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Chemical weapons attacks during the recent conflict in Syria and Iraq highlight the need to better understand the changing epidemiology of chemical weapons use, especially among non-state actors. Public health professionals and policy-makers require this data to prioritize funding, training, chemical weapons preparedness, disaster response, and recovery. The purpose of this investigation is to provide descriptive data that can be used by policy-makers and public safety officials to better prepare for these potential attacks.
A five-decade descriptive retrospective review of The Global Terrorism Database, maintained by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, was conducted to understand trends in chemical agents, targets, and routes of exposure. We reviewed and analyzed data specific to these documented chemical attacks between 1970 and 2017.
383 terror attacks involved chemical weapons over the study period. A specific agent was named in 154 incidents, while 124 incidents could be classified into traditional chemical weapons categories (eg, vesicant, choking agents). A route of exposure was identified in 242 attacks, with the most common routes of exposure being dermal-mucosal and inhalational. Caustic agents were used in the highest portion of attacks (25%) where the route of exposure was known. Explosive devices were used in 21% of attacks to deliver these chemical agents. Of particular note, private citizens and educational facilities were targeted in 25% and 12% of attacks, respectively. The average number of attacks increased from 6 per year between 1970 and 2011 to 24.9 per year between 2011 and 2017 (coinciding with the start of the Syria conflict). The most commonly utilized chemicals were chlorine (26.0%), tear gas (20.8%), and cyanide (15.6%). Blood agent incidents declined from 32.6% before the September 11, 2001 attacks to 13.6% after 2001, while nerve agent attacks fell from 9.3% to 1.2%. In contrast, choking (namely chlorine) and vesicant (mustard) agent use increased from 7% to 48.1% and from 2.3% to 6.2% of attacks, respectively.
Chemical weapon use in global terrorism remains an increasingly common occurrence that requires better characterization. The average number of chemical terrorist attacks per year is increasing, with a large proportion resulting from the conflicts in Iraq and Syria. Choking (chlorine) and vesicant (mustard) agents have become the predominant chemical terror agent since 2001, with a decreased incidence of blood (cyanogenic) and nerve (sarin) agents. Future preparedness initiatives should focus on vulnerable targets such as private citizens and educational institutions. Improving blast injury response is essential, along with prioritizing disaster training focused on choking agents, vesicants, and caustics.
As a counterpoint, Chapter 5 considers representations of the offending men. A certain pathologised image of the Afghan man now dominates the mainstream Anglophone imaginary. This chapter analyses representations of Pashtun males in the Western media and juxtaposes them with depictions of the Afghan president Hamid Karzai in order to underscore the tensions and contradictions inherent in the hegemonic narrative of ‘Pashtun sexuality’. This chapter and the chapter on women that precedes it are best viewed as an exercise in what Richard Tapper has called ‘media ethnography’ – the ‘observation’, as it were, of information and images circulated in Britain and America by different media. The chapter also revisits the debate about homosexuality as a ‘minority identity’, arguing that the act versus identity debate is deployed in this context to simultaneously make the Pashtun Other legible and to discredit his ‘unorthodox’ ways of being. The aim of this final chapter is to show just how ‘situated’ all knowledge necessarily is, and just how insidious practices of knowledge cultivation about the Other can be. _ftnref1+G10
Victims have become a topic of scholarly debate in conflict studies, especially regarding the impact of their activism on the evolution and termination of violence. Victims of terrorism are now enlisted within counter-terrorism, given their moral authority as spokespeople for counter-narratives and de-escalation. Our research explores how Spanish terrorism victims’ associations have evolved across eras of political violence and how they mediate the translation of international War on Terror discourses into Spanish counter-terrorism. We offer a topography of how the War on Terror has opened a ‘social front’ in Spanish counter-terrorism, with Spanish political elites prominently employing the victims’ associations to this end. Contemporary terrorism discourses are read back onto the memory of ETA, with victims’ associations assisting the equation of ETA with al-Qaeda and ISIS. Collective memory of the defeat of ETA has also contributed the veneer of ‘lessons learned’ to contemporary counter-terrorism measures. Our research explores the fluidity of terrorism-memory and the importation of global terrorism discourses into Spanish politics, relying upon interviews with key stakeholders in victims’ associations, local politics, and the research director of the new Victims of Terrorism Memorial Centre in Vitoria.
This article offers an analysis of the transnational discursive construction processes informing Latin American security governance in the aftermath of 9/11. It demonstrates that the Global War on Terror provided an opportunity for external and aligned local knowledge producers in the security establishments throughout the Americas to reframe Latin America's security problems through the promotion of a militarised security epistemology, and derived policies, centred on the region's ‘convergent threats’. In tracing the discursive repercussions of this epistemic reframing, the article shows that, by tapping into these discourses, military bureaucracies throughout the Americas were able to overcome their previous institutional marginalisation vis-à-vis civilian agencies. This development contributed to the renaissance of counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism discourses and policies in the region, allowing countries such as Colombia and Brazil to reposition themselves globally by exporting their military expertise for confronting post-9/11 threats beyond the region.
Manual ventilation with a bag-valve device (BVD) is a Basic Life Support skill. Prolonged manual ventilation may be required in resource-poor locations and in severe disasters such as hurricanes, pandemics, and chemical events. In such circumstances, trained operators may not be available and lay persons may need to be quickly trained to do the job.
The current study investigated whether minimally trained operators were able to manually ventilate a simulated endotracheally intubated patient for six hours.
Two groups of 10 volunteers, previously unfamiliar with manual ventilation, received brief, structured BVD-tube ventilation training and performed six hours of manual ventilation on an electronic lung simulator. Operator cardiorespiratory variables and perceived effort, as well as the quality of the delivered ventilation, were recorded. Group One ventilated a “normal lung” (compliance 50cmH2O/L, resistance 5cmH2O/L/min). Group Two ventilated a “moderately injured lung” (compliance 20cmH2O/L, resistance 20cmH2O/L/min).
Volunteers’ blood pressure, heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR), and peripheral capillary oxygen saturation (SpO2) were stable throughout the study. Perceived effort was minimal. The two groups provided clinically adequate and similar RRs (13.3 [SD = 3.0] and 14.1 [SD = 2.5] breaths/minute, respectively) and minute volume (MV; 7.6 [SD = 2.1] and 7.7 [SD = 1.4] L/minute, respectively).
The results indicate that minimally trained persons can effectively perform six hours of manual BVD-tube ventilation of normal and moderately injured lungs, without undue effort. Quality of delivered ventilation was clinically adequate.
Jihad, a heavily loaded word in the post-9/11 discourse, has in fact many layers, in theological and historical terms. This chapter investigates how the anti-Soviet resistance to the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s turned this Central Asian country into a receptacle of religiously oriented ideologues and militants from all over the world. The social and political transformations of the 1960s and 70s, the conflation of local self-determination, radicalization of refugees, absorption of foreign militants, the charisma of a Palestinian Muslim Brother, and the wealth of a well-connected Saudi man all come together in shaping the Afghan jihad as a symbolic and imagined site of resistance to outside forces for the global umma. If in the 1980s jihad had carried a positive connotation of liberation, in the aftermath to the 9/11 attacks labeling a movement as “jihadist” has become a convenient way for governments to tackle unrest in Muslim areas, even where struggles had been taking place for decades without much connection to Islamist aspirations, as seen in the cases of Southern Philippines, Indonesia, Southern Thailand, Kashmir, and Western China.
Chapter 1 introduces The Law of the List and the ISIL and Al-Qaida listing regime, sets out the key research questions it addresses and highlights the relevant literatures that are engaged with. It introduces the three key analytical moves of this book – (i) studying global law as a legal assemblage, (ii) examining risk and preemption as practices of governmentality, and (iii) rethinking the problem of exceptional governance. The introductory chapter also positions this book as a methodological experiment in situated knowledge production. The author’s own role within the listing assemblage as a practising lawyer representing listed individuals is discussed. Drawing on Science and Technology Studies (STS) scholarship, it is argued that methods are performative. They enact and interfere with the worlds they describe and so are intensely political. Three distinct methodological moves of this book are also highlighted - studying the ISIL and Al-Qaida list as a multisited research object by focusing on local global ‘structure-making sites’; empirically examining the role of practices in global security law and governance; and using leaked documents to study global security law that would otherwise be secret. The chapter closes with a brief overview of the structure of the book.
To document long-term prevalence trends and changes in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Current Major Depression (MD), Agoraphobia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and Panic Disorder, in two groups of people with different levels of exposure to a massive terrorist attack.
Cohort study. Two random samples of people exposed to a terrorist attack, the injured (n = 127) and community residents (n = 485) were followed and assessed, 2 and 18 months after the event.
Among the injured, 2 and 18 months after the attack, the prevalences were respectively, PTSD: 44.1% and 34%, MD: 31.5% and 23.7%, Agoraphobia: 23.8% and 20.7%, GAD: 13.4% and 12.4% and Panic Disorder: 9.4% and 11.3%. The corresponding figures among residents were PTSD: 12.3% and 3.5%, MD: 8.5% and 5.4%, Agoraphobia: 10.5% and 8.7%, GAD: 8.6%, and 8.2% and Panic Disorder 2.1% and 2.7%.
Two months after the event, the prevalence of mental disorders among both injured and residents was higher than expected levels at baseline conditions. Eighteen months after the event, psychopathological conditions did not change significantly among the injured but returned to the expected baseline rates among community residents.
Our objective was to identify factors that predict occurrence and severity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a terrorism attack.
We evaluated 32 victims of a bomb attack in a Paris subway in December 1996 at 6 and 32 months.
Sociodemographic characteristics, clinical data and physical injuries were used to predict PTSD occurrence and severity in 32 victims. The Watson’s PTSD Inventory (PTSD-I) and the Impact of Event Scale (IES) by Horowitz were used to evaluate occurrence and severity of PTSD, respectively.
Thirty-nine percent of participants met PTSD criteria at 6 months, 25% still had PTSD at 32 months. Women had PTSD 32 months after the bomb attack more frequently than men. Employment predicted PTSD severity at 32 months. PTSD scores assessed by PTSD-I at 6 months were significantly and positively associated with IES scores at 32-month follow-up (r = 0.55, P = 0.004). Psychotropic drug use before the bomb attack significantly predicted PTSD occurrence and severity at 6 and 32 months. In a linear regression model, physical injuries, employment status and psychotropic drug use before the bomb attack were independent predictors of severity of PTSD at 32 months.
Bomb attack exposure resulted in persisting PTSD in a significant proportion of victims; the severity was predicted at 32 months by physical injuries and psychotropic drug use before the terrorism attack and by the PTSD score few months after the bomb attack.
In keeping with Jessup’s project of constructively contesting legal doctrinal understandings of law, this chapter analyses the Situation Room Photograph to illustrate transnational law as drama. The metaphor of law as drama inheres in Jessup’s text. Yoking Jessup’s turn to drama with anthropologist Victor Turner’s notion of social drama, this chapter shows how, as a text of transnational law, the Situation Room photograph illuminates the normalizing and legitimizing of the national security state, even as gestures and representations of law associated with liberal democracy thread through the image.
Chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) terrorism continues to be a global threat. Studies examining global and historical toxicological characteristics of CBR terrorism are lacking.
Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and RAND Database of Worldwide Terrorism Incidents (RDWTI) were searched for CBR terrorist attacks from 1970 through 2017. Events fulfilling terrorism and poisoning definitions were included. Variables of event date and location, event realization, poisonous agent type, poisoning agent, exposure route, targets, connected events, additional means of harm, disguise methods, poisonings, and casualties were analyzed along with time trends and data gaps.
A total of 446 events of CBR terrorism were included from all world regions. A trend for increased number of events over time was observed (R2 = 0.727; coefficient = 0.511). In these attacks, 4,093 people lost their lives and 31,903 were injured. Chemicals were the most commonly used type of poison (63.5%). The most commonly used poisonous agents were acids (12.3%), chlorine or chlorine compounds (11.2%), riot control agents (10.8%), cyanides (5.8%), and Bacillus anthracis (4.9%). Occurrence of poisoning was confirmed in 208 events (46.6%). Most common exposure routes were skin, mucosa, or eye (57.2%) and inhalation (47.5%). Poison was delivered with additional means of harm in 151 events (33.9%) and in a disguised way in 214 events (48.0%), respectively.
This study showed that CBR terrorism is an on-going and increasingly recorded global threat involving diverse groups of poisons with additional harmful mechanisms and disguise. Industrial chemicals were used in chemical attacks. Vigilance and preparedness are needed for future CBR threats.
Jadhav Case (India v. Pakistan) concerned Pakistan's arrest, detention, conviction, and death sentence of Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, asserted by India to be an Indian national, who had been convicted of engaging in acts of terrorism and espionage in Pakistan. This is the third dispute over the interpretation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) to come before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). In contrast to the Applicants in the previous consular rights cases, India sought relief that included the annulment of Jadhav's conviction in Pakistan, his release from custody, and his safe transfer to India. After unanimously finding it had jurisdiction, fifteen judges of the ICJ, with only Judge ad hoc Jillani dissenting, held on the merits that Pakistan had breached VCCR Article 36 by failing to inform Jadhav without delay of his rights under that provision; by failing to notify without delay the appropriate consular post of India in Pakistan of his detention; and by depriving India of its right to communicate with Jadhav, to visit him in detention, and arrange for his legal representation. In addition, the Court, with only Judge ad hoc Jillani dissenting, found that Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Jadhav of his rights without further delay and is obliged to provide Indian consular officers access to him. The Court further found that appropriate reparation required Pakistan to provide, by means of its own choosing, effective review and reconsideration of Jadhav's conviction and sentence to ensure that full weight is given to the effect of the violation of his rights. Finally, the ICJ, again with Judge ad hoc Jillani dissenting, declared that a continued stay of execution constituted an indispensable condition for the effective review and reconsideration of Jadhav's conviction and sentence.
In Nairobi, the institutional context can be characterised as ‘contract’. UNHCR is open to working with refugee-led CBOs, and its implementing partners do work collaboratively with several. However, the terms of the collaboration are largely defined top-down. Tasks are sub-contracted to several CBOs and their staff by IPs. There are few opportunities for CBOs to access recognition, collaboration or funding on the basis of their own agenda or community priorities. This chapter explores how RCO leaders are largely engaged with international organisations as community ‘incentive workers’ rather than leaders in their own right. The refugee response can be characterised as ‘compliance’ as many CBOs wish to preserve their relationships with UNHCR and the IPs and so accept collaboration on the terms that are available. Congolese organisations like the Union of Banyamasisi Refugees in Kenya and Family of Banyamulenge, for instance, represent the needs of their communities with UNHCR. The LGBT refugee-led organisation CESSI, for example, receives financial assistance from UNHCR through the Danish Refugee Council. Despite the existence of multiple well-run RCOs in Nairobi, international NGOs often regard the degree of collaboration as limited by refugees’ capacity rather than a top-down landscape of assistance that restricts possibilities for RCO engagement.
This chapter surveys the history of terrorism from the eighteenth to the early twenty-first centuries. Terrorism is defined here as a strategy that uses symbolic violence that seeks to change the behavior of the many by targeting the few. After a brief historiography of the phenomenon, the chapter discusses the origins of modern terrorism in the nineteenth-century paradox of growing individualism and state power; thus, while terrorism can be used in pursuit of any ideology, it is closely associated with the emergence of modern democracy. Particular attention is paid to the role of violence in the French Revolution, early efforts to theorize and organize conspiratorial violence, and three late nineteenth-century terrorist movements: revolutionary terrorism in the Russian Empire, white supremacist terrorism in the United States, and anarchist terrorism in Europe and the United States. The essay uses primary and secondary sources and includes a lengthy annotated bibliography.
Some have suggested that terrorists are mentally ill and have used labels such as psychopathic or sociopathic, narcissistic, paranoid, are schizophrenic types, or passive–aggressive. Others have argued that although terrorist actions may seem irrational or delusional to society in general, terrorists in fact, act rationally, and there is no evidence to indicate that they are mentally ill/disordered, psychopathic or otherwise psychologically abnormal.
Objective and method
Here we present the case of Mr. A, a 32 year old man diagnosed with schizophrenia, who travelled to Egypt and Syria in attempt to join the ISIS terrorist organization, and discuss the clinical features, treatment processes and two years follow-up of this particular case.
As described in some studies, most terrorists do not demonstrate serious psychopathology and there is no single personality type. Thus, the relationship between terrorism and mental illness mostly refers to the question about pathological travel as part of a religious and messianic delirium.
Disclosure of interest
The author has not supplied his/her declaration of competing interest.
Terrorists attack civilian targets but there is variation in how many civilians they kill. Terrorists may deliberately harm civilians, or they may adopt a less bloody approach, demolishing businesses, transit systems, and other civilian property while employing tactics to avert civilian casualties. One such tactic is to warn civilians before an attack, allowing them to flee the area. With warnings as an example, this study considers why terrorists might adopt casualty-aversion tactics. An analysis of 12,235 bombings by 131 terrorist groups in the years 1970 to 2016 finds that warnings are most common when terrorists fight democracies and when they lack territorial strongholds. Ideological factors such as religion are not significant predictors of warnings. These findings suggest a need to revisit the claim that religion incentivizes indiscriminate terrorism. They also suggest a strategic logic behind casualty-aversion tactics. Terrorists fighting democracies may spare civilians to appear legitimate in citizens’ eyes. Terrorists without strongholds may spare civilians because they rely on the state's population for support. At first glance, my findings appear to contradict civil war literature arguing that militants with strongholds use violence more discriminately. However, terrorism occurs in areas of state control. Militants with strongholds can use indiscriminate terrorism against state-governed civilians without alienating their own supporters elsewhere.
Within global security governance, a number of governments monitor and label certain organizations as “terrorist groups” with the aim of curtailing their capacity. The most prominent example of this is the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list. Under what conditions is FTO listing an effective counterterrorism tool? We develop a theory of blacklisting in the context of FTOs, arguing that the impact of FTO designation depends on the types of support terrorist organizations rely on. We theorize that FTO blacklisting has capacity-curtailing effects on terrorist groups when funding sources are vulnerable to detection, sanctions, and stigmatization. Specifically, we hypothesize that groups with private funding (e.g. charities, diaspora networks) are more likely to reduce attacks after FTO designation, compared to groups with other funding sources such as criminal activities. Analysis of data on terrorist organizations between 1970 and 2014 takes into account the political processes of listing and provides support for the argument. The findings highlight the importance of understanding the nature of the target in evaluating the performance of global indicators.
This chapter provides a concise overview and analysis of Libya’s recent history, in particular the era of Colonel Qadhafi’s reign, which started with the 1969 revolution. As from this moment on, Libya was dominated and shaped by Qadhafi’s specific brand of revolution at home and anti-imperialistic adventurism abroad. Eventually, major powers were antagonized to such an extent that Libya was treated as a pariah state by the international community. In a remarkable volte-face around the turn of the century, a series of backchannel negotiations between Libya and (primarily) the United Kingdom and the United States resulted in agreements on financial compensation for the Lockerbie victims, Libya’s renunciation of terrorism, and the country’s denouncement of its weapons of mass destruction. After UN, EU, and US sanctions had been lifted, Libya was fully rehabilitated on the world stage, and economic, political, and intelligence relations flourished. However, Libya’s human rights record remained poor, and since the Libyan leadership failed to introduce any meaningful political reforms, domestic oppression continued to persist.
This paper highlights how international organizations can use Global Performance Indicators (GPIs) to drive policy change through transnational market pressure. When international organizations are credible assessors of state policy, and when monitored countries compete for market resources, GPIs transmit information about country risk and stabilize market expectations. Under these conditions, banks and investors may restrict access to capital in non-compliant states and incentivize increased compliance. I demonstrate this market-enforcement mechanism through an analysis of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body that issues non-binding recommendations to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The FATF’s public listing of non-compliant jurisdictions has prompted international banks to move resources away from listed states and raised the costs of continued non-compliance, significantly increasing the number of states with laws criminalizing terrorist financing. This finding suggests a powerful pathway through which institutions influence domestic policy and highlights the power of GPIs in an age where information is a global currency.
The way social scientists think that others think about revolutions has been shaped primarily by Jack Goldstone. In his influential review essays, Goldstone (1982, 2001) presents the twentieth-century study of revolution as occurring in generations – from natural historians of the 1930s to general theorists of the mid-twentieth century, from state-centered scholars in the 1980s to a contemporary fourth generation basket of approaches. Because it is so familiar, his reading animates nearly all contemporary literature reviews in revolution studies.