Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, December 3rd, 2020

Why there is No Consensus on Terrorism and Terrorists?

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Why there is No Consensus on Terrorism  and Terrorists?

Although terrorism is one of the universal threat, there is no theoretical and practical consensus about it. When we look at the political literature, there are more than 260 definitions for “terrorism” which actually confuse the researchers. In the other word, terrorism is one of the most complicated concept which is interpreted on the basis of definers’ interests. For example, in December 2013 President Hamid Karzai claimed that U.S. officials deem suicide bombings and attacks on schools by the terrorist in Afghanistan are not acts of terror from the perspective of the United States. As Tolo-news reported at that time, President Karzai added that the U.S. officials have told him that anyone who threatens U.S. interests or attacks its assets are considered terrorists for the United States. Based on this view, it is possible that a terrorist group such as Taliban is considered as terrorist group one day but other day may change to a liberation Movement. This approach against terrorism will not only make them resistant against legitimate governments and people but also promote the culture of terrorism throughout the world.
Anyway, this article is going to review few major definitions about terrorism which is widely discussed in political literature hoping to give a general picture on the subject of terrorism concept . The first major definition which widely seen in political literature is “unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a Government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”.  As a second definition it is defined as “calculated use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective”. As third definition, it is defined as” an act, which aims to create fear among ordinary people by illegal means. It is also defined as threat to humanity which includes person or group spreading violence, riots, burglaries, rapes, kidnappings, fighting, bombings, etc.” According to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, for example, terrorism includes any “act intended action to cause death or serious bodily injury to a civilian, or to any other person not taking an active part in the hostilities in a situation of armed conflict. If we sum up the key points of the mentioned defections, they contain three major components: illegal use of violence, having certain goal and deliberately target civilians or property.
The next thing we can drawn out from legal literature about terrorism, nothing can justify act of terror. No grievance, no goal, no cause can excuse terrorist acts. At the same time, the conditions that fed the problem — endemic conflicts and human rights violations that went unpunished must be removed. Based on the above explanation, it becomes almost clear that who are terrorists and who are the supporter of terrorists in Afghanistan, but the question which remains unanswered why the international mechanism keep silence a clear phenomena which threatens a large part of the world. Why the united nation cannot make a firm and transparent decision against terrorism in several countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and so on? Why the world has failed to make a consensus against international terrorism. Do the world powers have no will or no power to do so?  And eventually, why the famous political ideologies are not successful against terrorism?
Tactically, there are six basic types of tactics that terrorist groups have used: hijackings, kidnappings, bombings, assassinations, armed assaults, and barricade-hostage incidents. A group’s objectives and organizational capabilities dictate which tactics it uses. Terrorist organizations typically use hijackings, kidnapping, and barricade-hostage incidents when the group wishes to force the targeted company or government into negotiations. The terrorist group is able to obtain the release of prisoners or extort money. Such incidents increase the level of risk to the terrorist organization and require a mature planning, operations, logistics, and intelligence capability to successfully conduct the operation. Bombings, assassinations, and armed assaults are less risky and generally require less organizational capabilities. In general, the success of terrorist organizations depends on receiving adequate information for planning and executing an operation.
Typologically, there are three basic forms of terrorism: international terrorism, domestic terrorism and transnational terrorism. In Afghanistan, we faced all three types of terrorism which required both national and international combat. Unfortunately, instead of decisive action against terrorists, the regional and international  community implore them to enter into a serious negotiations with the Afghan government and put an end war and civilian carnage in the country.  Establishing direct contact with regional and international community, they have become undisputed power in the country. As a result of this negligence, the terrorist group eventually has not only changed to a powerful political rival in Afghanistan but also to a libration movement. Unfortunately, some insiders also collaborate with Taliban to carry out the Taliban’s plans, preferring their personal interests to the achievements of nearly two decades in Afghanistan.
Given the regional and international negligence against terrorism, there is no optimism and hopes to fundamentally get rid of terrorism. Because most of the terrorist groups either used as a political against others or they are reactionary movements need to recognize their legitimate demands. In the other word, it seems that the terrorism would not be ended as long as we do not accept justice, equality, dignity, freedom and prosperity for all. Maybe the human need to a fair political ideology that guarantees justice, dignity, freedom and prosperity for all. In the meantime, it also ensure that terrorism is destructive phenomena not justifiable and not acceptable anyhow. Otherwise, we should expect for unexpected breed of terrorists who are interested in mass death and destruction at anytime, anyone and anywhere.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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