Over the past 20 years we have experienced changes in terrorist and extremist activity that threatens states at a global level. The most obvious example is the rise and spread of Islamist inspired groups such as Al Qaeda and Islamic State/Daesh. The fact that many Islamist groups have been proscribed/listed by the majority of the world’s states as terrorist organisations reflects how they are seen as international terrorist organisations. This does not solely apply to Islamist groups as there has been an increase in activity by extreme far-right groups (neo-Nazis) that, as seen with the Christchurch attack in March 2019 in New Zealand is also becoming an international threat with a number of states proscribing/listing extreme far-right groups as terrorist organisations. In addition to this many states also face a security threat by nationalist/political groups. While they may pose a direct threat to one state, again we have seen a rise in international support and financing of these groups.
One result of this activity is how state governments and international bodies like the Untied Nations are co-operating at international level and this includes international co-operation between states’ policing agencies and in some cases state security agencies to counter the threat these groups pose. This has included the introduction of comparable legislation and policies to enable the exchange of intelligence and evidence while ensuring that human rights legal provisions are protected.
This course will examine the current terrorist threat emanating from a variety of causes at both international and national level that leads to an understanding of how and why international bodies, state governments and their counter-terrorism agencies are working towards minimising the terrorist threat. In doing the so the course will look at legal provisions, policies and investigative practice.
- Current terrorist threat (global and national)
- Recent developments in international bodies and states’ counter-terrorism policy
- Proscribing/banning groups as terrorist organisations
- Surveillance and international intelligence exchange
- Statutory preventative measures
- Strategies for containing and preventing violent extremism
By the end of the course the delegates will be able to:
- Identify terrorist threats
- Understand the complexities in both legal and practiced aspects of counter-terrorism investigations
- Differentiate between extremist ideologies that pose a threat to that which comes under the protection fo freedom of expression
- Conduct risk terrorist assessments to state security related to individuals and groups
This session looks at the terrorist threat facing states at both global and national level existing at the time of the course. The session allows the opportunity to discuss the terrorist threat level pertinent to each delegate on the course, assessing both similarities and differences within that threat.
With terrorist and extremist activity constantly moving and developing, it poses an issue that both international bodies like the United Nations and the European Union as well as individual states face in minimising the terrorist threat. As such, policies are either revisited and amended or simply new aspect are added to the counter-terrorism/extremism policy. With most policies driving statutory changes, it is important to understand why and how the policies develop.
This session examines the legal processes in various states as to when and how groups are proscribed/banned as terrorist organisations. While there are many similarities and commonalties between states in relation to proscribing certain groups such as the Islamist inspired groups who are seen as international terrorist organisations, the disparity comes when dealing with other groups, for example those inspired by the extreme far-right ideology.
This session examines the law in various states legislating powers of surveillance (focus mainly surveillance of electronic communications) and safeguards related to protecting applicable human rights provisions. This also covers compatibility of those powers globally along with provisions related to international intelligence exchange.
This session examines various states’ legislation related to the provision of statutory preventative measures. With the emphasis on counter-terrorism being to prevent attacks, the main focus of this session covers powers/offences related to planning terrorist attacks, accessing materials likely to assist terrorists, border controls and terrorism financing.
This session examines what is meant by the term ‘extremism’, the use of various media by extremists and how it influences individuals towards terrorist activity. The session also covers state/international bodies’ responses ranging from the introduction of strategies to prevent individuals from being radicalised to various extremist causes that can lead to terrorist activity to states working with communications companies in minimising the impact of extremist material.