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KICSMUN SC Combatting Terrorism in the MENA Region

Introduction

For the purposes of this background paper, the following context will
be observed:

MENA will refer to the Middle-East and North Africa, but will also be
used to loosely include nearby regions such as Nigeria. This is based
on the World Banks description of MENA: MENA has no standardized
definition; different organizations define the region as consisting of
different territories.

According to the Global Terrorism Index, the attitude of the use of


terrorism by religious extremists has recently become the predominant
cause of terrorism worldwide. This form of terrorism has significantly
deteriorated the humanitarian, economic and political situation in the
Middle East as well as neighboring regions affected by terrorism. The
extremism of religion as well as the way in which religion is used as a
weapon to gain power are crucial aspects. Over the past few decades
religious terrorism has spread significantly, growing from a regional
threat limited to certain countries, to an international threat which is of
the UN Security Councils concern. The emergence and growth of the
Islamic state is a prime example of this, pressuring members to join by
preaching their own altered radical version of Islam as justification for
their actions. Therefore, preventing the propagation and proliferation of
religious extremist ideals is one of the main measures which are to be
taken to fight terrorism.

Terrorism has spread significantly throughout the world since the early
1990s and has quickly become one of the most pressing issues facing
the world today. Airports, train stations, schools, shopping centers,
malls and many other places where large numbers of people
congregate are prime terrorism targets. This is because of the
increased chance of inflicting large casualty numbers easily. It is
therefore a good idea to pursue the goal of ensuring that such places
are as secure and safe as possible in order to protect them against
potential terrorist attacks.

Organizations involved

Al-Qaeda Core

Al-Qaeda is a Sunni militant organization which was founded by Osama


Bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam and other Arab individuals in 1988. The
name Al-Qaeda is from the Arabic word meaning the base or the
core. The original purpose of the organization was to fight against the
KICSMUN SC Combatting Terrorism in the MENA Region

Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Along with uniting all Muslims (serving


as an alleged Islamic central power or base), they strive to omit all
Western influences, specifically from any and all Muslim countries
across the globe. They also aimed to create a Pan-Islamic Caliphate
throughout the Muslim World. They also wish to defeat the State of
Israel due to their ties with the West as well as their current occupation
of the West bank and Gaza strip. On 23rd of February 1998, under the
"Declaration of the World Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and
the Crusaders, the group openly states it is the duty of all Muslims to
kill US citizenscivilian and militaryand their allies everywhere. This
further elaborates Al-Qaedas beliefs and aspirations. In June 2001,
they became affiliated with the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Ever since the
foundation of the group, Al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups have been
plotting attacks worldwide.

Al-Qaeda has many international subsidiaries and affiliated groups


which either bear its title or show Al-Qaeda affiliation. These groups
include Al-Qaeda in the lands of the Islamic Maghreb in Algeria,
Ansar Al Islam in Bangladesh, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent,
Khorasan group in Iran, Jund Al Khilafa in Kazakhstan, Abdullah
Azzam Brigades in Lebanon, Libyan Islamic fighting group in Libya,
Al-Qaeda of Arabia in Saudi Arabia, Jabhat Al-Nusrah in Syria, Al-
Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al-Shabab in Eastern Africa, BOKO
Haram in Nigeria, Al-Murabitun in North and West Africa and The
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which is currently active in
Iraq and Syria.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)

Like other Al-Qaeda affiliates, the Islamic state strives to establish an


Islamic Caliphate in the Muslim world. The groups future endeavors
include expanding beyond the Syrian and Iraqi borders, in hopes to
increase their control and influence. Under the leadership of Abu Bakr
Al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State have executed terrorist acts in the
Middle East and North African Region, and in several other countries
around the world. Their strategic propaganda and strong financial
network have proven to be effective means of achieving their goals.

Recent attacks claimed by the Islamic State

March 2015: Suicide bombers attack Zaydi Shia mosques in Yemen,


killing over 130 people.

May 2015: A suicide bomber at Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia killed 21


people, and left 100 injured.
KICSMUN SC Combatting Terrorism in the MENA Region

November 2015: The Paris attack, killing 129 people, is thought to


be the most impactful attack on Western Society yet.

March 22nd 2016: An accumulation of three suicide bombs


detonated in Belgium simultaneously; two of which in the Zaventem
airport, and one at the Maalbeek metro station, killing 32 people and
injuring 300. In these attacks, 32 victims and three suicide bombers
were killed, and over 300 people were injured.

July 15th 2016: 84 people were rammed into and killed in nice,
France by a lorry driver (suspected to be Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel,
a 31-year-old Tunisian). The driver was later killed by police forces.

July 3rd 2016: Two police officers were left injured after stopping a
suicide bomber who detonated an explosive belt in Saudi Arabia. A few
hours later, two suicide bombers attacked the city of Qatif. Following
this, four officers were killed near one of the holiest Islamic sites (the
Prophet's Mosque in Medina), during prayers, when a suicide bomber
was supposedly breaking his fast. Months prior to this, the Islamic
state made it clear that they would make the holy month of Ramadan,
"with God's permission, a month of pain for infidels everywhere."

BOKO HARAM

Boko Haram, otherwise known as Wilayat Gharb Afreeqiyyah (the


People of Sunnah for Preaching and Jihad) is an extremist group in
northeastern Nigeria. Neighboring countries such as Chad, Niger and
northern Cameroon are also directly affected by this group. President
Obama has called the group "one of the worst regional or local terrorist
organizations. Under the leadership of Abubakar Shekau as of July
2009, the group is suspected to have links to Al Qaeda in the Islamic
Maghreb, Al Shabaab, and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West
Africa (MUJAO). They have also recently pledged allegiance to the
Islamic State, despite the fact that their attacks have been on a
national scale. Over a decade ago, Nigerian extremists formed a group
but officially begun their insurgency in 2010.

The name BOKO HARAM means Western Learning is forbidden. The


group is especially against females receiving an education, due to their
stereotypical mentality about a womans role. This explains the
abduction of 230 schoolgirls on 16th April 2014 as well as other similar
situations.

July 2629 2009: The groups violent insurgency begins, in a battle


between Nigerian soldiers and the extremists. The uprising killed
KICSMUN SC Combatting Terrorism in the MENA Region

around 1000 people.

May 29th 2011: Explosives in Abuja and Bauchi (Northern Nigeria)


kill 15 people while Goodluck Johnathon officially becomes president.

January 26th 2014: Attacks in Northern Nigeria leave 138 dead.

January 9th 2015: Shortly after the BOKO HARAM massacre in the
city of Baga, 7,300 Nigerian refugees fled to Chad. Unfortunately, well
over 1000 refugees were unable to pass the island of Kangala in Lake
Chad.

February 15th 2015: In the city of Damaturu, a suicide bomber


kills 16 and injures 30.

November 17th 2015: 32 people were killed and 80 were injured


after a bomb detonated in the city of Yola.

Timeline

December 24th 1979 - February 15, 1989: The Soviet-Afghan


War followed the Soviets attempt to take control over Southern Asia in
order to gain control, and prohibit the growth of Islam and its influence
(as its ideology differs from communism). Almujahideen (Muslim
rebels) fought the Soviets.

11th August 1988: Osama Bin Laden, (along with other Arab
volunteers involved in the Soviet-Afghan dispute) established Al-Qaeda
with hopes of the foundation of a pan-Islamic Caliphate throughout the
Muslim world.

August 1998: Al-Qaeda bombed several US embassies in East


African cities including Nairobi (in Kenya) and Dar es Salaam (in
Tanzania), resulting in 224 casualties and 5000 injured
civilians.

1991: Osama Bin Laden moves to Sudan for five years training jihadi
militants and planning attacks on Westerners. Other Al-Qaeda- related
business took place in Sudan.

September 2nd 1996: Osama Bin Laden announces the groups


plans to "launch a guerrilla war against American forces and expel the
infidels from the Arabian Peninsula".
KICSMUN SC Combatting Terrorism in the MENA Region

October 12th 2000: The bombing of the USS Cole (Navy


guided-missile destroyer) at the port of Yemen in Aden wounded
39 and killed 17 US sailors.

September 11th 2001: A significant date in Al-Qaedas history


killing almost 3000 people; An accumulation of four hijacked US
commercial jets crashed (by 19 suicide attackers) into the World Trade
center in New York City (two jets) , the pentagon near Washington DC
and finally, into a field in Shanksville, Pensylvania.

2002: After 9/11, the group (along with other affiliated groups) have
continued to stage widespread attacks worldwide.

April 11 t h 2002: 19 people are killed after a fuel tanker explodes in


Djerba (a Tunisian island). AlQaida claimed responsibility for the attack.

August 19th 2003: Tawhid wa al-Jihad (Organization of Monotheism


and Jihad), an Iraqi extremist group admits to bombing the UN
headquarters in Baghdad, killing 22. Over a year later, the group joins
AlQaida and renames itself Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers.

April 15th 2004: Osama Bin Laden offers a truce to Europe, as long as
it "stops attacking Muslims" and withdraws all its troops from Muslim
countries.

2006: After Al-Qaedas attempt to bomb 10 flights from Londons


Heathrow airport, British security forces managed to infiltrate, and put
an end to their plan. However, this did not inhibit the growth of Al-
Qaedas affiliated groups.

January 19th 2006: Osama Bin Laden offers another truce, but this
time to the US. After the US rejected this, the group announces
upcoming attacks on the US.

September 7th-8th 2007: 50 killed in two suicide attacks in


Algeria. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility for the
attack.

2011: Al-Zawahiri replaced Osama Bin Laden following Bin Ladens


death.

State Sponsors of Terrorism (designated by the US


Secretary of State)
KICSMUN SC Combatting Terrorism in the MENA Region

The following countries have been designated as state sponsors of


terrorism by the US secretary of state: Iran (19th January 1984), Sudan
(12th August 1993) and Syria (29th December 1979). They have been
given this status as they have been proven to have abided by three
laws: section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act,section 40 of the
Arms Export Control Act, and section 620A of the Foreign Assistance
Act. As a result of this, several sanctions and trade embargos have
been imposed on them including prohibition of arms exports and
financial aid.

Passed Resolutions:

UNGA Resolution/54/109 | 25 February 2000: This resolution


calls for an international convention for the suppression of the
financing of terrorism.

Security Council Resolution/1373 (2001) | 28 Sep 2001 :


This calls for the foundation of a Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC).

UNGA Resolution/57/83 | 9 January 2003: This resolution


discusses measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of
mass destruction.

Security Council Resolution/2199 (2015) | 12 Feb 2015 :


This resolution condemns trade with Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups.

Possible solutions:

The prevention of the radicalization of religious terrorism may be


accomplished by understanding the root causes of the issue as well as
other factors contributing to the problem. A simple yet effective
solution may be spreading awareness and educating those who may be
vulnerable to terrorist propaganda and brainwashing. After some
attempts by Osama bin Laden to negotiate in the past with Europe and
the US, maybe peaceful negotiations can be more effective. Bin Laden
has offered several truces under certain conditions but the offers were
rejected.

Different aspects of this issue need to be tackled including the


deterioration of the humanitarian side of the issue as it is of major
concern and must be addressed. Solutions aimed to aid innocent
civilians are strongly recommended. Questions regarding the true faith
of extremist groups such as the Islamic State should arise, as their
actions have not coincided with the true principles of Islam.
KICSMUN SC Combatting Terrorism in the MENA Region

Investigating the group members in more depth will give delegates a


better understanding of their true intentions and desires.

A security framework which would be implemented to help hinder


terrorist plots and action in public places such as airports, stations and
city centers could be established. This framework would consist of laws
and regulations such as restricting the use of certain amenities such as
public restrooms to certain hours of the day or requiring that all visitors
to a shopping center walk through a body scanner before entering.

The UN Security Council can also, in extreme cases, opt for military
action. This has been done before, but is subject to extensive UN SC
debate and is very likely to be vetoed.

Works Cited

https://www.nctc.gov/site/groups.html

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/middle-east-and-north-africa-
mena.asp

http://www.worldbank.org/en/region/mena

http://www.e-ir.info/2012/11/17/the-differences-between-the-taliban-
and-al-qaeda/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7546355.stm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35695648

http://www.ibtimes.com/isis-timeline-major-attacks-caliphate-iraq-syria-
was-formed-2184922

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-
wants/384980/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/05/140507-boko-
haram-nigeria-borno-state-maiduguri-mohammed-yusuf-abubukar-
shekau-goodluck-jonathan-world/

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/04/24/world/africa/nigeria-kidnapping-
answers/

http://broom02.revolvy.com/main/index.php?
s=May+2011+northern+Nigeria+bombings&item_type=topic
KICSMUN SC Combatting Terrorism in the MENA Region

http://broom02.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=Mohammed+Yusuf+
(Boko+Haram)&item_type=topic

http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?
symbol=S/RES/2199%20(2015)

http://broom02.revolvy.com/main/index.php?
s=2009+Boko+Haram+uprising&item_type=topic

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/04/24/world/africa/nigeria-kidnapping-
answers/

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/deadly-suicide-bombings-across-
saudi-arabia-continue-deadly-week-terror-n603556

http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocus/terrorism/ga_resolution.asp

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/para/Al-Qaeda.htm