Essay: United Kingdom Government Response to Post-9/11 Attacks of Islamic Terrorism

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Moreover, the United Kingdom responded to the post-September 11 terrorist attacks by doubling its resources devoted to preventing terrorism, including strategies such as transferring some of the personnel back to the London to work with the MI5 in countering terrorism. Similarly, the United Kingdom Government responded in its overseas states by recruiting security agents who ran disruption of terrorist operations and maintained the stability of the liaison arrangements of countering terrorism. The MI5 received significant budgetary allocations in 2004 that was used to increase intelligence activities such as surveillance of terrorist activities, interception of their communication, and agent running, thereby, early detection and prevention of terrorist activities. According to Curtis (2010), such strategies contributed significantly to the effective regionalization of the intelligence service in which the intelligence analysts gained close access to hot spots of activities linked directly to terrorism. Significant outcomes such as the arrests and conviction in the operation RHYME or the gas litmus plot and the CREVICE of the Fertilizer plot attest to the effectiveness of the MI5 in countering criminal related activities in the UK and other parts of the world. As a sign of recognition of the effectiveness of the efforts of the intelligence system in countering terrorism, the UK government doubled the employment capacity of the intelligence personnel from 2004-2008 (Celso, 2014).

Moreover, fusion bodies were formed across the UL to facilitate and enhance intelligence efforts in countering terrorism across the states' institutional boundaries. In 2003, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center (JTAC) was formed to set the levels of terrorism threats for the UK and collaborate with smaller security bodies such as the police units involved in the countering of Islamic terrorism. The collaboration between the intelligence teams of different agencies enhanced the coordination of information between the intelligence communities alongside the dissemination and analysis of intelligence information related to terrorism. Furthermore, significant evidence presented by Benthem (2001) shows that the Government of the United Kingdom responded post-September 11 attacks by increasing the resources allocated to other intelligence bodies such as the National Security Advice and National Infrastructure Security Coordination. Such actions resulted in the enhancement of the efforts aimed at countering of Islamic terrorism alongside the protection of the state over the core utilities.

Apart from the above responses witnessed in the UK after the September 11 attacks, societal consequences also became evident as the intelligence bodies tried to prevent the occurrences of future terrorist attacks. Among the societal consequences witnessed in the UK, include suspicion, discriminatory backlash, and censorship that prompted the government to adopt heightened interventions of countering terrorism. Before the attacks, most of the activities of the foreigners or the UK citizens were viewed as innocent acts with no undesired intent to the society (Dokos, 2007). However, it is apparent that after the attack, such activities were viewed with great suspicion, especially in relation to the perception the people had towards the Islamists. In response to this, the government stressed the need for the adoption of various interventions such as reporting unusual behaviors and ensuring the vigilance alongside developing interventions that aimed at ensuring safety and security of the victims of terrorism. Censorship was also adopted as evidenced by the reduction of the television programs that featured events similar to the September 11 attacks to ensure social stability and existence. Similarly, Bamford (2004) recognizes that adopting censorship in the United Kingdom, and the United Stated provided the opportunities for healing of those affected directly and indirectly by the attacks.

Under the traditional paradigm of the law related to terrorism, act of terrorism is considered as international behaviors and not acts of war. As such, the treaties of the international criminal law dictate that states are obliged to adopt strategies most applicable and useful to criminalize acts and to come up with appropriate strategies for cooperating with other countries to counter terrorism. Post September 11 attacks on the U.S. became an important turning point in the UK characterized with the expansion of the law enforcement approaches of combating terrorism. For instance, it became apparent that the United Kingdom Security Council adopted anti-terrorism act that obliged all the member states to criminalize the provision or collection of funds used for supporting terrorist activities in the UK. The United Kingdom adopted acts that supported the initiatives adopted by the U.S. such as intensifying the exchange of intelligence information related to terrorist actions and movements across the world (Curtis, 2010).

It is largely appreciated that having a "real" intelligence system is the most effective way a state can use to pre-empt or prevent terrorism. The Government of the United Kingdom adopted strategies that focused significantly on the heightening of the intelligence functioning. As identified in the earlier analysis, intelligence failures occur in different stages of the intelligence cycle, such as collection, dissemination, and analysis. Significant analysis of the September 11 attacks shows that most of the factors that contributed to the faults of the intelligence system. Basing on this, the UK embraced strategies that aimed at preventing intelligence failures that could increase its vulnerabilities to terrorism attacks. Actions such as doubling the intelligence personnel involved in the running of different intelligence efforts such as direction, collection, analysis and dissemination attest to the dedication of the UK Government to ensuring the prevention of the Islamic terrorism (Celso, 2014).

Other than the agencies involved in prevention and pre-empting of terrorism identified above, the UK government also devoted most of its resources for the creation of other small intelligence agencies that could aid in the prevention of Islamic terrorism. For instance, significant analysis has it that the Government of the United Kingdom increased the provision of resources for the creation of other intelligence agencies such as the Anti-Terrorist Branch also known as the SO 13. The Anti-Terrorist Branch was formed as a unit that engaged in the investigation of terrorist activities and conducting pre-emptive operations. Whereas the above analysis has shown that the role of the M15 was mostly to collect information on the terrorists, the Anti-Terrorist Branch, assisted the local police by conducting operations that aimed at preventing terrorist attacks in the UK (Andrew, 2009).

Similarly, the post-September 11 attacks saw the creation of two other intelligence agencies that performed the purpose of acting as the foreign arm of the intelligence network of the UK. Of the two-intelligence systems are the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) also known as the M16 that handled the responsibility of acquiring and providing information related to actions and to the intentions of the people outside the British Islands. Essentially, the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) is handled with the responsibility of collecting human intelligence across the borders using agents and informers who are in constant interaction with the people across the world. The other agency formed to ensure prevention and pre-empting of terrorist attacks is the Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) that is handled with the responsibility of collecting signals intelligence related to terrorist acts and interactions. Moreover, after the September 11 attacks, the United Kingdom appreciated the need for the adoption of terrorism prevention and pre-empting strategies such as restriction of air travel across the world with the aim of regulating the possibilities of security threats. Measures to ensure safety of public spaces such as increasing the number of police conducting police patrols and increasing surveillance signified the change strategies adopted by the UK in response to the terrorism (Bamford, 2004).

In response to the September 11 attacks, the United Kingdom claimed the need for the adoption of "new paradigm" that required the fundamental change in the international laws that governed response of states to terrorism. For instance, the Security Council joined the U.S. In the adoption of interventions such as the fight against Al Qaeda as the first step of preventing and pre-empting terrorism. Similarly, the doctrine of the pre-emptive war received significant attention with efforts geared towards the adoption of strategies that aimed at eliminating the possibility of the existence of terrorist connections within the UK and its allied states (Benthem, 2001).

It is beyond doubt that the responsive strategies adopted by the United Kingdom after the September 11 attacks on the U.S. had significant implications to its intelligence system and that of its neighboring states. Among the consequences of the doctrines adopted is the weakening of the applicability of the international humanitarian law in protecting the civilians in areas of the target. The nature of the treatment provided to the detainees also concerns human rights and humanitarian law. It is inarguable that the advent of the terrorist attacks witnessed in the United States prompted the adoption of responsive strategies by the UK that led to the abuse of the rights of the civilians. As such, the decision raises implications related to the effects of the approaches used for countering and pre-empting terrorist attacks (Celso, 2014).

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"United Kingdom Government Response to Post-9/11 Attacks of Islamic Terrorism."  July 29, 2014.  Accessed October 16, 2019.