Connect with us

Terrorism

Economics of Terrorism: Companies Bring New Innovative Solutions to Preventing Terrorism across Europe

Published

on

Amid terrorist attacks in Europe, Strategic Intelligence Research & Resourcing’s sentiment is extremist violence will persist and become a normal state of affairs. Many call it the “New Normal”.  Investment partnerships can help prevent terrorism through new innovations where countries benefit with new emerging security technologies.

Reasons for Concern: Returning Fighters & Lone Wolf Attacks

Unfortunately, terrorism will be part of Europe’s framework for some time. One significant reason and example is the migration of ISIL fighters to home countries. As The Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom reported, “while removing ISIL from Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria deprives it of territory, it certainly doesn’t rid Western Europe of new extremist attacks. As a point of reference, Europol has estimated nearly 5,000 jihadist have returned to the EU which is a basic premise of this brief.

The continued battle and killing of top ISIL leaders and fighters opens up escape paths for militants to return to their respective countries. 

These militants open up other concerns for government due to an elevated risk from single-assailant  attacks. The single-militant type of violence witnessed in London, Stockholm, and now Paris, has become more prevalent and problematic, and a new challenge for security organizations.

European authorities have indicated improving efforts to thwart complex, large-scale attacks such as those in Paris in November 2015 or in Brussels in March 2016, the continued focus on individual extremism will be the plank why new technologies will emerge. Yet with last week’s events in Barcelona, we may need to rethink further efforts to prevent attacks.

To that end, new businesses may help lessen violence thanks in part to close working ties between public and private commercial investors who view new ways to overcome terror movements.

No doubt partnerships between government and private companies can contribute to economic growth creating jobs, increasing competitiveness, and upgrading new security vis-a-vis innovative technology.

Because fighting terrorism is an ongoing venture, work within a public/ private framework helps expand business creativity, ingenuity, and development.  Investors as in venture capitalists and PE should take notice that fighting terror is in-grained and part of the EU fabric and why new technologies or methods need developing to stay ahead of the game. 

Technologies that include predictive analytics, biometrics, system integration, and nanotechnology are some measures that help thwart the threats but also translate to promoting growth in diverse sectors, one of which is security.  While constant vigilance coupled with existing preventative methods contribute to stopping attackers in their tracks, emerging technologies and markets can be viewed as a key ingredient to future prevention that not only counter terror but benefit economic growth.  Europe, we believe, is on the right track in delivering these ideas to market with the help of public funding, private equity, and venture capital investing.

Economic Affects of Anti-Terrorism Measures

Suffice to say, state security is a policy that government cannot ignore giving impetus to new market development. This philosophy is not new. NATO researchers, for instance, expressed, how in 1958, Foreign Ministers Halvard Lange of Norway, Gaetano Martino of Italy and Lester Pearson of Canada affirmed that “scientific and technological developments can be decisive factors in determining the security of countries and their positions in world affairs.” Europe’s approach today then should be to stay one step ahead by protecting critical assets and people from threats.

With the cooperation of government and the private sector, new strategies to both anticipate and mitigate the dangers of terrorism while predicting terror plans are key to estimating the next unknown attack.  That said, the “Europe Counter Terror & Public Safety Industry & Markets – 2017-2022″ report, expressed that European counter terror and public safety infrastructure will go through a major overhaul, sustaining a 13.4% surge during 2016-2020 which is nearly four times the pace of the previous five-year period. New innovative approaches in tackling and anticipating terrorism becomes part of the aforementioned plan.

Through its own research, we’ve had found that the global security market’s 2011 figures were estimated to be worth some €100 billion($129BN) with around 2 million persons employed worldwide. The EU security market, at that time, had an estimated market value in the range of €26 billion to €36.5 billion ($33-$47BN) with around 180,000 employees. Security products in Great Britain alone is estimated to be worth about $16 billion. 

Europeans are trying to develop better means for pre-emptively spotting “lone-wolf” militants, as reported by the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz.

With the above-mentioned in mind, one technology making an impact on predicting violence is VCA or Video Content Analysis software and its use in border crossing.  This program predicts human behavior when trying to identify individuals attempting to cause harm within certain perimeters like industrial complexes It recognizes repeat offenders and those on ‘wanted lists’.

 This technology has developed new algorithms for image analysis, especially facial recognition systems. Video Content Analysis (VCA), also known Smart CCTV, is the technology within video surveillance that analyses and detects temporal and spatial events. Accordingly, the European video security surveillance market has grown at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 8-10% over the past few years driven by rising concerns for security.

Other points SIR2 has found are efforts to fund new technologies through the European Investment Fund.

The European Investment Fund fosters EU objectives, notably in the field of entrepreneurship, growth, innovation, research and development, employment and regional development. Through the European Investment Bank, the venture debt fund Inveready has agreed to target early-stage tech start-ups

In addition to the EIF, The EU plans to run a 1.6bn venture capital fund to nurture innovative technology start-ups.

A Continuum of Funding

The danger posed by homegrown terrorists and foreign fighters from around the world with plans to return home has not diminished. Yet a continuum exists for further investments and commercial ventures.

Market and strategic research show an obvious relationship between terrorist strikes and new businesses created. Potential terrorist attacks in European capitals should be viewed from two opposite paradigms: increased threats due to extremist fighters returning to their respective countries and an increase in new innovations and business investments help create new jobs, increase the tax base and present new growth within various sectors of a country’s economic base that eventually contributes the EU to stay ahead of future attacks.

Because investments help in the innovation space, talent acquisition, R&D, supply chain efficiencies, and educational opportunities grow too. As voted in the brief there is room for growth friendly measures to where innovation and expansion become vital components to economies.

Dean Klovens, Managing Director, Strategic Intelligence Research and Resourcing. Dean has extensive experience in research & writing for business and public policy projects in areas of strategic intelligence to benefit leadership’s decision making. He earned his Master’s in Public Administration and Policy at DePaul University with a BA in Political Science at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Continue Reading
Comments

Terrorism

Countering Terrorism: 2023 and Beyond

Published

on

afghanistan terrorism
(file photo) UNAMA/Fraidoon Poya

Pakistan has carried three significant issues from 2022 into 2023. These include political instability, a dwindling economy and resurging terrorism. With respect to terrorism, Afghanistan has assumed centre stage. Following the withdrawal of US forces on 15 Aug 2021, there was initial jubilation in Pakistan over Taliban’s triumph. It stemmed from the perception that US military presence in the region and drone strikes were the leading sources of regional instability.

2022 ended for Pakistan with an upsurge in terrorist activities and accordingly the New Year started with a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC). The press release following the meeting reiterated NSC’s resolve to ‘have zero tolerance for terrorism in Pakistan and reaffirmed its determination to take ‘on any and all entities that resort to violence.’ This is a welcome decision by the government and state organs.

Pakistan’s counterterrorism (CT) efforts gained momentum following the unprecedented Army Public School (APS) massacre of 2014. Some have compared it to Pakistan’s 9/11. The tragedy was relatable to all of Pakistan regardless of the so-called ethnic, regional or sectarian divides. The inhumane attacks brought the civil and military leadership together in assigning this scourge of terrorism the priority that it deserved. The most prominent outcome was a National Action Plan on countering terrorism that enjoyed broadest possible political support.

Subsequently, the united stance against terrorism enabled unprecedented successes in rooting out terrorism. However, it appears that the reduction in terrorist activities led to a sense of complacency which was further aided by growing political polarisation that had more to do with differences on domestic, economic and foreign policy issues. Unfortunately, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan occurred at a time when Pakistan was struggling with internal politics. Apparently, the eventual prevalence of Afghan Taliban against a super power that they had been resisting for two decades, emboldened the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to think that it could similarly attrite the Pakistani nation and its state organs.

TTP’s motivation seems to be misplaced for primarily three reasons. First and foremost, the Armed Forces and Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) of Pakistan are fighting this war to provide a safe and secure environment to the future generations of the country – including their own children; unlike the US and coalition forces that neither had a clear objective nor a consistent policy to follow. Second, much of Afghan Taliban’s acceptance at the domestic level was based on the fact that they were fighting a foreign occupant – which is not the case for TTP. Thirdly, the Afghan Taliban assumed power by virtue of force rather than the will of the public and that is why they struggle to gain legitimacy at home and abroad.

Pakistani political leadership might differ on the possible approaches to dealing with this issue, but there certainly is no appetite for letting the TTP and associated factions consolidate power to a degree that they are able to challenge state’s writ at a level comparable to yesteryears. However, display of a united front by the various ruling parties at the Centre and provinces will help demonstrate that there will be no tolerance for terrorist activities no matter which political party assumes power.

TTP’s threat against the leadership of two ruling parties is an attempt to exploit the current domestic political divide. Political mudslinging on this issue only helps the enemy’s cause. The ongoing struggle for power between the political parties should not enable TTP to consolidate power in the interim period. Otherwise, it will become a greater threat for the next government to deal with. During the previous election years, terrorist outfits were successful in targeting the leadership of various political parties during their election campaigns and arguably changing the election outcomes by terrorising the electorate. It is in shared interest of all the political parties to avoid a repeat of such a scenario.

While the politico-military leadership establishes a united front at home, it will be important to deny external actors the ability to exploit Pakistan’s internal situation. Pakistan has been at the receiving end of accusations even as it presents irrefutable evidence of external involvement in terrorist activities inside the country. As Pakistan continues to expose foreign involvement, it ought to simultaneously deny foreign actors fertile ground to exploit at home. Previously, the foreign threat was limited to the Eastern front but now it has expanded at an unprecedented level to the Western front where the Taliban government is either complicit or unable to check use of its territory to launch terrorist attacks against Pakistan.

2023 is likely going to be the year of General Elections in Pakistan. Whichever party assumes power, it is important that it looks at counterterrorism as a long-term operation that will require broader political support, less in-fighting and an ability to stay the course impervious of temporary gains and setbacks which will inevitably be a part of the process.

Continue Reading

Terrorism

A Rift Getting Deeper: TTP and IEA parting their ways?

Avatar photo

Published

on

Image source: hindustantimes.com

A few days ago, an alleged audio of Tahreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief, Noor Wali Mehsud has caught the attention of those who keep a close eye on terrorist groups operating in Pakistan, especially Tahreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Through this audio, Noor Wali has sent a message, to TTP fighters to pick up arms against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) after its search operation in provinces along the Pak-Afghan border. Since the takeover of Kabul, some security analysts had predicted the possible collaboration of IEA with TTP. Still, the evolution of TTP strategies and its ideological shift from being a branch of IEA to being an opponent of IEA was observed. Only those who have kept a sharp eye on TTP activities know that TTP is now a threat to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

The reason behind the shift in TTP’s strategies:

 What compelled TTP to give such a big statement? This question comes to everyone’s mind, the below discussion is made in context to this question. The ideological standing of both TTP and IEA is far different. Afghan Taliban are ethnic nationals. They have only fought a war against foreign forces for Afghan territory and have never claimed any region beyond the borders of Afghanistan. However, TTP has long taken inspiration from Al-Qaeda, which has expansionist objectives and deadly takfiri ideology to create a falsified identity of believers and non-believers, only to legitimize its terror activities in the name of Islam. Hence, following the footprints of such a radical organization, there is a significant possibility that TTP will join hands with ISKP against IEA.

Question of natural and forced alliance:

Since the Kabul takeover, TTP has tried to align with IEA, thus, giving it the camouflage of a natural alliance. TTP’s leadership also manifested this narrative in its statements and activities. But the ideological drift and conflicting objectives show that TTP’s so-called alignment with IEA was one-sided and enforced. After the Kabul takeover, TTP tried its well to be a part of IEA but by rigid stance, IEA always cleared in their statement that TTP and IEA are two different groups, having different inspirations and goals.

Pakistan’s role that TTP in using Afghan soil:

Pakistan has been fighting TTP since 2003. In April 2022, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) struck the hideouts of Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan along the Durand Line. This strike highlighted that a group within IEA was keen on providing safe havens to TTP. Hence, diplomatic pressure was mounted on IEA to eradicate TTP from the strategic provinces of Kunar and Khost.

 Chance of Mutual tussle between TTP and IEA:

Is there another conflict going to happen in the region? Now, the battle is the same, but the opponents are different. The so-called narrative that claims IEA and TTP were on the same table is wrecking after TTP chief Noor Wali Mehsud and IEA spoke’s person Zabiullah Mujahid’s statements.” They are not, as an organization, part of IEA, and we don’t share the same objectives,” Zabiullah Mujahid said in reaction to TTP chief Noor Wali Mehsud’s claims of being a part of the IEA. Now, the TTP chief has alerted his fighters for war. It would create complexities in the region. IEA acted as a mediator between the government of Pakistan and TTP to make peace in the region.  Additionally, Zabiullah mujahid also mentioned that We advise TTP to focus on peace and stability in their country. This is very important so, they can prevent any chance for enemies to interfere in the region, and we request Pakistan to investigate their demands for the better of the region and Pakistan.

Mujahid added that the TTP was Pakistan’s internal matter “The IEA stance is that we do not interfere in other countries affairs. We do not interfere in Pakistan’s affairs.”  

After this emerging rift, would it be possible for IEA to counter TTP? IEA is struggling to stabilize the state after Kabul take over. Nowadays, Afghanistan’s security and economy are on the verge of chaos. It would not be able to engage in other conflicts nor do they have the power to do so. And if they engaged in battle with TTP, an alliance of ISKP and TTP can hurt Afghanistan. But if they counter them, there is a chance to get international sympathy and maybe recognition because it will endorse the Doha agreement, as Recognition has become a dire need in Afghanistan.

Conclusion:

In a nutshell, it won’t be inappropriate to assume that another war will break out, and it is likely more drastic than the last ones. Despite all the hurdles, it is an opportunity for IEA to gain global sympathy for its recognition and to legitimize its regime. If the IEA becomes successful in convincing the world by taking action against terrorist outfits and extremism in its ranks, it will not only pave the way for its recognition but also meet with the minutes of the DOHA Accord to not allow any violent non-state actor to operate within Afghan territory.

Continue Reading

Terrorism

Pakistan in a quagmire: Resurgence of terrorism along with its relations with Afghanistan

Avatar photo

Published

on

Terrorism

When Taliban took over Kabul in August 2021, a large faction of the Pakistani society including mainstream politicians amused the fact that reins of Kabul had become in control of Taliban. One obvious reason for this felicitation was the much awaited perceived stability in neighboring Afghanistan which had direct impact on Pakistan. The other reason for jubilation in some factions was about the solidarity with regards to the identity of Afghan people. As brotherly nation, perseverance of Afghan people against the scourge of prolonged war, that too against the strongest military alliance, was a matter of inspiration for many in Pakistan. However, the formal response of the government was very much aligned with the global response. Islamabad did not officially recognize the interim government of Taliban. The eventful month of August, 2021 was followed by some key developments.

Considering the geo-political change in the neighboring Afghanistan, Pakistan started to rethink its strategy at the western border. Through a backdoor channel, Islamabad approached the Taliban government to ensure the security of its western border from the hideouts of TTP living in Afghanistan. In short, Pakistan wanted the Taliban government to take strong action against TTP. However, in response to that, Kabul with TTP onboard, came up with a “quid pro quo plus” approach. It urged the Pakistan’s government to have a formal agreement with TTP which later on proceeded through a back door channels. In the agreement, TTP agreed for so called cease-fire along and inside Pakistan’s territory in exchange for cessation of Pakistan’s military operation against TTP. Moreover, the strangest of demands that Pakistan agreed to, was providing, the previously expelled TTP associates, with permission to come back and reside in districts of the tribal area. On the other hand, second critical development following the fall of Kabul, was Pakistan’s stance in the international community with respect to humanitarian concerns in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s foreign minister repeatedly urged the International community to establish a meaningful dialogue and engagement with the fragile state of Afghanistan to help the people of Afghanistan. He frequently argued that alienation of a rouge actor prompts even harsher human rights violation by that actor. Hence the world should not neglect Afghanistan and the people of Afghanistan Rather, it should accept the reality and engage with Afghanistan.

However, it is extremely unfortunate to write that, both the aforementioned developments, gave rise to a Pro-Taliban sentiment vis-à-vis Pakistan. Nevertheless, the same sentiment has often been misrepresented in the western literature, and the same narrative has also been used to demonize Pakistan at the international forums. However, in reality Pakistan had been the most affected country by terrorism and it had been fighting against the scourge of terrorism since over a decade now. What is even more unfortunate is that in the recent past, TTP announced to resume its nefarious terrorist activities in Pakistan. As a result, a spike in terrorist events specifically in KPK province has been witnessed. The December 21st,2022 military operation is a testament to aggravating law and order situation in the country, in which a group of 25 TTP associated terrorists had been killed, while holding a CTD compound, hostage in Bannu.

Because there is a resurgence of terrorism coupled with the international criticism due to perceived relations with Afghanistan under Taliban. “Pakistan is appeared to be in a quagmire.”

Now, what Pakistan can pursue to undo this, is to redevise a comprehensive plan of action against terrorism in KPK and former FATA. It should also formulate a clear strategy at the western border not to tolerate any presence as well as influx of militants from Afghanistan. Moreover, for future, the state of Pakistan should also learn from the abysmal agreement that it went in with a Non-State Actor (NSA). For NSA’s an agreement is nothing more than a concealing tool for a limited survival. It is because of the three reasons. First, an agreement is always done between two responsible actors; terrorist group like TTP has no burden of responsibility neither in a domestic setting nor at the international level. Whereas, a sovereign state has immense responsibility at the domestic and international level. Second, an agreement between two states holds significance because of the perceived repute in the international system, Whereas, for a non-state actor like TTP, International reputation never comes into the equation as such groups are already infamous for their terrorist agenda. Third, States are mostly bound to stick fast to their bilateral or multilateral agreements, because of the fear of diplomatic and economic sanctions once they pull back from the agreement. Whereas in case of Non-state actors, there exist no such incentive to remain in the agreement.

Considering all the three reasons, it is quite evident that engaging with TTP for so called ceasefire agreement was neither viable nor will it ever be, particularly because, as a state, Pakistan would have to offer a lot in exchange to absolutely nothing. Moreover, because of such an agreement, Pakistan would itself invite criticism from the already skeptical international community. Hence for Pakistan, no tolerance policy against terrorism is the only option possible in order to lower domestic and international cost simultaneously.

Continue Reading

Publications

Latest

Finance9 mins ago

Astana hosts 18th Iran-Kazakhstan Joint Economic Committee meeting

The 18th meeting of Iran-Kazakhstan Joint Economic Committee meeting was held on Thursday in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana, at the end...

World News2 hours ago

The importance of Iran’s membership in the SCO

The members of Majlis (the Parliament) have approved the emergency of the plan of Iran’s commitments to achieve the position...

World News4 hours ago

Sabah: ‘The Americans have deceived themselves, the Europeans and Ukraine’

The US is repeating the same mistakes as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. Now – in Ukraine. So it...

South Asia6 hours ago

Saudi-Chinese Friendship: Should India be Concerned?

Saudi Arabia hosted the grand China-Arab summit in December last year and leaders of the two nations deliberated on future...

Southeast Asia8 hours ago

China’s assurance of Rohingya repatriation between Myanmar-Bangladesh

We now have new hope thanks to news reports that were published in the Bangladeshi dailies on Tuesday and contained...

Science & Technology10 hours ago

Deployment of 5G Technology: Scrutinizing the Potential Menace & Its Repercussions globally

5G, or fifth generation, is the latest generation of mobile telecommunications technology. It promises faster internet speeds, lower latency, and...

Europe12 hours ago

Serbia must reject the ultimatum regarding Kosovo

The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic on January 20th  had a meeting with the Western negotiating team about the solution...

Trending