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FUTURE TRENDS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
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Terrorism in a High-Tech Society: Legal Aspects and Contemporary Methods of Preventing and Countering Terrorist Activity Aleksandr V. Zmeevsky * Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Humanity's entrance into the twenty-first century is significantly clouded by the growth of terrorist danger. Each year, hundreds of people fall victim to terrorist acts. The methods used by terrorists are becoming ever more diversified and refined. As the number of terrorist and extremist groups rises, these groups are also becoming better equipped technically. The threat of "terrorism of mass destruction" is becoming ever more realistic. The danger of terrorists penetrating computer networks is increasing many times over. On the whole, the "informa- tion boom" has become a sort of springboard in the development of terrorism. The interweaving of terrorism, narcobusiness, and other manifestations of orga- nized crime causes deep concern. The financial base of contemporary terrorism is widening. The border between terrorist acts committed in peacetime and those carried out in the context of armed conflicts is being erased. On the whole, international crises and conflicts are providing favorable grounds for terrorism. Terrorists are easily able to use interethnic conflicts and interreligious contradic- tions to achieve their goals. They are able to unite. The reality of our day is that the terrorist international is creating a threat not only to the security of individual states, but also to international stability on the whole. It is possible to fight this common enemy only by working together. In the general effort to counter the terrorist danger, it is difficult to overesti- mate the role of international law. It is on the basis of international law that the international community has succeeded in rising above political-ideological, na- tional-ethnic, religious, and other contradictions and prejudices and forming a system of global countermeasures against various terrorist challenges. This sys- * Translated from the Russian by Rita S. Guenther. 235
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236 HIGH-IMPACT TERRORISM tem currently includes 12 active, universal, antiterrorist treaties on combating various manifestations of terrorism on land, at sea, and in the air. The contemporary system of multilateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism took shape primarily in the last four decades. On the global level, it functions under the aegis of the United Nations and its special institutions, first and foremost the Institute for International Relations, the International Civil Avi- ation Organization, and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Antiterrorist conventions contain provisions defining the general legal frame- work necessary for the organization of an effective international rebuff to terror- ism. These provisions include obligations to suppress terrorist acts, including to disarm and detain persons suspected or found guilty of perpetrating such acts, to exchange appropriate information, and to provide the maximum degree of mutu- al legal assistance. Undoubtedly, there is great significance in the convention provisions calling on signatories to ensure inevitable punishment for criminals by affirming so-called universal criminal jurisdiction based on the principle of aut dedere aut judicare. This requires the state in which a criminal is found either to subject him to criminal prosecution or to extradite him to another state for this purpose. Terrorism is an extremely multifaceted phenomenon: there are political, le- gal, psychological, philosophical, historical, technical, and other aspects in- volved. It is no coincidence that the international community has not managed to develop a universally accepted legal definition of terrorism, although the essen- tial nature of this phenomenon is understood by all. These characteristic features include illegal violence (using weapons, as a rule), a desire to intimidate broad segments of the population, and innocent victims. There is also an international element, when the matter concerns terrorist acts that cross state borders. It is within the framework of this global system for antiterrorist cooperation that the underlying principles of international collaboration in the battle against this phenomenon were formed and are developing. The first such principle is that generally recognized principles and norms of international law are to be followed steadfastly in the struggle against terrorism. Another very important principle is that there should be universal condemnation and acknowledgment of the illegality of terrorism in all of its manifestations, wherever and by whomever terrorist acts may be committed. Another key point is the principle of international cooperation in the struggle against terrorism. This includes active cooperation to eliminate the root causes lying at the foundation of this phenomenon, cooperation within the framework of international treaties, development of new agreements, the taking of practical measures to prevent attempted acts of terrorism (by exchanging informa- tion and coordinating necessary measures), and the rendering of mutual criminal procedural assistance. The effectiveness of antiterrorist cooperation is directly con- nected with the principle of ensuring that those persons who have committed crimes are inevitably held to criminal responsibility. The United Nations has made historical contributions to the formation of the
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FUTURE TRENDS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION 237 basic parameters for global antiterrorist cooperation and has become the center of global opposition to terrorism. Various aspects of cooperation among states in the fight against terrorism are regularly discussed at the UN General Assembly and its subunits, UN special institutions, the UN Commission on Human Rights, and UN congresses on crime prevention and the treatment of offenders. Countering terrorism is not among the key areas of activity of the UN Security Council. The focus of its attention, according to the UN Charter, lies primarily in questions of maintaining international peace and security. At the same time, as terrorism has gone beyond the limits of national boundaries and individual regions, it has gradually become a real global challenge. The Security Council is therefore devoting more attention to searching for responses to the growing terrorist threat, especially where it impacts questions of peace and security. Until recently, the Security Council dealt with antiterrorist problems for the most part in the context of specific situations related to the scope of its primary interests. One of the first attempts in the Security Council at considering specific situations where the terrorist threat had consequences for peace and security was the July 1976 operation by Israeli commandos to free hostages being held at Entebbe. Due to the divergent positions of its members, the Security Council could not produce a clear-cut position regarding this action. UN Security Council Resolutions 1269 (1999) and 1333 (2000) may be considered the clearest examples of the imposition of sanctions according to Chapter VII of the UN Charter in reaction to the threat of international terrorism in connection to a specific situation. They are aimed at the Taliban movement, which refuses to comply with the demands of the Security Council regarding the termination of support for terrorism on the territory it controls in Afghanistan. Among other points, the sanction limitations call on the Taliban to stop granting asylum to international terrorists and their organizations, to hand over Osama bin Laden, and to close all terrorist training camps. The most severe measure established by Resolution 1333 (2000) is the uni- lateral embargo on the shipment of weapons to the Taliban. That step completes a wide range of sanctions, including a ban on flights by Taliban aircraft, the freezing of Taliban financial accounts, limits on embassy and consular staffs, the closure of Taliban offices abroad, et cetera. As stipulated in Resolution 1333 (2000), the mechanism of international monitoring of compliance (particularly with those sections concerning obser- vance of the embargo on arms shipments and the closing of terrorist training camps) is intended to be an effective means of putting the sanction decisions into practice. In addition, paragraph 18 of Resolution 1333 contains an appeal to states to institute criminal proceedings against persons or entities within their jurisdiction that violate the measures of the given resolution, with appropriate measures of punishment to be applied. In 1999, on the initiative of Russia, the Security Council for the first time
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238 HIGH-IMPACT TERRORISM began a comprehensive examination of the topic of terrorism unrelated to any specific situation, which would create a threat to peace and security. The council was spurred to take this action by the global scale of the terrorist danger, includ- ing its capability to create a threat to the peace and security of all states. Adopted at the conclusion of this session, Resolution 1269 (1999) contains an unconditional condemnation of all acts, methods, and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of motives, in all forms and manifestations, wherever and by whomever they are committed. This especially pertains to those who could threaten international peace and security. The Security Council calls upon all states to carry out international antiterrorist conventions in full and to join forces with other states that are cosignatories to these agreements. It also proposes that as-yet-unratified conventions be adopted as soon as possible. The council pays special attention to the vitally important role of the United Nations in strengthen- ing international cooperation in the fight against terrorism. It contains urgent stra- tegic and practical measures that should be undertaken by states in the area of antiterrorist cooperation. These include the following: strengthening the legal bases for international cooperation in the struggle against terrorism by fully imple- menting existing antiterrorist conventions and ratifying new agreements; improv- ing coordination among governments and international and regional organizations; facilitating coordinated activities to protect citizens from attempted terrorist acts; preventing and suppressing acts of terrorism; ensuring the inevitability of punish- ment for terrorists; and preventing the granting of asylum to them. The preamble of the resolution touches on the topic of state-supported ter- rorism. Specifically, it points out that suppressing acts of international terrorism in which states are involved "is an essential contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security." In the development of this resolution, the Security Council ratified a state- ment from its chairman regarding the struggle against terrorism. Adopted at a meeting on December 6, 2000, which was convened on the initiative of Russia, the statement expresses deep concern over the increasing frequency of terrorist acts in many regions of the world. The Security Council condemns all such acts regardless of where or by whom they are committed. The council once again confirmed its readiness to take appropriate measures in accord with its obliga- tions under the UN Charter to counter threats to international peace and security resulting from terrorism. In the aim of strengthening international antiterrorist cooperation, the Security Council called on all states that have not already done so to immediately examine the question of adhering to existing antiterrorist con- ventions. The council has resolved to continue to study this question. Under the aegis of the United Nations, states have succeeded on the whole in defining the general political-legal framework for joint opposition to terror- ism. Under the influence of this framework, various configurations of influential antiterrorist coalitions have formed. However, it would be premature to speak of the formation of a universal antiterrorist front of states.
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FUTURE TRENDS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION 239 Unregulated conflicts are exerting serious negative influence on the effec- tiveness of cooperation in this sphere, first and foremost under the aegis of the United Nations. Appeals continue to be made to the effect that the struggle of national liberation movements should not be equated with terrorism, although it is clear that the entire question is that this struggle should not be conducted with terrorist methods. That is to say, one must not hijack civilian airplanes, shoot at buses full of tourists, or conduct similar activities. Appeals are being made just as insistently to equate terrorism with those activities of states that are contradic- tory to international law, although it is obvious that aggression, occupation, or violation of the Geneva Convention is very bad, but not terrorism. Time passes, political regimes fade into the past, and new leaders appear, but the fuse of confrontation still remains. The task now is to move international cooperation in the battle against ter- rorism once and for all under the aegis of the United Nations, as well as to move other forums from the plane of political-ideological opposition to the sphere of practical action. The legacy of confrontation can be surmounted through con- crete work. A new, extremely important, and hopeful moment in the fight against terror- ism has been the development of parameters for specific joint actions in the given sphere by the Group of Eight (G-8) countries. Naturally, these states by virtue of their political, economic, and other influence possess considerable ca- pabilities for eradicating the terrorist threat on our planet. We highly value the 25 practical recommendations worked out in 1996 by the Paris Conference of G-8 Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Security, which addressed not only these countries, but also the entire world community. In final documents of subsequent G-8 summits, a program of further actions was formu- lated in the sphere of combating terrorism, including a number of new elements. Specifically with regard to the possible use of computer systems by terrorists to accomplish their goals, these elements include the prevention of terrorist acts aimed at the electronic and computer infrastructure. In recent times, it seems that fresh impulses to breathe new life into global cooperation in fighting terrorism have come primarily from efforts being under- taken on the regional level. Impressive political-legal potential has accumulated on the European conti- nent. The 1977 European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism operates under the aegis of the Council of Europe. Russia recently became a participant. A mechanism also exists for joint antiterrorist actions by the countries of the European Union (specifically, within the framework of the so-called Trevi Group). Problems of antiterrorist cooperation are regulated by the corresponding provisions of final documents from the Helsinki, Madrid, Vienna, and Istanbul conferences of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Cooperation in the battle against terrorism was also strengthened within the framework of conventions of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooper-
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240 HIGH-IMPACT TERRORISM ation (SAARC), the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Organiza- tion of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The realities being confronted by Russia and the other states of the former Soviet Union demand that they too take immediate joint measures to create an effective legal mechanism for antiterrorist cooperation. Within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a system of multi- lateral security mechanisms has taken shape, and this system is already being used or could be used to repel terrorist threats. A Treaty on Cooperation in the Fight against Terrorism is in effect. The June 2000 CIS summit saw the ratification of an intergovernmental Program of Cooperation on Combating Terrorism and Other Manifestations of Extremism for the period through 2003. The CIS Antiterrorist Center has begun its opera- tions. Plans also call for the possibility of opening branches of the center in various regions of the CIS if necessary. An important result of the process of consolidating efforts within the CIS framework and developing cooperation with the world community was the con- ference "International Terrorism: Sources and Prevention," which was held by the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly on April 17-19, 2001, in St. Petersburg. Conference participants included parliamentary delegations from CIS Inter- parliamentary Assembly member states; leaders and staff of law enforcement, military, and security agencies of CIS members; representatives of international organizations; and prominent scholars. The results of the conference demonstrate that today, within the framework of the CIS, a defined system of norms and rules has been created to regulate cooperation among the law enforcement agencies of CIS member states in combat- ing international terrorism and other manifestations of extremism. At the same time, the extent of development of a unified legal space to support such efforts still does not fully correspond to the extent of the terrorist threat within CIS territory. Emphasis was placed on the need for legislative bodies of CIS states to focus their efforts on forming a unified and well-ordered legal base as a founda- tion for effective cooperation among the law enforcement agencies of CIS countries. In particular, the conference definitively condemned the practice of terror- ism as criminal and without justification, regardless of its motives. It called on all parliaments of the Interparliamentary Assembly member states to ratify and carry out other procedures within their own countries to ensure the implementa- tion of documents on combating international terrorism ratified at the highest CIS levels. The provisions of international antiterrorist conventions must also be fully implemented. The conference also recommended that the Interparlia- mentary Assembly Council define a principle of standardizing and harmonizing to the maximum extent the national legislation of Assembly member states in the fight against this evil. It appealed to all conference participants to step up efforts to prevent the planning and financing of any acts of terrorism on the territory of their states and to facilitate international cooperation in this sphere.
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FUTURE TRENDS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION 241 The 1999 Collective Security Treaty is a tried and tested instrument in coun- tering international terrorism, having proven its effectiveness during the events in southern Kyrgyzstan. The steps taken by its participants to adapt the treaty to current geopolitical realities are substantially reinforcing its antiterrorist compo- nents. For instance, the Committee of Secretaries of the CIS Security Council has been created. Among its tasks is coordination of cooperation among CIS member states in the fight against terrorism and extremism. The Shanghai Forum is becoming an increasingly weighty component of interstate cooperation in the interests of security, stability, and development in the region. At the Dushanbe meeting of the heads of state of the five member countries in June 2000, the parties confirmed their determination to fight jointly against international terrorism, religious extremism, and national separatism, which represent "the main threat to regional security, stability, and develop- ment," as emphasized in the meeting's final declaration. They committed them- selves to develop an appropriate cooperative program and to conclude the neces- sary multilateral treaties and agreements that will create an organizational-legal basis for cooperation in this sphere. The parties agreed to organize multilateral antiterrorism training exercises, taking into account the development of the situ- ation, and they supported the initiative of Kyrgyzstan on creating a regional antiterrorist unit to be headquartered in Bishkek. Naturally, cooperation in fighting terrorism is also developing on a bilateral level. It is a very important element of global efforts of states in this sphere. In such cases, where the level of trust between partners is highest, the practical return from their cooperation increases accordingly. One clear example of such cooperation is the activity of the Russian-Amer- ican and Russian-Indian working groups on countering the terrorist threat ema- nating from Afghanistan, which were created as a result of decisions by high- ranking officials. These groups are studying the challenges to regional and international stability arising as a result of Taliban support for terrorism and developing concrete measures aimed at countering this threat. Thus, in the course of the third meeting of the Russian-American group, which was held in Wash- ington in May 2000, Russia and the United States agreed to continue both on a bilateral basis and in international forums their consideration of specific mea- sures to counter the threats of terrorism and narcotics coming from Afghanistan. They will also continue joint work in support of further efforts aimed at develop- ing an effective monitoring mechanism with regard to sanctions imposed by the Security Council with the goal of spurring the Taliban to stop supporting terror- ism and to close terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Current international cooperation in the fight against terrorism is developing in a relatively dynamic fashion. However, its potential is by no means exhausted. We believe that the fundamental areas for increasing the effectiveness of antiter- rorist cooperation are as follows. First of all, the question must focus on strengthening the legal foundation
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242 HIGH-IMPACT TERRORISM for such cooperation. In the aim of making cooperation truly universal, it is important that every effort be made to expand the circle of participants in exist- ing global antiterrorist treaties, which serve as a kind of common denominator of the joint opposition of states to the threat of terrorism. Russia actively supports the annual appeals of the UN General Assembly aimed at achieving this goal. We also participate in collective G-8 demarches addressed to countries that have not yet adhered to such treaties. Also important is the quickest possible implementation of the acts recently rati- fied under the auspices of treaties in this sphere, including the international conven- tions on the suppression of terrorist bombings and the financing of terrorism. An adequate response to terrorism presupposes the development of a basis in law and in treaties for cooperation among states in the fight against this chal- lenge. It is important that the United Nations complete work as soon as possible on the draft of the international convention on combating acts of nuclear terror- ism, which was submitted by Russia. The United Nations must also continue the process of reaching agreement on a comprehensive draft convention submitted by India on the struggle against international terrorism. The process of filling in the international-legal gaps regarding antiterrorist cooperation must also be encouraged on the regional and bilateral levels. The Achilles' heel of terrorism lies in the financial sources from which it feeds. Reliably blocking these sources means inflicting a destructive blow on terrorism. It is essential that the mechanism adopted by the United Nations in the 1999 International Convention on Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism be implemented as soon as possible. This treaty must become a truly universal instrument of effective antiterrorist cooperation. It is important to support efforts at the regional and other levels to carry out the provisions of the convention, without waiting for it to formally go into effect. Exchanges of information aimed at preventing terrorist acts and reducing the degree of terrorist danger must become an integral component of antiterrorist cooperation. Taking into account the specifics of the battle against terrorism, requirements of confidentiality and mutuality must be applied to all forms of such exchanges and all categories of transmitted information. A high level of trust is one distinguishing characteristic of effective interac- tion in this sphere. This is also completely applicable with regard to cooperation of states in rendering mutual legal assistance, including extradition. It is impor- tant not to permit the development of negative tendencies toward concealing from justice persons suspected of committing or being involved in terrorist acts because they are of a certain ethnicity or hold particular religious or other con- victions. Otherwise, the very foundations of antiterrorist cooperation will be placed in doubt its effectiveness, the inevitability of responsibility for illegal actions, and ultimately the confidence of states in one another. To prevent this from occurring, every effort must be made to cultivate predictability with regard to partners, for example, by clearly outlining in national legislation procedures
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FUTURE TRENDS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION 243 for the implementation of general international norms and standards for render- ing legal assistance and extraditing suspected criminals. It would be deeply incorrect to reduce problems of international cooperation in this sphere to the mere development of its legal framework. It is necessary to develop a general philosophy for combating terrorism as a criminal act, placing at its foundation the need to unite the efforts of the international community in opposing this phenomenon. This philosophy must also stipulate the ultimately uncompromising nature of this struggle, the inevitability of responsibility for the crime of terrorism, the rendering of aid to its victims, and finally the formation and maintenance of a worldwide atmosphere that actively rejects terrorism. It is important to make people realize that any terrorist act, regardless of its motives, brings with it evil and constitutes a crime, for which legal punishment will inevitably follow. It is necessary to deprive terrorists of the halo of fighters for faith and justice and against any form of oppression and discrimination. The United Nations, its specialized institutions, and well-known state and public figures could make their own contributions to these efforts. It would be useful if a brochure could be published with information on the threat of terror- ism and its negative consequences for international security, for the normal de- velopment of relations between states, and for the fulfillment of basic human rights and freedom. Such a brochure could also reveal the contribution of the United Nations and its institutions to countering this dangerous phenomenon. Representatives of science are called upon to make a notable contribution to these efforts. It is from this standpoint that the significance of this seminar should be evaluated. Such experience is useful and should be developed. The theme of including the media in mobilizing international public opinion in the struggle against terrorism and possibly even in developing appropriate international recommendations obviously merits a separate study. However, the social delirium of terrorism cannot be eliminated through pro- paganda efforts alone. It requires daily efforts on the part of the state to show concern for the population and for each person, primarily with regard to defend- ing his or her socioeconomic rights, freedoms, and dignity and ensuring each individual's physical protection from the threats of terrorists. That is the prime duty and obligation of the state. Neglect and disregard of human interests create the grounds for destabiliz- ing tendencies and lead to the appearance of separatist and other disintegrating processes linked with the criminal world. These factors also promote the consol- idation of extremist forces that rely on outside support, as has happened in Chech- nya and is happening in Central Asia and other regions that have become hot- beds of increased terrorist activity. A serious danger is presented by acts of so-called technological terrorism- that is, those involving the use of the latest scientific-technological develop- ments. Issues of countering terrorism in the realm of computer space have recently moved to the forefront. We intend to continue supporting efforts, in-
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244 HIGH-IMPACT TERRORISM eluding within the G-8 framework, aimed at finding an effective antidote to this refined variety of terrorism, which unfortunately has not bypassed Russia. Our country initiated efforts at the United Nations to develop an internation- al convention on the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism, the adoption of which would markedly enhance the international-legal potential to fend off the threat of "terrorism of mass destruction." We also intend to continue actively encouraging international, regional, and bilateral efforts to counter terrorism in- volving the use of chemical and bacteriological substances. Having raised the bar of international cooperation, Russia is simultaneously making stricter demands of itself. The Federal Law "On Combating Terrorism" was adopted in our country on June 25, 1998. It creates a firm normative-legal foundation for the enhancement of activities by Russian law enforcement agen- cies in fighting terrorism both within the country and at the international level. The fundamental goals of the law include protecting the individual, society, and the state from terrorism; preventing, discovering, suppressing, and minimizing the consequences of terrorist activity; and uncovering the causes and conditions that promote terrorist acts. The law outlines jurisdictions and assigns general parameters for coordinating the efforts of law enforcement agencies and intelli- gence services of the Russian Federation in combating terrorism, along with general methods and means of conducting counterterrorist operations. The law regulates questions of compensation for damages resulting from terrorist acts and deals with the social rehabilitation of victims of acts of terrorism. With the passage of this law, Russian legislation for the first time has de- fined the procedure for classifying an organization as terrorist and has deter- mined measures of criminal responsibility for such organizations. I am sure that this seminar will contribute to the development of specific recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of international cooperation in combating terrorism and strengthening the role of Russia and the United States in that process. It will also serve as a stimulus for the appearance of new scientif- ic and engineering developments oriented toward the achievement of real results in opposition to terrorism.
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