Northern Ireland | Irish terrorism still persists

Act of terrorism

(Photo: BY-ND)

Hostilities and conflict in Northern Ireland have been around for so long that its people have forgotten the root cause of it. John Soule, a political scientist studying this ongoing conflict, declared that the conflict can be considered a ritual wherein both sides are locked in a dance and cannot get out. Using observations and interviews, he also stipulated that new recruits to the terrorist movements are being fueled by hatred and motivated by the desire to avenge fallen comrades, becoming oblivious to the original political purpose of the conflict.

Collaboration with the moderates

Governments are sometimes known to have collaboration with the moderates inside terrorist circles. If the government offers a deal to a heterogeneous terrorist organization, the leaders of that terrorist group will not hesitate to accept that deal. However, if the deal goes right and the moderate leaders return to the government, the terrorists are left in the influence of the extremists, which can increase activities of militant groups and widespread terrorist violence.

Nevertheless, if the deal goes smoothly, the government can require former terrorists, those who have switched over to their side to help in counter-terrorism efforts and technical know-hows, can improve the government’s chance in eliminating the terrorist threat.

Terrorists groups and internal conflicts

Terrorist groups are also known to have internal conflicts, and moderate leaders are more likely to accept deals from the government than extremist leaders. Moderates are known to engage in less violence. When the government offers a deal to the moderates, they leave the group and allow the extremists to take over, making the group even more dangerous.

Big challenges when confronting acts of violence

Democratic states these days face big challenges when confronting acts of violence considered terrorism. An over-reactive approach to the situation can alienate the population and damage the legitimacy of the government (which becomes more damaging than the terrorists’ activities). The credibility and capability of upholding the law by the police, the military and the government will also be undermined, especially when they prove incapable of handling such an event. The acts of violence must be approached in a steady, careful but immediate response with a positive result to maintain public confidence.

Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act

In the United Kingdom, a new law was passed called the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act, following their success in handling the terrorist bombings and killings during the conflict in Northern Ireland. This act allows the government to detain indefinitely, without trial, a non-national suspected of being capable of or implicated in terrorist activity. However, according to the British Law Lords, they ruled that “because only foreigners could be detained in this way, such an anti-terrorist law was discriminatory, disproportionate and unlawful under the European Convention on Human Rights.” Some of these “former” terrorists are even prohibited to seek and obtain immediate short-term financing, even with short term installment loans or bad credit payday loans, because of their former way of life.



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