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Terrorism: a 21st Century Crime

  • Date Submitted: 06/03/2011 09:31 PM
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TERRORISM AS A 21st CENTURY CRIME |
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IDIAGHE LILIAN |
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COMPARATIVE CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE – LPI 707

  1.0   BACKGROUND TO TERRORISM
Today, any mention of terrorism will clearly bring to mind images of September 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. There is a general consensus that terrorism exists and is undeniably a part of the modern criminal acts, laws, and system, but the big question is what exactly are they and how defined and definite are their limits. Gradually, it has formed a part of international law, criminal law or criminal justice system vernacular.      
During the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, in 1972, a Palestinian group known as Black September seized Israeli athletes inside the Olympic Village. The Palestinian group demanded the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel in return for the hostages they held in Munich. The Israeli government refused the terrorists’ demands. German police allowed the terrorists out of the Olympic Village, but eleven Israelis, one German policeman and five of eight terrorists were killed in a failed German-led rescue attempt at a small airport. The events of Munich had a lasting impact: since then terrorism became more prominent in the world’s consciousness, in no small part because terrorists continued to choose targets for their symbolic value and for maximum media coverage.
In time, some states realized that supporting terrorist groups provided an effective way for weaker states to strike at more powerful states, and terrorists have benefited from having states sponsor their activities; they could have access to false identification in the form of genuine passports, they could use diplomatic privileges to provide immunity and transport weapons and explosives. States could also provide advanced military training and pay terrorists well for their activities. More funding allowed terrorist organizations to recruit people who might not otherwise have...

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