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Terrorism

  • Targeted Killing of European Foreign Terrorist Fighters in Syria and Iraq

    October 25, 2017

    In recent years, a significant number of European nationals have travelled to Syria or Iraq to train and fight with terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (IS). This flow of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) has posed serious security concerns for Europe, in particular with regards to the threat posed by FTFs returning to Europe to carry out terrorist attacks. In this context, it appears that a number of States have resorted to targeted strikes against their citizens in Syria and Iraq.

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  • Are Syria and Iraq the Middle Eastern Bloodlands?

    July 20, 2017

    Deir az-Zor is a sleepy town on the banks of the Euphrates in the Syrian desert, and did not ring much of a bell for most non-Syrians. Except for Armenians. During the 1915 Armenian Genocide, the Ottoman government deported hundreds of thousands of Ottoman Armenians to Deir az-Zor, where they were left to die or were killed outright. A German diplomat who was stationed in that area wrote that the Armenians were “slaughtered like sheep”. To the casual observer this looked allegorical or even hyperbolical, in any case unreal, removed far away in geography, time, and culture. Until recent times, when ISIS videos surfaced online. And again the desert soil of Deir az-Zor shone red with blood, and once more the word ‘Deir az-Zor’ served as a symbol of bloodshed.

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  • The ‘US Travel Ban’ from an International Law Perspective

    February 9, 2017

    On January 27th, 2017, American President Donald Trump signed ‘Executive Order 13769’ titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorists Entry into the United States’. The purpose of this order is to place a limit on the number of refugees to be admitted into the United States in 2017. The order suspends the entry of foreign nationals from seven Muslim majority nations namely, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for a period of 90 days after which an updated list will be put in place. The order also indefinitely suspends nationals from Syria. This blog will briefly highlight the international legal implications.

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  • Aleppo, Ankara and Berlin: Atrocities, Violence and Terror

    December 21, 2016

    Humanitarian Crisis in Syria. In the eastern part of Aleppo, a Syrian city held by rebels, thousands of civilians were trapped. People were being executed in those parts of Aleppo that had been retaken by Assad forces. Recently the trapped residents that were stuck in a small area with no safe zones posted final “goodbye” messages, pictures and tweets on social media. They have thanked supporters, and questioned how the world allowed the situation in Aleppo to happen. The situation in Syria has been described as a “stain on the world’s collective conscience”.

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  • Preventing Bioterrorism, Risk and Legal Instruments

    April 28, 2016

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, toxins or other harmful agents used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants. In both the popular imagination and among lawmakers and national security experts, there exists the belief that with sufficient motivation and material resources, terrorist groups can produce bioweapons easily, cheaply, and successfully. Some scholars disagree. Legal measures offer no guarantee for preventing bioterrorism, but nonetheless affect bioterrorism. What are the legal instruments addressing prevention?

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  • Coalition against Islamic State: Too Many Obstacles?

    May 22, 2015

    After weeks of fighting, Islamic State succeeded in taking over the Iraqi city of Ramadi and it currently controls large parts of the al-Anbar province, which borders on Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia. Almost 25,000 residents have fled Ramadi. This week Islamic State also overran Syrian government troops to seize Palmyra (Homs province, Syria), home to the ruins of a 2,000-year-old city that was one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world.The U.N. human rights office in Geneva said a third of Palmyra’s 200,000 residents may have fled the fighting in the past few days.

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  • Extending the Coalition against Islamic State

    October 3, 2014

    Yesterday, Turkey’s parliament has backed a motion that could allow its military to enter Iraq and Syria to join the campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants. While Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar have quickly joined the bombing campaign, Washington’s traditional Western allies had been slow to answer the call from U.S. President Barack Obama. France was the first Western country to respond, but this week national parliaments in the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia have approved to join the global coalition against Islamic State too.

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  • Nuclear Security Summit 2014: Preventing Nuclear Terrorism Around the Globe

    February 21, 2014

    On 24 and 25 March 2014 the Third Nuclear Security Summit will take place here in The Hague. Nuclear terrorism is one of the greatest threats to international peace and security. Even though the chance of a terrorist nuclear attack is small, the consequences would be enormous. The Nuclear Security Summit aims to enhance international cooperation in order to combat nuclear terrorist threats by preventing the illicit acquisition of nuclear material by non-state actors such as smugglers and terrorist groups.

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  • Homeland, Zero Dark Thirty and Jack Bauer: Rendition, Torture and the Demise of American Values

    Homeland, Zero Dark Thirty and Jack Bauer: Rendition, Torture and the Demise of American Values

    March 8, 2013

    The latest in a series of Hollywood productions which reopened a debate about torture and extraordinary rendition is Zero Dark Thirty. Real life variations of Hollywood-scenarios have been unfolding as the US government has engaged in a program of extraordinary rendition since the Clinton Administration and which became widespread under the Bush Administration following the September 11 terrorist attacks.This blog examines Obama’s policy towards torture and (extraordinary) rendition.

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  • Asser Summer Programmes 2013

    Asser Summer Programmes 2013: Study International Law in the Legal Capital of the World, The Hague

    February 19, 2013

    The T.M.C. Asser Instituut in The Hague is a distinctive, inter-university research institute specialised in International and European law and a leading and authoritative provider of executive education to students and professionals operating in the judicial sector. The institute has a long-standing reputation for quality and excellence and is accomplished in recognising the unique challenges faced by today’s legal practices.

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