Study about terrorism [Archives:2003/645/Reportage]

June 26 2003

Jamil Al-Samit
For Yemen Times

A legal study about terrorism published in last quarter of 2001 revealed that the United Nations lack of a specific definition of international terrorism has led to the domination of a “western” concept of terror. This is also attributed to domination of the “west” mainly the United States of America over mechanism of the UN.
An issue that caused a deliberate confusion between armed resistance to occupation such as in Palestine, and real terrorism. For it is through the USA authority that Israel is termed as “legal” and “right” and the Palestinians as “terrorists”.
The study said that USA in its deliberate mixing between resistance and terrorism has led to the distorting of the national liberation movements and hence treating them as terrorist movements.
The study, which was prepared by Dr. Abdulwahhab Shamsan from Aden University called on USA and the West to review their stances and to deal with the actual reasons that lead to terrorism which are occupation, racism or discrimination in general and Zionism. In the same line the International Organization expressed its view regarding international terrorism and called on all countries to eliminate the reasons and triggers behind the phenomenon considering it one of the most dangerous international crimes. The study also narrated that terrorism is an ancient phenomenon and could be displayed in many ways such as assassinations, damage of public property, piracy tc. Yet the actual term of terrorism did not enter the legal thinking until 1930 through discussions of the first conference for standardizing penalty laws that was conducted in Warsaw, Poland. However, punishment and action against terrorism was discussed post the assassination of Alexander the First, King of Yugoslavia and a number of his companions in Marseilles, France in September 1934. Because of that incident the French government urged the international community to sign two international agreements on terrorism in Geneva 16 November 1937. The first agreement is regarding internationally prevention and suppression of terror, and the other concerning the creation of an international criminal court for trying those committing acts of terror, yet both agreements remained just ideas because they were not ratified.
A committee that had been formed in Paris in 1919 after the World War I delivered a list with 32 types of criminal actions among which terrorism came second in rank. Following that a of specialists committee branched from the war crimes committee on 20, October 1943 which added to the list mass and random arresting of people as terrorist act whether there were detainees or not.
During the 70s of the last century the international organization condemned terrorist and oppressive actions that many of the occupation regimes practice against people. Many countries at that time signed the agreements rejecting all kinds of terrorism and illegal seizure of airplanes, as what happened in Tokyo in 1963, The Hague in 1970, Montreal in 1971 and Rome in 1973.
The study indicated that all attempts to define terrorism failed except for what was included in Geneva Agreement in 1937 in which it called on countries to include terrorist crimes among their legislative crimes such as deliberate violence against political leaders, damaging actions and subjecting human life to danger or even indulging in that.
It also included owning or carrying weapons, ammunition and explosives with the intention of committing any of the mentioned crimes in any country. The study concluded that the world today lives great promises and new threats because the legislation of the world's laws is in the hands of the USA. It added that the world countries aspire to endorsing and developing the United Nation's authority but there are obstacles that prevented that, such as the USA domination on the Security Council especially after September events because of which the USA steered the world's attention and views to match with its own and to serve its own benefits, although the United States more than any other country needs to decrease violence, revenge and bias in its land.