicalize, and recruit. The Government CommunicationHeadquarters (GCHQ) head, Robert Hannigan, spoke of the wayextremists in Iraq and Syria are using the web. He talked about howfanatics can hide their identities using encryption tools131.
Theuse of social media by terrorists to source funds has increasedovershadowing its use for propagation of violence. By using socialmedia, financiers and fundraisers for Al-Qaeda and ISIS have operatedamong facilitators that help in funding activities. Investors in theUnited Nations, and the United States, Abd al-Rahman al-Anizi andShafi al-Ajmi, instructed donors to facilitate funding by contactingtheir co-facilitators. Also, core facilitators have been active insocial media, including Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebookthis has brought about a new aspect of terrorism called “financialjihad132”.
InAugust 2014, Hajjaj Fahd al-Ajmi was designated terrorist financierfor Al-Qaeda by the United States government, before the designation,Hajjaj’s fundraisers were displayed on Twitter by Al-Qaeda. InAugust 2013, al-Nusra front media office directed support to useHajjaj in sending donations for operations on the Syrian coast theywere instructed to contact Hajjaj through his twitter account. Inefforts to encourage support for his fundraising efforts, Hajjaj usedsocial media profiles to distribute statements and videos of Syrianmilitaries thanking him and his supporters for the donations133.
Inlate 2013, Hajaj used Instagram and Twitter to post videos confirminghis support for ISIS. Hajaj’s Twitter account was suspended whenthe United States government placed him on Al-Qaeda sanction list,only for him to create another Twitter account in an hour’s time.Social media has made it easier for extremists to disseminate filmsand images of propaganda with ease. ISIS videos entail the executionsof aid workers, suspected homosexuals, Syrian government soldiers andChristian migrant workers. All this can be viewed on YouTube andtheir Facebook page. These contents serve a dual purpose theyinspire and frighten those who do not stand for the ISIS ideologies.Moreover, they have used social media to promote a new front interrorism called “leaderless jihadism,” this is whereby itsradicalized followers are encouraged to perform terrorist activitieswithout being ordered to do it134.A person plans and executes the programs on their own this is aneffective method that has worked and is proving very frustrating tothe authority for they cannot know when or where to expect an attack.Social media is used by terrorists to radicalize people, nowadayssomeone does not have to travel out of their country. Currently, theybecome radicalized in small steps without raising the attention ofintelligence agencies. People log-on on the internet, create awebsite where they are introduced to radical beliefs and sourcefunds, and justify reasons behind their actions and disseminateinformation. Terrorists recognize the operational efficiency and theresilience of social media they now understand that strength lies innumbers, and the more the homegrown terrorists, the higher thechances of success in their operations. Protecting targets fromoperations planned virtually is hard for it needs federal, local andstate governments to view the media platforms continuously tofamiliarize themselves with the tactics adopted, which is nearlyimpossible. The terrorist`s strategy of using social media reflectswhat they aspire or intend to become. A 21stcentury terror corporation that is unpredictable, resilient,decentralized, organic and networked organization that capitalizes onuncertainty and risk in the world, drawing on intelligent minds,experienced personnel and networks around the globe has emerged135.This approach shows a brilliant thought out plan that will ensureresults are achieved.
Soas to avoid terror groups from using social media platforms, thefollowing should be taken into consideration: Social media companiesneed to focus on prevention or rather detection of radically inclinedaccounts, the companies should not only act when their name istarnished, but do so whenever a radical content is posted on theirplatform. Not only are they responsible to the public, but the lawwhich requires them to do so. It is against the law to provide agiven terrorist group with resources, tangible or intangible innature. Social media enterprises already have terms and conditions ofservice that prohibit the use of violence and hate content that wouldprevent them from using their platforms. But, companies need topolice their platforms to ensure the terms and conditions arefollowed. The non-existence of stolen copyright content on socialmedia platforms, content that is redacted as it seems is proof of thecapabilities of these companies. With this in mind, they would dowell to employ personnel dedicated to policing of radical content.Policing can also be used as an intelligence source. User contentshould also be streamlined to allow for reporting of terrorist-likebehaviors and tendencies. Organizations have the resources to preventcommunication of terrorists within their platform all that is neededis motivation to act.
Twitterhas been extensively used by ISIS for years. This group has also beenjoined by other terrorist outfits namely Hezbollah, Hamas and theal-Nusra. Terrorist organizations have in a number of times claimedresponsibility for attacks via Twitter. The Arabian Peninsula (AQAP),which has two official accounts on Twitter, and the Al-Qaeda branchin Yemen claimed responsibility for attacks in Paris that killed 17persons. All these accounts could have been flagged before, and theattacks averted. Social media continues to provide a platform forradicalization and the spread of instructions on how to create bombs,operate firearms, obtain funding and lessons on planning andassessment of risk. The concept of “leaderless jihadism” is mostlikely to take root for it has proved to be a useful tool. Socialmedia can prevent them by facilitating the ousting of authoritariangovernments and education of the public, the worst of it being it canteach on the construction of weapons of mass destruction,surveillance operations, enabling amateurs to construct lethalweapons136While social media has brought about new opportunities, it creates anew headache for law enforcement in this era of terrorism. Terrororganizations around the world are constantly evolving, adaptingtheir operations by recruiting and inspiring followers throughmessages circulated in social media such as Facebook, You Tube,Blogs, and Twitter.
4.3Media framing on Islam and the Muslim world
Theframing approach was introduced by Goffman and Bateson as noted byReese (2001)137.According to Goffman, “frames” is “the principle oforganization that governs events and people’s subjectiveinvolvement in them.” Media framing contributes in creatingawareness for the public it involves selecting a perceived truth andmaking it more noticeable. Frames determine whether people becomeaware of how they understand a situation.
Gansobserves that Western media has often restricted themselves tospecifically theatrical oversees news. Norris, Kern and Just defineframing as “conscious choice of developments, facts, and imagesthat subconsciously form a desired perception of events, whileterrorism is defined as the structured application of coercion toachieve political ends138.” When Brussels was attacked, in March 2016 an American senator TedCruz issued a statement claiming that Islamists were to blame. Thiswas before authorities confirmed that the attacks were done byIslamic terrorists. This goes to show how the western public view theissue of terrorism in relation to Islam, there is apparent bias thatneeds to be addressed. Mr. Donald Trump, a presidency candidate inthe U.S clamped Islamist terrorists and Muslims in one pond heclaimed that all Muslims posed a threat to Americans and its allies’security139.He advocated for a ban on immigrants from any part of the world thathad a history with terrorism, and banning all Muslims fromimmigrating to the United States. Mr. Trump also accused AmericanMuslims of being complicit in terrorist attacks for failing to reportthem in advance140.Nigel Farage, a British politician has also attacked freeimmigration he claims that European’s Union free movement ofworkers has brought about unrestricted movement of jihadists, riflesand terrorists. He argues that compassion should not be allowed toendanger civilization141.There has been an increase in coverage on the Muslims and Islam inthe past decade. It has been propagated by the rise of terroristactivities such as the attack on the World Trade Center by Al-Qaedain 2001, and kidnapping of girls from Chibok by Boko Haram in 2014142.It has been insinuated that Muslims perpetrated the terroristattacks this has been fronted by the western media hence tarnishingthe Muslim identity. The Western media that have covered terrorist orIslam stories in the world, especially in the Middle East havedefined these events in the contexts of religious extremism. Muslimshave been portrayed to the public in regard to Islamic jihads,fanatic jihads, global terrorism, fascism, fundamentalism, andauthoritarianism. This depiction of Muslims has led to the irrationalfear of this group also known as Islamophobia. The fear aggravatessocial and political problems such as poverty, unemployment,homelessness and violence. Islamism has become a center of terrorMuslims have been portrayed by the media as the enemy andanti-democratic radical people.
Thebombing of the twin towers in September 2011, inspired the westernpress to depict a damaging picture of Islam, according to Varisco, anumber of prominent Christian personalities, have branded the prophetMuhammad a terrorist. Some of the media fabricated pictures of peoplein turbans partaking in car bombings143.Ahate film against Islam called “Innocence of Muslims” was postedin September 2012 it was made by Islam propagandists.
Thenegative depiction of Islam tradition has become accepted, around theworld. In some countries, mostly of the European continent, hijab isbanned. Tatal, states that Islam is regularly blamed on all thingsunacceptable in this world of changing social, political and economicpatterns144.This image is propagated by the media by the use of framingtechniques, and over coverage of the news in order to sustain thestereotypical perspective.
Hafexhighlighted that the western media has a tendency to “characterizeIslam as a fanatic religion, repressing women, cutting off arms,providing a conflict with western views of freedom, equality, humanrights and democracy.” ArabNews has further propagated the negative perception this has beendone by Arab regimes that control the media. By focusing the anger oftheir population on external matters, authorities take focus offtheir governments145.Media’s depiction of this helps the public form an opinion. Themedia have often caricatured Muslims, the depiction of a violentMuslim brings about good profits, and this has been exploitedentirely by film producers, comics, and advertisers.
Adepiction that Britain’s Muslims are out to impose the Islamic law(Shari’a), based on the tradition of Prophet Muhammad by the mediahas caused a negative view of Muslims in Britain. Media has portrayedShari’a as a dangerous concept that is not understood and is rigida law that characterizes harsh criminal penalties and intolerant tocontemporary life. Before Al-Qaeda attacks of the twin towers, Islamwas rarely featured on international television.
Theviolence against Muslims over the fourteen years since 9/11 hasalways kept Islam on the news. Always raising the perception thatthere is a threat from Islam to the Western World has negativelychanged the attitudes of the people towards Islam and Muslim146.When the western media need expertise and understanding they turn toacademics and government whose knowledge of Islam is limited or thosewho represent Islamic trends in the west. In this manner, the mediafinds its prejudices affirmed rather than corrected. The mass mediain the United States and Britain such as Cable News Network (CNN),and other media identify terrorism with given groups, such asmilitants, Muslim extremists. Winegar said that focusing on Muslimgroups that deal with terrorism negatively affects our perception ofthe Muslim society, due to accusations from the media that Islam isresponsible for terrorist acts147.
Theinternational press should practice self-restraint when reporting onterror and performing their duties while ensuring terrorists do notcapitalize on their work. Media, while reporting on terrorism shouldfocus on the root causes and focus on elevating their professionalstandards, not propaganda by the extremists.
CHAPTER5CHALLENGESAND PERSPECTIVES ON TERRORISM IN EUROPE
Inthis chapter the following issues are analyzed: the war againstterrorism in Europe, challenges and perspectives of terrorism. Eachpoint in chapter is presented separately in order to have clearunderstanding of the issue.
5.1War on terrorism in Europe
Sincethe recent terror attacks that happened on the European soil for thelast couple years, announcements of European politicians regardingthe War on Terror are more often heard. Initially the expressionreferrers to the Bush administration following the September 11attacks148,but in our days it is relevant as never before. Nevertheless, Europehasn’t succeeded so far. After massive terror attacks in Paris,Brussels, Nice it became clear that Europe is not capable to fightagainst Islamic extremism even on its territory, whereas the mainenemy up until now is the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).
Inthe case of Brussels bombings, the intelligence agencies of thecountry failed to predict the attack due to its lax security.Probably, due to the lack of the cooperation between intelligenceagencies throughout Europe, and particularly with French intelligenceagencies following Paris attacks, the Belgium’s intelligenceagencies didn’t have enough knowledge and capabilities to preventthe attack+
UPthat happened in Brussels in March 2016. As media reported later, theperpetrators of the attack have been conducted by the same ISILfighters that organized November Paris attack149.What is shocking is that one of the terrorists that blew himself upat the Brussels’ airport was jailed in Turkey in summer 2015 andlater was displaced to the Netherlands. Turkey informed Belgiangovernment that this man could be a potential threat for the futuresecurity of the EU member states, since he was previously terroristsoldier. Having this information Belgium’s authorities didn’t doanything, what gave the terrorist the possibility to get to Belgiumwith no obstacles150.
Observersbelieve that Belgium’s government failed to conceive the realthreat for its country after series of recent two terror attacks inParis conducted by the terrorist of ISIS, as well as taking intoaccount all previous attacks that happened in Europe earlier asMadrid attack in 2004 and London 2005 bombings. Belgium believedwrongly that the country and especially Brussels, a heart of theEuropean Union, will remain unscathed. Further Belgium’sintelligence services are being accused of being neglectful andincompetent when it comes to the issue of investigating jihadistnetworks that are spread throughout all country, since Belgium is thecountry from which a big number of citizens are being radicalized andlater recruited to the ISIL for fighting in the Middle East as wellas for organizing further terror activities in Europe. The districtMolenbeek, Brussels, at present considered to be a hotbed of Islamicextremism in Europe, a place where jihadists plan future attacks,collect money and run weaponization of terrorists. Exactly inMolenbeek, the police later located and arrested organizer of theParis attacks 2016, Salah Abdeslam151.All these illegal activities were happening because of incompetenceof the police that saw this district as no-go area, but also due tothe limited governmental funding for the investigations and dealingwith jihadism in the country. John R. Schidler, a security expert andpreviously analyst of the National Security Agency andcounterintelligence officer, argues that toxic role in this entiresituation played constant dysfunction of the Belgium’s authoritiestogether with Western European feature of closing eyes and pretendingthat everything is under control, when the radicalism in Europe isrising every day and hundreds of radicalized Europeans fromminorities, being lost and isolated from the society choose the wayto the Islamic State152.
Theterror groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda inspire young people to jointerror groups and be one of their soldiers due to different factors,in one case, these future terrorist are migrants who fled to Europe,and due to the failure of being integrated to the society or beingdiscriminated choose the jihad way, in other cases, they are theEU-born citizens who are radicalized through the social media,propaganda publications or videos, and join terrorist groups. Thelast case is the most alarming one, while the Europeans who joinJihadist movements only contribute and strengthen the terrorists’capabilities in further commitment of terror attacks on the soil ofEurope. The EU-citizens posses valuable possibility – to move freeall around Europe, what allows leaders of the Islamic State betterand faster organize and coordinate terror activities in Europe153.
Itseems that Europe’s fighting terrorism is not very effective, stillcooperation and sharing information among the EU-state intelligenceservices are missed. However, before the last horrible attacks,already in 2005, due to the increasing number of terror attacks (9/11attacks, Madrid and London attacks that were mentioned earlier) thatstroke a warning note of the Western world, the Council of theEuropean Union made an important step for the protection of theircitizens by adopting the EU counter-terrorism strategy. This strategyis divided into four main criteria which are as follows:
Thetask to determine and tackle factors that have positive influence onradicalization and lead to recruitment of citizens to terror groupsin order to conduct terror activities refers to the main prioritiesof the European Union in the context of counter-terrorism. TheEuropean Council introduced an EU strategy for combatingradicalization and recruitment to terrorism. In 2014, due to therising number of lone-wolf terrorists, foreign fighters, use ofsocial media for the radical Islam propaganda, the EU Council decidedto make a revision of the strategy and in December 2014, ministers ofinternal affairs together with justice ministers ratified a set ofguidelines which contained measures that every EU country shouldexecute154.
Thenext priority of the counter-terrorism strategy is the protection ofthe European citizens.Inthis context, the governments of all EU countries are obliged to takemeasures to reduce threats of terrorism within their borders. Theinfrastructure should be very friendly to European citizens.Furthermeasures for improvement of protection should be adopted in thetransport security sector, in external borders and strategic targets.The EU has prepared the finger print technology and some Europeancountries share their citizens’ record, which might help to detectpeople who are suspected of having connection to the network ofterror groups155.
Further,the EU currently works on Passenger name record data (PNR) – thisis data of people, particularly passengers, which is taken by airservice providers. To the package of this kind of data refer:passenger name, detailed information of the destination of theindividual, dates of entering and leaving countries, personal contactinformation, receipts of payments, and if available, then intendedtravel routes. The main purpose of PNR is to collect and share thisdata among all EU countries, what would lead to more prevention,disclosure, investigating and finally, terrorist’s prosecution. TheEuropean Parliament introduced this on 14thApril, 2016, after the European Council together with the EuropeanParliament came to the common ground regarding the text. Shortlyafter adaptation by the European Parliament, the European Council, on21stApril, 2016, ratified the directive. The EU states have two years toput into practice all needed measures, laws and statutory instrumentsin order to meet all requirements of the directive156.
TheEU counter-terrorism strategy implicates managing and strengtheningof capabilities of the EU-members in fight against terrorists, whatinclude: improvement of cooperation between states better exchangeof information among intelligence agencies and other authorities asthe European Police Office (Europol) and the EU’s JudicialCooperation Unit (Eurojust), cooperation of mentioned authoritieswith the EU citizens in order to find and reveal individuals, whohave the propensity for conduction of terror attacks, or those, whohave close relations with people who are suspected in committingterror attacks cooperated work on determination of the financialsources of terrorists and their further bereavement, what in turn,will weaken terrorists and will be hinder for them in organizingother different terror activities investigation of terrorists’communication network. The European Council, in coordination with theEuropean Parliament, presented in May 2015 new regulations forblockage of money laundering and terrorist budgeting157.
Thefinal priority of the EU counter-terrorism strategy is showsolidarity and to work through joint forces of all states on managingand minimizing the aftermath of terror activities, where enhancementof capability profiles is needed for better arrangement of theresponse to the attacks and also for helping victims. The preferencesof this area of activity are the advancing of risk assessment and theorganizational work to prepare crisis coordination response, sharethe practice of providing help and needed support for individuals whoexperienced terror attack. Following recent terror attacks andchallenges that Europe face today, the EU strategy has on the agendaa set of such priorities as thesolidarity clause of the EU members towards the targeted state(adopted by the European Council in June 2014), this may help theEuropean countries to unite and implement measures to fight againstterror groups the examination and verification of the EU emergencyand crisis coordination arrangements the improvement of the EU civilprotection legislation158.
TheSolidarity Clause was firstly presented in the Lisbon Treaty, andimplicated the demand for joint coordination and assistance withinall EU-members, when it comes to the threat of terror attacks ornatural disasters of one of the states. It is notable, that exactlysolidarity remains one of the most important drivers in the processof integration in Europe, and thanks to inclusion of the Article 222Treaty on how the European Union should function, the Treaty hashugely strengthened the conception of solidarity in Europe. TheSolidarity Clause from 2014 that was earlier mentioned is intended toset the instruments of the EU answer to the crisis situations. In thecase of crisis situation, according to the Solidarity Clause, the EUMember states can mobilize military forces, if one of the states withits civilians or one of the democratic institutions is in danger ofterrorist act159.
TheEuropean Union, by understanding that its security depends not onlyon the Member states but also on the situation that reigns in statesoutside the EU, has organizedseveral dialogues and agreements with the intention of building thestrategic counter-terrorism projects with countries outside Europe toimprove capabilities in fighting against terrorism. These actions arebased on the announcement of the European Council in June 2014 toinclude internal and external factors in counter-terrorism policy. Currently, the EU collaborates with third countries from the regionsof the Middle East, North America, North Africa and Western Balkans,and with some Asian countries. In the effective war against terrorismin Europe the cooperation with the U.S. is highly important. The workatcounter-terrorism strategy between the EU and the US is expressed inagreement undertaking on following issues: funding of terroristorganizations, transport sector, borders, reciprocal legal assistanceand extradition. Therefore, the USA cooperate more with the Europeanauthorities as Eurojust and Europol. The EU profits from thecooperation with the USA since the U.S. constantly improve thetechnology for its defense mechanism. Therefore, Europe can takeexample of these implementations and be more effective in fightingagainst terrorism160.
TheEuropean countries also increased its dimension in fighting againstterrorism by attracting international organizations and institutionsto collaborate together on these issues, such as the United Nations,the Global Counter Terrorism Forum, the Organization for Security andCo-operationin Europe, the League of Arab States and others. Thenecessary measures regarding individuals that have connections to theterror groups were introduced following the series of resolutions ofthe UN Security Council, thus, it helped to hinder the development ofthis terror groups161.
Inthe aftermath of the last attack on Roman Catholic priest inNormandy, France, on 26thJuly 2016, Europe once again was terrorized and shocked of the factthat there are so many radicalized people in the EU, who follow theIslamic State and are prepared to continue its terror activitiesfurther. However, the most striking fact in this whole situation inEurope is that the counter-terrorism strategy is not effective. Thus,experts keep on raising the concerns and questions on what is goingwrong, when police forces, intelligent agencies and other authoritiessupposed to collaborate and work together in order to prevent terroractivities, but still one after another happen different attacks,which shake Europe’s security. The expert, an Atlantic Councilvice president, and director of the Council’s Program onTransatlantic Relations, Fran Burwell, commented on this issue in oneof the interviews for the BusinessInsider. Followingthe expert, the cooperation between the EU states and other countriesoutside Europe together with several other international institutionscan be considered as failure. Further the expert said: “What haschanged in Europe is that everyone knows that this cooperation needsto be built…That is going to be a long road. You don`t flip aswitch and it is suddenly there. That is a big challenge forEurope.”162This argument was heard as well from the CIA Director, John Brennan,he emphasized that Europe in order to arrange a unified securitybasis, should do the same as the U.S. following September 11 attacks,particularly, Europe need to evolve and strengthen thecounter-terrorism strategy and demand more cooperation among itsstates. Further, John Brennan believes that still much of the work inthis direction should be made, but Europe is on the right way.Brennan calls on Europe to learn from the mistakes of the U.S. after9/11, which happened due to the lack of cooperation between allinstitutions in the country, FBI, NSA and others163.
5.2Challenges in the fight against terrorism in Europe
Theterror attacks which occurred in Europe in recent years havechallenged security of the European Union and urged to more effectiveactions in the war against terrorism. The terror attacks whichoccurred on the territory of Europe made it clear that any Europeancountry is not more secure and can be next target for the Islamicextremists. Moreover, the danger is higher than before due to theEU-born citizens, who were radicalized and became terrorists, sincethey have big privilege in free crossing of all borders, hence, morepossibilities for further organizing ISIL-led planned terrorattacks164.
TheEuropean Union, for now, faces several challenges, where some of themcould be considered as an obstacle for European countries in fightingagainst terrorism more effectively and some other are perceived as afactor which contributes to the growing terrorism activities. In thiscontext, the current challenges in Europe are as follows:
Lack of the effective measures: not all European countries have implemented new reforms on the prevention and fight of terrorism which were required in the strategic guidelines for justice and home affairs, proposed by the European Council in 2014, what was an appeal to all European countries to take more actions in the fight against terrorism in order to protect the their citizens. Further, Europol and Eurojust are not operational enough, since these agencies don’t use their capabilities to the maximum. Lack of the global approach towards counter-terrorism and limited role of the Court of Justice are also referred to this section165.
Weakness of intelligence agencies’ capabilities: in the European countries the level of professionalism of the secret services and police differ from state to state. Nevertheless, every country has these authorities, but not every fulfill the requirement to be effective one, where intensive manpower is a core of success, since, when the intelligence agency posses intensive man power, it can successfully accomplish gathering of needed data and its further analysis of data, what in turn, be a huge contribution in the prevention of terror attacks. The workforce of intelligence agencies is not always competent enough, what of course affects their efficiency and effectiveness166.
Lack of cooperation: the lack of cooperation and effective share of information between intelligence services in European countries are one the main obstacles in preventing terror attacks. As a senior French intelligence official, Jean-Marie Delarue, said that information is power, but when it comes to the intelligence: …one only has enemies, no friends…Is it not in the nature of intelligence agencies to keep the information for themselves.”167 Stronger cooperation between intelligence services would more likely prevent future terror attacks. One of the French officials from the external intelligence service, Alain Juillet, believes that what has happened recently is because of the unwillingness to cooperate, and this is a big lesson to Europe, and that it is time to: “restore the frontiers and establish better cooperation.”168
Increase of the immigration in Europe: migration crisis that seized Europe in the recent years challenged European countries with such a huge number of refugees from Middle East and the North Africa, as well as from other countries around the world. The increasing terror activities in Europe could be connected to this large volume of immigrants, mostly Muslims, since terror organizations manage to recruit some refugees that arrived in the European countries to their network and then use them for accomplishing terror activities within the European territories. It is also possible that potential terrorists come to Europe under cover of a refugee and asylum seeking, being at that time already radicalized fighter of the Islamic State169.
The rise of foreign fighters: in recent years around 5.000 European citizens fled to Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq and Syria to join different terrorist groups, where one of the most powerful one is the Islamic State. According to the data of the Europol, only 2,786 verified foreign terrorist fighters entered by the countries of the European Union. The biggest danger in this situation is the return of the European fighters from the places where they fought together with terror groups, while these radicalized individuals can pose later big threat to Europe’s security170. In the response to the rising number of radicalized Europeans who go abroad and fight on the side of terrorists, the European Council and Council of the European Union have worked on the strategy of far-reaching response that includes internal and external actions171.
Table1: Top EU countries with foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria, 2015
Number of foreign fighters
Source:European Commission., Towardsa ‘Security Union’: Bolstering the EU’s Counter-TerrorismResponse.,accessed 8 August 2016, available at:http://ec.europa.eu/epsc/publications/notes/sn12_en.htm
Inthis section, the main discussion concerns the perspectives of theterror war in Europe. The war against terrorism is the hardest taskthe European countries have ever faced before, since terrorism is ahuge threat threats to millions of European citizens.
Theongoing terrorism activity in Europe can be reduced and preventedwhen authorities from different spheres cooperate together whiletackling this problem. Thus, all heads of the European countries,together with individuals from military sector, social, economicaland others should be attracted to the participation in this work. Inorder to be effective in counter-terrorism strategy, more cooperationand more trust between intelligence agencies within whole Europe isneeded, since only due to the common efforts and sharing informationthe success can be achieved. Mass media should also be one of themain bodies in this process, while media delivers information topeople and has a capability to influence moods in public debates inEurope173.
Someof the prospects of the European war on terrorism that are based onthe opinions of different researchers and experts are presentedfurther below.
Provisionof education about terrorism to Europeans:in each European state should be introduced special programs whichmay help people obtain needed knowledge about terrorism174.
Unitingthe European national counterterrorism centers: European countries should establish common intelligence service thatwill be responsible firstly, for investigation of activities andnetworks of terror group and their strategic targets, and secondly,for share and delivering of obtained information to the governmentsof all countries in Europe. Moreover, the European counterterrorismcenters should constantly update and advanced technology to beeffective in further investigation of terrorists’ plans175.
Conductdialogue:the open dialogue should be organized between different groups in theEuropean societies to determine the factors which influence terrorismin Europe and share opinions on which measures should be adopted infight against terrorism. The open dialogue is necessary because somesuggestions and opinions could be valuable contribution in fightingterrorist activities176.
Preparednessand mitigation:the European authorities, especially the security forces, must beprepared to any terror threat which might occur at any time thoughtEurope. The security forces should steadily work intensive and beeffective, in order to take some precautions before terror attackshappen, what in turn, will prevent loses of innocent civilians177.
Influenceof media:the Western Media has huge influence on public in Europe, thus, mediashould present the terrorists events objectively, with no misleadingof information regarding perpetrator and victims. With objectivemedia, people have a chance to understand the problem of terrorismwhich exists in Europe without any further prejudices and hostilitytowards people who come from the Middle East and who practice Islam.178
Terrorismhas become a very critical issue of concern to all people around theglobe and due to the last terrorist attacks in Europe, it has becomeone of the biggest threats that Europe faces up to date. So far,there are a lot of terror groups which commit their terrorist attacksin the name of Islam, nevertheless killings, suicide bombings andother kind of massacre that kill people contradict the initialunderstanding of Islam as a religion. In fact, every terrororganization pursues its own political goals, and in order to achievethem, exercise terror attacks. The horrible terror attacks in ParisBrussels, Nice, Istanbul and others has challenged Europeeconomically, politically and socially
Terrorismgained entry into Europe, between the year 1970 and 1994. By thistime, terrorist attacks in Europe were much more common than any timein history. It started in Northern Ireland to Spain to Italy some ofthe political extremist groups organized bombings in some of theEurope countries179.Currently, there have been threats posed by the Islamic States suchas ISIS and ISIL. They have attacked many places such as Paris,London, London, Nice and Istanbul in Turkey.
Theterror attacks in Europe for the last several years have largelyaffected Europe in different ways. Main negative effects of thesehorrible events are: the security of the whole Europe is undermined,very clear social and economic impacts of terrorism, risinguncertainty among the public towards the foreign and national policyof the EU leaders, growing clash of opinions in the question ofconstantly coming refugees to Europe and their integration to thesociety and rising hostility towards all Muslims in Europe due to theprejudices obtained through the mass media.
Thus,the last terror attacks on the soil of Europe definitely changedEurope with its public who feel psychologically hurt and insecure,and this change has only negative consequences
Mediais used by terrorists to shape people`s realities. It is used notonly to spread fear but also to unleash public resentment against agovernment or an ordinary Muslims. Acquired bitterness may make anordinary Muslim to join extremist groups due to the public perceptionthat Muslims propagate violence. This acquired resentment, in turn,will make governments respond to attacks. The emergence of newdigital platforms has increased the competition for an audience thishas brought about the dramatization of the way terrorist attacks andother activities that are reported to garner more views. They now usesocial media to communicate, train and recruit. The social mediagroups are trying to close suspicious accounts so as to regulate theterror groups’ influence in the social media.The most famousterror groups in the world are Al Qaeda, ISIS, ISIL, Hezbollah,Taliban, Boko Haram.
TheEuropean Union, international institutions and other countries areworking hard to make sure that they eradicate the menace ofterrorism. EU foreign policy has regulated their rules on immigrationso as to control immigrant terrorism. There are many actions thathave been taken and we all hope that it will work for the better ofthe whole world
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Figure 1: Types of Terrorism……………………………………………………..…..9
Figure 2: Terror attacks in Western Europe (1970-2015)……………………………13
Figure 3: Injuries and dead in terror attacks in Western Europe, 1970 – 2015………14
Figure 4: A map of areas under ISIL control…………………………………………25
Figure 5: Attacks organized by ISIL…………………………………………………26
Figure 6: Operating areas of Boko Haram……………………………………………28
Figure 7: Boko Haram attacks………………………………………………………..29
Figure 8: Al-Qaida Operations around the world……………………………………32
Figure 9: Taliban area of influence…………………………………………………..34
Figure 10: Madrid train bombings, 2004…………………………………………….38
Figure 11: London Bombings, 7 July 2005………………………………………….40
Figure 12: Targets of terror attacks in France, 13 November 2013………………….42
Figure 13: Brussels attacks bombings, 22 March 2016………………………………44
Figure 14: Ataturk airport attack, 28 June 2016…………………………………..…46
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