Eleven Rules for Preventing and Combating Terrorism

1. Prevent radical individuals and groups from becoming terrorist extremists, by confronting them with a mix of “carrot and stick” – tactics and search for effective counter-motivation measures.

2. Stimulate and encourage defection and conversion of free and imprisoned terrorists and find ways to alienate the terrorist organization from its constituency.

3. Maintain the moral high-ground in the struggle with terrorists by defending and strengthening the rule of law, good governance, democracy and social justice.

4. Try to address the underlying conflict issues exploited by the terrorists and work toward a peaceful solution while not making any substantive concession to the terrorists themselves.

5. Establish an Early Detection and Early Warning system against terrorism and other violent crimes on the interface between organized crime and political conflict.

6. Deny terrorists access to arms, explosives, travel and identification documents, safe communication, safe travel and sanctuaries; disrupt their preparations and operations through infiltration, communication intercept, espionage and by limiting their criminal- and fund-raising potential.

7. Reduce low-risk/high-gain opportunities for terrorists to strike by enhancing transportation and communication security and by hardening critical infrastructures and potential sites where mass casualties could occur.

8. Prepare for crisis – and consequence-management for both “regular” and “catastrophic” acts of terrorism in coordinated simulation exercises and educate the public to cope with terrorism.

9. Enhance technical assistance against terrorism by trengthening the capacity of law enforcement, intelligence and the military of states which lack sufficient capacities while also enhancing internal and external coordination within and between states to deal more effectively with terrorist threats.

10. Since terrorism is a mix of violence and propaganda, counter not only the violence but also terrorist communiques, ideological writings and internet propaganda and respond to the language of hatred and violence by a well-argued counter-language of reason and humanity.

11. Since we all can become victims of terrorism and they bear no guilt for their fate, it is our obligation to acknowledge them, show solidarity with them and assist them, including through financial compensation. This will also contribute to strengthening the resilience of targetted societies.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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Kevin Derksen on December 15, 2007  · 

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