From the beginning the paper has to take into account some methodological limitations, due to the fact that the research paper will examine the terrorism case only from the perspective of the European liberal democracy. By doing so, it assumes that the analise of a limited framework it is enough for proving the international character of terrorist activity. In this way the paper shows that the European terrorism case is to some extent particular, but in the same time it has a strong common ground with worldwide terrorism.
For the last three decades, the liberal democracies have been facing a normative dilemma: how should they act consistently against terrorism in such a manner that the result should meet at least two conditions- efficiency and democratic acceptable? It seems that between the compromising politics of democracies and the violent actions of terrorist, there is a procedural gap, in which the first is in a disadvantaged position. It is the state able to use unconstitutional measures in order to be more efficient, and by doing so loosing democratic accountability?
The answer is certainly no. For this reason the liberal state avoid indiscriminate countermeasures against terrorist actions. To a certain extend the problem of the liberal state acting efficient, so necessarily 'undemocratic', is incorrect. At the beginning, specific anti-terrorist legislation was implemented (as a result of social outputs) only in those countries where terrorism became a serious problem. So the state's aggressive campaigns not only were suported by citizens, but in fact were requested by the public opinion.
Than, the state developed legitimate institutions with certain task in solving the new occured specific problems. Behind political decisions there is the core of western democracies behaviour -the liberalism. The essential feature of liberalism, is the belief in freedom of opinion and conduct. For the classical liberals such as John Stuart Mill, the belief in the freedom to act and to choose in a way fitted to someone expectations, was the very core of humanity: Yet to conform to custom merely as a custom, does not educate or develop in him any of the qualities which are the distinctive endowment of human being.
The human facilities of perception, judgement, discriminative feeling, mental activity, and even moral preference, are exercised only in making a choice. (Mill 1991:65) Someone may argue that the liberal perspective maximized the individual liberty of acting, to an anarchic system's extend. That is why a primary purpose of the liberal state is to design a place in which individual autonomy is exercised without adversely affecting the autonomy of the others. To implement this condition the state is using its coercion power to restrict action that would otherwise be injurious to the other citizens.
So criminal law is seen as a necessarily and desirable restraint on liberty in order to protect the individual right of being free of arbitrary interference from the others. So the terrorist action is not tolerated in the context of any liberal state. The terrorist action is seen as a threat for the liberal state, in asmuchas its long -term objective is the removal of the social support away from the state. As Peter Chalk notices in the West European Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism (Macmilian Press Ltd. 1996) p. 95. "Terrorism is seen foremost, as a psychological tactic .
Its aim is not to destroy, but rather to induce a general state of fear… by encouraging people to think that the government is no longer able to fulfil its primary security function… so, terrorism can be viewed as a peculiar type of Minority tyranny which denies any rights that are separate from or beyond its own particular brands of politics. " The term 'terrorism' originally appeared during the1789 French revolution to describe the activities of the revolutionary Jacobin regime. According to Laqueur (Laqueur 1987:11), "it was initially used in a positive sense by the jacobins when speaking about themselves".
After the death of Robespierre it becomes a term of abuse that since than has been associated with criminal conotations. The concept gains its systematic nature later on during the emergence of the anarchist movement across Europe – the second half of the nineteenth century. The conceptualize of terrorism is a very difficult process because it implies a lot of variables to take into account. First it becomes a vague concept attributed wrongly to all types of illegal political activity and violence. More important is that it has an intrinsic negative connotation, so most of the definitions label it in terms of right and wrong.
Therefore, "terrorism can be defined as the systematic use of illegitimate violence that is employed by sub-state actors as a means to achieve specific political objectives… it is a psychological tactic that seeks to spread fear-inducing effects in a target group wider than the immediate audience through the actual or feared indiscriminate target of non combat victims and property… In order to fulfil effectively its communicative function, terrorism must aim to maximize publicity and the perpetrators must claim responsibility for their actions"(Chalk1996:22).
From this extended definition, some aspects need further details. For instance a terrorist group implies political activity -meaning that all terrorist groups has certain political objectives: its ultimate objective is to influence political decission /behaviour. Even though it does manifest as a criminal activity. Similar to most of the anarchic theories, terrorism is seeking to gain political control by means of psychological terror, implying indiscriminate terror.
The lack of discrimination drive the terror to its climax, hence everyone is a potential target. This does not mean that terrorist action is randomly or that it has no certain target, but that terrorist actions will not necessarily limits their activity to the target group. It is hard to imagine a bombing campaign without 'unengaged' casualties. For this reason it involves both military and noncombatant civilian victims. The deliberate murder of innocent civilians is seen as an effective mean of inducing 'general' terror.
For the same reason terrorist action might be directed against governmental troops which are not deployed in an active combat context. Such actions outrageously encrouch upon the basic moral rules which govern 'the war game'. The terrorist action does seek to generate a long-term social anxiety by using repeated violent acts. The very essence of the terrorist behaviour is getting noticed. The population-as asocial base, and the military force must keep in mind that the terrorist acts are continuosly influencing the shaping of social reality in terms of their own agenda.
A last matter that should be taken into account, is that of state terrorism-implies an authoritarian state behaviour focused on certain population groups, as in the case of the Nazi regime policies against Jewish minority. Such a situation will not be taken into account by the present paper because it is considered more as an exception from the general rule. What distinguishes a sub-state terrorism is: the arbitrary and unpredictable of its actions, the greater psychological war implying the difference between resources and perceived threat and finally the mediatic aknowledgement of the terrorist actions and demands.
(Chalk 1996:9-22). Further on, the paper will analise the emergence of terrorism as an international phenomena and the stress moving from local and national decision-makers to international ones. As J. R. Thackrah noticed "terrorism can be both domestic and international in nature. For qualifying a terrorist act as international, the act of aggression must involve the government, citizens or territory of more than one state-having an international effect" (Thackrah 1987:265). Terrorist acts become more active and in the same context more international during the second half of the 60's.
The reasons are complex, but generally has to do with the development of modern mass media networks, the rise of the New Left, the state search for finding a 'surrogate' for conventional war and in particular the radicalization of Latin American revolutionary strategy and the rise of Palestinian extremism abroad -as the result of their defeat in the 1967 Six Day War. (Chalk1996:25-44)More important for the European framework are the first three general conditions. The modern telecommunication technology has compressed the time and space. As we know advertising is a sine qua non condition for terrorist sponsorship.
Information technology has helped for the 'socialization' of terrorist acts and platforms- as long as TV is looking for as much spectacular as possible-, and easily offer a' model' to follow. So, latent violent impulses might be awaken at social level incresing the possibility of comitting violent acts. As it is easy to understand, the terrorists don't have access to as many military facilities as a government does. That's why they avoid direct confruntation. They will attack only when the enemy is less prepared . The Media 'Show effect' may help them to overcome this weakness, according to the maxim 'kill one, frighten a thousand'.
The second cause is the rising of the New Left. It was an anvangardist western reaction against the institutionalization and the failure of the traditional communist parties. A certain cause is the fast development of industrial society with its alienating effects; the Vietnam War casualties. The militants were especially young students fighting to gain identity in an 'up side down 'world. The most important general cause of the proliferation of terrorism all over the world is the state involvement in sponsoring unconventional armies to fight wars on their behalf.
The result was the 'institutionalization' of the terrorist groups- for the first time having full access to governmental training and weapon facilities. The cause was the constraints placed on the state warfare by the nuclear age. The new World Order have changed the traditional system of forces by the invention of the nuclear bomb. As long as states were now part of an international system they couldn't afford anymore to fight wars whenever their interests would have asked to. So, they find a surrogate -sponsoring terrorist actions.
Complementary with this general perspective, the European case reflects some specific conditions of the outburst of the extra-national terrorism. The 1989 revolutionary movements induced a shift on the development of terrorist actions within Europe. Until than , for almost thirty years, there were two main causes that fuelled terrorism: the pursuit of self -determination by terrorist means and the worldwide proletarian revolution against western imperialism. The Europe design as a multicultural environment ,before the emergence of the first state-nations, was one of the most important causes for regional self-determination.
The new states that have occurred in the pre-modern Europe, seems not to have taken into account the ethnic and cultural diversity. These circumstancies provide a fertile ground for movements of liberation in areas culturally inflameted. During this first period, the Basque provinces and the Northern Ireland were the major inflameted areas. During the70s and 80s, several doctrinal groups had emerged ,with their roots in The New Left Movement and student revolts from1968. They were vehemently anti-US, anti-NATO,anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist .
However the threat posed by this groups cannot be compared with those of PIRA or ETA. After the 90s revolutions, two other conditions have helped the proliferation of terrorism allover Europe:The cretion of a Single European Market and the proliferation of arms throughout Europe. The fall of the Sovietic bloc and the reconstruction of the Russian army as a smaller but performant institution, has brought out on the blackmarket a great number of military capabilities which easier circulates in the conditions of EU enlargement .
The1993 Act that stipulated the emergence of a single market has mostly economic rationale and by that somehow overlooking the security matters which a future borderless Europe might rise. The politicians have been realised only recently that the abolishion of checks and passaport formalities will eliminate a wide variety of controls that were designed to combat criminal activity in general. To argue that border relaxation will exacerbate the terrorist threat, means to sustain that such measures of control were effective.
Border control will for sure offer a better database that can be used to stop international criminality. But the economic rationale is more important, so peripherial states sould seek other measures. The EU policy consists in strenghten external borders of the Union. The efficiency of this policy will have to be proved viable in the near future. The European history seems to create 'specific conflict areas' where terrorist acts are most likely to occour. This cannot conclude by far that terrorist acts are predictible regional phenomena. By definition they have an unpredictible character.
For example even if Balkans are considered to fit this profile , no one has predicted that the Yugoslavian desintegration will lead to terrorist acts. And further more, no one believed that the international aid for Kosovo will be used by UCKA terrorists against Macedonia The joint actions against terrorism has certainly a psychological effect on terrorist determination to act, according to the principle 'all against me'. It can also have an perverse effect which can even 'sentimental' legitimate it:'single against all'. The supossition is that terrorist will act not by emotional presuposition, but in terms of costs.
The Northern Ireland Case. According to Peter Chalk (Chalk 1996:69-89),during1990 and1993 ,31 per cent of European terrorist acts occourred in Northern Ireland. (701 terrorist incidents). The conflict is carried out by paramilitary groups,in a context in which religious affilation coincides with political loyality: the Republican Catholic organizations (predominantly PIRA and INLA-Irish National Liberation Army), fighting for independence and theLoyalist/Protestant groups( UlsterVolunteer Force/UVA and Ulster Defense Assocciation/UDA)-fighting to maintain the status quo.
The Protestant population represent the majority and An 1987Anglo-Irish Agreement stipulates that british soveriegnity in N. Ireland was inviolable until a majority of inhabitants will wish to change it. In September1993 an agreement was reached between Sinn Fein(the political wing of PIRA),and Social Democrat Labour Party(an anti-violence party) which was hoped to solve the problem by means of negotiation- instead 18 bomb attacks were carried out by PIRA in the province and on the mainland. The agreement was interpreted by Loyalist extremists as a common front to gain Brirish withdrawal.
In 1994 the two forces admitt to proceed by means of negotiation, but such a deccission is suspected of being ordered by short-term pragmatical interests of both sides. Three conclusions can be drawn:the conflictual history proved that terrorism cannot be military defeated, PIRA will never accept anything else than complete Irish unification and the Loyalist will never allow to be subsumed in a predominantetly Catholic Republic. After thirty years of war neither of the two sides has changed its initial position. The Xenophobic Right-Wing Extremism Case.
After the collapse of the Iron Curtain Western Europe faced with an unprecedent wave of immigration. The process has a great impact on the socio-economical Western Europe stability. This new social problem was soon found on the electoral agenda of many W. European parties. Such actions increase neo-Nazi movement social capital. In the name of national interest and for the good of the people force sould be used-including terrorist actions- for presarving the status quo. The danger posed by right-wing extremism seems to be growing.
During 1990-1993 ,for example ,Germany was the second European country which faced terrorist acts. Once they get social support, that what once was known as singular cells ,may join their forces and even create extra-european alliances with arabs extremists against'common targets'. Predictible Threats In The Ex-Communist Bloc. The desintegration of the imposed Cold War Order may generate ,as it has already happened in Balkans ,atrocious acts of terrorism. The right to self-determination is often used to justify terrorist acts. Because of its proximity ,W. Europe can easily get involved in some Balkan conflict.
For example, Germany and Austria supported Slovenia and Croatia independence, an act that was not welcomed by Serbian extremists. The desintegration of the artificial Republic of Yugoslavia, brought mass-murders and terrorist actions from serbians, UCKA terrorists and other guerillas -everyone fighting in the name of the holly right to self-determination. Former Yugoslavian ethnic communities will also provoke such violence in Germany, Austria or Netherlands. Because of the immigration problemWestern countries will have to face Russian organized crime too.
In terms of international relation theory we are talking about the export of insecurity among Europe. These brief examples clearly demonstrate that European terrorism -and so the terrorism all over the world – is no longer just a matter of local national business that states has to deal with on their own. This has to do with the new policy the 'western' powers is seeking 'to impose': the individual is subject to international law as much as the sate is ,so he\she has certain imuable rights which must be international protected by all means if necessary..
So it is the duty of international forces to protect the life of individuls that were arbitrary abussed. On the other hand, the terrorist action has develop to such an extent that the state by himself, can hardly prevent it. In a united Europe, european matters should be dealt common, there where the states' efforts would be noticeable too big. The next part of the paper is trying to analise the institutional response to this volatile process, from the perspective of the European Union policies. Any state decission has to answer to a prerequisit output of a social problem in order to be democratic acceptable.
That means anti-terrorist legislation will vary according to the extent of the terrorist threat in question. So, the level of the terrorism will determine the level of state intervantion to enhance personal security for the citizen- even if it implies a limitation of their personal freedom. Any state intervantion against 'extreme situations'has to be appropriate and necessary percieved in order to be tolerated. Special anti-terrorist legislation occures only in those areas were it is requested and it is publicly embraced. The UK, Germany, Spain, Italy or France legislation is more represive that the real threats they have to face with.
Even though, it has public support. However this does not mean that there is no common European legislation in this matter. The legal ground, and some how the institutional framework is basicly the same. The implementation of the policies varies. The paper will be most concern with the matter of 'joint actions' at the European level rather than specific state policies. A common history of anti-terrorist cooperation will be traced in the 1970s, during the first stages of modern European coagulation: the European Communities.
Against the international terrorism that has mostlly effected Western Europe, during the mid-1970s, it was created a system of consultation: TREVI (The Terrorism, Radicalism, Extremism and International Violence System of Consultation). Its goal was to facilitate practical anti-terrorist cooperation among member states. Initialy it was devided in two operational groups: WG1- mutual assistance on terrorist matters and WG2-training and informational exchange among intelligence chiefs and police units.
Its activity was extented over anti-drug traffic and security issues related with the relaxation of borders after 1989. The most important thing is that it has successfully provide a security communication network among member state police forces. Complementary, in 1979, was born PWGOT as a reaction to the murder of the British Ambassador to the Hague. The Police Working Group was meant to be more operational than TREVI- considered to be a 'ministerial' initiative. It enhancedcooperation among national agencies. Without having a treaty based
existence, both remain models of informal cooperation, because of their consultative and semi-permanent nature. The 1977 European Convention for the Suppresion of Terrorism is important for the amending of the existing extradition treaties. In reality its power was limited by an article which stipulate that the contracting states may refuse the extradition request on grounds of political asylum. INTERPOL is the most ambitious project of police cooperation being signed by 150 states in its original form. Initially it has no specific reference on counter-terrorism.
The 1984 resolution added 'the agrresive act' against innocent civilians outside 'the conflict area', as issue on their agenda. However investigating terrorism is not one of the Interpol's top priority. More important is that Interpol includes states which are associated with sponsoring terrorism, so it is not considered a safe environment for the exchange of operational information. (Paul Swallow, New Scotland Yard: 1994). The1985 first stage of Shengen Agreement is important for the aim of reaching a common EU facility standard as a result of future border relaxation.
The 1990 Shengen 2 Agreement includes all member states except GB, Ireland and Danemark. In order to prevent illicit activities a centralised database was set up, which allow access to information on persons. As a result criminal activity is controlled. The problem with the Shengen is that it doesn't include all EU member states . However it remain to a certain extent in a project phase, due to the heavily critics of its undemocratic nature, or the lack of a data protection act. (Chalk, 1996:117-141).