What is war on terror?
War on terror is also referred to as the global war on terror and it implies to the international military campaign championed by the US and the UK rallied by the support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) together with other countries that are not members of NATO. It is generally noted that the campaign was meant to tackle the challenges of the al-Qaeda together with other militia organizations so as to end their operations. The term was initiated by the governance of President Bush but was changed by that of President Obama to Overseas Contingency Operation.
What were the objectives of the War on Terror?
Since Osama bin Laden was the founder of the al-Qaeda, formerly known as World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders (WIFJAJC), the key objective of the campaign was to defeat him together with other terrorists and obliterate their groups. Secondly, the campaign targeted to identify, then locate and destroy terrorist together with their groups. Thirdly, the campaign endeavoured in reducing the condition targeted by the terrorists and defending the citizens of United States all over the world. Finally the campaign sought to end the support and sponsorship to the terrorists.
Which fronts have been there in the war against terror?
The war on terror has been taking different fronts as is evidenced by various reports. For instance, there is the famous Pakistan front line characterised by severe killings and injuries following the war against crime. This is majorly favoured by its location geographically, its mountains and gorges as well as rivers that allow for connection of terrorists with the neighbouring countries. Following the strict measures against Taliban terrorism, the country experienced several retaliations. There remains the fear of radical organizations as potential terrorists in Pakistan, a situation that called for intervention by the US antiterrorism operations (People's Daily 4, 2010). This front had weaknesses in combating the terrorists in Pakistan as it became unpopular amongst the citizens in the Pakistan nation other than inflicting economic problems to the country. There were outcries of inflation and sluggishness of the economy and the process of wiping out the terrorist in an impacting period of time failed. This showed that a better front needed to be employed in the war against global terror.
The foreign policy front in attacking the global terrorist was initiated by the United States' president Bush. This front was objectionable based on its historical experienced weaknesses that could have culminated even in the future if it was d4ployed. It generally clear that foreign policy has the tendency of empowering the lesser evil to attack the stronger evil with consequences of more violence from the weaker evil once they gain more influence and power. An example to this is given of Osama Bin laden who together with other jihadists was supported by the US to obtain their Soviet Union from Afghanistan (Shah 4, 2011). According to Shah (6, 2011) in the entailing process more jihadists were trained and militants increased in opposition to the communists. The aftermath of this policy brought the US and the world in general to the threats of global terror by the al-Qaeda as they are facing now.
The Sahara front was another strategy in the War on Terror that was also criticised and lacked popularity. This front was generally perceived to have unfounded grounds and claims go further to state that there were no terrorists in the first place (Keenan 60, 2007). The eventuality of the front led to declining tourism in the region of Algeria and enhanced ethnical crashes. The financial front is yet another strategy that the US employed in the war against terror. According to Biersteker and Sue (1, 2008) the United States endeavoured in attacking the financial networks of the terrorist so as to suppress their funding and hence end their operations.
Another front employed against the terrorist in the war against terror movements is the 'at home front' (Youngs 1, 2010). In this type of front, the national and international politics on 'war on terror' ethical and political issues are reframed. The ethical and political issues are extended from the domestic spheres to international realms because the war on terror involves international networking (Walters 9, 2011). The communication systems are utilized in this front as well as technology to track the activities of the militia organizations.
Strategies of terrorism using internet
It is evident that the strategies used in the 'War on Terror' have not achieved the desired goal of the campaign. This is because the global terrorism is changing its tactics every now and then and a method that proved to be successful in their extermination at an earlier date might not necessarily yield the same success at present. The global terror is a wide spread issue and the technology advancement experienced by any other individual in the world are also available to the terrorists who use it to advance their attacking. It is due to this event that the global terrorists especially the al-Qaeda is observed to have embarked in utilizing the internet to advance their recruitment, to facilitate their communication and to transfer resources.
The "war on terror' has also been observed to take the new cyber front in which, monitoring of the terrorists activities is carried out. These tactics are however not immune of challenges as has been the case with their predecessors. In the United States, anonymous intelligence agencies are involved in processes of data mining in the efforts to track terrorists as well as predicting their attacks. Their efforts though lack significant success predictions and may be termed as futile, yet these groups of intellectuals are not giving up with their efforts.
It is further reported that the United States is spending a significant amount of money to enhance the data mining techniques so as to access information on from telephone calls, interviews of suspects, e-mails and social networks such as the Facebook. The government look forward to developing social networks in the manner of the Facebook so as to have data banks of international terrorists. In this way the war on terror can be argued to be taking the front of internet.
The perpetrators of cyber terrorism are smart and operate under cover in their camouflaged network systems. Moreover, the perpetrators of internet terrorism are able to hibernate in periods of intense operations by the set data miners as well as dodging their traps. These challenges of tracking the cyber terror perpetrators are heightened by the fact that, there is minimal physical operations involved and the web is networked world wide, enabling a wide pool of criminals dispersed all over the world. The possibilities of remailer services further frustrate the tracking efforts by the online data miners.
The fight on terror through the internet has even been staged taking the form of the Mafia-like structure as is applied by the terrorists. In these efforts, task force are set in a pyramid structure although in a liquid manner and set at large to enhance the operations. The partakers involved in these structures include researchers, farmers, dealers, and the consumers. The researchers are wide spread and research online for clues and tactics of the terrorists. They are involved in researching, and they commonly develop automated Bootnets. The Bootnets are spread into the cyberspace with specific commands as to the nature of messages and personal preferences partakers of terror activities as well as objectively spying the net. Since some Bootnets are automated to relay information, nodes are developed and some model maps developed regarding the preferential areas and common threats of the terrorists. The map so developed can be updated automatically to predict and spy the movements of the terrorists.
The farmers are intermediaries between the researchers and dealers and they can be assumed to be represented by the Bootnets. Ultimately, the mapping process will be set to classify information objectively for the purposes monitoring the key forms of net-terrorism by set task forces. As it is noted that the frequencies and manner terror on the internet is at large, executed through digital means, cell phones, computers, and IPods. To combat the terrorism perpetration through the internet strategy thus calls for set-up of special task forces as is the case with Cyber Crime.
Another tactic that the front in fight against global terror applies is the Spy Eye toolkit to mole the net connection of the anticipated zombie machines within the identified key points. Such toolkits are injected to the broad zombie network systems to spy on the information flow within the network of the terrorists across the globe. Other than the Spy Eye toolkit, attack templates and kits are applied to inject the Spy Eye toolkit to "attack" broad zombie network systems as deemed right. Through such processes, the internet front on terror crime is able to spy the trends of terrorists even from remote places such as the perpetrated through remailer services, although without much success, yet the advancements are promising.
Amongst the cases where online efforts have been carried out to infringe the operations of the terrorist is the hacking of the English-language online magazine in Yemen belonging to the al-Qaida network. The United States central command is also reported to be setting up online stings. They are also infiltrating the message boards belonging to the al-Qaida. The shutting down of the mag by the U.S Cyber Command is another indicator of the trends taken in confronting terrorism by online means (Coyne and Paul 63, 2011).
According to the counter terrorism report by the United Nations (6, 2011) various governments around the world are developing sophisticated systems of identifying and tracking potential terrorists. The escalating internet technology has also enabled non governmental agencies, organizations and researcher in the field of terrorism to stock and spy online activities of [potential terrorists. There are also reported scores of terrorists' websites that have been identified and catalogued by different entities worldwide. Through such means, the 'war on Terror' is arguably in the internet front. In regard to the botnets and DDOS attacks by the terrorist, the United Nation provides the means of "hacking-back" back by the victim governments. Such efforts however have weaknesses in the sense that they impose other systems to the threat as well. The DDOS and botnets are difficult to control as the perpetrators keep on adjusting their methods of application.
Another notable case in which the internet has been used in the fight against terrorism is the Council of Europe (CoE) provisions development by the European Union in 2002 (Wade and Almir 195, 2009). The provision in this Framework Decision was more enhanced in the provision than that of the United Nations in that it covered the threatening to commit the crimes provided in the document by the UN. In this light, the CoE is the liability concept of terrorism commitment whereby the concept of liability is identified in the perspectives of abettors, aiders and perpetrators (Wade and Almir 196, 2009). The convention also addresses the use of internet by terrorists in analysing targets by use of satellite maps obtainable on the Internet, information gathering to analyse security weaknesses in airports and for money laundering efforts. All these efforts are internet based and are evidence of the extent to which the EU has gone in confronting the terrorism issue through the internet.