Terrorism is the greatest menace against humanity and threat to modern civilization. Globalization has brought in overall prosperity and development to the world. This has facilitated ease in transportation across international borders, communication between remote locations through access to internet and wireless phones, and international fund transfer electronically. Terrorists have used these facilities to strike at faraway places. Terrorism has not remained confined to a region and has spread globally. After 9/11 terrorist attack, United States along with its allies have declared war against terrorism. Answers have been prepared based on these perspectives.
1. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is the largest terrorist group of Latin America. It has exerted influence over a large area in southern Colombia. In these areas, they have control over illegal drug trade and mining. The group has exerted its influence on local population by means of violence. It has waged armed conflict with the government agencies. In remote areas where the government control is not present, the group has functioned as de facto rule of law and has performed limited social services. Besides taxation of the illegal drug trade and mining, protection rents, ransom kidnappings, bank robberies and extortions have been source of revenue generation for the group (Weinstein, 2007). The Colombian government offensive backed by U S military aid has weakened the FARC and they have agreed to U N monitored peace deal with Colombian government (UN mission to monitor Colombia peace deal with FARC, 2016).
2. The consequences of coming together of terrorist groups, regional warlords and criminal syndicates in a weak or failed state can be devastating for the rest of the world. This has already happened in Afghanistan. Military dictatorship though authoritarian and brutal, keeps the country away from lawlessness of failed state and can provide effective leadership and direction in effort against terrorism and transnational criminal activities.
There are over a million Muslims comprising about 1% of population of South America. Most of them aspire to lead a peaceful life. However, few among them are sympathizers to extremism and financially help Islamic terrorism. Islamic extremists use Venezuela, Guyana, and the Triborder Area (TBA) of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay as recruiting areas. There are individuals in these regions who are affiliated to terrorist groups and the regions are used for hiding, for fund raising, or for recruitment of terrorists (Novakoff ,2008).
3. Major terrorist attacks or hijackings in United States have been thwarted since 9/11 attack by honing counterterrorism tactics successfully by military and police. The law enforcement agencies have disrupted terrorist plot from developing by inserting themselves in the plot. They have compiled the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) that contains details of known or suspected terrorists in the world. TSDB is used in identifying known or suspected terrorists trying to obtain visas, enter the country, or board aircraft. The National Joint Terrorism Task Force has been set up to act as an integrated force to combat terrorism at national and international level (Wyllie, 2011). US military advise and assist other nations to improve their ability on prevention of terrorists from using the nations’ territory as a safe-haven and assist in stability of the government. Military takes part in overseas counterinsurgency and counterdrug operations (Counterterrorism, 2014).
4. The core structure of al Qaeda has been decimated by counterterrorist operations of United States. Its hierarchical structure has been weakened. It has decentralized by spreading horizontally with many affiliated organizations operating at local level. Their link to the al Qaeda core group has not been confirmed. Al Qaeda coordinates with fellow Jihad groups to plot terrorist attacks. Al Qaeda has retained operation capability to plot a strike at important places in Western countries. It has retained international communication network. Al Qaeda’s ideology acts as inspiration to terrorist (Katzman, 2005). It has retained ability to recruit well-educated persons to its doctrine of hate and cruelty through false propaganda.
5. The United States and its allies on war against terrorism have been able to contain terrorism to certain extend. However, recent spate in terrorist attacks in Paris on 15 January 2016, and other places have shown that the war on terrorism is far from over. Terrorists evolve new tactics and improve operational capabilities to circumvent counterterrorism efforts. Rise of ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) in Syria and Iraq and their new method of waging terrorist war have required different approach of containment.
The United States can bring about an end to worldwide terrorism. It requires a long-term approach. Winning war on terrorism means defeating the ideas propagated by terrorist groups, waning away sympathisers, cutting of flow fund and prevent terrorists from exploiting under-governed areas as safe havens. Counter terrorist operations are moving in right direction. United States has broadened counterterrorism efforts by including Muslim countries and encouraging democratically elected governments in place of totalitarian regimes (National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, 2006).
“Counterterrorism”. (2014, October 14). Joint Chief of Staff, Joint Publication 3-26, the United States Armed Forces. Retrieved January 25 2016, from http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/ new_pubs/jp3_26.pdf
Katzman, K. (2005, August 17). Al Qaeda: Profile and Threat Assessment. CRS Report for Congress. Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress, United States of America. Retrieved January 25 2016, at https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RL33038.pdf
“National Strategy for Combating Terrorism”. (2006, September). U S Department of State Achieve, The White House. Retrieved January 25 2016, from http://2001-2009. state.gov/ s/ct/rls/wh/71803.htm
Novakoff , R. (2008). Islamic Terrorist Activities in Latin America: Why the Region and the US should be concerned. Air & Space Power Journal, Trimestre 2008. Retrieved January 26 2016, from http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/apjinternational/apj- s/2008/2tri08/novakoffeng.htm
“UN mission to monitor Colombia peace deal with FARC”. (2016, January 25). Aljazeera. Retrieved January 26 2016, from http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/01/mission- monitor-colombia-peace-deal-farc-160125204435329.html
Weinstein, J.M. (2007). Inside rebellion: the politics of insurgent violence. Cambridge University Press: 291.
Wyllie, D. (2011, September 11). 10 years after 9/11: Police counterterrorism, then and now. PoliceOne.com. Retrieved January 25 2016, from https://www.policeone.com/ terrorism/articles/4348766-10-years-after-9-11-Police-counterterrorism-then-and-now/