Prevention of terrorism - core challenges for cities in Germany and Europe
What measures should local authorities implement to prevent their citizens from terrorism? How can local authorities prevent that the fight against terrorism hinders the very much needed integration of immigrants and deteriorates community cohesion? In this report by the Institute for Criminologyof the University of Tübingen (Germany) it is argued that foremost it isimportant to better understand the motives of terrorists and the way theyoperate. In the opinion of the researchers it is necessary to better profile potential terrorists.
The research report is based upon the findings of the seminar
“How to deal with terrorist threats? Major problems and handling
opportunities for local authorities” that was organised in the
framework of the Cities Against Terrorism (CAT) project. The report
provides a concise overview of the issues discussed at the seminar.
The report starts with a general information on the nature of terrorist activity. A description and analysis of the operational structure of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) serves as illustration.
The report continues with addressing the issues that arise in developing long-term strategies in the prevention of terrorism. Here a focus is put on measures that aim at building confidence amongst Muslim immigrant population inEurope.
The last part of the report is most interesting. Here, the focus is on the role of cities in addressing the terrorist threat is discussed. Two cases illustrate the role of cities:
- the city of Münich provides an example of how to deal with security and order within larger cities
- the city of Tübingen is used as an example of the issues arising in the field of crisis management in case of a terrorist attack
The seminar “How to deal with terrorist threats? Major problems and handling opportunities for local authorities” on which this research report is based, was organised in the framework of the Cities Against Terrorism project. The seminar took place in Tübingen, (Germany) on 27-28 November 2006.
- One of the major subjects according to the conference particpants' is thequestion for the theoretical validity of models and initiatives against terrorism and the possibilities of improvement.
- Terrorists perceive cities as a system of targets, obstacles and escape routes. To prevent terrorism in urban areas it is of great importance to understand how a terrorist perceives a city.
- Terrorist organisations must be better understood. Experts are still notable to identify reasons and targets (lack of profiling). The question to beasked is: what are the goals of terrorist groups? The best technical equipment to chase after potential perpetrators (like digital walls, monitoring etc.) is useless without understanding the terrorists.
- Another conclusion is that the inexperience in terror prevention of the local police authorities is a major problem. A challenge for today is to coach the responders on a local and international level because these are the levels terrorist groups are working on. This includes training in internet monitoring skills.
- Extra security measures, though sometimes inevitable, are also considered aproblem. People get disturbed in their daily life more and more by extensive security measures. This is one of the goals of terrorists.
- The police authorities in the city of Munich class only 0.1 to 1 per cent ofthe Muslim inhabitants as potential terrorists. But what does this classification mean to the other 99 per cent and the concepts of integration? Since integration is based on a closely local level and helps to prevent terrorism, this is a question that needs to be addressed by local authorities.
Institute for Criminology of the University of Tübingen
Marc Coester, Klaus Bott, Hans-Jürgen Kerner
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Report | Prevention of terrorism - core challenges for cities in Germany and Europe
01 May 2007, pdf, 862KB