Terrorism is a major threat to the world peace today, and it has become a global issue affecting most countries where it is expressed as act of violence whereby a group of people who are against another group attack those that they consider rivals or competitors, in order to create an atmosphere of fear, political gain or religious motives. Terrorism is not a new term or an association of civilization. It is as old as politics, religion just to mention, but a few, it is as old as the presence of humankind on the face of the earth. There are various means of carrying out the attacks; explosives like bombings, biological weapons, gunfire and chemical weapons leaving behind scores of people dead, others injured and destruction of property and infrastructure. Different types of terrorists exist in the world today such as; anarchists, nationalists, communists, conservatives, right wing, left wing, ethnic militia groups, religious groups, narcoterrorism and many others.
Argentina’s Counter Terrorism
Argentina as a country has experienced acts of terrorism internally in the earlier years in the form of coups, and the Dirty War. It was until in the 90s, when there were two international terrorist attacks that left at least 125 people dead and scores injured; about 555 people in count. The first attack was in the year 1992 in Buenos Aires at the Israeli embassy, while the second one was in the year 1994 at an Argentinean-Israeli community centre, still in Buenos Aires. These two terrorist attacks seemed to be targeting Israeli nationals living in Argentina, as a means of retaliation to Israel for killing one of the leaders of the Iranian terror group Hezbollah in February 1992. It also appeared to be faithfully instigated, because the terrorists were of Islamic origin, and those, who were attacked, were of Jewish origin (Paul, 2002).
The Argentinean government opened investigations into the bombings to try to find out who were responsible for the attacks. According to the available sources, there was a little progress in investigations regarding the attacks, although it was thought that the Iranian Islamic terror group - Hezbollah was responsible. These attacks appeared to have a religious goal other than a political one. The case of the 1992 bombing at the Israeli embassy was handed to the Argentines Supreme Court. The then chief justice was appointed to carry out the investigations, and report his findings to the court, and within a period of two years, he had come up with nothing substantial as much as the Islamic jihad claimed responsibility. Two years later the case received serious attention, and another judge was appointed to lead the investigations. It was around this time that the second attack was carried out at the community centre, as it was with the first judge, the second judge made little progress probing the case, though six Lebanese men and one Brazilian man were linked to the Hezbollah terror group and they were released days later due to lack of evidence (Paul, 2002).
More interest in the two cases later arose in 1996 when the Argentine National Academy of engineers proved their findings of what they called the “Internal Explosion Theory” which revealed that the explosion at the Israeli embassy took place inside the embassy and not outside a car, as initially reported. Later on in 1998, a call that was intercepted by the government from the Iranian embassy in Argentina proved that Iran had played a role in the 1992 bombing at the Israeli embassy. The then Argentinean president expelled six Iranian diplomats from his country (Robert, 2006).
The judicial system of the Argentine government has been regarded to neglect the two cases of terror attacks in the country, and thus they have continued to be politicised and have remained matters of interest among some politicians in the country, though there is nothing more to it that they can do, since the cases were under the Supreme Court. In the years that followed, particularly in 2005 and 2009, there were some judges who went on with the investigations surrounding the two bombings, and some people were arrested and charged, including people who served in the Argentinean government, especially in the executive and justice departments for failing to do their jobs effectively during their times in office (Sascha, 2007).
As it may regard any other country hit by terrorist in the world, the affected country comes up with counter terrorist measures which refer to the tactics, techniques, practices or strategies that governments develop, in order to prevent or deal with any acts of terrorism. It was immediately after the first terrorist attack that the Argentine government came up with various counter terrorism measures, which involved all sectors from defence to medical institutions nationally, regionally and locally. In the year 1996, the president gave a directive that was enacted as national legislation for the launch of Sisteme Federal de Emergencias (SIFEM) or Federal Emergency System that mainly caters for emergency preparedness against any terror attacks. This system includes the hospitals and public health sector that is ready in case of chemical or biological attack (Brehm, 1981).
The Argentine government is very strict when matters regard acts of terrorism come up on the table. The government blocks all kinds of financial assets that may associate to people suspected to be terrorists. As a country, Argentina has been cooperating with other world countries in developing and maintaining protocols against the acts of terrorism. There has also been the development and training of specialised forces to deal with issues of terrorism such as; the special group of federal operations, federal police, and falcon commandos (Paul, 2002).
The Argentine government has come up with its policies, which include the creation of public awareness on terrorism, inspection of goods and people entering the country through airports and border-cross points. Other policies included; the registration of citizens and foreigners including expatriates working in the country, installation of security gadgets like cameras in public places like shopping malls, schools, sports grounds, airports, seaports and train stations. Among other policies adopted by the Argentine government include; abiding by the United Nations charter, limitation of use of nuclear fuel on peaceful grounds, control of chemical exports, with regard to weapons, Argentina supports the Unregister, membership in the South-Atlantic zone of peace and cooperation. Terrorism currently is an epidemics that has throttled healthy peaceful relations among countries of the world, which are occupied by people with all manner of diversities and differences with regard to culture, social, racial, academic, economic, religious, political, not forgetting climatic endowments (Matthew, 2008).
Tactics and Strategies for Counter Terrorism
Another important strategy that was proposed by the Argentinean government was to ensure that individuals come up with strategies through which they can adapt to different threats from terrorists. This, according to the government, is important, for it ensures that a nation avoids losing its power to terrorists. Closing of borders, according to the government, is a good strategy in ensuring that terrorists do not attack Argentina, but it can also cause disadvantages to the business sector. This is because entrepreneurs will not be able to operate freely. The only way Argentina thought would realize the nation’s growth was through self-evaluation. This means that as much as it is fighting against terrorists it should not forget its development goals (Matthew, 2008).
Use of force is a sure way through which a nation can keep terrorists away. That is exactly what Argentina agreed to use in order to do away with terrorists. The first step in doing this was by disrupting the terrorist leadership. Apart from attacking terrorist leaders, attack of terrorist’s finances can also help in ensuring peace in Argentina. This step ensures that terror networks are disabled. Use of Propaganda is another strategy that was agreed upon by Argentinean government in keeping away terrorists. This was made possible through spreading the wrong information about terrorists all over the world so that nations do not offer them refuge services. International partnership is another strategy of reducing the terrorists’ network. International partnership involves pulling together of forces from different nations in order to eliminate terror networks. To ensure that international partnership against terrorists succeeds, it was important to put in mind the rule of law. Another important factor to consider this is to ensure that all nations respect each other (Sascha, 2007).
Terrorist’s activities cause so much havoc to the well being of a nation. It is due to these activities that most nations cannot develop politically, socially and economically. Realization of this made Argentina realize that the only way of ensuring a nation’s stability was to eliminate terrorists. A part from the above mentioned strategies of eliminating terrorists. Trying in terrorists was courts topped the list (Sascha, 2007).
Country’s Response to Terrorism
After several attacks by the terrorists, Argentina realized that the only way it could ensure peace in the nation was through unity. These meant that different individuals and leaders had to put aside their differences and focus on terminating one enemy. Leaders there mobilized people to come together to ensure that terror networks are done away with. Argentinean people were not happy with the attacks; they were very furious and were eager to eliminate terrorists completely from their country. Anger among citizens was evident through different demonstrations of ad groups that were organized and mainly interested in seeking justice for the perpetrators. Revenge, according to Argentinean leaders, was best in teaching their enemies a lesson. Apart from revenge, leaders advocated for hate towards terrorists. After putting personal differences aside, the leaders thought that democracy would help in uniting people against terrorists. Citizens are to be taught on the value of love, tolerance and openness. This, according to leaders, would help in fighting terrorists (Matthew, 2008).
Terrorism has posed a great challenge to different nations. This is because it leads to high levels of instability. Argentina is an example of a country that has faced challenges that have emanated from terrorism. The Argentinean government and its citizens at large have been able to come together to ensure that terrorists network is eliminated. Different strategies and tactics have been applied in ensuring this. These tactics include, use of law courts to charge terrorists, use of propaganda, use of force, closing of borders among others (Brehm, 1981).