Cover Image

PAPERBACK
$47.00



View/Hide Left Panel
Click for next page ( 26


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 25
Russian Legislation and the Fight Against Terrorism Viktor E. Petrishchev * Russian State Duma In the early l990s, terrorism in the Russian Federation underwent a transfor- mation from a number of unrelated, rare, and somewhat unique manifestations of violent crime to a systemic and large-scale threat to the state and society in gener- al. Prior to that period, the Soviet Union had legislation in place that provided for rather harsh repression of socially and politically motivated criminal acts. There- fore, potential perpetrators of terrorist acts (such as ultranationalists, religious fa- natics, and extremists) who were plotting violent changes of the existing sociopo- litical order, and so forth, were usually identified by law enforcement agencies in the early planning stages. Potential perpetrators were subjected to open and clan- destine operations aimed at correcting their behavior and redirecting their activities into legitimate channels. In addition, the nationwide system for preventing extrem- ist and terrorist acts seemed to be quite effective. For instance, the distribution of anticonstitutional propaganda and the creation of organizations for this purpose were punishable under the Criminal Code. State censorship eliminated possibilities of mass production and legitimate dissemination of materials proclaiming ideas of national, religious, or racial superiority; licensing and permit requirements created serious obstacles to procuring firearms and explosives. Given all of the above circumstances, the few isolated terrorist acts that occurred, such as the bombing of the Moscow Metro perpetrated in 1977 by a group of Armenian nationalists and the hijacking attempt by a group of youths in Tbilisi Airport in 1984, were justifiably considered to be unique occurrences, atypical for our country. As a result, only two types of crimes were classified as terrorism under the Soviet legislation of that period: a terrorist act and a terrorist * Translated from the Russian by Rita Kit. 25

OCR for page 25
26 HIGH-IMPACT TERRORISM act against a representative of a foreign state (Articles 66 and 67, respectively, of the Criminal Code of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic [RSFSRj). However, by the early 1990s the situation had changed considerably. Riding on the wave of the so-called democratic reforms, the country experienced an outbreak of destructive processes creating a favorable environment for increased crime, extremism, and terrorism. Among these factors were economic decline, deterioration of interethnic relations, growth of separatism, and loss of the values that formerly bound the society together, such as civic duty, patriotism, and internationalism. While the head of state, Mikhail Gorbachev, traveled overseas promoting his new policies and universal human values, his very own state was collapsing. Overall, the self-centeredness and nearsightedness of those at the highest levels of political office, the lack of executive control over developments in the outer regions of the USSR, and the political manipulation of various na- tionalists and extremists by a new breed of ambitious politicians seeking to seize political control resulted in the breakdown of law enforcement. Unauthorized meetings, demonstrations, and marches became more prevalent. They increas- ingly took on an antisocial nature and more frequently turned into riots and civil unrest. The Kremlin failed to respond swiftly and decisively, and as a result, law enforcement and the military were held hostage by an indecisive head of state. Eventually, these processes resulted in the de facto collapse of the state. However, a new political "elite," actively employing nationalistic and separat- ist ideas as well as political and religious extremism in their political fight with the central authorities, failed to recognize the fact that the destructive processes they had supported so actively were gaining a substantial momentum of their own. Having achieved widespread support among various groups of the population, extremism turned into a considerable threat to the newly emerging post-Soviet administrative and political entities. Underestimation of this threat by the leaders of the newly created states, illustrated by Boris Yeltsin' s appeal to the subjects of the Russian Federation "to take as much sovereignty as they can possibly swal- low," resulted in a number of large-scale conflicts, some of them armed. Widespread legal and moral nihilism and the loss of general social values and spirituality greatly contributed to increased incidents of terrorism in Russia and other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. In addition, on numerous occasions, the highest authorities themselves demonstrated a total dis- regard for the rule of law and the national constitution. Illegal violence was regularly employed by those in power to protect some unclear "vital interests" (as defined by the head of state and his closest staff). In the Russian Federation, this trend reached its peak in October 1993, when the Russian "White House" was assaulted in Moscow. One can argue that the above comments go far beyond the scope of discuss- ing Russian antiterrorism legislation and venture into the field of political sci- ence, but I felt obligated to bring them up here, given the truly decisive role these negative developments played in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

OCR for page 25
TERRORISM AND THE LAW 27 Other factors contributing to the spread of terrorism in the Russian Federa- tion in the early 1990s include the following: Overall decline in economic activity; . Increased tensions in interethnic relations, frequently resulting in armed conflicts of varying intensity; . Increasing numbers of social problems unemployment, declining mate- rial well-being of the active work force, lack of a targeted youth policy, loss of ideological and moral values; Weakening of the licensing and registration system for weapons and an increase in illegal trafficking in firearms and other aids to violent crime; High level of corruption among government bureaucrats, resulting in a rise in both organized crime and street crime; and The relationship between religious and political extremism on the one hand and increased overall levels of criminal activity in society on the other. In this context, starting in the early 1990s, statistics in the Russian Federa- tion showed a steady increase in crime. For example, during 1994-1995, only 64 bombings were reported, but during 1996-2000, the annual number of such ex- plosions was 600-700 (155 such cases were reported in the first quarter of 2001~. Special attention should be paid to changes noted in the nature of crimes com- mitted using explosive devices. Most frequently, these crimes do not fall into the trivial "gang warfare" category, but rather seem to meet all of the criteria of terrorist acts. According to the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federa- tion (FSB), only 16 out of the total number of 600 reported bombings in 1997 could be treated as terrorist acts, while out of approximately the same number in 2000, 150 could be considered terrorist acts. Using the same criteria, 61 of the 155 bombings in the first quarter of 2001 were deemed to be terrorist acts. In addition, one needs to emphasize a trend toward increasing human and social impacts of the bombings committed in the Russian Federation in recent years. For instance, in 1997,153 lives were lost as a result of bombings; in 1998, 163; in 1999, 506; and in 2000, 207, with hundreds more wounded. So far this year, dozens have been killed or injured. In the mid-199Os legislators had to respond to the growing threat of terror- ism and to broaden the definition of criminal acts classified as terrorism. Adopt- ed on January 7, 1994, Federal Law 10-FZ introduced into the RSFSR Criminal Code Article 213~3), entitled "Terrorism." This marked the first legal definition of the term terrorism in our country. The article defines terrorism as "bombings, arson, and other acts causing a threat to human life, major property loss, and other negative consequences committed against public safety or with the aim of influencing decision-making of the government authorities." The new Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which came into force on January 1, 1997, defines terrorism in Section IX, Chapter 24 (crimes against

OCR for page 25
28 HIGH-IMPACT TERRORISM public safety and public order), Article 205. In my opinion, the primary aim of terrorist attacks is much broader than public safety terrorists commit their acts against the constitutional foundations of society and its governing structure. Therefore, it would have been more appropriate to include the article on terror- ism in Section X of the Criminal Code, which deals with crimes against govern- ment authority. Indeed, are the consequences of a terrorist act less significant to the state and society than an attempt on the life of a law enforcement officer? The law punishes an attempt on the life of a law enforcement officer with the death penalty, while committing a terrorist act (without aggravating factors) car- ries a sentence of only five to ten years of imprisonment. The definition of terrorism in Article 205 seems to be incorrect as well. In this article, terrorism is defined as "bombings, arson, and other acts representing threats of loss of life, major property loss, and other negative consequences, provided that these acts were committed against public safety, with the aim of spreading fear among the population or influencing decision-making of government authorities, and/or a threat of committing these acts with the same purpose." An analysis of this definition shows that it fails to adequately describe the nature and substance of terrorism. In fact, terrorists may pursue goals that go beyond influencing the decision making of government authorities. According to M.P. Odessky and D.M. Feldman, terrorism, in its broadest possible definition, is "a way of governing society through fear.") Therefore, terrorists may also target people outside the government. The targets can be based on nationality, race, politics, economics, religion, or some other criteria; in some cases an entire population can be targeted. I would also like to question defining "spreading fear among the popula- tion" as the primary objective of terrorism. Indeed, spreading fear among the population is a very important component of terrorism. (The authors of the Arti- cle 205 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation should be credited with mentioning this component it was not included in the body of Article 213~31 of the RSFSR Criminal Code.) However, this component serves merely as a tool for achieving terrorist objectives and is not an ultimate goal by itself. Finally, the text of Article 205 of the Criminal Code fails to adequately reflect the substance of terrorism, even when taken not as a sociopolitical phe- nomenon, but as purely a criminal one. One can easily see that in this article, the legislators provided a list of various manifestations of terrorism arson, bomb- ings, and other acts. Therefore, the title "Terrorist Acts" would have been more appropriate for this article, rather than the present title, "Terrorism." This substi- tution of definitions resulted in a number of difficulties in drafting the Federal Law "On Combating Terrorism," which is described below. The institution of criminal penalties for terrorist acts nevertheless failed to address the problem of terrorism as an extremely dangerous sociopolitical phe- nomenon. (In addition to Article 205, "Terrorism," the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation contains Article 206, "Hostage Taking"; Article 207, "Mak-

OCR for page 25
TERRORISM AND THE LAW 29 ing Knowingly False Statements About Terrorist Acts"; Article 277, "Attempt on the Life of a Government or Public Figure"; and Article 360, "Attack on Persons and/or Entities Enjoying International Protection.") The need for a com- prehensive nationwide system of counterterrorist measures was first realized in the early 1990s by the agencies most familiar with terrorist acts, namely, the security services and law enforcement. In late 1996, a working group charged with drafting the Federal Law "On Combating Terrorism" was created under the auspices of the Committee of the State Duma. The Chairman of the Duma, Mr. V.I. Ilyukhin, headed the working group. Although the working group was rather small in number, dozens of scientists, experts, and practitioners from various ministries and agencies contributed to the final draft. In addition to several docu- ments already prepared by the Federal Security Service, Ministry of Interior, and Office of the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation, the working group studied materials from a number of conferences held on this topic and the legis- lation of some foreign countries, including Great Britain, Israel, Spain, Italy, Peru, the United States, Turkey, and Germany. I would like to emphasize that the vast majority of Duma deputies, regardless of their party or political affiliation, supported the activities of the working group. I believe that this overwhelming support can be explained by the fact that terrorism is an "equal opportunity" threat it makes no exceptions for race, class, nationality, or ethnicity. As recent history has shown, victims of terrorist attacks can be found among heads of state, public figures, entrepreneurs, and innocent passersby. By the time of the first reading of the draft on September 10, 1997, terrorism was defined by the authors as a sociopolitical phenomenon manifested through "illegitimate violence (or threat thereof) against persons and entities or destruc- tion/damage (or threat thereof) of property committed with the aim of undermin- ing public safety, international entities, and the established system of national government through forcing government bodies to make decisions desired by the terrorists." In this wording, the authors clearly stepped aside from the narrow legal definition of the term and they were perfectly right to do so, since this is not a criminal law, but a federal one, designed to establish a nationwide ap- proach to combating terrorism as a dangerous sociopolitical phenomenon. This is the wording that was adopted almost unanimously by the deputies of the State Duma during the first reading of the draft law. However, during the comment stage, the authors received substantial num- ber of similar comments2 urging them to bring the definition into accordance with the wording of Article 205 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Among others, the President and the Government of the Russian Federation submitted similar requests. Unfortunately, the influence and authority of those commenting prevailed, and the definition was subsequently narrowed down to a mere list of terrorist acts as described in Articles 205, 207, 277, and 360 of the Criminal Code. This change inevitably resulted in the narrowing of the statewide prevention role. On the one hand, changes in the definitions shifted the emphasis

OCR for page 25
30 HIGH-IMPACT TERRORISM toward combating terrorist crimes, which fall under the jurisdiction of the securi- ty services and law enforcement agencies. On the other hand, the narrower defi- nition removed a number of factors from their focus, which played an important role in defining terrorism itself. However, these factors have to be addressed not only from the legal standpoint, but also through a nationwide system of econom- ic, social, ideological, and other measures. I must bring to your attention yet another shortcoming of the draft, which appeared after it was adopted at the first reading on September 10, 1997. This issue relates to the status of the Federal Interagency Anti-terrorist Commission, which was created by the Russian Federation Government Decree 45, dated January 16, 1997. The director of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation was appointed to head the commission, whereas in most other coun- tries antiterrorist activities are conducted under the auspices of the highest exec- utive office in the nation. This status would have been very beneficial in present- day Russia. That is why the authors of the Federal Law in the article titled "Interagency Antiterrorist Commission of the Russian Federation" provided that the Government of the Russian Federation would create the commission and the deputy chairman of the government would head it. The same article provided a relatively detailed outline of the mission statement, authority, and responsibility of this federal coordinating body. In addition, the law provided for establishing similar bodies at the federation subject level (or regional level, including several federation subjects). All of these measures were reflecting the proposed nation- wide vertically integrated system of antiterrorism measures. Unfortunately, giv- en persistent requests from the Office of the President, this provision was changed as follows: "To provide for proper coordination of anti-terrorist activities, the President and the Government of the Russian Federation may set up regional and federal antiterrorist commissions."3 Only later was this corrected (Russian Fed- eration Government Decree 1302, dated November 6, 1998~. The decree also appointed the chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation to head the . . commlsslon. In the final analysis, the Federal Law "On Combating Terrorism" that went into effect on August 4, 1998, remained an imperfect document. However, it con- tributed to solving a number of earlier problems. It provides for certain legal and social guarantees for individuals directly involved in counterterrorist operations. This provision was especially important for law enforcement officers. The law also establishes clear definitions and introduces major terms, which is helpful not only for the theoretical analysis of the situation, but also for the practical work of several executive agencies, the security apparatus, and the general public. The law provides a clear list of entities directly responsible for counterter- rorist operations. Article 6 establishes that there are six such agencies in the Russian Federation: the Federal Security Service, the Ministry of Internal Af- fairs, the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Federal Protective Service, the Minis- try of Defense, and the Federal Border Service. Unfortunately, their respective

OCR for page 25
TERRORISM AND THE LAW 31 jurisdictions were not clearly defined. For example, Subarticles 2 and 3 of Arti- cle 7 provide that prevention, identification, and investigation of politically mo- tivated terrorist crimes fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Security Service, while prevention, identification, and investigation of financially motivated ter- rorist crimes fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. However, the law fails to provide clear definitions and a distinction between political and financial motivations. The law also stipulates that in addition to the above-listed agencies, the Government of the Russian Federation provides a list of other federal executive agencies that may be called upon to contribute to counterterrorist activities with- in their respective competencies. Establishing the list of specific ministries and agencies directly responsible for counterterrorist activities is important, and it is far from being a mere formal declaration. One should take into account the fact that at the earlier stages of drafting this law, heads of some of these bodies attempted to rid themselves and their agencies of this responsibility, arguing that this function was not delegated to them under earlier legislation. Had this position prevailed, the legislators would have been forced to delegate this responsibility to two agencies only the Federal Security Service and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Indeed, prior to drafting the Federal Law "On Combating Terror- ism," these two agencies were the only ones responsible for such activities (see Federal Law 40-FZ "On the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation," dated April 3, 1995; Federal Law 27-FZ "On the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation," dated February 6, 1997; and De- cree 1039 of the President of the Russian Federation "On Approving of the Regulations Regarding the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federa- tion"~. The authors of the Federal Law "On Combating Terrorism" based their work on the assumption that the new law can modify agencies' responsibility in accordance with the earlier enacted legislation. Chapter III ("Management of Counterterrorist Operations") of the Federal Law "On Combating Terrorism" deserves positive mention as well. This chapter provides a general outline for establishing and managing task forces for conduct- ing counterterrorist operations, which brings much needed clarity into mounting and running such operations. The commander of the task force is given broad authority he decides on the scale and scope of the operation, determines the timeframe of the operation, determines what forces and assets will be utilized, determines what kind of information is given to the media, et cetera. The article "Management of Counterterrorist Operations" specifically provides that "inter- ference by any person regardless of his/her position in the day-to-day manage- ment of the counter-terrorist operation is strictly prohibited." The provisions of Chapter 3 passed real-life tests during the special counterterrorist operations in Chechnya, when the Federal Law "On Combating Terrorism" de facto replaced the failed Federal Law "On Emergency Situations."

OCR for page 25
1^ HIGH-IMPACT TERRORISM The Federal Law "On Combating Terrorism" also imposed severe restric- tions on deals that can be offered to terrorists in order to save human lives. Should negotiating with terrorists be deemed necessary, negotiators must be specifically authorized by the task force commander. No individuals can be turned over to terrorists, no weapons or hazardous materials can be given to them, and no political demands could be considered in exchange for calling off the terrorist act. Finally, the law attempts to break away from the recent trend of narrowing the definition of counterterrorism to a mere response to terrorist acts. (Once again, deficiencies must be pointed out in the definition of terrorism used in the language of Article 3 of the Federal Law.) Nevertheless, immediately after declaring the principle of the rule of law, Article 2 ("Fundamental Principles of Combating Terrorism") of the Federal Law states that "priority shall be given to terrorism prevention." The goal of terrorism prevention is emphasized numer- ous times in other provisions of the law, along with the need for obtaining timely information about the planning and preparation of such attacks. There is no need to argue that when facing terrorist acts, law enforcement officers are facing the consequences of chronic processes that lead to crime, processes that are outside their direct control. These include social, political, and economic developments, interethnic relationships, relationships between the fed- eral government and federation subjects, and so forth. Therefore, the law makes an attempt to shift the emphasis to terrorism prevention, including holding gov- ernment officials liable for poor administrative and political decisions. Let me elaborate on the previous statement. The primary causes of terrorism in modern Russia lie in the current economic and social crisis, worsening inter- ethnic relationships, and increased political tensions. Therefore, any terrorist act is a result of the dynamic interaction of adverse societal conditions and personal- ity disorders, usually attributed to the perpetrators of terrorist acts. I dare say that there is a trend perfectly illustrated by both international and Russian experi- ence. When the national economy is stable, the government's social policies are well balanced and supported by the majority of the population and people's incomes are far above the poverty line. When an individual can freely and fully satisfy his or her spiritual and material needs and exercise his or her rights and freedoms, there are no adverse societal conditions feeding terrorist acts, and personality disorders become the primary motivation. On the contrary, when the national economy, social policy, and spiritual well-being are suffering from a major crisis, terrorist acts are driven primarily by these adverse conditions. Psychologically motivated terrorist acts could be best illustrated by the ac- tions of Theodore Kaczynski (labeled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] as the Unabomber), who terrorized the entire United States from 1978 until 1985, or Charles Whitman, whose 1966 shooting spree in Texas left 12 dead and 30 wounded. On the other hand, the increase in terrorist activity in Russia over the past

OCR for page 25
TERRORISM AND THE LAW 33 decade can be explained primarily by adverse societal conditions. Their combined effect is largely responsible for the outburst of terrorism in Chechnya as well. Given the fact that terrorism is becoming an increasing threat to countries all over the world, many nations are actively seeking ways to enhance their national antiterrorist legislation. Obviously, in spite of the increasing trend to- ward globalization, each country is searching for its own unique ways of protect- ing itself against terrorism. In light of this, studying international experience in the area of counterterrorism policies, approaches, and regulatory framework is becoming increasingly important. Such studies provide researchers with a set of tools and techniques, enabling them to better analyze the threats facing their own countries and to devise the most effective nationwide systems for preventing and eliminating terrorism. In fact, despite the diversity of national legal systems and approaches to terrorism prevention, most were developed in response to the same fundamental set of internal and external factors. These include the nature of the external threat, the domestic political situation, crime levels in the country, the nature of long-term domestic conflicts, the history of various ethnic groups and their cul- tural and religious traditions and norms, the level of cultural and legal awareness of the population, the development of the societal institutional framework, and so forth. Analysis of the impact of the above-mentioned factors on the develop- ment of antiterrorist legislation in various countries and application of this inter- national experience to the specific circumstances in your country may result in development of the most effective model for a national approach to combating terrorism. Implementation of this approach while fully utilizing international experience may save time on empirical testing of various models and may raise the level of academic research and practical work in your own country to a higher level. Comparative studies of antiterrorist legislation and law enforcement practic- es throughout the world enrich all specialists, enabling them to view the problem in its entirety, thus putting them in a position to propose promising approaches for enhancing national legislation in this area. Let me briefly touch upon Russian and American approaches to combating terrorism, which I hope will be interesting given the topic of our seminar. To save time, I will not go into a detailed analysis of the causes of terrorism in our two countries, because this issue could become a subject for a separate discussion. Mr. David Tucker, who has specialized in research on special operations and low-intensity conflicts over the past 25 years for the U.S. Department of Defense, has outlined the following principles of antiterrorist operations: Following a policy prohibiting deal-making with terrorists; Expanding the jurisdiction of national legislation to allow for the pursuit of terrorists outside of the United States; Actively promoting international antiterrorism conventions and treaties;

OCR for page 25
34 . acts; and within.4 HIGH-IMPACT TERRORISM Designing and implementing various defensive antiterrorism measures; Attacking the causes of terrorism and preventing it from spreading; Implementing forward-looking measures designed to prevent terrorist Carrying out special operations to destroy terrorist organizations from There are similarities in the antiterrorism policy of both Russia and the United States, including restrictions on mass media coverage of terrorism-related events; possible deployment of military assets to respond to large-scale terrorist acts; utili- zation of undercover methods to penetrate terrorist organizations; social guaran- tees and protection of personnel involved in antiterrorist operations; et cetera. Analysis of the principles of antiterrorism policy outlined in Article 2 of the above- mentioned Russian Federal Law reveals the following similarities: Rule of law; Higher priority for terrorism prevention; Inevitability of punishment for terrorist acts; Combination of transparent and undercover methods; A comprehensive approach, including preventive measures, political, le- gal, socioeconomic, and public relations actions; . Priority protection of the right of victims of terrorism; Minimal yielding to terrorist demands; Single line of command for counter-terrorist operations; and Minimal reporting of tactics and methods of counterterrorist operations, as well as minimal disclosure of information about the personnel involved. A comparative analysis of the Russian Federal Law "On Combating Terror- ism" and the U.S. Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 shows some common features, despite major differences in the two documents. For example, U.S. and Russian legislators give different definitions of terrorism; they differ in their identification of the primary causes of terrorism; and they give the government different authority to deal with external threats. In addition, the legal framework is different in the two countries. Besides, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act is a very detailed document, while the Russian law is relatively short (containing only 29 articles) and provides only general regulation of counterterrorism activities. Obviously, the financial resources of these two nations are vastly different. In fact, the adoption of the U.S. Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act resulted in additional multimillion-dollar appropriations to the agencies involved in counterterrorism work, including the FBI, U.S. Customs Service, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Departments of Justice and Treasury, U.S. Secret Service, and others. To illustrate the Russian

OCR for page 25
TERRORISM AND THE LAW 35 situation in this area, let me provide the following examples. In the beginning of 1999, the Security Council of the Russian Federation acting in accordance with the decree of the President, drafted the Federal Program on Strengthening Counter-Terrorism Activities. Having "cleared" all stakeholders (i.e., agencies directly involved in this work), the draft was then "killed" by the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Finance because there were no funds to pay for the proposed measures. It should be noted that preventive measures were prevalent in that program, with special emphasis on active countermeasures against the dissemination of extremist and terrorist ideologies. I believe that the absence of these measures contributed to the failure of attempts to combat the Wahhabi and Chechen separatist agendas, which drew Russia into a long-term armed conflict in the North Caucasus region. To continue discussing the importance of preventive measures, one cannot help but appreciate the strong preventive components build into the U.S. Antiter- rorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. For example, in this act, American legislators demonstrated their deep understanding of and concern over newly emerging terrorist threats involving modern technologies. Building upon detailed models of potential terrorist threats involving weapons of mass destruction, the act provides for a number of measures aimed at preventing such terrorist acts, which could possibly lead to massive loss of human life. Potential terrorist acts involving the use of explosives and modern weaponry and technology may be prevented by imposing strict regulations requiring the proper safeguarding and storage of materials that could be used to carry out terrorist acts. In addition, the law imposes criminal charges for activities con- ducted in preparation for committing a terrorist act or creating a favorable envi- ronment for it. For example, Article 503 obligates the Attorney General and the Secretary of Defense to exercise personal oversight over thefts of firearms, ex- plosives, and other hazardous materials and to report their findings to Congress. Article 511 imposes harsher punishments for illicit trafficking in weapons- grade biological materials and imposes stricter regulations on their storage and use for scientific research. In particular, the Secretary of Health and Human Services is required to compile, approve, and update as necessary a list of poten- tially dangerous biological preparations. The Secretary is also responsible for designing and enforcing safety rules for dangerous biological materials, for en- suring that personnel working with these materials have the proper training and retraining, for providing adequate equipment and establishing proper procedures for secure storage, and for designing countermeasures to neutralize potential threats in the event of theft. Section VI of the act regulates enforcement of the Convention on Plastic Explosives. This is very important, since these explosives are extremely power- ful and difficult to detect with scanning equipment. Several measures were built into the law in order to prevent the commission of crimes with this type of explosive. Article 603 (mandatory identifier) imposes criminal penalties for man-

OCR for page 25
36 HIGH-IMPACT TERRORISM ufacturing plastic explosives without special identifying ingredients. Criminal penalties are also imposed on the export, import, possession, transportation, and receipt of unidentifiable explosives. Violators can be punished with up to 10 . . years In pnson. There are several other examples of preventive measures built into the act, which should be of great interest to Russian legislators. At the same time, strengthening preventive measures is by no means the only method of enhancing Russian antiterrorist legislation. There are several other prob- lems that have to be addressed. For example, there is a great need to extend the period that individuals reasonably suspected of belonging to terrorist organizations can be detained by the authorities. There are several provisions of the criminal law effectively nullifying the principles of inevitability of just punishment that are no longer acceptable in the present situation. In general, the Russian public fails to understand why a terrorist whose atrocities were documented, witnessed, and prov- en in a court of law should remain reasonably certain that the maximum penalty is life in prison. Members of the public wonder why the government is sending the message that it is safe to commit even more murders. They ask what happened to the principle of adequate punishment. Why spend taxpayers' money to feed "scum- bags" covered in the blood of countless victims? Is it not time to suspend the moratorium on capital punishment for individuals who were found guilty of inten- tionally killing large numbers of people? I believe that in this regard we have a lot to learn from our American colleagues. Let me remind you of the name of the corresponding American law the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act! The Russian law has serious loopholes in the area of preventing and responding to high-tech terrorism as well. I believe that the American side can also benefit from an analysis of the appropriate Russian legislation and its application to operations in Chechnya, especially taking into account the fact that the United States has had a long and difficult history of dealing with Islamic extremists of the type currently operat- ing in Chechnya. In conclusion, I would say that enhancing national antiterrorist legislation, bringing it into compliance with the norms of international law, and harmonizing national approaches toward combating terrorism and reducing terrorist threats appear to be the most promising methods available to the international commu- nity to fight terrorism. NOTES 1. Odessky M.P., D.M. Feldman. 1997. The Poetry of Terror and the New Administrative Mentality. Moscow: Russian State Humanitarian University, p.l9. 2. More than 300 comments and amendments were offered after the first reading of the draft. 3. President's Comments on the Draft Federal Law "On Combating Terrorism" (No. Pr-1705, October 18, 1997). 4. The Washington Quarterly. 1998, No. 1.