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Counter-Terrorism

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Today's terrorist landscape is more fluid and complex than ever

For this reason, counterterrorism remains a top priority for this Administration. Our principal terrorist enemies are radical Islamist terrorist groups that seek to conduct attacks globally, violate our borders, and radicalize and recruit potential extremists within the United States and abroad. We continue to face threats from Iran, the most prominent state sponsor of terrorism, through its global network of operatives and its ongoing support to an array of terrorist groups. Terrorists motivated by other forms of extremism also use violence to threaten the homeland and challenge United States interests.

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Terrorism continues to present a serious threat to international peace and security, affecting many UN Member States, their populations and socio-economic development. Within the framework provided by the UN through 19 universal instruments, Security Council resolutions and Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, different challenges and approaches can apply to counter-terrorism efforts at the international, regional and national levels. Recognizing the important role of respect for the Rule of Law and fundamental human rights in effective counter-terrorism measures, the University Module Series on Counter-Terrorism, developed under the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, aims to provide a relevant and valuable resource for lecturers teaching courses on counter-terrorism in universities and academic institutions across the world. The modules seek to enhance students' understanding of terrorism, its implications and related issues by providing foundational knowledge on relevant international, regional and national instruments and approaches. To increase their effectiveness, the modules aim to connect theory to practice, encourage critical thinking, and use innovative interactive teaching approaches such as experiential learning, case studies and group-based work. The modules are multi-disciplinary and can be integrated in a variety of courses ranging from law to international relations, sociology, anthropology, criminology and many other disciplines

Whilst the primary focus is on the United Nations instruments, the modules leave room for diverse perspectives and lecturers can easily adapt them to different local and cultural contexts. Additional pedagogical guidance for lecturers is also provided in the E4J Teaching Guide on Counter-Terrorism.

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One of the most basic strategies that can be employed to counter acts of terrorism perpetrated by individuals is to strengthen the U.S. immigration policies. Most people believe that the U.S. is a land of milk and honey where dreams of prosperity come true. Although this connotation might serve the country in terms of tourism, most migrants find themselves disappointed because they are ill-suited to live in the country. Reasons such as work, education or family must be thoroughly examined before anyone is allowed entry in the U.S. Aside from the strengthening of immigration policies, the gun control legislation of the United States should be reformed. It should be noted that potential terrorist, such as Shabhara and the likes are mostly civilians. The United States’ constitution of being pro-gun is also one the biggest problem that contributes to how potential terrorist can easily arm themselves. One look at statistics of incidents of mass shooting in the U.S., one could not argue that there is indeed a problem with the country’s gun control policies. For example, in 2012, James Holmes armed himself with an M16 semiautomatic rifle, a shotgun, and .40 caliber handguns and perpetrated an indiscriminate shooting spree in a theater in Aurora killing 12 people and injuring 58 individuals (Bisin). In December 14 of the same year, 20 children under the age of 7 was killed including several others which totaled to a casualty of 28 people when a 20 year old gunman opened fire in one of America’s worst school shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School

In fact, these are just few examples of how ordinary civilians such as Holmes and the Sandy Hook gunman obtained such high-caliber pistols that enabled them to shoot indiscriminately in an act of utter destruction. Come to think of it, if only the U.S. have been stricter about gun possession, these incidents could have been avoided. Terror acts such as the one in this case study might randomly occur but with enough precaution and conscious effort, the country could stand a chance and at the least, significantly reduce the frequency and the magnitude of the damage (Gloor, L. 2006.

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Ordinarily, terrorist offences are crimes carried out with the intent to cause terror. Terrorist intent is a circumstance that makes the punishment more severe. So the sentence for an offence carried out with terrorist intent will be harsher than for the basic offence alone

This applies not only to people who carry out attacks but also to those who intend to carry out an attack. For example, planning an attack or completing a terrorist training programme are also criminal offences.

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Bisin, A., & Verdier, T. ‘ BEYOND THE MELTING POT’ : CULTURAL TRANSMISSION, MARRIAGE, AND THE EVOLUTION OF ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS TRAITS.

Gloor, L. From the Melting Pot to the Tossed Salad Metaphor: Why Coercive Assimilation Lacks the Flavors Americans Crave. 2006. November 2014

Loffe, J. "The Boston Bombing Suspects Were Reared by Both Chechnya and America." April 2013.

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