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Illusions of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism$
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Richard English

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265901

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265901.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Secrets and Lies

Secrets and Lies

Misinformation and Counter-Terrorism

(p.95) 6 Secrets and Lies
Illusions of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism

Adrian Guelke

British Academy

The response of Western governments to the threat posed by mass-casualty terrorism has resulted in a widening gulf between their theory and practice of counter-terrorism and their proclaimed commitment to the maintenance of fundamental human rights. A shocking picture has emerged of wrongdoing perpetrated under the broad terms of counter-terrorist measures adopted since 9/11. This chapter seeks to explain this outcome, especially in the light of the episodic and limited nature of attacks by jihadis on Western societies since 2001. It also examines how President Barack Obama has grappled with the argument that some of the measures designed to protect the public from terrorism pose a threat to constitutional government and to the rule of law. It notes that his readiness to accept that such dangers do indeed exist has been exceptional among Western political leaders and that reliance on secrecy, misinformation, and denial has been the norm.

Keywords:   counter-terrorism, mass-casualty attack, suicide mission, rule of law, secret, jihadi

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