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  • Report: Focus on Human Security Best Way to Counter Terrorism
    security concerns and replacing it with a framework that makes the first goal of counterterrorism policy the protection of communities individual life and human rights Global efforts to combat terrorism in the past decade sacrificed human rights civil liberties and the needs of the vulnerable in pursuit of security and military objectives Overly militarized counterterrorism policies based on isolating and destroying terrorist groups have harmed civilians and undermine the essential work of human rights defenders conflict prevention practitioners and humanitarian aid workers the report says For example indiscriminately labeling armed groups as terrorists obscures important differences in grievances and objectives that must be understood to develop effective long term solutions A better way the authors argue would be a framework that evaluates security policy on the basis of protection of individuals rather than number of terrorists killed or apprehended By re focusing policymaking on individual and community well being the report says human security holds governments accountable to citizens the international system and human rights obligations found in international law This can be achieved by enlisting the aid of civil society organizations which are often positioned to bridge gaps between global policy and local realities Local civil society actors hold unique local knowledge the trust of local actors and an understanding of root causes of conflict that drive extremism the report says Recommendations to the UN and donor countries include Having countries meet their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect innocent civilians in armed conflict Holding militarized counterterrorism measures to higher scrutiny To uphold the rule of law human rights and protect human rights defenders in counterterrorism measures Protecting space for Track II diplomacy and humanitarian aid by reforming listing practices to allow civil society engagement with armed actors Establishing a regular mechanism for UN entities to engage with

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/923 (2016-02-16)
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  • Lawsuit Targets NYPD’s Muslim Surveillance | Charity & Security Network
    programs that took place in New York and New Jersey In the lawsuit the plaintiffs stated they found it necessary to sue in order to affirm the principle that individuals may not be singled out for intrusive investigation and pervasive surveillance simply because they profess a certain faith The lawsuit also seeks a court order blocking the NYPD from spying on New Jersey residents based on their faith alone and expunging all records on New Jersey Muslims compiled by the NYPD s demographics unit over the last decade The facts are just so compelling what the NYPD is doing is egregious It may be going on in other law enforcement agencies but the AP reports are a smoking gun that they are targeting people based on religion says Glenn Katon legal director of Muslim Advocates a San Francisco based advocacy group that filed the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs The surveillance was the subject of a series by the Associated Press that revealed the NYPD intelligence division infiltrated dozens of mosques and Muslim student groups and investigated hundreds of people who committed no crimes It reportedly targeted entire neighborhoods tracking the daily life of where people ate prayed and got their hair cut Some reports show the NYPD took pictures of an elementary school for girls and kept tabs on grocery stores that sold food products labeled as halal America is not safer when we spend valuable law enforcement resources on investigating the innocent multitudes rather than identifying the guilty few said Rep Rush Holt D NJ Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Lawsuit_Targets_NYPD_Muslim_Surveillance (2016-02-16)
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  • Two New Reports: Homegrown Terror Threat Exaggerated
    Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security says the feared wave of homegrown terrorism by radicalized Muslim Americans has not materialized and that the threat does not match the intensity of recent government rhetoric Instead the report finds that the Muslim American community continues to be a source of initial tips alerting law enforcement authorities to violent terrorist plots having identified over 50 individuals who have been involved in terrorist plots since 9 11 The report s authors say Americans need to remain vigilant against the threat of homegrown terrorism but maintain a responsible sense of proportion in describing the actual threat that exists Adding to this picture a report from the James A Baker III Institute for Public Policy 4 at Rice University examined the characteristics of over 100 people suspected of having ties to terrorist activity over the last few years Its goal was to identify any perpetrator patterns that presented themselves in the hopes that the revelations could help equip decision makers with insight to the threat Demographics analyzed included place of birth overseas travel experience age education etc Instead of finding a common profile among the suspects the report concludes that no one all encompassing profile

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/725 (2016-02-16)
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  • Terrorist Trial Report Card: 2001-2010
    from the Center for Law and Security shows almost 50 percent of terrorism cases since 2009 have relied on FBI informants and the use of aggressive and often controversial sting operations The report also finds that since the beginning of 2011 almost 87 percent of terrorism cases have involved a material support charge including charges that do not require proof of intent that the material support go to illegal activities

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/637 (2016-02-16)
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  • UN Report Calls for Greater Review of All Counterterrorism Measures
    and violations of human rights ethnic national and religious discrimination political exclusion socio economic marginalization and lack of good governance is necessary to combat terrorism successfully The report calls for each members counterterrorism law and practice to be consistent with the principle of normalcy meaning they should not be beyond oversight and review In fact the report says if compelling reasons require the creation and enforcement of specific powers necessary to combat terrorism they should be recognized as a unique exception to customary legal constraint and be subject to sunset clauses and regular review by independent monitors Regular review and the use of sunset clauses are best practices helping to ensure that special powers relating to the countering of terrorism are effective and continue to be required and to help avoid the normalization or de facto permanent existence of extraordinary measures To help guide UN members the report offers 10 areas of best practices Each refers to the legal and institutional frameworks that promote and protect human rights and the rule of law in counter terrorism policy They include Consistency of counter terrorism law and practice with human rights and refugee law and humanitarian law Review and oversight of counter terrorism law and practice Speedy effective and enforceable remedies for persons whose human rights have been violated Minimum safeguards and basic due process rights before persons or entities are designated as terrorist entities In terms of reforming the existing designation and sanctions process for terrorist entities the report recommends The listed individual or entity be promptly informed of the listing its factual grounds and the consequences of such listing The right to apply for de listing or not face sanctions The right to a court review of the decision resulting from such application with due process rights applying to such

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/497 (2016-02-16)
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  • Report: FBI Investigative Powers: Unchecked and Too Broad
    F B I informers are everywhere lis tening This has led to a perception by many in that community that the Guidelines impact dispro portionately the freedom of expression and association of law abiding members of certain groups This percep tion risks undermining any otherwise beneficial aspects of the Guidelines by alienating the very communities whose cooperation is most essential Other chilling effects from the FBI s activities include questioning donors of certain charities and creating an atmosphere of suspicion among community members resulting in smaller participation in activities and canceled trips abroad to avoid appearing suspicious The Guidelines have been criticized widely by members of the Senate 5 and civil liberty advocates 6 The invasive investigative methods permitted by the Guidelines the report finds inhibit developing healthy police community relations that support counterterrorism strategies and creates a glut of unnecessary information Some perceive investigations under these Guidelines to impact dispro portionately the freedom of expression and association of law abiding members of certain groups This percep tion risks undermining any otherwise beneficial aspects of the Guidelines by alienating the very communities whose cooperation is most essential Moreover the sheer volume of information collected raises the concern that it will elude meaningful analysis Written by Emily Berman at the Brennan Center For Justice 7 the report recommends some of the powers extended to the FBI be curtailed and checks on FBI powers either installed or reinstituted These checks would include changing internal procedures and regular external checks from Congress and the public The FBI has not made any public comments about the report Daveed Gartenstein Ross director of the Center for Terrorism Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies was critical of the report s findings He argues 8 that FBI cases should be considered in context and that

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/490 (2016-02-16)
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  • Report: Policing Not Enough to Stop Homegrown Terrorists
    evolving threat that relies on addressing the drivers of domestic terrorism Enemies Among Us Domestic Radicalization Cases After September 11 describes the circumstances surrounding an individual deciding to commit acts of domestic terrorism as numerous and varied as the cases themselves and that no accurate profile exists to predict who will most likely become violent Individuals arrested for and convicted the report finds do not fall into any pattern of age national origin economic class or favored style of clothing There is no identifiable profile According to the report the pathways to violent extremism in America remain largely misunderstood by law enforcement and the intelligence community Rather than identifying and addressing the underlying issues that motivate people to want to commit terrorist attacks U S counterterrorism officials focus on the factors e g participation on a jihadist websites that help transform a law abiding citizen into someone willing to commit acts of violence I t is very difficult to map with any degree of clarity or consistency who is most likely to take the step from radicalization to violence and when and why an individual may do so the report says To counter this threat the report recommends a comprehensive strategy that does not hinge on successfully stopping every individual instance of radicalization but on trying to minimize and manage risk at the macro level Instead of relying on operational approaches by law enforcement such as conducting covert surveillance operations the use of informants and racial profiling the report says a successful counterterrorism strategy would address the real or perceived feelings of exclusion and alienation on which violent extremism survives This does not mean we should sacrifice our vital strategic goals to avoid feeding into violent extremist narratives but rather a clear eyed realization that our actions and choices are

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/460 (2016-02-16)
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  • Report: CRS on Combating Domestic Violent Extremism
    radicalize or de radicalize because of a variety of factors It also quotes terrorism expert Brian Michael Jenkins of RAND saying There is no easily identifiable terrorist prone personality no single path to radicalization and terrorism Many people may share the same views and only a handful of the radicals will go further to become terrorists The report also describes the Al Capone approach of apprehending individuals possibly linked to terrorist activity on lesser non terrorism related crimes such as immigration violations as one of the more common tactics used by law enforcement This tactic combined with the use of informants and spies at protests 5 activist group meetings 6 and places of worship 7 have contributed to an erosion of trust among some groups for law enforcement Civil rights and civil libertarian advocates have warned 8 that these types of counter terrorism policies that discriminate against religious or political groups could actually be creating an ominous self fulfilling prophecy Another counterterrorism tool CRS cites is increased engagement and partnerships between law enforcement and American Muslim communities across the country A list of programs started by American Muslim organizations to counter extremism and an appendix listing federal state and local authorities efforts to work with American Muslim communities is contained in the report It describes how Muslim Americans have established several programs to better understand and reject violent extremism like the Muslim American Society s Straight Path Initiative which focuses on rooting out potential extremism The Muslim Public Affairs Council has produced an analysis 9 of the different radicalization theories and outlined a strategy to improve this engagement policy and a background paper documenting 16 terrorist plots disrupted with Muslim community assistance nine of which involved homegrown jihadist cases This type of activity led Attorney General Eric Holder to say

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/print/453 (2016-02-16)
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