Community Outreach And Counterterrorism
Community Outreach and Counterterrorism
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Community programs have always helped the government or the society for keeping a check on sensitive issues and terrorism is one of the significant problems that most countries are facing nowadays. Terrorism is one of the destructive threats, and it cannot be controlled solely by the authorities. Communities have to come on the front foot for helping the law and security agencies so that peaceful environment of the country could be retained. This fact cannot be denied that if communities are taken in confidence and are assured that government is there for the protection their rights, then, in turn, cities are also going to show trust on government and would try their best to assist the government. Many effective strategies of counterterrorism have been made, and main ones are addressing those conditions that would be spreading terrorist activities, combating terrorism along with the assurance of protection of human rights. Community programs would be the only thing that could prove helping help for governments.
The word outreach could be defined as reaching out to others. It also means to get involved in community. When an organization makes some efforts and reaches its people for providing them security and shelter, there have been seen a better life, than they were living. Counterterrorism can be defined as the strategy, planning, tactics, and techniques used by the military or other security agencies for preventing terrorism (Huq,et,al,2017). Many organizations understand the fact that terrorism can be avoided by making the community aware of the threats that could be there somewhere. It has generally been seen that when an organization wants to establish a community outreach program, first of all, it has to know identify which citizens are going to come in certain area boundaries.
When boundaries are identified, the next step is to bring the public together on a common forum so that it could be decided that which type of association is going to be there in that particular outreach program. One of the main tasks is to know the people who would be the part of a community group so that these groups could be given special attention. Members who have been associated with a community group can be made the ambassador so that they could assist others who would be new in this kind of association. While keeping in view the current global situation, every country has been seen endorsing many programs that are directed for raising awareness in people about terrorism, and these programs have been a great success as well. There are cases when people have complained that they are being discriminated because of their background and many other factors regarding their identity (Price,et,al,2015). Community outreach programs, should be well organized so that people could differentiate which group of people is against terrorist activities and who is involved in terrorist acts.
From community outreach and counterterrorism programs, it has been seen that U.S has numbers of very well-organized community outreach programs and FBI has been given the charge of making the general public aware and relations better as they believe that with the assistance of people only, a country would be able to play well in fighting terrorism. The outreaching by FBI is being done on both national and local levels. FBI's 56 field office has been a Community Outreach Program that aims at the betterment of public relations by seeking help of local community leaders. This institution has been arranging many programs that are giving education to the people so that they could know more about counterterrorism and could play an effective role for keeping their circumstances healthy for the whole community. In the case of U.S, both community leaders and FBI officers joined their hands and tried to understand each other's point of view as well, for chalking out a plan that how they could make the general public aware about their role for preventing terrorist activities.
Even people are given such training that they could see things from a different perceptive and could think from the FBI's point of view. Citizens are assisted to go beyond the superficial level and look into the depth of things. In this program, another major thing that was taught was that how they have to prepare themselves and their other community members for dealing with potential and active terrorist threats. It could be seen that the community is the central element that is going to help security agencies in coping with threats of terror (Wolinsky,et,al,2016). Community and law enforcement officers should keep this point in their mind that terrorism is not just a thing that would occur in isolated cases. It has been seen that the worst type of terrorism is the one in which perpetrators won't fit the stereotypes that make the work of community and authorities, to deal with such affairs. Therefore, it has become imperative for the community to have an open eye and mind regarding this concept.
Terrorist organizations, as communities, find it quite challenging to keep a low profile and there are many flaws and series of weakness that could be adequately addressed when the authorities are going to be concerned about them. One major issue with terrorist organizations is that they are small in size. Generally, it has been seen that a terrorist organization comprises of small number of individuals who would be working together for causing terror and fear in the world including the planners and engineers. Even the technicians who would be involved in the making of explosive material would be just a few in numbers, and this helps them in keeping them away from the eye of security agencies. But by taking a close eye, it could be seen that they would have minimal powers and resources as well. Another interesting thing that should be noticed is that they have a leader with a charismatic personality who inspires them so that they would be following him. Also, he would be responsible for the ideology of that group.
There are specific steps that have been taken by an organization for which the community would be engaged in achieving something that would protect them from terrorist acts and activities. For community outreach, any organization that comes on the front foot for helping the laws enforcement agencies against people who may plan any terror attack would first try to be a part of a specific community. Some strategies that are being opted by outreach community program leaders include encouraging conversation, participation of more individuals in local events, motivating people for becoming a part of their community, following the leader, hosting events (including seminars and training) and creation of beneficial opportunities (Ambrozik,et,al,2018). In many cases, particularly those that would be directly related to the security of people, enough guidance should be given so that they could come to know that how they have to see the unseen. Most people are seen being much aware of the importance of their role because they knew that they are going to be facilitated ultimately as if there would be a community program encouraging counterterrorism activities all the participants are going to be protected from any terror attack. During the process of outreach of a community program, this thing should be kept in mind that most of the time, many people end up being innocent victims of the anti-terrorism campaign because they have particular thinking and ideology. So it becomes essential to convey a compelling message to the people who are willing so that they could have an idea which type of attitude they should have regarding terrorism.
Community outreach is one of the efficient ways of fighting against terrorism. Masses are encouraged by the community workers and law enforcement agencies for helping government and security agencies. It becomes quite difficult for law enforcement agencies to identify, and take hold of the potential terrorists. Every country tries to prevent terrorist activities, and they wanted to encourage their citizens for helping them for coping with any terrorist threats. This fact should be acknowledged that masses have greater capability to cover much ground for identifying the acts of terrorism at a faster rate than other authorities.
Community outreach means the efforts that would connect ideology of an organization or its practices to the general public for common good and making people aware, and in the case of counterterrorism, it means that people are going to be made aware how to keep an eye people who are skeptical (Aksu,et,al,2014). It has been seen that different cities have different sort of community programs and some of the cities have stronger community programs than the other cities, and they can play an effective role for assisting government and other authorities that would be engaged in controlling the peace in a country. Community outreach program is one of the multicultural programs that would be self-sufficient, and the community would be educated about the important things and topics that would be beneficial for them ultimately. A community program would be providing necessary education about a particular issue, social planning, and support to the community by supporting them through various activities.
Aksu, G. (2014). Winning hearts and minds in counterterrorism through community policing and procedural justice: Evidence from Turkey. American University.
Ambrozik, C. (2018). Community stakeholder responses to countering violent extremism locally. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 1-25.
Huq, A. Z. (2017). Community-led counterterrorism. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 40(12), 1038-1053.
Price, M. (2015). Community outreach or intelligence gathering. Brennan Center for Justice.
Wolinsky, H. (2016). The FBI and biohackers: an unusual relationship: The FBI has had some success reaching out to the DIY biology community in the USA, but European biohackers remain skeptical of the intentions of US law enforcement. EMBO reports, 17(6), 793-796.
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