Published on Tuesday 13th September 2016
The Threat of Global Terrorism
Figure One: Global Terrorism, Source: Google Images
Caldicott & Edwards (2002) articulates that the act of global terrorism is not a new phenomenon to world government leaders and to the general population. This has been highlighted by recent terrorist attacks in various locations around the world by radicalised groups and individuals. The way in which the media has framed recent terrorist attacks has negatively affected the way in which the Australian public has viewed and responded to terrorist outbreaks such as 9/11, the Sydney siege and the Paris NICE attacks.
According to Kollias et al. (2012) global terrorism can have an economic, social and political impact with potentially significant direct and indirect effects on economic activity and government stability. The extent and severity of any form of terrorist attack will determine whether the repercussions are short or long lasting (Kollias et al. 2012).
Dr Clarke Jones from the Australian National University comments that ‘the threat of terrorist attacks by radicalised groups and individuals have been underestimated by the Australian Government and by the civilian population’ (Dredge & Worthington 2015). Terrorist groups like al Qa’ida, Islamic Jihadist, ISIS and al-Shabaab have been reported of threatening political leaders of countries in the form of hostage taking, suicide bombings and with weapons of mass destruction in the attempt of overthrowing government leaders due to religious and political ideologies (Kollias et al. 2012).
Bird (2002) argues that recent terrorist attacks on the world such as 9/11, the Sydney siege, the Paris NICE attacks and ISIS attacks has subsequently changed the perception of global terrorism amongst the general population and by world government leaders. Waite (2007) further articulates that the fear of global terrorism has provided governments with the mandate to introduce and implement severe anti-terrorism legislation to help prevent acts of global terrorism from further spreading and violating the general population of Australia.
Figure Two: The Sydney Siege, Source: Google Images
According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 has seen the Australian Government introduce and implement more than 40 counter-terrorism laws and regulations that specifically aimed to create new criminal offenses and provide questioning powers for all police and security officers (Australian Human Rights Commission, n.d.). In my opinion the issue surrounding global terrorism is deep seated with no clear set of corrective actions or an appropriate time line for resolution as a result of the continuing threat of global terrorism within the world. However, 2016 has seen a more positive contemporary political agenda with the concern of global terrorism at the forefront of government debate.
Australia’s Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Party Malcolm Turnbull commented on July 25th 2016 that his government will introduce new national terrorism laws in August 2016 that would allow jailed terrorists who still pose as a risk to society when their prison terms expire to be held indefinitely (Peatling 2016). Mr Turnbull further states that these new anti-terrorism laws and regulations would need to be introduced promptly in the context of the recent terrorist attacks in Nice (Peatling 2016).
In the light of the prime minister’s comments, there have been similar calls for direct action that has been made by the Leader of the One Nation Party Pauline Hanson, who further commented on channel seven’s The Morning Show on September 12th 2016 that ‘we need to get tough in this country, I don’t want to see another Australian killed as a result of terrorism on our streets’ (Vickery 2016).
The Sydney Morning Herald in 2015 reported that recent terrorist acts have killed more than 32,600 individuals in 2014 which is an 80 per cent increase from the reporting’s in 2013 (Ting 2015). Author of The Sydney Morning Herald Inga Ting reports that Iraq is the most-affected country as a result of global terrorism, accounting for 30 per cent of all deaths (Ting 2015). Ms Ting further revealed that more than 9,900 individuals died in the 3,370 terrorist attacks that occurred in Iraq in 2015 (Ting 2015).
This can be portrayed in the below graph which illustrates the damaging results that terrorist attacks have had on the world. The graph also represents the devastating number of causalities that have been reported from global terrorist attacks from 2000 to 2014.
Figure Three: Number of causalities as a result of global terrorism, Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
It is evident from recent media coverage that the establishment and operations of terrorist groups are a worldwide problem, they are clearly not just a problem in the more traditional countries like Iraq and Syria. It has been revealed that terrorist attacks have the capability of potentially affecting all countries, including Australia. Australia’s recent media coverage further advances the development of the threat of global terrorism by framing the argument that new anti-terrorism laws and regulations needs to be implemented, addressed and approved in Parliament to ensure the safety and security of the world. This will ensure the elimination of these radicalised groups, not just eliminate one group to have another group appear to take its place like ISIS and al Qa’ida did. I believe that the Australian government needs to eliminate all connections between these radicalised groups to eliminate the fear and the continual spread of global terrorism from our society.
The video (below) is taken by channel nine’s 60 minutes on the reporting on the lint café siege that occurred on the 15th and 16th of December 2014, which took the lives of two innocent individuals.
Bird, G 2002, ‘What difference does it make?: The global economic effects of international terrorism’, New Economy, vol. 9, no. 2, p. 106.
Caldicott, DG, & Edwards, NA 2002, ‘The global threat of terrorism and its impact on Australia’, Emergency Medicine, vol. 14, no. 3, p. 218.
Dredge, S, & Worthington, E 2015, The ABC News, viewed 1 September 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-18/2015-could-be-year-of-terrorism-expert-says/6023960
Kollias, C, Kyrtsou, C, & Papadamou, S 2013, ‘The effects of terrorism and war on the oil price–stock index relationship’, Energy Economics, vol. 40, pp. 743-752.
News Junkie, 60 Minutes Australia – Sydney Siege Survivors – Part 1, video, 18 July, viewed 25 August 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVByizS6TT4
Peatling, S 2016, ‘Malcolm Turnbull to bring in new laws allowing indefinite jail for high-risk terrorists’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 July, viewed 30 August 2016, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/malcolm-turnbull-to-bring-in-new-laws-allowing-indefinite-jail-for-highrisk-terrorists-20160724-gqclgv.html
The Australian Human Rights Commission (n.d.), A Human Right Guide to Australia’s Counter-Terrorism Laws, viewed 1 September 2016, https://www.humanrights.gov.au/human-rights-guide-australias-counter-terrorism-laws
Ting, I 2015, The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 November, viewed 30 August 2016, http://www.smh.com.au/world/terrorism-deaths-in-2014-the-highest-on-record-global-terrorism-index-2015-finds-20151119-gl2puz.html
Vickery, K 2016, ‘Pauline Hanson laughs off suggestions recent terror attackers were suffering from mental illness’, News.com.au, 12 September, viewed 12 September 2016, http://www.news.com.au/national/politics/pauline-hanson-laughs-off-suggestions-recent-terror-attackers-were-suffering-from-mental-illness/news-story/d965815f2caebc0f63689fe443be4446
Waite, M 2007, ‘Global Warming or Terrorism—Which One Should We Be Most Concerned About?’, AIP Conference Proceedings, vol. 941, no. 1, pp. 69-79.