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Dr Benard Ndep Etta

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Security concerns are now a priority to individual citizens, business corporations, investors, tourists and governments etc. No longer can humanity take the issue of security lightly, with the prevalence of security treats in so many places. Incidence like the September 11th terrorist attacks on the world trade centre, pentagon and other tragic violent attacks on lives and properties around the world has brought the issue of security to focus to every citizen of the civilized world.
No one needs to be awaken to the challenge of security in the 21st century, for the world Medias are full of striking coverage, depicting the deplorable security conditions around the world. 21st century security challenge is written as a contribution towards the enhancement of security world wide. Read and be inspired.


Humanity has entered her worst era of security risk. There is global insecurity of lives and properties. Nothing seems to be secured any more. People are living in fear and dread of the unexpected. This dilemma makes security a 21st century individual, national, international and global challenge. Humanity is beset with several security risks in the 21st century than in any other time in history. Terrorism, Hijackings, Kidnappings, killings, armed robbery, extremist violence, etc have increased security risks worldwide.  


     Terrorism poses as one of the world’s most severe security risk in the 21st century. It is a negative concept with the believe in violence as a means of attracting national and international attention, achieving political, economic and social interest. Terrorism is dated right from the very beginning of human civilization but with increased cases as from the 19th century. For instance, anarchists in some rural parts of Italy and Spain employed terrorist means likewise their counterparts in France. Russian revolutionary movement before World War I had a strong terrorist element etc.

      In the 20th century, groups as the Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out their terrorist activities beyond the boundaries of individual countries. They were sometimes supported by established governments, such as those of Bulgaria and Italy under the Fascist leader Benito Mussolini.  Con temporal terrorism is more effective than those of the past due to technological advances, effective communication mediums, extensive worldwide connection and the availability of smaller size weapons.

      Most co temporal terrorist activities are carried out by extremists with terrorist bases in countries like Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, etc. Recent terrorist attacks like the plane crash against the World Trade Centre in New York City and Pentagon, the bombing of the London underground railways, etc were carried out by the terrorist organization known as Al-Qaeda net work, as a Jihad against America and her Western allies.

      There are smaller terrorist organizations in different parts of the world but the vast net work is coordinated by Bin Laden the founder of Al-Qaeda.

      People live in the United States in relative security until 9/11 when the terrorists stroke and brought down the twin towers of the world trade centre, sending many who came for business to their graves. Thousands used the London underground railway in relative security and safety for several years until July 7 2005 when the terrorist stroke, killing many and wounding others. Egypt Nile resort was an important destination for tourists until the terrorist’s stroke and killed over 300 persons. India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Kenya in Africa etc have all witness severe insecurity as a result of terrorist assaults. 

      Terrorism has increased insecurity worldwide. People are no more certain with their safety as they travel or work in different places. The security risk posed by terrorism, has changed the course of world affairs. Billions are spent in the fight against terrorism worldwide, yet the threat is still here with us. So much is still needed to curb the plight of terrorism.


 -Abu Nidal Organisation (ANO)

-Abu Sayyaf Group

-Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade 

-Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group)

-Armed Islamic Group (GIA)

-Asbat al-Ansar

-Aum Shinirikyo

-Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)

-East Turkistan Islamic Movement


-HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement)

-Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)

-Hezbollah (Party of God)

-Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)

-Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) (Army of Mohammed)

-Al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad)

-Kahane Chai (Kach)

-Kurdistan workers’ Party (PKK)

-Lashakar-e Tayyiba (LT) (Army of the Righteous)

-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE)

-Lashar IJhangvi (LIJ)

-Moro Islamic Liberation Front

-Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK)

-National Liberation Army (ELN)

-Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)

-Palestine Liberation Front (PLF)

-Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

 -PELP-General Command (PFLP-GC)

-Al Qaeda

-Real IRA

-Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)

-Revolutionary Nuclei (formerly ELA)

-Revolutionary Organization 17 November

-Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC)

-Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso, SL)

-Special Purpose Islamic Regiment (SPIR)

-United Self-Defence Forces of Columbia (AUC)

-Communist party of the Philippines/New People’s Army (CPP/NPA)

-jemaah Islamiya Organization (JI).

      Humanity as a whole must understand the security risk caused by terrorism and must work together to combat this human debacle.


Solution to global terrorism is both proactive and reactive.  Pro-active measures are less expensive, while reactive measures are more expensive. To curb terrorism in the 21st century, humanity must be more pro-active than reactive.   (Prevention is better than cure).

                                   PRO-ACTIVE MEASURES

i) Enlightenment: One of the most effective pro-active measures in curbing terrorism is investing towards enlightenment. Most at times, humanity ignores the factor of enlightenment as a means towards resolving conflicts and resorts to weapons of mass destruction. This is great ignorance.

      Enlightenment can go a long way in providing solutions to conflicts of which the use of weapons of mass destruction cannot. Every problem has its solution in knowledge. In fact, ignorance is the platform for every form of inhumanity. Ignorance is the greatest instigator of violence and destruction. Societies where terrorism is applied as a means towards achieving political, social and economic interests are societies with perverted knowledge and unenlightened nationals.

      Until humanity realises the destructive effect of ignorance and the superiority of enlightenment in resolving human conflicts, humanity will continue in unnecessary loss of resources in her search to resolve conflicts. Enlightenment is the sense of being correctly or rightly informed, instructed, inspired and learned. Enlightenment is the greatest need of every human being with respect to proper moral and ethical behavioral patterns. To order the behavior of people with respect to right morals and ethics, enlightenment is imperative.

      One of the weaknesses of the world’s education is it’s deficiency in knowledge with respect to proper understanding of life and social sciences. This has made the world poor in her morals and social ethics, leaving us in an imbalance with respect to our civilization.

      The world has improved in her scientific and technological breakthroughs but failed in having humanity to live together, enjoying all we have in love, peace, harmony and brotherliness.

      If humanity will balance her civilization with proper human relation and operation, she must accept an educational revolution characterized by absolute focus on achieving complete quality and positive human development. (Mental, physical, moral and social). Such educational revolution will produce balanced individuals and societies. Such will express proper understanding, consciousness and awareness in relation to life’s demands.

      Ignorance is not the lack of information but the absence of positive and quality knowledge. Terrorist individuals and societies are informed to some extent but their actions reveal their ignorance with respect to positive and quality knowledge. No properly knowledgeable individual or society can encourage terrorism.

      Quality and positive knowledge have a way of enlightening individuals and societies with respect to proper behavioral and ethical pattern to human relation and life’s demands. It is knowledge which illuminates, motivates, prepares, activates, challenges and transforms the human life and mind for quality operation and productivity.

      The world needs a new educational concept to conquer terrorism. We may not be able to change the mentality of those who are currently intoxicated with the terrorist ideology but through quality education, we can influence and change the younger generation towards quality living in the future of this century and millennium.

      “Enlighten the youths” is the slogan for a long term solution to terrorism. If all what is invested in the production of weapons of mass destruction and the deployment of soldiers around the world as a means towards the defeat of terrorism can be invested in propagating the concept of quality education. I believe much will be achieved to curb the threat of terrorism.  


                             COMBATING TERRORISM VIA THE RULE OF LAW.

      Laws are principles or stipulated standards made by men to order the behavior of individuals and to determine the operative dynamics of a setup, society, nation or the world. In a setup, laws may take the form of rules and regulations. While in a society or nation, laws may take the form of constitutions of government, legislation or judicial opinions.

      One of the pro-active measures in curbing terrorism is for every society to establish legislative laws, adopting constitutions of governance and judicial opinions which abolishes every form of terrorist actions and the propagation of terrorist ideology. Every society without laws against terrorism will inevitably become the breeding ground for all forms of terrorist ideology and action. Terrorism thrives in societies which provide safe grounds for their activities. If every nation of the civilized world will enforce laws against terrorism, then terrorism will soon be history.

(iii)Sharing intelligence: Terrorism can be prevented if intelligence sharing between citizens and their governments and between nations of the international community is effective. Intelligence sharing deals with the provision of needed information by concern individuals, intelligence services and concern groups with respect to terrorist plans and activities before they are carried out.

      To prevent terrorist attacks, intelligence sharing between nations of the international community must be efficient and effective. This is equally a preventive or pro-active approach to terrorism. 



     These are emergency measures intended to restrict and to curb terrorist actions. These measures involve diplomacy and the use of force.



      Most terrorist groups have grievances which can be resolved through diplomacy. In fact, most terrorist attacks are intended by the terrorists to attract national or international attention to certain plights and grievances. Thus, diplomacy can be applied nationally or internationally as a means to identify and resolve grievances which instigate terrorism.

When diplomacy fails?

ii) The use of force: This is a reactive measure intended to apply pressure on terrorist groups so as to restrict their activities. It is worthwhile to note that, force is only necessary when all avenues of diplomacy fail. Force may take the form of sanctions. These sanctions may involve economic and arms embargoes or international isolation against terrorist organizations and societies which sponsor terrorism.

      Secondly, force may involve military intervention. The use of force is necessary because certain terrorist groups or societies may never accept diplomacy and may never comply with standards. They may want to achieve their aims no matter what. Such recalcitrant individuals and terrorist groups need to be brought to order through the use of force.It needed force to stop the ambition of Hitler, after world leaders applied diplomacy and failed, force was the only option which arrested Hitler’s ambition to conquer Europe.

      It was force which brought the end to Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait, etc.When terrorism resists the above measures, and humanity must now depend on Divine intervention as the final solution.


      I believe it was Divine intervention which shaped history throughout the ages. When human means fail, Divine intervention is imperative. Divine providence can cause the collapse of a negative system.

      There is nothing impossible with divine intervention. In our quest for solution to terrorism, we should not leave aside Divine intervention 

Security is a life’s demand. It is the relative safety of lives and properties. Every human life yearns for security likewise the security of properties. Security is an indispensable need as far as human life and transactions are concerned.
The importance of security cannot be over emphasised: for human life and operations in any community, society and nation is greatly dependent on the security situation of that community, society and nation.

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