Countering terrorism

 
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Terrorism - a serious threat to international and domestic security. From a separate phenomenon, it has turned into a systemic problem that threatens the future of entire countries and regions. Fighting it becomes the task of not only law enforcement agencies, but also states and unions of states. This issue has been brought up to the UN level, where the post of UN Deputy Secretary General and the head of the counterterrorism department was even created recently. In June 2016, a representative of Russia, Vladimir Voronkov, was appointed to this position, which indicates the recognition of the importance of Russia's contribution to the fight against this problem.

Within the country, the system of countering terrorism is a multi-level mechanism, at the top are normative acts, the fundamental of which is the Concept of Countering Terrorism. The basis for the daily fight against this phenomenon is provided by the federal executive authorities, the leadership of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and municipal bodies. At the same time, the Concept assigns part of the responsibility for organizing this activity to public and private companies operating in the civil law sphere.

Evolution of the phenomenon

Before moving on to actions aimed at repelling organized terrorist activities, it is necessary to define the very concept of terrorism. As a result, the decision was formulated in the conventions of the Council of Europe. Today, terrorism is recognized as an organized activity aimed at achieving goals in the political struggle, associated with the commission of certain criminal acts.

All of these acts have two characteristics:

  • they are associated with moral and psychological intimidation of the population of entire countries and regions;
  • they use a wide range of means and methods of physical violence.

This phenomenon is characterized by two main features:

  • acts are of a long-term and systematic nature, are aimed at objects of vital infrastructure or at important ethical, religious, social values;
  • acts are committed by an organization with a stable nature, hierarchy, developed material base. It provides terrorists from the material, informational and technical side and relies on certain political and financial circles in countries competing with target countries in the political and economic arena.

Threats to public and private interests

The goal of terrorist activity today is not only the world legal order. A number of companies operating in Russia are also under threat of a terrorist attack.

Based on the specifics of this activity, the following groups of industries are distinguished in which the normal functioning of legal entities is threatened. It:

  • all companies, both state and private, operating in the field of energy supply and water supply, owning infrastructure elements (TGCs, IDGCs, city Vodokanals and other similar organizations);
  • companies operating in the railway, water and air transport. Both ships and wagons and infrastructural elements (stations, ports, berths, tracks) can be threatened;
  • institutions of the banking system, the impact on which may create problems for the functioning of the region's economy;
  • cultural and educational institutions that are most attractive to terrorists due to the high public resonance of the deed;
  • any company whose access control allows items containing explosives to enter the territory.

Threats to the activities of such companies can be both external and internal. The most obvious will be directed external influence, but in some cases it is impossible without internal support. If an employee of the company becomes involved in the activities of a terrorist group, it will be much easier for him to take an action that could lead to the death of people, for example, change the protection system of a tank with liquefied gas or make changes to the program that ensures the safety of a power plant. In this case, the company will incur serious losses, which will not always be compensated by insurance compensation, as well as serious reputational damage.


SearchInform DLP will help to track the attitude of employees towards terrorist and extremist organizations. The system scans correspondence, visited sites and forwarded documents, checking the flow of information for the presence of keywords from the thematic dictionary.


To ensure security in this area, knowing about the possible existence of a threat, companies must:

  • comply with all safety requirements and standards, strengthen control over all potentially dangerous objects;
  • to strengthen the access control;
  • to significantly enhance the degree of protection of information systems that ensure the life and safety of infrastructure or potentially hazardous facilities;
  • cooperate with law enforcement agencies in the event that a change in employee behavior may lead to the idea that he has become a target of recruitment by terrorist structures.

All these measures may not be sufficient if the company becomes a target for a terrorist group. Therefore, when identifying possible risk factors, it is necessary to develop additional documentation to ensure the correct behavior of employees in any situations that can be described as preparation for a terrorist act. It is also necessary to tighten the degree of verification of employees who have permission to work with software and security systems of infrastructure facilities.

To reduce the severity of possible consequences, it is necessary to ensure that such a risk as a "terrorist act" is included in the existing insurance contracts, which is usually not included in the standard terms of insurance contracts.

Countering terrorism at the state level

Today it is the activity of the state and local self-government bodies, based on the legislative and methodological apparatus and aimed at solving three types of tasks:

  • creation of a system of preventive measures to prevent the commission of certain acts or the creation of organizations of such a focus (prevention);
  • activities for the prevention and disclosure of crimes of this orientation (fight);
  • work to eliminate the consequences of committing terrorist acts.

This activity should be carried out in a complex and in close cooperation between administrative and law enforcement agencies.

Terrorist activity includes 4 levels of organization:

  • directly combat cells and individual groups;
  • the circle of citizens sympathetic to them, providing assistance within the legal field;
  • wide and mass protest movements, within which the recruitment of supporters takes place;
  • shadow infrastructure based on the world's elites and providing ideological and material support.

Today, countering international terrorism is mainly focused on combating the first group and identifying members of the second group. The fight against protest movements should be based on systemic changes in the political and economic structure of the country, which is not always possible, as can be seen in the example of Syria. The main reason for the use of terror in the political struggle was the dissatisfaction of some of the elites with the distribution of power positions in favor of the Alawites. Without the creation of international platforms for negotiations, the fight against manifestations of aggression at the public level has become impossible.

Work to suppress terrorist activities at the fourth level is possible only with the interaction of interstate coalitions and systematic joint work of intelligence and counterintelligence services of different countries.

Legal basis

The legal basis for organized struggle consists of an international and a Russian part. The first includes international conventions ratified by our country, the second - a set of internal normative acts, starting with the Constitution and the Federal Law "On Countering Terrorism", ending with open and closed normative legal acts issued by ministries and departments.

Among the international documents, it is necessary to note the 2005 Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism. Within the hierarchy of Russian normative acts, the fundamental document is the Concept of Countering Terrorism of the Russian Federation in 2009, which was signed by the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry A. Medvedev. This document is divided into the following sections:

  1. Terrorism as a threat to national security.
  2. National system of countering terrorism.
  3. Providing counteraction to terrorism.
  4. The international cooperation.

It is important that it managed to reveal all the main areas of struggle and create a stable base for the adoption of specialized regulations.

The concept notes that terrorism has become a serious threat to the country's security due to the increased number of acts and persons affected by them, of a systemic nature, and access to the international level. Separately, it was noted its merger with transnational crime, the emergence of new, more advanced forms and methods of carrying out this activity.

At the state level, it has been accepted that this phenomenon has serious foundations for its development on the territory of our country due to the existence of numerous political, social, confessional and national contradictions.

Preventing terrorism

Terrorism as a phenomenon has gained widespread support among the masses, both Russian and international. The former Central Asian republics of the Soviet Union, whose population, belonging to the Islamic confession, for the most part has no chance of social success in their homeland, became its nutritional base. This is the reason for both labor migration and the active involvement of the population of these republics in Islamic combat cells.

If regular preventive activities are carried out at the level of the republics of Russia, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Chechnya, Dagestan and other subjects of the North Caucasus, then Russian law enforcement agencies cannot conduct it in relation to citizens of other countries. At the same time, the regime of relatively open borders and complete freedom of the media makes it possible for the terrorist ideology to penetrate the broad masses of citizens of the CIS member states. Most of the recent terrorist acts have been committed by illegal migrants, as noted by the head of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev. In addition to the breeding ground for the development of radical ideas in these states, there are organized crime conglomerates interested in destabilizing the border situation.

Thus, there are serious external factors that determine the great danger of this phenomenon. Among them:

  • the presence of large centers of activity near the borders of Russia and its allied countries;
  • attempts by international terrorist organizations to penetrate into a number of regions of the country, to establish contacts with local organized crime, to use all corruption mechanisms;
  • the existence in Islamic states of specialized training camps for militants and suicide bombers, as well as Islamic educational institutions, whose educational concept is based on the theory of jihad;
  • financial support for domestic hotbeds of terrorism from international organizations;
  • the desire of some foreign states, even with the use of the concepts of countering terrorism, to weaken the position of our country in the world arena;
  • widespread use of the Internet and the world's media to spread radical ideas;
  • lack of a single international information space for countering terrorism.

All this requires the adoption of systemic measures to prevent the manifestations of this threat in the country.

At the level of the Doctrine and corresponding normative acts, the following necessary measures have been developed:

  • political. They include the easing of political conflicts, the normalization of the social situation, the use of international cooperation;
  • socio-economic. Here the economic recovery of the regions should be carried out, the leveling of socio-economic contradictions between them, the prevention of the marginalization of society and its individual layers, the provision of social assistance to various groups of the population;
  • legal. Here, the comprehensive implementation of the principle of inevitability of punishment for all acts related to this global evil, including illegal arms and drug trafficking, calls for violent actions, and financing of military cells, is necessary. Measures related to the regulation of information space and migration processes should be considered;
  • informational. Developing a competing ideology, creating a strong rejection of any violence in society, involving citizens;
  • cultural. These include promoting humanitarian values and developing a framework for interfaith dialogue;
  • organizational and technical. This is a set of actions aimed at protecting infrastructure facilities, as well as increasing the level of responsibility of those who did not properly provide such protection.

The fight against terrorism

The coordination of the fight against this phenomenon today is carried out by the system of executive authorities, which includes:

  • National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAC).
  • Federal operational headquarters.
  • Commissions and headquarters established in each of the regions of the Russian Federation.

Their powers include:

  • identification and elimination of the causes and conditions for the emergence of terrorist centers;
  • identification of persons and organizations - subjects and accomplices in this activity, suppression of their actions;
  • bringing criminals to justice;
  • maintaining combat readiness of the bodies and organizations that have directed their activities to the fight against terror, ensuring their information and material and technical supply;
  • ensuring the safety of citizens and facilities, especially infrastructure facilities and places of mass presence of people, in particular, stadiums, means of transport and the like;
  • opposing the promotion of radical ideology, developing their own competing ideology.

To achieve these goals, the following system of measures is applied:

  • the first place is given to the fight against the ideology of terrorism, the creation of a system to counter it;
  • in second place is the development and application of a system of administrative, organizational, legal, operational and technical measures aimed at ensuring the security of all objects that could become a potential target of a criminal encroachment;
  • on the third - strengthening control over compliance with special administrative and legal regimes.

Information war

Terrorism uses a wide range of methods and actions to attack the consciousness of citizens. Modern information channels are used for propaganda, recruiting, training supporters. Among the methods he uses:

  • dissemination of video information with executions aimed at intimidation or at creating a heroic halo around their own activities;
  • taking responsibility for numerous terrorist acts;
  • working with broad layers of the population in predominantly Muslim regions, using the infrastructure of the confession for this;
  • widespread use of social networks;
  • individual work with significant persons.

The development of the communication system made possible the widest coverage of the masses. The fight against the information threat must become no less systemic.

The fight against the propaganda of terrorism must develop within the general framework of the country's security. An earlier version of the Doctrine, approved in 2000, noted that information security today for many countries has a higher priority than nuclear security.

One example of the use of information weapons can be considered the case that occurred in 1999, when several Russian citizens sent letters to the embassies of the largest countries of the world on behalf of FSB officers who expressed dissatisfaction with the situation of Russia in the world and threatened to unauthorized launch of missiles. This act was qualified as a report of a knowingly false act of terrorism. At the same time, it is difficult to overestimate the negative political consequences for the country when this act is committed, especially in the last year of President Boris Yeltsin's rule. At the same time, the use of information obtained through theft in letters suggests that the arrays of the most important information of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation were not properly protected at that time.

Measures to combat such attacks should be:

  • regulation of the information space, determination of measures of permissible information, the ability to obtain information about network users. Today, most social networks provide information about users necessary to prevent threats. Most of the conflicts, such as the one that arose around the Telegram, have been settled;
  • improvement of the legal framework related to the regulation of the information space, as well as to the criminal law regulation of criminal acts, the expansion of the concept of complicity. In addition, the Russian legal framework contains a criminal-legal definition of “calls for terrorist activity,” while most of the video messages of world and regional leaders do not contain any calls as such. There are requests that cannot be classified as a crime;
  • protection of information bases of potential interest to terrorists using modern technical means of combating information theft, including DLP systems and SIEM systems;
  • development and dissemination of a competing ideology based on the national values of Russia and its peoples, creation of a solid foundation for interfaith dialogue.

Countering cyber terrorism

Cyber terrorism is becoming a separate threat, the fight against which should be the task of not only public law entities and state bodies, but also companies. By this phenomenon, researchers mean deliberate attacks on computer networks, which can cause serious consequences that can lead to the death of citizens and the destruction of infrastructure facilities. This method of committing crimes in Russia has not yet been given its own criminal-legal qualification. It also does not exist in international law yet. In this case, the act is characterized by the following features:

  • the way the crime was committed - damage to computer networks or software;
  • the object of the attempt is the life of an indefinite circle of citizens and the operability of infrastructure facilities, including banking facilities.

Theft of information related to state secrets and their further use in order to undermine the defense capability of the state can become a separate type of this criminal act. Such information of interest to criminals may also be possessed by commercial structures, it may be the layout of communications, information on the functioning of security systems of objects, schedules of power outages, and, therefore, monitoring and control systems, and other data. Their theft will become, and one of the ways to prepare a new act, and an independent act that has a criminal law qualification. At the same time, the identification of this type of attack on information security is difficult.

The problem of identifying and suppressing this type of activity is the almost impossibility of identifying the direct culprit because of the numerous cloud technologies, proxy servers and other means that make it difficult to find traces. Therefore, the main attention should be paid to the protection of systems that ensure the vital activity of infrastructure facilities.

Accordingly, when developing measures to counter cyber terrorism at the level of a government organization or a commercial company, emphasis should be placed on the maximum protection of two groups of objects:

  • information;
  • software and information networks that guarantee the safety of life support facilities or potentially dangerous.

In most cases, the development of security systems will require highly qualified specialists trained specifically in the field of combating cybercrime.

Provision of work

An effective fight against the world's evil requires a developed legal, analytical, scientific, personnel, technical and financial base. The counteraction system provides for the following directions of its development.

For the legal framework, it is necessary to react quickly and flexibly to all changes in international legislation and to the emergence of new legal phenomena. In addition, the competence of the subjects of counteraction must be so defined that it is equivalent to the degree of danger of their opponents.

The analytical base should make it possible to obtain reliable and timely information, to analyze it using modern technical systems, to investigate the main factors influencing the phenomena, to predict the most probable trends in their development. In addition, a single space should be created that would accumulate the best world experience and best practices to combat this phenomenon. Analytical work today is coordinated by the NAC and annually presents a report to the President of the country.

The scientific base should include the development of the theoretical and methodological foundations of the struggle, the identification of significant trends and the forecast of their development using the scientific apparatus of sociology, conflictology, political science. At the same time, the scientific base should not be limited to these areas of research, new types of weapons should be developed and introduced, more effective than their previous generations.

The financial base should be based not only on funds from budgets of all levels, but also on the contributions of economic entities joining their efforts with government agencies. The general financial and legal task should be the creation of a range of targeted budget items, finding sources of funds to fill them.

Personnel policy can be based on new methods and methods of training employees, the creation of narrow specializations, in particular specialists in the fight against ideology, countering certain types of terrorism, in particular cybernetic, nuclear, bacteriological. In order to train qualified personnel, their training is allowed within the framework of international organizations.

The result of purposeful work should be international cooperation in all areas of the fight against the most serious threat to world security.

09.12.2020