Positive and Negative Measures of Anti-Terrorism

A.R.C. Europe (Anti-Radicalisation Centre) embraces soft anti-terrorism in the domestic fight of European countries against terrorism. What we do not condone is unethical tactics. Below, we provide a list of methods we tend to support and such which are generally unsupported by our NGO.

Efforts which should be held as sustainable:

  • use of positive influencing from family and friends
  • positive incentives and empowerment through education and work
  • use of tendentially harmless PR techniques
  • information gathering independently found to be lawful
  • below-threshold warnings and referrals to legal provisions
  • use of discourse such as one-on-one dialog (e.g. with social workers)
  • financial controls
  • removal of criminal content from the internet
  • judicial measures such punitive fines, community service and detainment

Measures which are unsustainable:

  • fully-fledged psychological attacks
  • use of psychoactive drugs
  • unlawful use of kinetic weapons
  • use of unconventional weapons
  • overreaching application of information technology
  • capital punishment
  • unlawful, pseudo-judicial measures to attain particularist political ends
  • other applications leading to different kinds of individual and societal dysfunction

As always, an over-reliance, in this case on anti-terrorist utilities, bears the tendency of yielding unwarranted, negative effects. Foreseeably (especially irreparable) damage to the physical integrity of a person and to the integrity of society is, indeed, absolutely reprehensible. Measures causing physical and psychological harm have partly been banned by international conventions already.

A note to political decision-makers: he who has the means and tools of anti-terrorism at his disposal risks excess in the application of measures up to so-called extreme measures. The idea of a guided society is an enticement which has to be prevented. Using a range of policing and psychological tools and measures systematically can breach the principles of human rights, and at the advent of mass-use of artificial intelligence, can either negatively enhance the capabilities of terrorists or stride to the level of the dystopia of an overly controlled society, which we advocate against.

Thorsten Koch, MA, PgDip
December 2018

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