Counterterrorism measures to boost National Security
Following the recent terror attack in Tunisia, I’ve had a lot of questions lining on the walls of my heart! Personally, every morning I wake up with the news of bloodshed, my heart feels so depressed! I have also come to a nasty conclusion that Terrorism is a psychological warfare.
In fact Terrorists try to manipulate us and change our behaviour by creating fear, uncertainty, and division in society. The Ugandan bomb attacks in 2010 in which At least 74 people were killed in the twin bombings in Kampala most of them at the rugby club of which the Somali Islamist movement al-Shabab took responsibility for the bombings, left everybody wondering and many are still healing the wounds on their hearts!
I am among a few individuals who believe that without tough laws on terrorism, the future of any country could spell doom. The passing into law of the Uganda’s Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill was yet another cornerstone in the security of this land.
For many people, the bill gives absolute powers to the Inspector General of Police. He’s also given express powers to freeze accounts, seize property and funds. Many believe, this could help curtail terrorism and other related activities. Whereas some opposition MPS had raised a point in disagreement that we shall be trading off civil liberties in the name of countering terrorism, because that would be handing victory to terrorism. But, Truth be told.
Uganda was required to pass the amendment to comply with the UN conventions on terrorism financing that the country ratified in 2003. Counterterrorism measures in each country vary, but collectively the new laws reinforce existing provisions that increase the power of police officials to investigate, detain, and arrest suspects; reduce the due process rights of suspects and limit judicial review; restrict financial transactions and remittances to individuals and entities abroad, require Internet companies to provide personal communication information to state officials; and increase government authority to control Internet content.
For a decade now, I have stressed the need for proactive measures to stop terrorism because we cannot wage a “war on terrorism” yet “war” itself is terrorism. The first descent step is to commit to enlightenment.
Although human race disregards this aspect as an approach to help manage conflicts and so, they turn to using weapons of mass destruction! We must do away with this perception through mind-set- change to those who are now poisoned with the terrorist philosophy.
Society requires a fresh educational principle to get over terrorism. Through quality education and learning, we can impact and transform younger generation on the way to better living in the future of this era.
“Enlighten your youths” may be the Sloganfor a long term option to combat terrorism. If every available resource is spent in creation of weapons and deployment of troops worldwide as an approach to do away with terrorism– the vey resources we could invest in propagating the idea of good quality schooling! – We are just digging up one small hole to cover up the other!
Our MPs should appreciate the fact that every single country has developed legal laws and regulations, embraced constitutions of government authorities and also judicial views that eliminate any kind of terrorist activities in addition to the distribution of terrorist philosophy.
The French government in the wake of terrorist activities tightened its anti-terrorism legislation because of concerns about the growing number of nationals joining radical causes at home and abroad. The legislations included among others; a travel ban on anyone believed to be travelling to join a terrorist group abroad.
The government also created new offences and new punishments for terrorists. The regulations empowered authorities to block websites that “glorify terrorism” without the intervention of a judge.
In 2013, a British soldier was murdered in London by two British men linked to radical Islam. A report into the attack found that security forces were aware of the two men but said they couldn’t stop them!
In 2014 A suite of legislation was introduced as a response which give police the power to force Internet companies to hand over details that could help identify suspected terrorists, banning British citizens suspected of involvement in terrorist activity abroad from coming back into the U.K. for two years among others.
Australia in September 2014, security agencies claimed to have foiled a plot by Islamic extremists to carry out executions in Sydney and Brisbane. The Australian government said it was an example of a growing threat to the country from Islamic radicals affiliated with the on-going conflicts in Syria and Iraq.
The new legislations made it a crime to advocate terrorism. It also give sentences of life in prison for those who travel overseas to engage in hostile activities, making it a crime to travel to or stay in an area designated as being of “terrorist activity”, with some exceptions for family visits and other legitimate travel and more so, require telecommunications companies to retain Customer’s phone and computer metadata for around two years!.
As Uganda tightens her seatbelts on terrorism by toughening the laws, we should also rethink our commitment on immigrants – to freely pass through our borders. While most come to find work and a better life for them and their families, they have not been raised in this country so naturally their ideals and values are different.
Developing strong relations with our allies in other countries and cooperate in interests that both countries hold would also be prudent. I believe we should also screen those who come in this country including complete background checks from the originating country thereby allowing our government to access moral character. When each country of the civilized world put in force regulations to prevent terrorism, perhaps terrorism will quickly become historical.
Richard Musaazi is a private investigator. E-mail; email@example.com, Twitter @musaazi22