7 The Global Threat of Terrorism in:

Angelika C. Dankert

Europe under Pressure, page 59 - 66

The Development of the European Union under the Influence of the Arab Spring, the Refugee Crisis and the Global Threat of Terrorism

1. Edition 2017, ISBN print: 978-3-8288-3971-7, ISBN online: 978-3-8288-6688-1,

Series: Wissenschaftliche Beiträge aus dem Tectum Verlag: Rechtswissenschaften, vol. 93

Tectum, Baden-Baden
Bibliographic information
The Global Threat of Terrorism Terror – Classification and Distinction Linguistically, it has to be distinguished between ‘amok’ and ‘terror,’ as amok is psychologically and terror politically motivated. Amok is abbreviated from the Malayan word ‘amuk’ (English: angry, furious) and characterized by a lack of solid, organized planning. The act itself is rather spontaneous and random. The culprit is motivated by personal revenge, therefore an amok attacker is mostly acting alone (Seidler, 2016). The draconian reign (French: regime de la terreur) of the Jacobins in France of 1793 is likely to be the origin of the term ‘terror,’ which is characterized by an ideology, political goals and violence (Seidler, 2016). Despite today’s negative connotation, terror was originally seen as instrument to re-establish order (Aubrey, 2004). A terrorist is motivated to change the state’s system and/or the society by spreading fear. Politicians can fight terrorism by releasing decrees to support existing safety measures and to take precautions like restricting access to special areas and improving control mechanisms on body and luggage checks. There is no universally accepted definition of terror, and the differentiation between ‘terrorist’ and ‘freedom fighter’ is controversial, as it is highly dependent on the perspective (Seidler, 2016). Terrorist Organizations as Global Threat There are different organizations causing attacks like e.g. Al Quaida, Al Shabaab, the Islamic State or the Taliban. All of them are classified as terrorist groups but vary regarding their degree to act globally. A new form of dangerous interruptions within settled states, as the EU can be referred to, became apparent over the last years: religiously oriented terrorism as dangerous omnipresent companion. In 2015, France, Greece, Italy, Denmark, Spain and the UK faced 211 failed, foiled and completed terrorist attacks. 151 people died and over 360 were injured. In total, 1,077 individuals were arrested and accused for terrorism-related offences, 424 in France alone. 94% of the arrested individuals were prosecuted for jihadist terrorism and found guilty (Europol, 2016 a). The following table provides a chronological overview of terrorist attacks in European countries over the last three years. There have been many additional terrorist attacks all over the world in the years between 2014 and 2016, yet the table focuses solely on religiously oriented attacks within the EU that were executed by globally acting terrorist organizations. 7 7.1 7.2 59 Terrorist Attacks across Europe between 2014 and 2016 Year Date Country City Location 2014 24 May Belgium Brussels Jewish museum 2015 7 January France Paris ‘Charlie Hebdo’ 9 January France Porte de Vincennes Hostage-taking 27 April Bosnia-Herzegovina Zvornik Police station 20 July Turkey Suruç Festival 10 October Turkey Ankara Peace demonstration 13 November France Paris Series of attacks 18 November Bosnia- Herzegovina Sarajevo Street, bus, authorities 2016 12 January Turkey Istanbul Sultan-Ahmed place 19 March Turkey Istanbul Boulevard 22 March Belgium Brussels Airport, metro station 13 June France Magnanville Police officers 28 June Turkey Istanbul Airport attack 14 July France Nice Boulevard 18 July Germany Würzburg ‘Axe attack’ in train 24 July Germany Ansbach Festival 26 July France Saint-Etienne-du- Rouvray Church attack 6 August Belgium Charleroi Police officers 20 August Turkey Gaziantep (Kurdish) wedding 20 December Germany Berlin Christmas market Source: Global Terrorism Database, 2016 The PKK has neither roots in the Arab Spring nor is it a religiously oriented terrorist organization. Based on drivers and goals of the PKK, which are not explained further in this paper, the Kurdish organization is not considered a global threat, but a regional voice for Kurdish political autonomy, however, ‘classified as terrorist organization’ (Government UK, 2016). Therefore, attacks executed by the PKK in Turkey have not been included in the table. The terrorist attacks by the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks as militant organization and faction of the PKK in February, March and June 2016 are also not included in the table above, due to the explained reasons. An US-led coalition against ISIS was set up in 2014 and includes 62 countries in total. Air support and other military equipment are provided by 20 out of 62 coalition partners. Excluding non-European partners of the alliance, inter alia, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Belgium are militarily involved in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Amongst others, Norway, Sweden and Austria focus on humanitarian aid, and Finland expresses support as ally (Freeman, 2014). Tab. 7.1 7 The Global Threat of Terrorism 60 In 2014, Alan Henning, a British hostage, was executed on camera ‘in response to British air strikes against the positions of [IS] in Iraq’ (Mamoun, 2014). On video, Henning was supposed to refer his execution to the British parliament’s decision to attack the Islamic State. By directly referring to David Cameron and the British parliament, the British-originated Jihadi headsman dismissed his burden from the action. Before, several videos of live-executions of e.g. ‘UK aid worker David Haines and two American Journalists, Steven Sotloff and James Foley, were released by the self-named state’ (Mamoun, 2014). The likelihood of terrorist attacks happening in Europe increased over the last couple of years. Moreover, a geographical concentration and an enhanced probability of terrorist attacks executed in countries that are involved in military intervention as partners of the anti-IS coalition can be identified (Freeman, 2014). The ‘Annex T: Terrorist Attacks’ provides an overview of worldwide terrorist attacks and best demonstrates the previously mentioned geographical concentration in major European states as anti-IS coalition partners, namely France and Germany. Generally, bombing and explosions can be identified as the most frequently used type of terrorist attack, followed by armed assaults and hostage-taking (compare Annex T). The number of injuries after an attack refers to the author’s cautious assumption that the terroristic focus nowadays is not on creating the most damage possible, despite the fact that every terror victim is a victim too many, but on frequency and the reality that an act of violence has actually happened. The lone wolfe phenomenon, which is explained further in Chapter 7.3, supports the assumption, as nowadays jihadist terrorism is dominated by a lack of deadlines and specified targets, which make it essentially difficult for police forces to trace and prevent such acts of violence. Terror 2.0 – Unpredictable and Anonymous Over the last years, the European Union has been exposed to a continuously growing level of overall security threats, including the danger and influence arising from politically unstable countries bordering the Single Market (e.g. Libya). Jihadist terrorism and foreign terrorist travelers are of main concern for the Union and its member states. Despite the fact that the majority of recent terror attacks were executed in the name of the Islamic State, Al Quaida and other violent (religious) militant groups still have to be considered active and dangerous (Europol, 2016 b). On the first day of Ramadan, 29 June 2014, the Islamic State was symbolically reestablished as Caliphate (Musharbash, 2014) but did not engage in terrorist attacks in Europe before August 2014 (Reuter, 2015). Within the first 18 months, ‘al-Dawla al- Islamiya fi al-Iraq w al-Sham’ (acronym: Daesh, English: Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) undertook 50 attacks in 18 countries causing 1,100 victims and leaving over 1,700 people injured. Analyzes showed that IS prefers soft targets, as it is more effective to inflict mass causalities on an urban population, aiming at well-publicized terror, than to attack military bases (Europol, 2016 b). The re-establishment of the Caliphate is also important, as referring to Ibn Abd al-Wahhab and his establishment of a small Wahhabi state in the 18th century, the loyal Qur’an interpretation in line with the con- 7.3 7.3 Terror 2.0 – Unpredictable and Anonymous 61 cept of ‘tauhid’ (English: unity with God) is a prerequisite and demands the active fight against ‘shirk,’ meaning all societal and religiously oriented practice, which does not root in the times of the Prophet (Hanne/Flichy de la Neuville, 2015: 112). It is essential to understand the drivers and goals of militant organizations to classify and categorize the existing danger and uncover unknown threats to the society, especially as the Western world is unfamiliar with the ideological background. The World Wide Web as cause and trigger of globalization has influenced the communication process and data exchange of terrorist organizations as well. The change in the process of radicalization is characterized by facilitated access to information and speed of data exchange. Before, supporters and sympathizers passed training in a respective foreign country in so-called ‘terror camps.’ ‘Being educated in different disciplines, the returnee was on call or directly instructed with a target’ (Luther/Vu, 2016). Today, technology facilitates the radicalization process. The World Wide Web is huge, obscure and opaque, opening up doors for dangerous propaganda of shady organizations recruiting online. Despite the digital fingerprint, the anonymity of the internet provides a platform for the glorious presentation of an ideology, as holding specific recruiters accountable remains difficult. The key for the Online- Caliphate is physical independence, as there is no need to be at the same place due to online campaigns and advertisements. As result of the diversity regarding planning and executing possibilities, the in-depth understanding of attacks has to be modified by distinguishing between different typologies of attackers. Apart from specific training in terror camps, threats of previously unknown terror affiliates have emerged. First, ‘lone wolves,’ a phenomenon of unobtrusive individuals unknown to the police, self-radicalized via the internet without having personal contact to a particular terror organization. The lone wolf acts on behalf of the ideology, but not at the behest of a certain group and without previously arranged target. Despite this type of lone wolf, living partially secluded from society, research showed that there are confidants in around 60% of the cases. Second, there are lone wolves directly communicating with terrorist groups via chat rooms. Ideas regarding targets, implementation and realization are exchanged, but no direct instructions are given. The act itself would be incalculable and potentially spontaneous. A third type of lone wolf is communicating with so-called virtual planners supporting the lone wolf in choosing a target and in assisting in the technical planning without giving a specific order or deadline (Luther/Vu, 2016). The actual threat, regarding what the author refers to as ‘terror 2.0,’ is caused by terror groups operating from far away, different types of lone wolves, and acts plotted by returnees, as so-called foreign terrorist travelers and women dedicating their life to the ideology of IS, willingly leaving their country to get married to an IS fighter, are referred to. The majority of foreign terrorist travelers is indeed female. Their role is not to neglect, as they have already volunteered as e.g. suicide bombers. Although the likelihood of women returning to their European home countries is marginal, a future security threat to the Union lies in the fact that the minors, born and grown up in the IS territory, get trained as next generation of IS fighters. Returnees have to be precisely monitored, not simply because of them initiating fundraising and improving re- 7 The Global Threat of Terrorism 62 cruitment within the EU, but due to further radicalization activities, as they still hold strong bonds with the terrorist and militant organizations abroad (Europol, 2016 b). Despite the absence of apocalyptic mysticism in Islam, the messianic return of a ‘mahdi’, a so-called infallible individual guided and selected as Imam by God, enjoys distribution across the World Wide Web and on online platforms advertising the IS. The concept is military-driven, and according to the prophecy it will take place in the region of Syria. The connection between the fascination for the hereafter and the resulted indifference regarding life in this world, is an ideological programming, which caused a new form of violent willingness the world has to cope with in the 21st century (Hanne/Flichy de la Neuville, 2015: 80, 81). Although there are no concrete numbers of terrorists available to prove how many have abused the refugee wave to enter the external borders of the EU unnoticed, recent follow-up examination of attacks proved that it already happened (e.g. Berlin attacks, December 2016). The consequences of the uncontrolled migration cover the media and social debates and fuel right-wing extremism. Both perspectives are targeted: asylum seekers as well as the fear of European citizens to be played off securitywise, as border guards cannot sustainably distinguish between terrorists, civilians and refugees. In order to secure what people refer to as ‘Union’s task,’ civilian street patrols have developed in form of vigilante justice and emerge particularly in Scandinavian countries (Europol, 2016 b). Founded in 1998, Europol is seated in The Hague as law enforcement agency. By identifying the major threats to the internal security of the Union, Europol helps detect criminal and terrorist networks in order to fight international crime including organized fraud, counterfeiting, smuggling and cybercrime, as well as trafficking human beings and terrorism (Europol, 2016 c). For the security forces and police it remains challenging to discover sympathizers of IS ideology, keeping track of suspected individuals and to check on those, who might actually be able to perform violent acts. However, the number of arrests increased from 2014 to 2015, showing the intensity and effort to fight this new form of terrorism as global threat (Europol, 2016 b). Recommendations Removing borders in order to create a Single Market results in obligations and rights for the joining member states. The registration of migrants entering the Union takes place in e.g. Greece, geographically located at the Union’s eastern border. Disregarding the mass of influx of people, Athens refused help while failing to manage the registration for the wave of migrants arriving on the spot (Traynor, 2015). Aiming to maintain the same or even an improved security level for the individual states, the Union is responsible for an efficient external border management. Intensified cooperation, common solidarity and facilitated data exchange are prerequisites of a sustainable European Union facing security issues. The existing lack of harmonization in the field of networking and databases became apparent in the follow-up investigation into terrorist attacks, as stated before. The terrorists crossed the borders without difficulty, 7.4 7.4 Recommendations 63 despite them being known as terror suspects. After the attacks, politicians asked for a revision of the Schengen Borders Code, aiming at systematic controls of EU citizens and foreigners, focusing, inter alia, on the verification of biometrical data. The security gap that Europe faces today is driven by globalization including intermingled politics, as all countries are affected by geopolitical change and impact, but the refugee crisis also caused an increase of incidents over time due to the open border policy that was driven by humanitarian reasons. Recent events demonstrate great omissions that have been willingly accepted back then by allowing persons with unidentified identities to cross the Union’s borders. Despite humanitarian aid and the respect for humanity, no country in the world can afford to create, willingly or naïvely, a security gap to this extent. It is highly recommended to harmonize the refugee databases across the Union, as the current situation of fragile external borders, the potential risk of terrorist attacks and terrorist organizations aiming to harm the Western world are still present. The EU has to change and urgently to adapt its common practice: biometrical data and fingerprints have to be taken when the Union’s external borders are crossed. Persons without valid papers have to be separated until their identity is proven. To prevent illegal means and multiple registrations, new measures have to be installed: Article 38 (9) of the Schengen Agreement states that the communication of data is supposed to be only preserved as long as necessary for the purpose exchanged and will be deleted afterwards. However, the recorded communication on information exchanged according to Article 38 (8) SA, which includes e.g. identity, travel documents and residence permits (Article 38 (2) (a-g) SA), should actually be preserved and saved in a database, justified on the basis of the current situation and overall security threat across the Union. Moreover, it is essential to define a list of safe countries of origin, like e.g. Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Many critics of this practice argue with regard to human rights violations or limited press freedom, but the European standards in terms of human rights, freedoms and law enforcement mechanisms are higher than the common standards in many countries worldwide, so the comparison is unequal anyway. ‘Arguing to safeguard those, who live below the European standard, means simultaneously accepting all persons whose countries of origin do not meet these somehow unique standards’ (Durankiev, 2015). Due to, inter alia, the lack of women’s rights, the repression of culture and religion, tyranny, corruption, violent suppression of protests by religious and militant extremists, Nigeria, Yemen, Myanmar, North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Syria are classified as the countries with the worst human rights violations at 2015 levels (Durankiev, 2015). Many individuals used the open door policy to access Europe due to economic reasons, referring to the EU social welfare systems. To avoid abuse of Europe as community, safe countries of origin have to be defined and entry refusals have to be pronounced at the Union’s borders if individuals cannot be clearly categorized as ‘refugees,’ but as economically driven migrants. There is a legal demarcation between the term ‘refugee’ and ‘migrant,’ but the means to enforce the consequences lack in reality. The currently increased and obvious security threat was triggered by an 7 The Global Threat of Terrorism 64 uncontrolled entry and the abuse of some, taking the chance to hide behind a forged identity, name and nationality, again, without prejudice and stereotypes on refugees or ethnicities. The Arab Spring offered many with dubious past the possibility to start a new life abroad under false name, erasing the connection to potential previous convictions. The Union is challenged regarding the means of deportation in case the states of origin refuse to take back their national citizens, or in case the national is expecting death penalty in his home country but has entered the Union using a forged passport to hide the past. Problems occur, despite violent attacks, regarding falsified identities, challenging the entire process of deportation. Dublin failed, but the common practice of a detention and deportation duration of four days has to be modified as well: deportation has to be facilitated, especially when an affiliation with terrorism is proven or highly suspected. Countries of origin should not be allowed to refuse the taking back of a demonstrably national citizen, which simply prolongs the investigation and stresses diplomacy. International consequences and penalties should be implemented. It has to be classified between refugees and all kinds of drivers motivating individuals to move to Europe. But in case of verifiable criminal records, a disappearance from the screen should be prevented. The comparison of granted rights within Europe and abroad should be kept in mind to distinguish between humanity and naivety. A stricter policy has to be established in order not to be abused as value community. The voluntary (European-originated) Daesh fighters (Germany: ~450 of 7,000 sympathizers joined IS so far (Hanne/Flichy de la Neuville, 2015: 46)) later returnees or fanatics on spot are instrumentalized and constitute a severe intra-EU security threat. The executed acts of violence by IS sympathizers or affiliates might be a distraction or a simple side effect of the IS-driven expansion policies. In both ways, the Caliphate welcomes to be named as reference to increase its area of influence. The European standard of data protection is very high, but due to the current situation an improvement and an adaption are needed. At the moment, there are 522 persons referred to as ‘those who cause threat’ and known by name to the competent authorities in Germany. 264 of them are living in Germany and 82 are currently arrested (Statista, 2016 a). Competent police authorities should improve European coordination of data exchange and access to data (e.g. e-mail) should be facilitated. Skeptics refer to ‘Big Brother is watching you’ (Orwell, 2006: 8), but for the overall security it is essential to catch terror affiliates as early as possible and to detect networks and sympathizers. In the end, facilitated access to data and spot checks frightens only those who have to hide something. Standing up for common security and supporting the authorities in their task to fight terrorism, law enforcement mechanisms have to be improved to facilitate screening and early detection. Other prevention mechanisms have to be implemented on the ground within the Union to effectively decrease the number of European Jihadists volunteering for IS. The established European Muslim community should raise this issue and prevent radicalization of individuals by means of educational work. There is indeed a lot of rationality in the so-called fanatic behavior of the IS, excluding mental absence and psychopathic behavior as possible excuses for the acts. The determination and firm con- 7.4 Recommendations 65 viction is driven by the concept of martyr, an ideology in which the hereafter succeeds this world. As this ideology is closely linked to and partially rooted in a world religion, the Muslim community has the responsibility to dissociate publicly and to implement training on the spot to prevent radicalization movements and in-depth convictions. This new form of terror roots in religion and religious ideology drives the terrorist acts. Neglecting the religious aspect in the 21st century’s threat of global terror turns a blind eye on the roots of this conflict and on the army of religious fundamentalists. There is no generally accepted definition of ‘those who threaten,’ but it is essential to define this term in order to establish prevention mechanisms. The current law has to be adopted slightly, as the security threat has caused a new status quo. Ankle monitors should be used intensely to spot and survey the location and routes of persons who pose a threat. As it is comprehensively hard to differentiate between the nuances of terror affiliates, financial means or staff shortage should not hinder efficient monitoring when a person potentially willing to execute an attack has finally been positively identified. Olivier Hanne and Thomas Flichy de la Neuville (2015: 137) refer to the ‘development of IS as accident of Islam and the Middle East, benefiting from a unique historical chance to evolve as small, yet prepared minority, using the weakened political status quo in Syria and Iraq’ as result of the Arab Spring and of previous Western-led military interventions. The Islamic State is not just a group of criminals but has to be understood in connection with the Arab Spring and the resulting flow of migrants. The EU is challenged, as it guarantees security for European citizens, but struggles to implement sustainable policies, especially as the possibility to detect individuals, Union citizens and foreigners causing threat and danger, is hard to depict. Increased cooperation and in-depth understanding of unity as ‘we,’ focusing on national topics as Union issues rather than individually targeting national subjects, is important. Challenging times demand solidarity and underline the necessity to stand together. In contrast, individual sealing-off and unilateralism are incompatible with a borderless Union that regards itself united as entity based on humanist values. 7 The Global Threat of Terrorism 66

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The past years were characterized by a massive influx of migrants crossing the Union’s external borders seeking asylum. Illegal migration, exploitation of social welfare systems, foreign infiltration and the instrumentalization of religion condensed in terror attacks determine today’s changed attitude towards foreigners, refugees and migrants and therefore strongly impact the current European political agenda.

Angelika C. Dankert describes the development of the EU and provides information on events that led to the creation and the spill-over of the Arab Spring. Roots and origin of Jihadist ideology as well as goals of religiously motivated terrorism are illustrated and European standards on morals and values are critically questioned. Through investigation of current matters in the field of law, security and interculturality, this book reveals the biggest geopolitical challenge of the 21st century.