A long term proactive and collaborative measure needs to be taken to counter terrorism as it has become (of late) a major threat to human peaceful coexistence and economic development. Since the September 11 attacks, it has been a commitment to the US government to protect its citizens from possible terrorist attacks.
Developing Counter Terrorism Plans
Terrorism is a crime which poses threats leading to non secure and non prosperous economies. Thus, as long as we don’t counter terrorism a peaceful existence won’t be realized. The United States has been of late a target of terrorists and thus measures have been taken and will continue being taken in order to find ways of controlling terrorism completely.
Counter terrorism plans have been developed with the aim of enhancing and coordinating capacity building and technical assistance to all departments that may require the assistance. They have also been developed by enacting strict government legislations that continue to enhance the fight against terrorism and improve human security within the country. Enhancing cooperation with the relevant international organizations such as the European Union has also helped in devising globally acceptable strategies of controlling terrorism.
In order to counter terrorism, several methods have been devised, they include:
Counter terrorism funding– terrorism funding is based on highly secretive operations conducted on an international scale. Knowing the sources of the funding is rather difficult but the state has introduced a frame work on how to identify the funding source by tracing, freezing, seizing, and confiscating all the proceeds of these offensive activities in order to cut off the supply of funds to the terrorist groups thereby reducing their purchasing power of the armaments and other explosives (APEC secretariat, 2010).
Innovative counter terrorism education and programs- this entails increasing the government and public awareness on how to counter terrorisms and then educate them on the benefits the community would achieve by the collaboration with the government.
Establishment of the Anti terrorism Task force- the task force is run by an experienced prosecutor who serves as the Anti Terrorism Coordinator at the specific district and among its functions is coordinating the distribution of information and the development of investigative and prosecuting strategies throughout the country. In addition, the team acts as the harmonizing body of the execution plan for (terrorism) prevention.
Development of an intelligence capability that fully supports the counter terrorism efforts- the program is aimed at identifying probable threats, patterns, and finding relationships among individuals and programs to provide useful information to the authorities.
Another methodology has been finding ways of mitigating threats posed by the internet. This is due to the high dependence on the internet and computer networks and other country structures such as the banking services as in the past this has posed a national security threat due to the risk of internet hacking thus the need for the security departments to enhance measures which can reduce chances of the attacks (Anonymous, n.d).
Ensuring effective incident management- the goal of this method has been to effectively respond to concerns and priorities of its citizens. By doing this, they hope to create better evacuation guidelines, increase medical surge capacity and also develop plans for high risk attack and disaster scenarios by testing these scenarios through real life exercises. Other methods of countering terrorism include food defense and bioterrorism protection measures.
What participants need included, and impediments/roadblocks to planning –there is a need to include everybody in the fight against crime as at the end of the day everybody will be affected either indirectly or directly.
The impediments and the challenges that the authority is facing as it tries to counter terrorism are many and multifaceted and include:
Human rights abuse: some states have taken the option of torture and other ill treatments in trying to counter terrorism and with the legal laws protecting torture of victims this option has been disregarded though it might be the only way of getting the information.
Countering terrorism funding: With some of the finance transfer service establishments being outside the main stream financial system, it becomes difficult in tracking the money flow to these terrorist groups. These informal banking services have been used to launder the money needed for terrorist activities (Yager, 2004).
Data privacy: It has been hard for the US authorities to ensure there is a guaranteed sufficient level of protection against disclosure of personal data. Internet hackers have sometimes accessed states secrets and thus this still remains a major threat.
The Muslim world uprisings: Since most of the terrorist activities originate from the Muslim world, there has been laws restricting movement of people, goods and services between US and these countries and this may have negative effects on the US economy as not all Muslims are terrorists.
We can conclude that to counter terrorism in the United States of America is a major activity in trying to improve homeland security but as we have seen, it is everyone’s obligation to fight terrorism for a peaceful and prosperous world.
APEC SECRETARIAT, (2010). Counter Terrorism. Retrieved November 15, 2010 from http://www.apec.org/apec/apec_groups/som_committee_on_economic/som_special_task_groups/counter_terrorism.html
Anonymous, (Not Dated). Protecting America against the threat of terrorism: Strategic Plan 2001-2006. Retrieved November 15, 2010 from http://www.justice.gov/archive/mps/strategic2001-2006/goal1.htm
Yager, L. (2004). Combating terrorism: Federal Agencies Face Continuing Challenges in Addressing Terrorist Financing and Money Laundering. Retrieved November 15, 2010 from http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/testimony/91.pdf