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Community outreach and counterterrorism with efforts towards exploitable weaknesses.
Community Outreach and Terrorism
International and domestic terrorism have reached levels previously believed to be impossible. Whether fueled by profits they get from trafficking drugs or whether they are fueled by religious ideologies, a series of communities express particular interest in wanting to get actively involved in performing activities characteristic to terrorist organizations. Many governments have the tendency to focus on fighting them directly and fail to understand the significance of addressing factors that influence these people to take up arms against the system. Focusing on underlying concepts encouraging individuals to become terrorists is likely to destabilize terrorist institutions and to make it increasingly difficult for them to recruit people.
The intelligence community in the contemporary society plays an important role in detecting terrorist threats and in making it less likely for individuals to engage in terrorist acts. Even with this, terrorists themselves are adapting to this environment and start to devise new strategies meant to assist them in being able to perform acts of terror. Community engagement is certainly not an innovative concept, as it has been around for decades and even centuries. In numerous occasions throughout history the masses were encouraged to work hand in hand with governments with the purpose of making their community a safer place. Considering that law enforcement officers are unlikely to effectively cover areas where terrorist acts can occur, having people able to identify potential terrorist threats can be the only solution to stop terrorists before they go through with their plans.
People who live in underprivileged conditions are more probable to perform terrorist acts, as they perceive these performances as a means to get retribution for society putting them in this position. This is why it is important for the authorities to attempt to deal with the reason for which people become terrorists in addition to dealing with terrorist acts themselves. By introducing programs intended to educate individuals and to provide them with the opportunity to access resources they really need, governments can effectively fight the terrorist problem.
Many terrorism are inclined to believe that what they are doing is for a higher cause and that it is the only solution to their problems. It is not that they do not acknowledge the degree to which their actions affect others, but they feel that they should ignore negative effects as they go through with doing what they consider as something much more important than material values. This makes it especially difficult for the authorities to address these kinds of people. They are typically indoctrinated and are thus unlikely to respond to normal stimuli. Simply providing them with information regarding why it is bad for them to act in a particular way is not enough. In order to avoid 'triggering' such persons, society needs to concentrate on addressing their problems.
The contemporary situation in Gaza is certainly informative when considering the context of terrorists and terrorist acts. While initially starting out as what appeared to be two belligerent camps, the Israelite army and people of Palestine rapidly turned into hunter and prey. The Hamas forces in Gaza seem to be reluctant to accept their condition and push hard to fight Israel. The people of Gaza are thus left with no alternative but to be seem as a threat and they are practically harassed without having any say in the matter. Considering the way Israel continues to kill innocent while presumably wanting to fight Hamas, Palestinian are rapidly encouraged to get actively involved in the conflict. The fact that they are limited and significantly outnumbered leaves them with no alternative but to engage in acts of terror. Terrorism is certainly wrong, but looking at it from the perspective of people who observed most of those close to them being ruthlessly murdered for no reason whatsoever certainly makes terrorist acts less confusing.
Terrorism comes in many forms and it would be wrong for someone to address it by using specific means of fighting it. By first seeing the bigger picture and then trying to focus on individual aspects one by one, a law enforcement officer can effectively deal with both terrorism and things that are likely to support it.
The contemporary fight against terrorism Intelligence agencies "assess vulnerabilities by evaluating funding resources, recruiting methods, communication networks, storage facilities, and other resources to uncover potential vulnerabilities." (Winkler et. al. 2005, 152)
More and more individuals have acknowledged the importance of getting communities actively involved in fighting terrorism. By cooperating with locals and by educating them to take on attitudes that are probable to identify or discourage terrorist acts, the authorities can gain a significant ally in their struggle to reduce the number of terrorist acts. "The Obama administration has asked communities to notify law enforcement if it suspects someone is becoming radicalized toward terrorist activity." (Sullivan 2013)
With Muslim communities often being associated with terrorist acts as a result of the fact that some of these performances involving individuals from Islamic nations, the U.S. government has seized the opportunity to cooperate with these respective groups and to encourage them to play an active role in fighting terrorism. The idea in this case was not necessarily to incriminate Muslims, as it was actually intended to have them and the whole world understand that terrorism is a concept that needs to be fought as a general thing. Muslim communities cooperating with the authorities do so precisely because they want to have society understand that the problem is not with Islam or with Muslims in general. The problem is actually with a number of radicals who interpret religious teachings in an extreme way.
The Muslim American community has been known to cooperate with the authorities every time it had the chance to do so. Not only does it intend to assist them in identifying potential terrorist threats, but they also want to raise public awareness concerning Muslims as a whole. According to President Barack Obama, "the best way to prevent violent extremism inspired by violent jihadists is to work with the Muslim American community -- which has consistently rejected terrorism -- to identify signs of radicalization and partner with law enforcement when an individual is drifting toward violence." (Obama in Sullivan 2013) Through adopting such ideas, the authorities work with presumed 'enemies' in having society understand the degree to which information can help the masses experience little to no problems. The Muslim American community is actually determined to cooperate and to make others aware of the fact that discrimination is wrong -- the actual concept that needs to be fought is extremism.
Similar to how people need to be educated in order to be able to cooperate with the police in apprehending potential terrorists, law enforcement officers have to have a complex understanding of the communities they are dealing with. Not only do they have to have unbiased thinking, as they actually need to develop strong relations with members belonging to communities usually associated with terrorism. Such partnerships "are said to provide police with important cultural and linguistic insights, vital information and cooperation, and informed observations that can become part of a productive strategy for terror crime prevention." (Spalek 2012, p. 53) An informed police officer knows how to deal with individual belonging to communities that are typically discriminated and is less likely to use harsh policing strategies with the purpose of catching criminals.
While many would be inclined to consider particular religious groups when coming across the idea of terrorism, it is also important to consider general forms of the act. Numerous terrorists can be fueled by a series of things other than religion. In some cases a person can resort to committing a terrorist act in order to get revenge for a conflict he or she experienced with the government or a particular institution. This is why it is important for law enforcement officers to also cooperate with individuals in charge of strategic industrial locations. "The fundamental elements of managing risk, including the risk of terrorism, in an industrial setting include the following: imagining potential risks, reducing their likelihood, mitigating the opportunities for attack, minimizing the consequences should one occur, and responding responsibly to citizens in harm's way." (Johnson, Ledlow, and Cwiek 2005, p. 131-132)
By addressing conditions in Canada in the context of terrorism, one can gain a more complex understanding of how community outreach can function as a tool to discourage and prevent terrorism. The Anti-terrorism Act used National security functions with the purpose of fighting terrorism and in order to have the masses better acquainted with the threat. In addition to installing policies, laws, and creating agencies, the Canadian government invested large amounts of resources in educating people and in encouraging them to get actively involved in the conflict, as they were enabled to see the matter from a general perspective and to thus acknowledge the significance of their role in removing the terrorist threat (Nikbay & Hancerli 2007, p.…[continue]
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