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Terrorism has over the years become one of the most pressing and complex issues facing various governments. Despite the attempts made to solve the problem, terrorism still remains a crucial threat to national and global security. The objectives of counterterrorism are to neutralize terrorist cells and operatives and minimize the probability of a terrorist attack. The analysis of the threat of exposure and response to terrorism acts is a collaboration between different institutions of the state such as investigative, prosecutorial, and law enforcement institutions (Setty 2010, p.152). This paper puts UK’s and Spain’s counterterrorism policies into perspective. The comparative analysis spotlights controversial aspects in counterterrorism such as detention devoid of trial, excessive surveillance, and deportation of suspected terrorists. The analysis borrows from intertwining axes of legal norms (emanating from international as well as national perspectives) and the associated political tenets. However, the success of counterterrorism efforts is not clear cut as they can thrive in a certain country and fail in another. Amnesty, conciliation, repression, legal reform, and restriction, are some of the counterterrorism strategies that states can adopt. United Kingdom Counterterrorism Strategy The UK has a long and chaotic history of fighting domestic and foreign terrorization such as conflicts between Irish Republican Army (IRA), which had escalated in the 1970’s, but largely resolved in 1998. However, the UK has recently been grappling with home grown Islamist extremists. UK counterterrorism strategy can be traced back to the legislation of the Prevention of Violence Act 1939. The Terrorism Act 2000 substituted the earlier counter terrorism policies with a bold policy (Sidel 2007, p. 170). This policy was followed by the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, which featured after 9/11 attacks. The prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 was drafted post 7 July 2005 London bombings. The Terrorist Act handed the government enhanced powers for suppressing terrorists and their sympathisers. It also instilled coherence in the country’s anti-terrorist legislation (Orttung & Makarychev 2006, p. 4). Counterterrorism laws in UK elevate the rule of law, as well as the call for preservation of civil rights and liberties for terrorist detainees pursuant to criminal prosecution. The judicial scrutiny encompasses whether reasonable grounds exist to charge the detainee with a terrorist offense. The terrorism Act 2000 initially instituted a seven-day period but subsequent amendment accommodated a maximum of 14-day detention without trial in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Sidel 2007, p. 166). In 2006, the UK government sought to extend the pre-charge detention to 90 days but was scaled down to 28-day limit as established in the Terrorism Act 2006. The UK government has continued to register its preference to extend the pre-charge period. Nevertheless, the constitutionality and the efficacy of the extension have come under heavy attack from human rights activists. The pre-charge detention has produced mixed results with lingering questions on efficacy, safeguarding of rights and contribution to national security, observance of rule of law, and institutional legitimacy. Ever since the July 2005 terrorist attacks, the ...Show more
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Name: Tutor: Course: Date: University: Counter Terrorism in Comparative Perspective Introduction Counterterrorism refers to the offensive pursuit of known terrorists, prosecution of the said terrorists, and prevention of terrorist acts. Counterterrorism incorporates customs, methods, techniques, and strategies that governments, law enforcement agencies, or corporations adopt in response to terrorist threats or acts whether real or alleged…
Counter Terrorism in Comparative Perspective
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