Counter Terrorism Methods and Their Effectiveness
Terrorist groups can operate for a long time only with the support of the population or some part of it. This allows them to recruit new fighters, get the necessary resources, successfully hide, and conduct reconnaissance. However, such assistance may be lost by them. This happens, for instance, if the fear of punishment from the state is more severe than the desire to help terrorists. Terrorists can also be deprived of support by providing locals with more beneficial alternatives. This may be the creation of new jobs or, for example, the elimination of discrimination against a national or religious minority.
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Terrorists traditionally have a strict hierarchy of leaders, so the elimination or arrest of leaders is destructive. However, eliminating one leader can destroy a single cell, but not the entire terrorist network. The leaders of such structures are also often engaged in propaganda, without participating in the organization and implementation of terrorist attacks. Network structures are the most stable: they can be restored even after powerful blows are applied to them; however, such structures also have weak spots. These are primarily professionals in specific areas: experts in explosive devices, gunsmiths, without whom terrorist attacks are almost impossible.
In many cases, terrorists are destroyed with the help of military people, although to a greater extent, this is the work of special services and the police. However, anti-terrorist operations have shown that the use of the army leads to the death of civilians, the deprivation of the authorities’ support for the local population, and economic collapse. As a consequence, this creates favorable conditions for terrorist actions. At the same time, when conducting large-scale military operations against terrorists, army units can be used to change the situation radically.
Modern terrorists are actively using information technologies to coordinate actions and propaganda. Multiple programs for communicating via the Internet have led to the creation of “cyber-terrorist” organizations. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor and prevent the use of information technologies by terrorists. Thus, a combination of different methods and means of influencing terrorists can be productive in the fight against terrorism and contribute to the prosperity of society.