Order Code IB10119 CRS Issue Brief for Congress Received through the CRS Web Terrorism and National Security: Issues and Trends Updated May 12, 2003 Raphael Perl Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress CONTENTS SUMMARY MOST RECENT DEVELOPMENTS BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS The War on Terrorism Background Definitions U.S. Policy Response Framework Dilemmas Continuing Terrorist Threats Policy Tools Diplomacy/Constructive Engagement Economic Sanctions Economic Inducements Covert Action Rewards for Information Program Extradition/Law Enforcement Cooperation Military Force International Conventions Potential Tools An International Court for Terrorism Media Self-Restraint Policy Reform U.S. Interagency Coordination Framework and Program Response Antiterrorism Assistance and Terrorism and Crime Programs Assistance to Victims Programs Counterterrorism Research and Development Program Diplomatic Security Program Options for Program Enhancement IB10119 05-12-03 Terrorism and National Security: Issues and Trends SUMMARY International terrorism has long been recognized as a serious foreign and domestic security threat. This issue brief examines international terrorist actions and threats and the U.S. policy response. Available policy options range from diplomacy, international cooperation, and constructive engagement to economic sanctions, covert action, physical security enhancement, and military force. A modern trend in terrorism is toward loosely organized, self-financed, international networks of terrorists. Another trend is toward terrorism that is religiously- or ideologically-motivated. Radical Islamic fundamentalist groups, or groups using religion as a pretext, pose terrorist threats of varying kinds to U.S. interests and to friendly regimes. A third trend is the apparent growth of cross-national links among different terrorist organizations, which may involve combinations of military training, funding, technology transfer, or political advice. Looming over the entire issue of international terrorism is a trend toward proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). For instance, Iran, seen as the most active state sponsor of terrorism, has been aggressively seeking a nuclear arms capability, and North Korea has both admitted to having a clandestine program for uranium enrichment and claimed to have nuclear weapons. (See CRS Issue Brief IB91141, North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program.) Indications have also surfaced that Al Qaeda has Congressional Research Service attempted to acquire chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons. As a result, stakes in the war against international terrorism are increasing and margins for error in selecting appropriate policy instruments to prevent terrorist attacks are diminishing. U.S. policy toward international terrorism contains a significant military component, reflected in the war in Iraq; U.S. operations in Afghanistan; deployment of U.S. forces around the Horn of Africa, to Djibouti, and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia; and ongoing military exercises in Colombia. President Bush has expressed a willingness to provide military aid to “governments everywhere” in the fight against terrorism. Issues for Congress include whether the Administration is providing sufficient information about the long-term goals and costs of its military strategy and whether military force is necessarily an effective anti-terrorism instrument in some circumstances. As terrorism is a global phenomenon, a major challenge facing policy makers is how to maximize international cooperation and support, without unduly compromising important U.S. national security interests. On April 30, 2003, the Department of State released its Patterns of Global Terrorism Report (Patterns 2002)). The report indicates that worldwide deaths from terrorist activity were down from 3,295 in 2001 to 725 in 2002. ˜ The Library of Congress IB10119 05-12-03 MOST RECENT DEVELOPMENTS On May 4, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell announced in network talk show interviews that he had received promises from Syria’s President Assad to shut down offices of terrorist groups, but cautioned that this development had yet to be backed by actions. Previously (in February 2001), President Assad had made a promise to Secretary Powell that Syria would not import Iraqi oil, an assurance that turned out to be false. (See CRS Issue Brief IB92075, Syria: U.S. Relations and Bilateral Issues.) President Bush, in a major speech to the nation on May 1, 2003, declared that the war in Iraq was largely over, characterizing the fall of the regime in Iraq as another success in the war on terrorism. However, he indicated that the war on terrorism was not over and reemphasized his earlier warning to states that harbor or support terrorists. On April 30, 2003, the Department of State released its Patterns of Global Terrorism Report (Patterns 2002), [http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/pgtrpt/2002/]. Data show a 44% decrease in the number of terrorist incidents worldwide in 2002 over 2001 levels — a decline from 355 attacks to 199. Anti-U.S. attacks declined as well — from 219 to 77, a 65% decrease attributed largely to a marked drop-off in pipeline bombings in Colombia. The report indicates that worldwide deaths from terrorist activity were down from 3,295 in 2001 to 725 in 2002. In terms of both number of attacks and deaths by region, Asia ranked first, Eurasia ranked second, and the Middle East third. In terms of wounded by region, Asia ranked first, the Middle East second, and Eurasia third. On April 24, 2003, North Korea claimed in talks in Beijing that it had nuclear weapons and had nearly completed reprocessing of 8,000 fuel rods. Given North Korea’s past record of selling advanced weapons abroad indiscriminately, some saw a danger of proliferation to terrorist states or groups. (See CRS Issue Brief IB91141, North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program.) BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS The War on Terrorism The Administration’s response to the September 11, 2001 events was swift, wideranging and decisive. Administration officials attributed responsibility for the attack to Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda organization. One result was an announced policy shift from deterrence to preemption, generally referred to as the “Bush Doctrine.” (National Security Strategy, [http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html]). Given the potential catastrophic consequences of terrorist attacks employing weapons of mass destruction, Administration decisionmakers felt that the nation could not afford to sit back, wait for attacks to occur, and then respond. The nation was mobilized; combating terrorism and crippling Al Qaeda became top national priorities. Preemptive use of military force against foreign terrorist groups and infrastructure gained increasing acceptance in Administration policy circles. In addition, a February 14, 2003, National Strategy for Combating Terrorism CRS-1 IB10119 05-12-03 [http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030214-7.html] gave added emphasis to the role of international cooperation, law enforcement and economic development in countering terrorism. A full-scale campaign was launched, using all elements of national and international power, to go after Al Qaeda and its affiliates and support structures. The campaign involved rallying the international community, especially law enforcement and intelligence components, to shut down Al Qaeda cells and financial networks. A U.S. military operation was launched in early October 2001, against the Taliban regime — which had harbored Al Qaeda since 1996 — and against Al Qaeda strongholds in Afghanistan. A total of 136 countries offered a range of military assistance to the United States, including overflight and landing rights and accommodations for U.S. forces. As a result, the Taliban was removed from power, all known Al Qaeda training sites were destroyed, and a number of Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders were killed or detained. Since then, according to President Bush in his address to the nation on May 1, 2003, nearly half of the Al Qaeda leadership has been captured or killed. Notwithstanding, top Al Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri as well as the Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar apparently remain at large. On March 19, 2003, after an intensive military buildup in the Persian Gulf, the United States launched the war with Iraq, one of seven nations on the State Department’s sponsors of terrorism list, with an attack on a suspected meeting site of Saddam Hussein. President Bush, in his January 28, 2003 State of the Union Address, emphasized the threat posed to world security by a Saddam Hussein armed with weapons of mass destruction and stressed that Iraq “aids and protects” the Al Qaeda terrorist organization. After a swift military campaign, President Bush announced on April 15, 2003, that “the regime of Saddam Hussein is no more.” The war against terrorism has been widening. In addition to U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan, U.S. forces have been dispatched to Yemen, the Philippines, and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia to train local militaries to fight terrorists. In FY2002 and FY2003, the Administration sought and received funding and permission to use such funding (subject to annual review) for U.S. military aid to Colombia to support the Colombian government’s “unified campaign against narcotics trafficking, terrorist activities, and other threats to its national security.” Similar authorization has been requested for FY2004 and FY2005. Previously, such assistance had been restricted to supporting counterdrug operations in Colombia. In the context of this campaign the United States has stepped up intelligence-sharing and law enforcement cooperation with other governments to root out terrorist cells. It is increasingly apparent that such cells are operating not just in places where they are welcomed or knowingly tolerated but in many other places, including Western Europe and the United States. According to Patterns of Global Terrorism 2002 (Patterns 2002) [http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/pgtrpt/2002/], as of January 2003 an aggressive international law enforcement effort had resulted in detention of approximately 3,000 terrorists and their supporters in more than 100 countries and in the freezing of $124 million in terrorists’ assets in some 600 bank accounts around the world, including $36 million in the United States alone. CRS-2 IB10119 05-12-03 An encouraging sign in the anti-terrorism struggle has been the evident willingness of certain state sponsors of terrorism to distance themselves from extremist groups that they had supported in the past or from international terrorism generally. For example, Libya has been “sending signals” that it wants to get out of the terrorism business and has offered to compensate the families of the victims of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103. On May 1, 2003, the Washington Post and other news media widely reported that Libya had accepted responsibility for the Pan Am 103 bombing. Sudan, in cooperation with U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies, has arrested Al Qaeda members and “by and large” shut down Al Qaeda training camps on its territory. Libya has also offered to share intelligence information on Al Qaeda’s activities with U.S. authorities and Syria has promised to clamp down on terrorist groups on its territory and cutback overall support for terrorist groups. Background On April 30, 2003, the Department of State released Patterns 2002. Data shows a 44% decrease in the number of terrorist incidents worldwide from 2001 levels to 2002 — a decline from 355 attacks to 199. Anti-U.S. attacks declined as well — from 219 to 77, a 65% decrease attributed largely to a marked drop-off in pipeline bombings in Colombia. The report indicates that worldwide deaths from terrorist activity were down as well from 3,295 killed in 2001 to 725 in 2002 (30 of the dead were Americans). In terms of both number of attacks and deaths by region, Asia ranked first, Eurasia ranked second, and the Middle East third. In terms of wounded by region, Asia ranked first, the Middle East second, and Eurasia third. Increasingly, international terrorism is recognized as a threat to U.S. foreign and domestic security. Both timing and target selection by terrorists can affect U.S. interests in areas ranging from preservation of commerce to nuclear non-proliferation to the Middle East peace process. A growing number of analysts express concern that radical Islamic groups seek to exploit economic and political tensions in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Jordan, Pakistan and other countries. Because of their avowed goal of overthrowing secular regimes in certain countries with large Moslem populations, such groups are seen as a particular threat to U.S. foreign policy objectives. Patterns 2002 continues to list seven state sponsors of terrorism: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, and Libya. Among these seven, the degree of support for, or involvement in, terrorist activities varies dramatically from nation to nation. Data in Patterns 2002, and developments after the report’s release, suggest that of the seven on the U.S. terrorism list, Iran could currently be characterized on one extreme as an active supporter of terrorism: a nation that uses terrorism as an instrument of policy or warfare beyond its borders. Closer to the middle of an active/passive spectrum is Syria. Though not formally detected in an active role since 1986, the Assad regime reportedly uses groups in Syria and Lebanon to project power into Israel and allows groups to train in territory under its control. On the less active end of the spectrum, one might place countries such as Cuba or North Korea, which at the height of the Cold War were more active, but in recent years have seemed to settle for a more passive role of granting ongoing safe haven to previously admitted individual terrorists. The report’s language indicates that Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, would likely have been in the middle of the spectrum, but as the old regime no CRS-3 IB10119 05-12-03 longer is in power, Iraq currently cannot be said to support terrorism as a matter of state policy in any practical sense. Also at the less active end of the spectrum are Libya and notably, Sudan. Sudan, which has stepped up counterterrorism cooperation with U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the wake of the September 11th bombing attack on the World Trade Center, is praised for such cooperation in Patterns 2002. In late September 2001, the United Nations recognized Sudan’s positive steps against terrorism by removing U.N. sanctions; however, unilateral U.S. sanctions remain in force. Patterns 2002 implies that, of the seven nations on the terrorism list, Sudan is likely closest to being removed; however, the report acknowledges progress by Libya and Syria as well. The media has widely covered Secretary of State Colin Powell stating, in May 4, 2003, network talk show interviews upon return from a Mid-East trip, that he had received promises from President Assad to shut down offices of terrorist groups, a development he said was yet to be backed by actions. Spectrum of State Supported Terrorism Active Supporter of Terrorism Iran Passive or Less Active Supporter of Terrorism Syria Cuba North Korea Libya Sudan Source: Congressional Research Service. Note: Based on data provided in Patterns of Global Terrorism 2002 and subsequent developments. Iraq, although on the State Department’s state sponsor’s list, is not included here, as a new regime has not yet been constituted. Patterns 2002, in contrast to earlier reports, is silent about Pakistan’s alleged ongoing support for Kashmiri militants and their attacks against the population of India. Patterns 2002 also falls short of criticizing Saudi Arabia, perceived by most Administration analysts as slow to implement restrictions on charitable and other financing of terrorist activity. When referring to progress in these areas, Patterns 2002 states “it is too soon to tell whether these reforms are preventing terrorists from exploiting these funds.” Venezuela, considered by some in the Administration to be neglecting Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group activity in its territory bordering Colombia, is cited in Patterns 2002 for laws that do not support the efficient investigation of terrorist organization financing or activities. Greece, subject to criticism in previous reports for being unenergetic in combating domestic terror groups, is praised for taking a significant step against domestic terrorism with its first arrest of members of the November 17th group. Patterns 2002 is also harsher than in previous years in its characterization of efforts by the Palestinian Authority and Chairman Arafat to curb terrorist activity, stating, “The Palestinian Authority’s efforts to thwart terrorist operations were minimal in 2002.” Iraq, prior to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime, is cited in the report for a longstanding policy of providing safe haven and bases for terrorist groups and as having laid the groundwork for possible attacks against civilian and military targets in the United States and other Western nations throughout 2002. However, in the event of a regime change, a nation may be removed from the terrorism list provided the President first reports to CRS-4 IB10119 05-12-03 Congress that the new government: (1) does not support terrorism and (2) has provided assurances that it will not support terrorism in the future. (Paragraph 6 (j) (4) of the Export Administration Act of 1979; P.L. 96-72) As there is currently no new Iraqi government, removal from the list is not a viable option. Notwithstanding, the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2003 (P.L.108-11) allows the President to provide foreign assistance to Iraq and suspend restrictions on dual use items under the Export Administration Act. In the case of North Korea, U.S. security concerns arguably focus more on the regime’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs than on its support for terrorist movements. The North has recently admitted to having an uranium enrichment program, has announced reactivation of a nuclear reactor facility reportedly capable of producing enough plutonium for one to two bombs each year, and has claimed that it has nuclear weapons (CRS Issue Brief IB91141, North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program). Patterns 2002 cites the regime for “largely uninformative and unresponsive” actions under U.N. Security Council [antiterrorism funding] Resolution 1373, notes that the regime continues to sell ballistic missile technology to terrorism list states, and notes that it continues to provide safe haven to several Japanese Red Army hijackers. Definitions There is no universally accepted definition of international terrorism. One definition widely used in U.S. government circles, and incorporated into law, defines international terrorism as terrorism involving the citizens or property of more than one country. Terrorism is broadly defined as politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents. For example, kidnaping of U.S. birdwatchers or bombing of U.S.-owned oil pipelines by leftist guerrillas in Colombia would qualify as international terrorism. A terrorist group is defined as a group which practices or which has significant subgroups which practice terrorism (22 U.S.C. 2656f). One shortfall of this traditional definition is its focus on groups and its exclusion of individual (“lone wolf”) terrorist activity which has recently risen in frequency and visibility. To these standard definitions which refer to violence in a traditional form must be added cyberterrorism. Analysts warn that terrorist acts will now include more sophisticated forms of destruction and extortion such as disabling a national computer infrastructure or penetrating vital commercial computer systems. Finally, the October 12, 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, a U.S. military vessel, raises issues of whether the standard definition would categorize this attack as terrorist, as the Cole may not qualify as a “non-combatant” (see CRS Report RS20721, Terrorist Attack on the U.S.S. Cole). Though the definition of terrorism may appear essentially a political issue, it can carry significant legal implications. Current definitions of terrorism mostly share one common element: politically motivated behavior. Such definitions do not include violence for financial profit or religious motivation. For example, the high-profile activities of such groups as Al Qaeda and Hamas underscore the significance of selective religious ideologies in driving terrorist violence, or at least providing a pretext. To illustrate: Osama bin Laden issued a fatwah (edict) in 1998 proclaiming in effect that all those who believe in Allah and his prophet Muhammad must kill Americans wherever they find them [http://www.ict.org.il/articles/fatwah.htm]. Moreover, the growth of international and transnational criminal organizations and the CRS-5 IB10119 05-12-03 growing range and scale of such operations has resulted in criminal use of large scale violence with financial profit as the driving motivation. Complicating matters is that internationally, nations and organizations historically have been unable to agree on a definition of terrorism, since one person’s terrorist is often another person’s freedom fighter. To circumvent this political constraint, countries have taken the approach of creating networks of conventions, which criminalize specific acts such as kidnaping, detonating bombs or hijacking airplanes. The 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism [http://untreaty.un.org/English/terrorism.asp] comes close to a consensus definition, by making it a crime to collect or provide funds with the intent of killing or injuring civilians where the purpose is to intimidate a population or coerce a government. U.S. Policy Response Framework Past Administrations have employed a range of measures to combat international terrorism, from diplomacy, international cooperation, and constructive engagement to economic sanctions, covert action, protective security measures, and military force. The application of sanctions is one of the most frequently used anti-terrorist tools of U.S. policymakers. Governments supporting international terrorism (seven such countries are listed by the Department of State) are prohibited from receiving U.S. economic and military assistance. Export of munitions to such countries is foreclosed, and restrictions are imposed on exports of “dual use” equipment such as aircraft and trucks. Presence of a country on the “terrorism list,” though, may reflect considerations — such as its pursuit of WMD or its human rights record or U.S. domestic political considerations — that are largely unrelated to support for international terrorism. Generally, U.S. anti-terrorism policy from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s focused on deterring and punishing state sponsors as opposed to terrorist groups themselves. The passage of the landmark Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (P.L. 104132) signaled an important shift in policy. The Act, largely initiated by the Executive Branch, created a legal category of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) and banned funding, granting of visas and other material support to such organizations. The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-56) extended and strengthened the provisions of that legislation. Patterns 2002 lists 36 groups designated by the Secretary of State as FTOs (see also [http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/terror/designated.htm]). Dilemmas In their desire to combat terrorism in a modern political context, nations often face conflicting goals and courses of action: (1) providing security from terrorist acts, i.e., limiting the freedom of individual terrorists, terrorist groups, and support networks to operate unimpeded in a relatively unregulated environment, versus (2) maximizing individual freedoms, democracy, and human rights. Efforts to combat terrorism are complicated by a global trend towards deregulation, open borders, and expanded commerce. Particularly in CRS-6 IB10119 05-12-03 democracies such as the United States, the constitutional limits within which policy must operate are often seen by some to conflict directly with a desire to secure the lives of citizens against terrorist activity more effectively. This issue has come to the fore in the postSeptember 11 period as the federal government has acquired broad new powers to deal with the threat of internal terrorism. Another challenge for policymakers is the need to identify the perpetrators of particular terrorist acts and those who train, fund, or otherwise support or sponsor them. As the international community increasingly demonstrates its ability to unite and apply sanctions against rogue states, states will become less likely to overtly support terrorist groups or engage in state sponsored terrorism. The possibility of covert provision of weapons, financing, and logistical support nonetheless remains, and detecting such transfers will require significantly increased deployment of U.S. intelligence assets in countries and zones where terrorists operate. Particularly challenging is identification of “dual use” items — subject to U.S. export restrictions — which might creatively be adapted for military application (see CRS Report RL31669, Terrorism: Background on Chemical, Biological, and Toxin Weapons; CRS Report RL31780, Trade and the 108th Congress; CRS Report RL31826, Protecting our Perimeter; and CRS Report RS21422, Dual Use Biological Equipment). Today, the U.S. policy focus is on terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda and affiliated networks, and state supporters. But in the future, it may be that new brands of terrorists will emerge: individuals who are not affiliated with any established terrorist organization and who are apparently not agents of any state sponsor. The terrorist Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, who is believed to have masterminded the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, apparently did not belong to any larger, established, and previously identified group, although he may have had some ties to Al Qaeda operatives. Also, the worldwide threat of individual or “boutique” terrorism, or that of “spontaneous” terrorist activity, such as the bombing of bookstores in the United States after Ayatollah Khomeini’s death edict against British author Salman Rushdie, appears to be on the increase. Thus, one likely profile for the terrorist of the 21st century may well be a private individual not affiliated with any established group, but drawing on other similarly-minded individuals for support. Because the U.S. international counter-terrorism policy framework has been sanctions-oriented, and has traditionally sought to pin responsibility on state sponsors, changes in policy and approaches are being considered and implemented on an ongoing basis. Another problem surfacing in the wake of a number of incidents associated with Islamic fundamentalist groups is how to condemn and combat such terrorist activity, and the extreme and violent ideology of specific radical groups, without appearing to be anti-Islamic in general. A desire to punish a state for supporting international terrorism may also conflict with other foreign policy objectives involving that nation, such as human rights concerns. Continuing Terrorist Threats Although a number of states may be rethinking their sponsorship of terrorist organizations, such organizations are establishing operating bases in countries that lack functioning central governments or that do not exercise effective control over their national territory. An example is Al Qaeda seeking new sanctuaries in Indonesia. In general, gray CRS-7 IB10119 05-12-03 area “terrorist activity not functionally linked to any supporting or sponsoring nation” represents an increasingly difficult challenge for U.S. policymakers. Terrorists have been able to develop their own sources of financing, which range from NGOs and charities to illegal enterprises such as narcotics, extortion, and kidnaping. Colombia’s FARC is said to make hundreds of millions annually from criminal activities, mostly from taxing or participating in the narcotics trade. Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda depends on a formidable array of fundraising operations including Muslim charities and wealthy wellwishers, legitimate-seeming businesses, and banking connections in the Persian Gulf, as well as various smuggling and fraud activities. Furthermore, reports are ongoing of cross-national links among different terrorist organizations. Looming over the entire issue of international terrorism is an apparently inexorable trend toward proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), or the means to make them. All of the seven officially designated state sponsors of terrorism, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria, were known or suspected to have programs for the development of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. (Suspicions regarding Cuba are controversial.) Three of the states — Iran, Libya, and North Korea — have nuclear weapons programs at varying stages of development. This was also believed to be true of Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Whether listed states have actually supplied terrorists with WMD wherewithal is not known with certainty; yet the possibility of covert transfers or leakages clearly exists. Furthermore terrorists have attempted to acquire WMD means through their own resources and connections. For instance, the Aum Shinrikyo cult was able to procure technology and blueprints for producing Sarin, a deadly nerve gas, through official contacts in Russia in the early 1990s. The gas was subsequently used in an attack on the Tokyo subway in March 1995 that killed 12 people and injured 5,000. Media reports of varying credibility suggest that Osama bin Laden has joined the WMD procurement game. One source cites “long discussions” between bin Laden and Pakistani nuclear scientists concerning nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Another claims that a bin Laden emissary tried to buy radioactive waste from an atomic power plant in Bulgaria. A U.S. federal indictment handed down in 1998 charges that bin Laden operatives sought enriched uranium on various occasions. Other accounts credit Al Qaeda with attempting to purchase portable nuclear weapons or “suitcase bombs” through contacts in Chechnya and Kazakhstan. Furthermore, U.S. government sources reported discovery of a partlyconstructed laboratory in Afghanistan in March 2002, in which Al Qaeda may have planned to develop biological agents, including anthrax. In April 2002, a captured Al Qaeda leader, Abu Zubaydah, told American interrogators that the organization had been working aggressively to build a so-called “dirty bomb,” in which conventional explosives packaged with radioactive material are detonated to spread contamination and sow panic. In January 2003, British authorities reportedly disrupted a plot to use the poison ricin against personnel in England (see CRS Report RS21383, Ricin: Technical Background and Potential Role in Terrorism). Policy Tools Instruments used by the U.S. government to combat international terrorism are described briefly below. CRS-8 IB10119 05-12-03 Diplomacy/Constructive Engagement. Use of diplomacy to help create a global anti-terror coalition is a central component of the Bush Administration response to September 11 events. Diplomacy, for example, was a key factor leading to the composition of the U.S.-led coalition against the Taliban. Diplomacy may not always be effective against determined terrorists or the countries that support them. However, in most cases, diplomatic measures are considered least likely to widen conflicts and therefore are usually tried first. When responding to incidents of terrorism by subnational groups, reacting by constructive engagement is complicated by the lack of existing channels and mutually accepted rules of conduct between governmental entities and the groups in question. In some instances, as was the case with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), legislation may specifically prohibit official contact with a terrorist organization or its members (revoked by Title VIII, P.L. 101-246). Yet for groups that are well-entrenched in a nation’s political fabric and culture, engaging the group might be preferable to trying to exterminate it. Increasingly, governments appear to be pursuing policies which involve verbal contact and even direct negotiations with terrorist groups or their representatives. Colombia’s on-again, off-again peace process with FARC is one recent example. Some observers, though, are skeptical of the value of engaging with terrorists. Former CIA director James Woolsey has noted, in a Spring, 2001, National Strategy Forum Review article, that increasingly, terrorists don’t just want a place at the table, “they want to blow up the table and everyone who is sitting at the table.” On a different level, in the wake of the September 11 attacks, the Bush Administration clearly is exploring the possibility of enlisting state sponsors of terrorism, such as Libya, Sudan, and recently more intensively Syria, in a broader Islamic coalition against Al Qaeda and its followers. The United States also has held discussions with Iran concerning formation of a post-Taliban coalition government in Afghanistan. To some critics, though, such initiatives detract from the imperative of taking a principled stand against international terrorism in all its guises. The media remain powerful forces in confrontations between terrorists and governments. Appealing to and influencing public opinion may impact not only the actions of governments but also those of groups engaged in terrorist acts. From the terrorist perspective, media coverage is an important measure of the success of a terrorist act or campaign. In hostage-type incidents, where the media may provide the only independent means a terrorist has of knowing the chain of events set in motion, coverage can complicate rescue efforts. Governments can use the media in an effort to arouse world opinion against the country or group using terrorist tactics. Public diplomacy and the media can be used to mobilize public opinion in other countries to pressure governments to take action against terrorism. An example would be to mobilize the tourist industry to pressure governments into participating in sanctions against a terrorist state. Economic Sanctions. Sanctions regimes can be essentially unilateral — such as U.S. bans on trade and investment relations with Cuba and Iran — or multilateral, such as that mandated in response to the Pan Am 103 bombing. In the past, use of economic sanctions was usually predicated upon identification of a nation as an active supporter or sponsor of international terrorism. Yet sanctions also can be used to target assets of terrorist groups themselves. On September 23, 2001, President Bush signed Executive Order 13224 freezing the assets of 27 individuals and organizations known to be affiliated with bin CRS-9 IB10119 05-12-03 Laden’s network, giving the Secretary of the Treasury broad powers to impose sanctions on banks around the world that provide these entities access to the international financial system and providing for designation of additional entities as terrorist organizations. By late October 2002, according to the U.S. Treasury Department, the freeze list had expanded to include designated terrorist groups, supporters, and financiers of terror. In addition, on September 28, 2001, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1373, which requires all states to “limit the ability of terrorists and terrorist organizations to operate internationally” by freezing their assets and denying them safe haven. The Security Council also set up a Counter Terrorism Committee to oversee implementation of Resolution 1373. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1390 of January 16, 2002, obligated member states to freeze funds of “individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities” associated with the Taliban and Al Qaeda. As of May 2003, approximately $143 million in terrorist funds had been frozen worldwide as a result of these initiatives according to U.S. and U.N. financial data. The effects of the above-described economic measures, though, are uncertain because much of the flow of terrorist funds reportedly takes place outside of formal banking channels (in elusive “hawala” chains of money brokers). Alternatively, a number of international banks in the Persian Gulf are reportedly used to manipulate and transfer funds through business fronts owned by Osama bin Laden. Furthermore, much of Al Qaeda’s money is believed to be held not in banks but in untraceable assets such as gold and diamonds. Also, some observers have noted that lethal terrorist operations are relatively inexpensive. With respect to nation-states, economic sanctions fall into six categories: restrictions on trading, technology transfer, foreign assistance, export credits and guarantees, foreign exchange and capital transactions, and economic access. Sanctions may include a total or partial trade embargo, an embargo on financial transactions, suspension of foreign aid, restrictions on aircraft or ship traffic, or abrogation of a friendship, commerce, and navigation treaty. The President has a variety of laws at his disposal, but the broadest in its potential scope is the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (P.L. 95-223; 50 USC 1701,et seq.). The Act permits imposition of restrictions on economic relations once the President has declared a national emergency because of a threat to U.S. national security, foreign policy, or the economy. Although the sanctions authorized must deal directly with the threat responsible for the emergency, the President can regulate imports, exports, and all types of financial transactions, such as the transfer of funds, foreign exchange, credit, and securities, between the United States and the country in question. Specific authority for the Libyan trade embargo is in Section 504 of the International Security and Development Cooperation Act of 1985 (P.L. 99-83), while Section 505 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 2349aa9) authorizes the banning of imports of goods and services from any country supporting terrorism. (See also CRS Report RS20871, The Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, and the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (P.L. 104-172); 50 U.S.C. 1701 note.) Other major laws that can be used against countries supporting terrorism are the Export Administration Act of 1979 (P.L. 96-72), the Arms Export Control Act (P.L. 90-629), and specific items or provisions of foreign assistance legislation. P.L. 90-629 prohibits arms sales to countries not fully cooperating with U.S. antiterrorism efforts and requires that aid be withheld to any nation providing lethal military aid to a country on the terrorism list. CRS-10 IB10119 05-12-03 Economic Inducements. Possible counter-terrorism initiatives might include efforts to change economic and social conditions that provide a breeding ground for terrorists. It has been noted that most terrorists worldwide are unemployed or underemployed with virtually nonexistent prospects for economic advancement. Some analysts believe that targeted assistance programs to reduce poverty and ignorance (which might also include supporting secular educational alternatives to the Madrassahs — Islamic religious schools) can make a difference in lifestyles and attitudes and diminish the appeal of extremist groups. A further rationale, they say, is to project a more positive image of the United States in terrorism-prone lands. Critics, though, argue that severe economic conditions are not the sole or even the main motivational factors driving the emergence of terrorism, stressing that resentment against a particular country or political order and religious fanaticism also are important motivations. Osama bin Laden’s large personal fortune and his far-flung business empire would seem to contradict economic deprivation as explanations of his terrorism. Similarly, all of the 15 Saudi Arabian hijackers implicated in the September 11 attacks were from middle-class families or well-connected ones. The Basque Fatherland and Liberty organization (ETA) in Spain is a relatively well-heeled terrorist organization. Possibly, ambient economic conditions partly explain certain kinds of terrorist behavior in specific situations (such as suicide bombings in Israel), but political factors play a significant role as well. Covert Action. Intelligence gathering, infiltration of terrorist groups, and military operations involve a variety of clandestine or so-called “covert” activities. Much of this activity is of a passive monitoring nature aimed at determining the strategic intentions, capabilities, and vulnerabilities of terrorist organizations. A more active form of covert activity occurs during events such as a hostage crisis or hijacking when a foreign country may quietly request advice, equipment, or technical support during the conduct of operations, with no public credit to be given the providing country. Covert action may also seek to exploit vulnerabilities of terrorist organizations, for example, by spreading disinformation about leaders, encouraging defections, promoting divisions between political and military factions, or exploiting conflicts between organizations. Some nations have periodically resorted to unconventional methods beyond their territory for the express purpose of neutralizing individual terrorists and/or thwarting preplanned attacks. Examples of activities might run the gamut from intercepting or sabotaging delivery of funding or weapons to a terrorist group, to destroying a terrorist’s embryonic WMD production facilities, to seizing and transporting a wanted terrorist to stand trial for assassination or murder. Arguably, such activity might be justified as preemptive selfdefense under Article 51 of the U.N. charter. On the other hand, it could be argued that such actions violate customary international law. Assassination is specifically prohibited by U.S. executive order (most recently, E.O. 12333), but bringing wanted criminals to the United States for trial is not. There exists an established U.S. legal doctrine that allows an individual’s trial to proceed regardless of whether he is forcefully abducted from another country, international waters, or airspace. Experts warn that bringing persons residing abroad to U.S. justice by means other than extradition or mutual agreement with the host country, i.e., by abduction and their surreptitious transportation, can vastly complicate U.S. foreign relations, sometimes jeopardizing interests far more important than “justice,” deterrence, and the prosecution of CRS-11 IB10119 05-12-03 a single individual. Notwithstanding the unpopularity of such abductions in nations that fail to apprehend and prosecute those accused, the “rendering” of such wanted criminals to U.S. courts is permitted under limited circumstances by a June 21, 1995, Presidential Decision Directive (PDD-39). Such conduct, however, raises prospects of other nations using similar tactics against U.S. citizens. Although conventional explosives — and innovative use of existing technologies — appear to be the terrorism weapon of choice, the world is increasingly moving into an era in which terrorists may gain access to nuclear, chemical, or biological weaponry. In light of the potential for more frequent incidents and higher casualty levels, the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, in a December 10, 2002 report, have recommended maximizing covert action to counter terrorism [http://intelligence.senate.gov/recommendations.pdf]. Rewards for Information Program. Money is a powerful motivator. Rewards for information have been instrumental in Italy in destroying the Red Brigades and in Colombia in apprehending drug cartel leaders. A State Department program is in place, supplemented by the aviation industry, usually offering rewards of up to $5 million to anyone providing information that would prevent or resolve an act of international terrorism against U.S. citizens or U.S. property, or that leads to the arrest or conviction of terrorist criminals involved in such acts. This program contributed to the 1997 arrest of the recently-executed CIA personnel shooter, Mir Amal Kansi, and possibly to the arrest of Ramzi Yousef, architect of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, in 1995. Recently the bounty for the capture of Osama bin Laden and his aide Ayman al Zawahiri was raised to $25 million, though so far with no result. The program was established by the 1984 Act to Combat International Terrorism (P.L. 98-533), and is administered by State’s Diplomatic Security Service. Rewards over $250,000 must be approved by the Secretary of State. The program can pay to relocate informants and immediate family who fear for their safety. The 1994 “Crime Bill” (P.L. 103-322) helps relocate aliens and immediate family members in the United States who are reward recipients. Expanded participation by the private sector in funding and publicizing such reward programs has been suggested by some observers. Extradition/Law Enforcement Cooperation. International cooperation in such areas as law enforcement, customs control, and intelligence activities is an essential pillar of the Bush Administration anti-terrorism policy. For example, the stationing of FBI agents overseas in close to 50 countries facilitates investigations of terrorist crimes and augments the flow of intelligence about terrorist group structures and membership. One critical law enforcement tool in combating international terrorism is extradition of terrorists. International extradition traditionally has been subject to several limitations, including the refusal of some countries to extradite for political or extraterritorial offenses or to extradite their nationals. Also, the U.S. application of the death penalty (eliminated in many countries) for certain crimes can impede extradition in terrorism related cases. The United States has been encouraging the negotiation of treaties with fewer limitations, in part as a means of facilitating the transfer of wanted terrorists. Because much terrorism involves politically motivated violence, the State Department has sought to curtail the availability of the political offense exception, found in many extradition treaties, to avoid extradition. Increasingly, rendition is being employed by the United States as a vehicle for gaining physical custody over terrorist suspects. CRS-12 IB10119 05-12-03 Military Force. Although not without difficulties, military force, particularly when wielded by a superpower such as the United States, can carry substantial clout. Proponents of selective use of military force usually emphasize the military’s unique skills and specialized equipment. The April 1986 decision to bomb Libya for its alleged role in the bombing of a German discotheque exemplifies use of military force. Other examples are (1) the 1993 bombing of Iraq’s military intelligence headquarters by U.S. forces in response to Iraqi efforts to assassinate former President George Bush during a visit to Kuwait; (2) the August 1998 missile attacks against bases in Afghanistan and an alleged chemical production facility, al-Shifa, in Sudan; (3) the successful removal of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in 2001-2002; (4) ongoing U.S. operations in Afghanistan, and arguably (5) the Iraq War launched on March 19, 2003. Moreover, U.S. military components are currently involved in a broad variety of anti-terrorism related military missions, exercises, and deployments in areas such as Colombia, the Horn of Africa, Djibouti, and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Successful use of military force for preemptive or retaliatory strikes presupposes the ability to identify a terrorist perpetrator or its state sponsor, as well as the precise location of the group, information that is often unavailable from U.S. intelligence sources. Generally, terrorists possess modest physical facilities that present few high-value targets for military strikes. Some critics have observed that military action is a blunt instrument that can cause foreign civilian casualties as well as collateral damage to economic installations in the target country. According to a July 21, 2002, New York Times report, a “pattern of mistakes” in the U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan killed “as many as 400 civilians” in 11 different locations. Others argue that such action inflates terrorists’ sense of importance and facilitates their recruitment efforts. A 1999 U.S. study of the sociology and psychology of terrorism states that “counterterrorist military attacks against elusive terrorists may serve only to radicalize large sectors of the Muslim population and damage the U.S. image worldwide.” [http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Sociology-Psychology%20of%20Terrorism.htm]. Other disadvantages or risks associated with the use of military force include counter-retaliation and escalation by terrorist groups or their state sponsors, failure to destroy the principal leaders of the organization, and the perception that the United States ignores rules of international law. In addition, the costs associated with Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan have concerned some observers, as have costs of a temporally undefined U.S. military presence in Iraq. International Conventions. To date, the United States has joined with the world community in developing all of the major anti-terrorism conventions. These conventions impose on their signatories an obligation either to prosecute offenders or extradite them to permit prosecution for a host of terrorism-related crimes, including hijacking vessels and aircraft, taking hostages, and harming diplomats. An important convention is the Convention for the Marking of Plastic Explosives. Implementing legislation is in P.L. 104-132. On July 26, 2002, the U.N. Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, and the U.N. AntiTerrorism Financing Convention both entered into force for the United States. [http://untreaty.un.org/English/terrorism.asp] Potential Tools An International Court for Terrorism. Many experts have urged that an international court be established, perhaps under the U.N., to sit in permanent session to CRS-13 IB10119 05-12-03 adjudicate cases against persons accused of international terrorist crimes. An International Court of Justice in the Hague exists, but it deals with disputes between states and lacks compulsory jurisdiction and enforcement powers. Media Self-Restraint. For some, the term “media self-restraint” is an oxymoron; the sensational scoop is the golden fleece, and dull copy is to be avoided. In the past, the media have been occasionally manipulated into the role of mediator and publicist of terrorist goals. Increasingly, the media is sensitive to such charges. On October 11, 2001, five major U.S. news organizations agreed to abridge video statements by Osama bin Laden and this policy continues to date. Policy Reform Well before the September 11, 2001 events, various legislative proposals and Congressionally mandated panels had called for reconfiguring the federal government’s strategic planning and decision processes vis-à-vis the global terrorist threat. In June 2002, the President announced a plan to create a single permanent government department “whose primary mission is to protect the American homeland.” On November 25, 2002, the President signed the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296), consolidating at least 22 separate federal agencies, offices, and research centers comprising more than 169,000 employees into a new cabinet level Department of Homeland Security (DHS). President Bush named Tom Ridge as Secretary of the new Department of Homeland Security. The creation of the new department, charged with coordinating defenses and responses to terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, constitutes the most substantial reorganization of the Federal government agencies since the National Security Act of 1947 which placed the different military departments under a Secretary of Defense and created the National Security Council (NSC) and CIA. P.L. 107-296 includes provisions for an information analysis element within DHS, many of the envisioned tasks of which appear assigned to the Administration’s Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) which was activated May 1, 2003. In the 107th Congress, the USA PATRIOT Act, enacted in October 2001 (P.L.107-56), gave law enforcement increased authority to investigate suspected terrorists, including enhanced surveillance procedures such as roving wiretaps; provided for strengthened controls on international money laundering and financing of terrorism; improved measures for strengthening of defenses along the U.S. northern border, and authorized disclosure of foreign intelligence information obtained in criminal investigations to intelligence and national security officials. U.S. Interagency Coordination Framework and Program Response The interagency framework for combating terrorism overseas is a complex web of relationships among federal organizations and agencies. Some agencies play lead roles in specific areas; others play coordination roles; yet others serve in support roles. In short, the National Security Council (NSC) advises the President on national security and foreign policy; serves as a forum for discussion among the President, presidential advisers, and cabinet officials; and is the President’s mechanism for coordinating policy among CRS-14 IB10119 05-12-03 government agencies on interdisciplinary issues such as terrorism. Under the NSC structure are a series of committees and working groups which address terrorism issues. Key is the Counterterrorism Security Group composed of high-level representatives from the Departments of State, Justice, Defense, and Homeland Security, and the FBI and CIA — as well as representatives of other departments or agencies as needed. A series of interagency working groups under the Counterterrorism Security Group coordinate efforts related to specific issues such as such as terrorism financing, hostage crisis response, anti-terrorism training and assistance, exercise planning, and interagency research and development programs geared to counter terrorism (the Technical Support Working Group (TSWG)). For domestic terrorism issues, the Office of Homeland Security, [http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/index.jsp], is the Department of Homeland Security’s representative within the Executive Office of the President. The Office and its working groups coordinate efforts to prevent, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks within the United States. The Department of State, [http://www.state.gov/], is the lead agency for U.S. government efforts to combat terrorism overseas; whereas the Department of Justice, [http://www.usdoj.gov/], is the lead agency for law enforcement and criminal matters related to terrorism overseas and domestically. A Terrorist Threat Integration Center, activated May, 1, 2003, charged with integrating foreign intelligence with law enforcement intelligence relating to terrorist threats to the U.S., is headed by the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and includes representatives of the law enforcement and intelligence agencies and the DHS. (See CRS Report RS21283, Homeland Security: Intelligence Support.) Antiterrorism Assistance and Terrorism and Crime Programs The State Department’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) Program is a central part of a concerted policy effort to help nations develop the capacity to effectively combat terrorism. The ATA Program provides training and equipment to foreign countries to help them improve their antiterrorism capabilities. More than 35,000 individuals from 152 countries have received training since the program’s inception in 1983 in such skills as crisis management, VIP protection, airport security management, and bomb detection and deactivation. The Administration requested $106.4 million for FY2004 for its ATA Program. The TIPOFF terrorism and crime database, maintained by the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, enables the use of sensitive intelligence to detect “known persons of concern” as they apply for U.S. visas overseas, and as of May 2002 had provided the names of almost 60,000 terrorists to State’s Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS). The Department requested $4.8 million for the TIPOFF program for FY2004. The Department of State’s Terrorist Interdiction Program (TIP), initiated in FY2002, helps foreign governments improve their border control capability through software for creating an automated database watchlist for fusion of names and relevant data. A benefit of TIP is that it provides immigration officials in selected countries with a computer-based, real-time system to verify the identities of travelers presenting themselves at border crossings. The Administration’s FY2004 request for TIP was $6 million to support plans to provide TIP to 8 to 10 countries. CRS-15 IB10119 05-12-03 Assistance to Victims Programs Facilitating payment of compensation to victims of terrorism by state sponsors or their agents is an ongoing area of Congressional interest. P.L. 106-386, among other things, allowed victims of terrorist acts committed by Cuba and Iran to collect payment of judgments rendered from funds held by the U.S. government and clarified circumstances under which immunity from jurisdiction or attachment may not apply when victims of state-sponsored terrorism seek compensation. Counterterrorism Research and Development Program The State Department’s Counterterrorism Research and Development Program is overseen by State’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism and is managed by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict. The program focuses on the inter-agency TSWG, which constitutes an R&D response to the threat posed by increasingly sophisticated equipment, explosives, and technology available to terrorist groups. TSWG’s major project areas include the following: chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear countermeasures; explosives detection and improvised device defeat; infrastructure protection; investigative support and forensics; personnel protection; physical security; surveillance collection and operations support; and tactical operations support. State and DOD provide core funding for TSWG activities; the FY2004 budget request for the TSWG was $62.3 million. As a result of additional agency contributions, TSWG coordinated $165 million in R&D in FY2003. Diplomatic Security Program The Diplomatic Security Program of the State Department is designed to protect U.S. personnel, information, and facilities domestically and abroad. Constructing secure facilities abroad, providing security guards, and supporting counterintelligence are some important elements of the program. Detection and investigation of passport and visa fraud is another important component. The FY2004 budget request for the Diplomatic Security Program includes $647 million for worldwide security upgrades in the Diplomatic and Consular programs account, $861 million in worldwide security construction in the Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance account and $10 million for Protection of Foreign Missions and Officials. Options for Program Enhancement Potential areas for improvement of programs to combat terrorism include enhancing information and network security; nuclear materials safeguards; detection of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and conventional explosives; and critical infrastructure protection and disaster/crisis consequence management, including training of first responders. One option might include an enhanced role for the National Academies and the National Laboratories in facilitating more concerted and better coordinated involvement of the U.S. scientific community in assessing threats, developing countermeasures, and designing responses to terrorism. A 2002 study by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, Making the Nation Safer: The Role of Science and CRS-16 IB10119 05-12-03 Technology in Combating Terrorism, [http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10415.html]. CRS-17 describes such an approach