Understanding Counterterrorism A Guide for Law Enforcement, Policy Makers and Media

We lead the way in analyzing, understanding, and responding to the terrorist threat
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RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors. Related Products Content. Jack Riley, Jeremy M. In , the Commission launched the EU Internet Forum , which brings together governments, Europol, and the biggest technology and social media companies to ensure that illegal content, including terrorist propaganda, is taken down as quickly as possible.

To enhance the efforts to prevent and counter radicalisation leading to violent extremism and terrorism, and to improve coordination and cooperation between all relevant stakeholders, in , the Commission set up a High-Level Commission Expert Group on radicalisation.


The group delivered its Final Report on 18 May , by which it accomplished its mandate, leading to the creation of an EU Cooperation mechanism. This Commission-led mechanism aims at fostering cooperation between policy makers, practitioners and researchers. Moreover, the Commission put forward a proposal for a Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online. As terrorists and their supporters constantly modify their ways to collect, move and gain access to funds, the EU regularly updates its instruments and measures to detect, prevent, trace and disrupt this activity.

The EU has developed a comprehensive range of measures to combat terrorist financing, including the updated Anti-Money Laundering Directive , which introduced enhanced measures to prevent terrorist financing. A new Directive to facilitate the use of financial and other information adopted in strengthened the capacity of law enforcement authorities to fight terrorism by improving their access to financial information. A central element of the fight against terrorism is to support the Member States in protecting European society and critical infrastructures from attack.

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Those efforts involve a broad spectrum of governmental, private and non-government partners. Specific areas of focus include the prevention of terrorist attacks using chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear CBRN materials, the protection of public spaces, explosives and explosives precursors, and critical infrastructure protection CIP. Besides facilitating networks of experts cooperating on these topics, the Commission works to track threats and develop guidance to Member States. Moreover, legislation has been adopted to restrict access to chemical substances that can be misused for the illicit manufacture of home-made explosives.

Given that the implementation and further development of counter-terrorism policies rely on the availability of cutting-edge technologies, the Commission is involved in facilitating their advancement through security research projects, in order to equip Member States with the tools necessary to mitigate against the terrorist threat to European citizens. More information on security research are available; information on specialised sectoral research can be also found on consulting pages devoted to specific terrorism and radicalisation files. The security of the Union is linked directly and intrinsically to the stability outside Europe, and in particular in our immediate neighbourhood.

United Nations, Interpol, etc. United States, Canada, etc. The provision or collection of funds, by any means, directly or indirectly, with the intention that they should be used or in the knowledge that they are to be used, in full or in part, to carry ou. Skip to main content. Apart from some counterterrorism measures undertaken by significant number of states within the framework of domestic intelligence, even the practice of international organizations in the aftermath of September 11th contributed to erosion of human rights in the fight against terrorism.

Respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law are essential tools in the effort to combat terrorism - not privileges to be sacrificed at a time of tension. As the ESSTRT Report concludes although the European Union could benefit from investment in a wide range of technologies that would bolster protection against terrorist attacks, broader preventive and preparatory measures, public communication, enhanced intelligence, and strong international partnership are equally important as governments develop strategies for counterterrorism.

It makes tactical and strategic prevention in the real sense of its meaning possible. On one hand it provides security professionals with the opportunity to act before a terrorist attack has occurred tactical prevention , while on the other hand it is the precondition for threat analysis, which enables proper political decision making with a long-term approach towards evolving security concerns strategic prevention.

Only a small part of the collected data could actually be classified as secret. The final output that intelligence agencies deliver should then serve policymakers to take action in the right direction. But when looking at the issue from a European perspective, the whole process tends to become extremely complex and leaves the impression that intelligence is collected more by chance and from case-to-case, than on the grounds of firm and centralised structures.

Still, intelligence efforts in counterterrorism on the European level together with law enforcement through Europol and Eurojust make up the basic triangle of contemporary European security policy in response to terrorism. But there still does not exist a body functioning as a European Intelligence Agency , so it remains questionable whether political will to enhance common action against terrorism is being implemented decisively enough. Nevertheless, recent developments in the European Union security sector indicate certain movements towards developing such a body.

But looking at the practical, every-day reality in the intelligence sector amongst Member States, this could turn out to be even more ambitious than the creation of a European Intelligence Agency.


These difficulties in intraintelligence community cooperation in contrast to inter-agency cooperation between law enforcement and intelligence organisations should be the strongest argument in favour of finally establishing a European Intelligence Agency , partly staffed with seconded national experts, leaving room for a staff trained particularly for the work in such an agency, thereby making sure the necessary cohesion is granted.

Most of the difficulties encountered in intra-intelligence community cooperation can be transferred to inter-agency cooperation meaning the law enforcementintelligence relationship. There is a clear reluctance towards handing over any major national intelligence function to the EU level, and this usually results in overlapping, gaps, and rivalry, sometimes being sporadically disrupted by ad hoc cooperation in the form of joint task forces.

And due to the rejection of the European Constitution, the necessary legal and structural framework for a longlasting solution currently in place seems to be too weak in order to foster enough political will and backup for the creation of a European Intelligence Agency. Both are in breach of imperative or prohibitive norms of substantive criminal law. However, it does not mean that such wrongdoer is against the private property concept as such. On the contrary, thieves usually more than others respect taboos on their own property.

Therefore, it is questionable what would be the effect of punishment on persons convicted for terrorism-related criminal offences. Moreover, to become a martyrs will give to their struggle some kind of symbolic dimension. This decision led to radical changes of the law enforcement approach which brings it closer to logics, structure and mechanisms previously reserved only for intelligence. Terrorists do not accept the legal order in place and aim at bringing down its very fundaments.

Therefore it seems justified to conclude that terrorists and similar perpetrator categories choose to be enemies rather than citizens. The first move towards emphasizing prevention in criminalization of terrorism-related activities was the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. The specificity of this Convention lies in its positive obligation of states to prevent terrorism through setting up national prevention policies.

According to Art. The Council of Europe approach is more proactive since it is interested not in consequences, but in causes of terrorist activities.

UK police launch major counter-terror drill in London

These are criminal offences of a preventive nature. The main reason for moving the trigger for action of law enforcement agencies in stage before a terrorist attack actually takes place was to prevent severe consequences of terrorist attacks. By the extension of the scope of criminalization, law enforcement agencies are now expected to act in manner previously reserved for intelligence services. New criminal offences justify not only the apprehension of persons suspected of carrying out terrorist attacks but as well as those responsible for public provocation to commit a criminal offence Art.

By virtue of Art. Therefore, needless to say, the concept of preventive criminalization and remodelling the traditional role of law enforcement was exhaustively discussed in the Committee on Experts for Terrorism CODEXTER. The substance of the discussion was a question how to efficiently fulfil positive obligations of a state to protect all persons within its territory from terrorist attacks while preserving fundamental human rights contained in the Council of Europe's Convention on Human Rights.

The outcome of the debate was the conclusion that states are obliged to take all necessary measures to criminalize all the contents from Art. Divergence in national normative counterterrorism frameworks could further undermine international cooperation and mutual legal assistance for instance, identity of norm requirement. Therefore, apart from referring to the European Court of Human Rights jurisprudence, the Council of Europe should continue its efforts in developing more specific guidelines and, eventually, model provisions for preventive criminal offences prescribed in Art.

This would, inter alia , speed up the process of entering the Convention into force pursuant Art.

Are Counter Terrorism Measures Really Effective?

Still, the law enforcement and intelligence communities remain designed and operated in fundamentally dissimilar manners, retaining different legal authorities, internal modes of organisation, and governing paradigms. If taking into consideration the differences in legal authorisation and democratic oversight, it becomes obvious that uncontrolled intermingling between classical intelligence and law enforcement measures poses a serious threat to fundamental principles in criminal law.

This clearly affects law enforcement agencies that take over tasks previously reserved for intelligence agencies. It also negatively affects the quality of outputs provided, since know-how is distributed in accordance to admissible methods of information gathering and investigation. Although the possibility of a complete merger between law enforcement and intelligence seems unlikely at the moment, one might consider the current trends, which open doors towards the creation of a new hybrid. The uncertainty about the potential side effects such an intelligence-law enforcement hybrid could produce are a good reason to look into other solutions.

The first alternative would mean that law enforcement agencies could in some cases engage in classical intelligence work and vice versa. Whereas the cooperation-alternative would strengthen the existing separation between the two, while ensuring that in certain overlapping areas intelligence efforts are in the service of law enforcement and vice versa. This would mean that the professional oversight in each case would stay with the organisation the service has been provided for, and the democratic oversight would be governed by the rules in place for each agency.

This would mean that intelligence agencies as well as law enforcement agencies would benefit from each other's know-how, without jeopardising each other's jurisdiction this would also benefit to make sure rivalries are narrowed down to a reasonable minimum or having to be accountable for the other one.

Therefore the strict organisational and functional separation of law enforcement and intelligence seems justified, implying the necessity of closer cooperation on both sides. In the view of both the police and the spies, such specialization allows practitioners to focus on what they do best -- enforcing the law in the case of the former, and providing comprehensive terrorist threat warnings in the case of the latter. This European intelligence gap makes it difficult, at the moment probably even impossible, to undertake regular cooperative counterterrorism activities.

First of all, there is the tactical one, allowing the respective professionals to do their job on an every-day basis. Then there is the far more important one - the strategic level of cooperation, which sets the rules and the framework on a political and long-term basis. At the strategic cooperation level decisionmakers have to ensure that political, legal and ethical aspects of security are considered all together when setting the stage for cooperation, especially if it could affect privacy and human rights concerns. A commonly accepted European Constitution could provide the missing framework and ensure the implementation of law enforcement and intelligence counterterrorism measures.

Still, the two would have to be strictly divided. This is of importance not only because of ensuring transparency and adequate oversight, but because of avoiding unnecessary overlapping. Furthermore, law enforcement and intelligence agencies traditionally foster different cultures, go through different education, and usually believe their own sources and efforts are more reliable than any other.

Research Article

A detailed evaluation of the state of art in European intelligence cooperation, a proper efficiency analysis of the counterterrorism measures and mechanisms currently in place, trust-building efforts in the law enforcement and intelligence communities, and potentially new approaches in training and education in the security sector, combined with exchange of so-called best practices, could prove to be at least as efficient as declaring political willingness to cooperate in response to terrorism.

In this respect research in the field of European counterterrorism policy and its implications should play a major role. Without consent of the person whose personal data are in concern, interference is allowed only if it is prescribed by law, serves a legitimate purpose and if it is necessary in a democratic society proportionality principle.

gatsbyconstruction.co.uk/map6.php However, high standards for protection of privacy should not be read as an absolute obstacle in countering terrorism, because, according to Art. It is essential to have clear, detailed rules on the subject, especially as the technology available for use is continually becoming more sophisticated.