The new international community and the phenomenon of terrorism

Prepared by: Hamad Qaddoura – Arab Democratic Center

One of the most dangerous challenges facing the new international community is the phenomenon of terrorism, which has varied forms and identical colors, as its topic has become the top concern of the contemporary international community, as it poses a very important threat to international peace and security. Terrorism is a political phenomenon that does not have a legal description. Therefore, it is difficult to find a concept for it around which all jurists can be gathered [1] . It can be diagnosed, treated or reduced.

Terrorism is an ancient and modern phenomenon, as the first agreement to prevent and punish terrorism was in 1937 [2] following the assassination of the King of Yugoslavia and the French Prime Minister in 1934, and the world’s preoccupation with terrorism increased after the events of 1972 [3] the killing of members of the Israeli sports team, and after my attacks, New York and Washington On September 11, 2001. (4)

Today, no party can assert, regardless of the experience it possesses, and whatever its familiarity with global events, that this region or this region of the world is immune to or free from terrorism. If today is struck here, it may strike tomorrow there, and in the face of conflicting interests of states and some of them investing in terrorism, the same criminal act here has become called terrorism, and there it is considered a legitimate act and self-defense, and for the defense of violated rights. National liberation movements in this place are considered national resistance for the right of peoples to self-determination, and in another place they are considered terrorism that calls for punishing and fighting their perpetrators. The views of the active forces in the modern international community of terrorism have varied. The adoption of a unified concept of terrorism has not taken place. Concepts have multiplied with the multiplicity of opinions and ideas in which this or that jurist believes. The dispute over defining the nature of terrorism is a purely ideological difference. (5)Considering that the concept of terrorism in its current form is considered a modern phenomenon, the old references were exposed to acts of violence. Where groups emerged that practiced physical violence throughout long human history. To intimidate people in order to achieve declared or secret political goals.

The first branch: the emergence of terrorism:

Paul Honson says that “mankind has descended little by little, in an almost perceptible way towards a terrorist era.” [6] Some researchers refer the issue of terrorism to the nature of man and his love to control and extend his influence over others by force, by intimidating and terrifying them, [7] These acts, which are represented in: killing, assassinating, burning, detonating, demolishing homes, temples, and institutions … are intended to reach those who carried out that terrorist act to his goal, usually ending an existing political or social situation, and establishing an alternative situation.

History books mentioned the emergence of a group of hard-liners Jews, in the first century AD, when this group terrorized and killed the rich Jews cooperating with the Roman occupier in some areas of Palestine, called the men of the daggers (Sicarii Zealots). In the eleventh century AD, a band of Assassins appeared, which spread terror among the people, and among the rulers in Iran and in Mesopotamia (today’s Syria, Iraq), the Assassins succeeded in achieving their political goals through murder and terror, over two centuries. In the modern era, the term terrorisme was used for the first time in 1795 (a French word derived from the Latin word terrere, meaning “intimidation”). The word was used to describe the methods used by the French political group (Jacobin Club) after the French Revolution during the period that defined In the name of the Reign of Terror (Règne de la terreur) in France. These methods included the intimidation, silencing, and arrest of every voice opposing the symbols and tendencies of the French Revolution.

The opponents of the authority were described as terrorists, and the opposition boasted of being a terrorist, as the anti-colonialists of the West in our Arab region boast as a “fable.” She was a member of a group opposing the government of Tsarist Russia called the Anarchism, shouting, “I am a terrorist, not a murderer.” The word “war on terror” was used for the first time in the forties of the century by the British Mandate authorities on the land of Palestine against Zionist groups (Arjun and Stern organizations), which began targeting Palestinian civilians by force and in a brutal manner in order to terrorize them and displace them from their villages. The British authorities launched this media campaign with the title:

Amidst the path of globalization, the Americanization of the universe and the fascination of people with the new world order, an event occurred that shook the pillars of the superpower, on the morning of September 11, 2001 [8] , a strange event in its occurrence and its immediate and future dimensions. “The US Department of Defense in Washington (in which more than 3,000 lives were lost), the most recent major changes in US policy – which became the undisputed superpower in the world in the new international order – followed those attacks [9]. It began with the United States declaring a war on terror, it entered a war against Afghanistan, overthrowing and occupying the Taliban regime in late 2001. Iraq was occupied, and President Saddam Hussein’s rule was ended in 2003, claiming his possession of weapons of mass destruction and his relationship with terrorism, and it lied later in the American government circles. The same allegations, and showed that the justifications for the war on Iraq were invalid. Determining the fate of the peoples of the world has become subject to the will of the United States of America, which has made use of all the means of power that it possesses to dominate and control the fate of humanity. The principle of self-determination has become characterized by a suspicion of terrorism when those who demand it contradict their orientations with the new world order that the United States preaches, whereby the Palestinian resistance fights for the liberation of his land from the occupying Zionist usurper. [10]He who has violated all prohibitions in international law and human values ​​is a terrorist, and the Zionist occupier is described as the defender of his legitimate right to live in peace and its regional security. The word terrorism has become a terrorist recipe for every individual or group who uses religion in political matters, such as Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and anyone who uses religion as a justification for using violence against others. [11] Some Western countries wanted to attach terrorism to the Islamic religion in particular, [12]This description has become a source of embarrassment and concern for Muslims in Western homes, and in recent years, anti-Muslim currents have emerged and their presence in Western countries. It also classifies all Arab resistance movements that target the Zionist occupation of Palestine, whether inside or outside Palestine, as terrorist organizations. The war on terror took many aspects: media, economic, security and military, and in most cases it targeted sovereign countries and members of the United Nations, on the pretext that it financed or embraced terrorist groups.

The second branch: the concept of terrorism

One of the most difficult deeds facing jurists today [13] is the lack of consensus around a unified fiqhi concept of terrorism. So when the word terrorism is presented today, you may not find any problem in its linguistic definition. All dictionaries are combined with the fact that terrorism is every action that the perpetrator aims to intimidate, intimidate and intimidate people for a purpose that the terrorist actress wants to achieve. However, the difficulty in the unified jurisprudential concept was not an obstacle to the jurisprudence of the jurists. Rather, many jurisprudential studies were issued on arriving at an accurate concept of terrorism. Because reaching an accurate concept that satisfies everyone ends many practical and theoretical problems related to international terrorism. [14]

The linguistic definition of terrorism: It is a derivation of an act of terror, terror, terror and intimidation [15] : It is said that Amr Zaida terrorized, meaning his fear and terror. In Al-Wasit and Al-Munjid Lexicon: A terrorist is someone who resorts to terrorism to establish his authority and achieve his political goals. [16] Terrorist rule is a type of rule based on terrorism and violence intentional by governments or revolutionary groups. In the dictionary of the pioneer: Terrorism is horror caused by acts of violence such as killing, throwing explosives or sabotage. A terrorist is someone who resorts to terrorism by killing, throwing explosives, or sabotaging to establish power or undermine others. As for terrorist rule, it is a type of tyranny that is based on a policy of treating people with severity and violence in order to eliminate liberation and independence tendencies and movements.

The illustrated Arabic dictionary “the master” [17] defines it as: terror, and violence that accompanies intimidation or sabotage, and the terrorist is the one who practices terrorism and resorts to terrorism to obtain his goal, noting that the old Arabic dictionaries are devoid of the words terrorism and terrorist because they are recent terms used. Old times did not know them [18] .

The French dictionary LAROUSSE defines terrorism as: “A set of violent acts (assassinations, hostage-taking) committed by a party against a group, country or regime to create an insecure climate…”.

“Set of acts of violence (attacks, hostage-taking, etc.) committed by an organization or an individual to create a climate of insecurity, to blackmail a government, to satisfy a hatred towards ‘a community, a country, a system. ” [19]

كما يعرفه القاموس السياسي الفرنسي: TOUPICTIONNAIRE [20] Etymology  : from Latin  terror , terror. The word terrorism was first used in November 1794 to designate the  “doctrine of the partisans of Terror”  during the French Revolution.
The  terrorism  means the use of violence  by certain political organizations  to achieve their goals  : to pressure the state compel  people  to obedience, publicize a cause, promote an  ideology … .The terrorism can take the form attacks, assassinations, kidnappings, sabotage, acts of intimidation , etc. Beyond the direct victims, who are often civilians, terrorism seeks to  strike  public opinion , to intimidate it , by creating a climate of terror and fear. A terrorist is one who carries out acts of terrorism.

If the concept of terrorism is presented as a term, then you will find a number of concepts. Some of them mentioned that there were ninety nine (109) [21] definitions of terrorism, and you did not find a single accurate definition of the meaning of the word terrorism, for each concept indicates its intellectual and ideological orientation, its position, its goals, and its interest From that terrorist operation. Arafa “Sutil ” : » a criminal act coupled with horror or violence with a view to a specific target», and knows the FBI as: «unlawful use of force and violence against human beings and their property and their property, in order to compel the government or society to achieve political goals, or a particular social». [22]

A big difference in the concept of terrorism and its various uses. From all this, it becomes evident that the phenomenon of terrorism does not have a precise legal definition, even from a formal point of view, about what is meant by international terrorism. Judge “Baxter” says in that “the term lacks precision, is vague and most of all, it does not serve an effective legal purpose” [23] . Many jurists have attempted to develop a definition of terrorism, among them the professor of international law, Sherif Bassiouni [24] . The meetings of the Regional Committee of Experts in Vienna, organized by the United Nations in March 1988, adopted this definition: “Terrorism is an internationally prohibited strategy of violence, motivated by ideological and ideological motives that provoke Creating terrifying violence within a special segment of a particular society to achieve access to power or propaganda for a demand or grievance, regardless of whether the perpetrators of violence act for themselves and on their behalf or on behalf of a state.[25] . This definition is a policy phenomenon and not a legal definition and description of a real situation. It can be said that the term terrorism has no verified or precise legal content, or that there is no legal or even political definition that is generally accepted as an acknowledgment of reality [26] .

The jurists of international law and political science in the contemporary international community did not gather in spite of their jurisprudence around a unified concept of terrorism, and despite the issuance of many international and regional agreements denouncing and criminalizing acts of violence and acknowledging the safety of air and sea transport, but they did not address an understandable definition of the term terrorism. It is not a reason for their experience. The phenomenon is a political phenomenon with a fluid concept on the part of the great powers, the actors at the center of international decision-making and their practices on the international stage, which are in fact subject to the whim of those powers that are not subject to legal principles or objective standards.

Among the most important of these international and regional agreements are: [27]

The Montreal Convention in Canada for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence against the Safety of Civil Aviation, signed on December 23, 1971 [28] … and annexed to a protocol, dated February 24, 1988, relating to terrorist acts that employ international civil aviation [29] . Rome Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Maritime Navigation of March 10, 1988. Agreements relating to terrorist bomb attacks were adopted on December 15, 1997, and the Convention for the Suppression of Nuclear Terrorism was adopted on April 15, 2005.

Several regional agreements have also been issued:

The Convention on the Protection of Terrorism was signed on May 16, 2005, within the framework of the European Council.

– The adoption of the Convention against International Terrorism on July 1, 1999, in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The same is true within the framework of the League of Arab States on April 22, 1998. In the same context, the Organization of African Unity Agreement (the African Union now) was signed to prevent and combat terrorism [30] . However, the agreements issued by Arab, African and Islamic organizations, although they also did not give an accurate concept of terrorism, but they were distinguished from other conventions in that they distinguished between terrorism and resistance, which are aimed at achieving national liberation, defeating the colonialists, and the right to self-determination even if these actions take on a character Armed struggle.

Some world powers see the armed national liberation movements as terrorist organizations, others see them as resistance movements to defeat the occupying usurper, and for the sake of those peoples’ right to self-determination. [31]The same terrorist act and from the same organization at a time and location is considered terrorism, and at different times and places it is considered a resistive and legitimate act, and this is what we see today in what the same terrorist groups carry out bombings in the West, or against Israel, is considered terrorism, and when the same action is carried out by the same group In Syria, it is considered resistance and defense of rights and freedoms against an oppressive regime. This duality of measures has led to the failure of most international efforts to reach an accurate and common understanding of the reality of terrorism, and this has prevented agreement on a degree of international cooperation to combat it. The international conference held in 1973 to discuss terrorism and political crime concluded that “the lack of a clear understanding of the reasons that lead to the practice of activities that create the state of terrorism is the obstacle that prevents the uprooting of terrorism and its roots.”

The CIA introduced the concept of terrorism in 1980 as: “The threat to use violence or use violence for political purposes by individuals or groups, whether they work for or against an existing governmental authority, and when the intent of those actions is to cause shock, panic, or awe, Or the terror of the target group, which is usually wider than the circle of direct victims of the terrorist act. ”

Some American legal committees in 1975 identified terrorism in several types, including:
– Political terrorism.
Civilian anarchy.
Non-political terrorism.

Limited political terrorism. .
Official terrorism or state terrorism.

However, the Arab Committee of Experts meeting in Tunis from 22 to 24 August 1989 gave terrorism a concept that is the most comprehensive and clear form of it. As this concept stipulated that: “Terrorism is an organized act of violence or the threat of it, which causes panic or terror through acts of murder, assassination, hostage-taking, hijacking of planes, detonating explosives, etc., which creates a state of terror, chaos and turmoil, with the aim of achieving political goals Whether it is carried out by a state or a group of individuals against another country or another group of individuals, except in cases of legitimate national armed struggle for liberation and access to the right to self-determination in the face of all forms of domination or colonial, occupying, racial or other forces, and as such. Especially the liberation movements recognized by the United Nations, the international community, and regional organizations, so that their actions are limited to the military or economic objectives of the colonizer, occupier or enemy and are not contrary to the principles of human rights.

 The third branch: terrorism and spreading a culture of fear

Some see terrorism as spreading a culture of fear among people to achieve political goals, to subordinate peoples and governments to the will of the makers of terrorism, and it is mostly the work of intelligence and secret organizations affiliated with them to spread terror and fear among people, see Zbghiu Brzezinski, the national security advisor in the United States of America under the president Jimmy Carter, in the War on Terror, created a culture of fear, intentionally intimidating people “because it obscures the mind, intensifies emotions, and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public with the policies they wish to pass.” This is what populist parties in the West are doing today against immigrants of color, especially Muslims among them, and spread terror among people that every Muslim is a terrorist, so do not approach him or deal with him, especially after every terrorist operation in which the perpetrator becomes aware of a Muslim (Islamophobia), and during the election campaigns. French National Front (front national, F. N) An extremist right-wing party, knowing that it changed its name to the national rassemblement, in its first election campaign in 1978 under the slogan that has become history: “One million unemployed means one million extra immigrants.” Since its inception in 1972, his speech has focused on security, the fight against religious terrorism, and illegal immigration.

The fourth branch : the diversity of forms of terrorism :

What Ethiopia and Turkey are doing in establishing huge dams on international rivers (the Nile River, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers), which reduces the water level for Egypt and Sudan, which are located at the mouth of the Nile River (a dispute over the establishment of the Renaissance Dam by the Ethiopian state), and the problem of Syria and Iraq with Turkey is about the waters of Mesopotamia (the Tigris and the Euphrates) and what the Zionist entity is doing in terms of excessive exploitation of the waters of the neighboring countries of occupied Palestine, which is today expressed in water wars or thirst terror. This includes desertification, famine, and unregulated migration. Bioterrorism has also emerged, as it is a type of weapon that poses a threat to human safety and nature. There are many laboratories that manufacture chemicals, and nuclear reactors, some of which are capable of killing millions of people in moments, if used, or lost control, and spread in the atmosphere or leaked into the ground, so the accident of the “Chernobyl” nuclear reactor explosion in Ukraine on April 6, 1986, It is still stuck in the minds of millions of people, as the heat and nuclear radiation spread in all the countries neighboring Ukraine, Belarus, and the winds helped carry them to Poland, the Scandinavian countries and the Czechs, and from there to Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, and the explosion of the reactor when it occurred caused the death of thirty-one (31) workers and men Extinguishing the station due to direct exposure to nuclear radiation. The area surrounding the Chernobyl reactor has witnessed a significant increase in thyroid cancer rates more than any other types of cancer, especially among those who were 18 years old at the time of the disaster.[32] According to official statistics of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, 2.3 million of the country’s population were still suffering, until recently, in varying forms of the disaster, and that 1.4 million hectares of agricultural land in Ukraine and Belarus were contaminated with contaminated radiation.

JENNY PRESTO, a writer in the same aforementioned magazine, considered that the culture of fear that emerged in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, and the successive anthrax attacks were not natural emerging fears, but fears manufactured from top to bottom from any politician to the masses and promoted by media. Because this has a negative impact on peoples’ devotion to self-determination of their political, social, economic, and scientific destiny, for their efforts to advance and grow, to catch up with the ranks of advanced nations, and to participate positively in building human civilization, and to get rid of the abhorrent dependency that has crippled peoples to move through their interests and build their sovereign and independent states In which the individual enjoys freedom, dignity and a decent life.

 [1] Dr. Aziz Shukry – International Terrorism A Critical Legal Study – First Edition – Dar Al-Alam Al-Malayn 1991 – p. 45.

   288 Abd al-Rahman Abu al-Nasr, Legality of the use of force regarding the right to self-determination and its relationship to international terrorism in light of public international law and Islamic law, Faculty of Law – Al-Azhar University in Gaza, Journal of Al-Azhar University in Gaza, Human Sciences Series 2006, Volume VIII, Issue 1, p. 138.

 [3] The Munich accident on September 5, 1972, which resulted in the death of 11 Israeli athletes.

 Dr.. Abdul Majeed Al-Abdali, previous source, p. 524. [4]

[5] Ale.P.Schmidt and Albert .I. Jongman et al,Polical Terrorism,Swidoc,Amsterdam and Transaction Books,1988 ,p.5.

 Dr.. Muhammadi Bouzina Amna, previous source, p. 23. [6]

[7]   Saad Saleh Shikati Najm al-Jubouri, Terrorist Crimes in Criminal Law, A Comparative Study of Objective Judgments, New University House, Alexandria, 2013, p. 21.

 (8) Dr. Mahmoud Bouzina Amna, Mixing Terrorism and Resistance and its Impact on the Palestinian Cause, New University House, Alexandria, 2019, p. 8-9. See also: See the General Assembly resolution condemning these attacks on 1/56 of 12 September 2001, and the report of the Working Group on Policies on the United Nations and Terrorism Document No. 875 A / 57 / 273-5 / 2003 /

Mentioned in Abd al-Rahman Abu al-Nasr, a previous source, p. 140.

[9] Sofie Body –Gendord, The American society, after September 11, 2001, France, Political science press ،, 2002 ، p. 124

 Dr.. Mahmoudi Bouzina Amna, previous source, p. 11. [10]

  [11] Adel Abdullah Al-Masdi, The War against Terrorism and Legal Defense in Light of the Provisions of International Law with a Study of the Legality of the Use of Armed Force by the United States in Response to the September 11, 2001 Attacks, First Edition, Dar Al-Nahda Al-Arabiya, Cairo, 2006, p. . 15 Mentioned in Dr. Mohammadi Bouzina Amna, previous source, p. 22.

 Abd al-Rahman Abu al-Nasr, a previous source, p. 126. [12]

[13] Lauren Langman and Dougاlas Morris, islamic Terrorism .From Retrenchment to Resentment and Beyond  in Essential Readings in Politiical  Terrorism , Harvey  Kushner Ed.  New   York : Gordian knot   Press,   ( University of  Nebraska ) ,2002, p. 01.مذكور في المصدر السابق ،ص .24 :

See also: Imam Hassanein, Terrorism and the National Liberation Wars, 1st Edition, Dar Misr El Mahrousa, Cairo, 2002, p. 8.

 Mentioned in: Dr. Mohammadi Bouzina Amna, ibid. 25 [14]

 Mentioned in Nizar Karmi, previous source, p. 11. [15]

 Same as the previous source. [16]

 Same as the previous source. [17]

 Mahmoud Daoud Yacoub, The Legal Concept of Terrorism, Zain Human Rights Publications, Lebanon, 2012, p. 61. [18]

[19] LAROUSSE encyclopedic dictionary:

[20] French political dictionary toupictionary.

 [21] Hammad, K. Terrorism and Resistance in Light of Public International Law, University Foundation for Studies, Publishing and Distribution, Beirut, 2003. p. 29.

 [22] Makhzoumi Omar Mahmoud Suleiman, The Concept of Terrorism in International Law and its Distinction from Armed Struggle, Master’s Thesis in International Law,

The League of Arab States, Cairo, 2000, p. 17, p. 21.

R.Baxter, A Skeptical look at the concept of Terrorism, 7 Akron Low Rev. 380 , 1974. [23]

 Sherif Bassiouni, an American of Egyptian descent, is an expert in public international law, and has served on the United Nations legal committees. [24]

[25] C.H.Pyle. The political Offense exception in Bassioune(ed). Legal Responses to

International Terrorism, US Procedural Aspects, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1988 P. 23

    [26] Aziz Shukry – International Terrorism A Critical Legal Study – First Edition – Dar Al-Ilm Al-Malayn 1991 – Page 47.

 Dr.. Abdul Majeed Al-Abdali, a previous source, p. 554 -555 – 556. [27]

[28]  Damour, C, Legality of International Sanctions and International Intervention Against Libya, Sudan, Somalia, First Edition, The New Company. Printing and Publishing, Amman, Jordan, 2004, p. 17.

 Dr.. Abd al-Majid al-Abdali, same source as the previous source. [29]

 Same as the previous source. [30]

[31] Kamal Hammad, Terrorism and Resistance in Light of Public International Law, University Foundation for Publishing, Beirut, First Edition Beirut, 2003, p. 22.

[32] Marc Lallanilla, Chernobyl, Nuclear Disaster Facts, Living Science Contributor, September 25, 2013 tchernobyl .htm .

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Relations in addition to a Master's degree in International Security Studies. Alongside this, I have a passion for web development. During my studies, I acquired a strong understanding of fundamental political concepts and theories in international relations, security studies, and strategic studies.

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