The new facets of terrorism

Source: The post is based on an article “The new facets of terrorism” published in the “The Hindu” on 30th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS-3, Security Challenges and their Management in Border Areas – Linkages of Organized Crime with Terrorism.

News: Recently, two acts of terror were carried out in the U.S. and Russia. In the US, an attempt was made to murder Salman Rushdie, the famous author of the controversial ‘The Satanic Verses’. In Russia, Darya Dugina, a nationalist leader and one of the supporters of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, died in a car bomb explosion.

What are the causes of worry?

The fanaticism of religious fundamentalists has no expiry date: Salman Rushdie was attacked for the words that he had written 34 years ago. Thereafter, Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against him in 1989. Terrorists driven by religious fanaticism are daring, suicidal, and vengeful individuals.

It is very difficult to protect a target because terrorists integrate into the maze of ethnicities of the United States and emerge only to kill. Here, the attack was made by a 24-year-old “sleeper”, an offender who was not on the FBI records as a terror suspect.

Democracies and autocracies are known to use the same tools of intelligence gathering etc. But the recent attacks have made a mockery of all security drills and knowledge that has been accumulated by security agencies over the years. In the last decade, technology, software, and tools are used to tackle infiltration.

U.S. agencies gather and go through volumes of personal data of citizens and people around the world and deploy tools such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) to identify terrorists or their sympathizers. However, these new-age tools offer no guarantee of pre-emption and early detection.

Similarly, the Moscow incident puts a question mark on the efficacy of Russian intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Russia also apprehended a suspect recently, who had allegiance to an Islamic terror group. He is alleged to have been preparing to enter India and harm an unnamed dignitary or high-value person. Therefore, threats are real to India as well.

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