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11th March 2023 (7 Topics)

Categorisation of terrorism on the basis of motivation is ‘dangerous’: India

Context

India has said that the tendency to categorise terrorism on the basis of motivations behind terrorist acts is “dangerous”. 

  • India also asserted that all kinds of terror attacks, whether motivated by Islamophobia, anti-Sikh, anti-Buddhist or anti-Hindu prejudices, are condemnable.

About terrorism

  • Terrorism, by definition, is always a crime, but it can also be a strategy in a war. In the international community (including UN), terrorism has no legally binding, criminal law definition.
  • For the sake of discussion, it can be described as; according to the FBI: “Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

Challenges in Combating Terrorism

  • Terror Financing: IMF and the World Bank estimate that criminals launder up to four trillion dollars annually, which is used to finance terrorism. Terrorists have also used charities and auxiliary remittance methods to conceal their financial movements.
  • Use of Emerging Technology by Terrorists: New advancements in computing and communications, such as widespread internet access, end-to-end encryption, and virtual private network (VPN), have allowed more radicalised people around the world to carry out new kinds of operations, raising the threat.
  • Politicization of Terrorism Countermeasures: To varying degrees, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (P5) have used their veto power to block efforts to identify terrorists.
  • Terrorism through social networking: Terrorist networks and their "ideological fellow-travelers" now have powerful tools at their disposal in the form of social media platforms.

Framework for Combating Terrorism in India

  • India recently hosted a special meeting of the UNSC's Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC), with theme of 'Countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes' 
  • India also hosted the meeting of “No Money For Terror“, which was initiative of the French government, to specifically focus on cooperation between countries to choke terror funding.
  • In August 2019, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act of 1967 was revised to include the ability to label individuals as terrorists.
  • National Investigation Agency is the lead law enforcement investigative agency to combat terrorism.
    • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act of 2008 has been amended by the Indian Parliament to give NIA the ability to investigate terrorism cases overseas.

Way Forward

  • Re-energizing the Global Counter-Terrorism Agenda: It is essential to re-energize the global counter-terrorism agenda by highlighting the necessity of cooperation and limiting the P5's veto power over the identification of terrorists globally.
  • Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT): In 1986, India proposed a draft document on Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) at the UN. However, it is yet to be adopted by the UNGA. It should be implemented in letter and spirit.
  • Curbing Terror Funding: Strengthened laws that mandate due diligence on clients and the reporting of suspicious transactions are needed to stop the funding of terrorism.
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