Articles on Terrorism

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Prior to the introduction of jets, most commercial airplanes were propeller driven, like the DC-3 pictured here. These planes had a limited cruising altitude – and experienced much more turbulence. NOAA Photo Library

Longing for the ‘golden age’ of air travel? Be careful what you wish for

Sure, you got meals served on china. But planes were frequently delayed, hijacked, and prone to fatal crashes.
In matters of ‘security’ social problems, the persistent undesirable condition has been that of the ‘boat people’. AAP/Scott Fisher

Defining deviance: four steps in constructing a threat to security

In matters of national security, who is deviant and poses a threat to our safety depends on the claims made by those in positions of power and the sociopolitical climate. The news media are crucial in…
Mohammad Ali Baryalei is believed to have died fighting for Islamic State overseas. Proposed new laws could have provided for the targeted killings of people like him by Australian defence and security agencies. AAP/Youtube

Security bill opens door to targeted killings and broader control orders

The government introduced its third set of national security laws last week. The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No 1) 2014 valuably empowers the Parliamentary Joint Committee of Intelligence…
In the lead-up to the London G20 summit in 2009, many businesses were boarded up, and some removed company logos from their premises. Scott Burnham/Flickr

When the G20 rolls into Brisbane, what are businesses insured for?

When the G20/G8 summits moved on from Toronto in 2010, they left an US$11 million bill in business compensation claims. To minimise the effect of preparations on businesses preparing for next month’s G20…
Sydney teenager Abdullah Elmir, who uses the alias Abu Khaled, speaking in an Islamic State video. ABC News

Foreign fighters need more than punishment – they also need rehab

New powers targeting foreign fighters and political “hate crimes” are set to be amended, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has confirmed in the hope of pushing the legislation through parliament next week. But…
The Ottoman Chief Eunuch was an influential figure. In this and other caliphates, eunuchs supervised the harem, the princes, the financial affairs of the palace and the mosques, as well as controlling access to the ruler. Photo postcard 1912

Islamic State lacks key ingredient to make ‘caliphate’ work: eunuchs

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed Islamic State (IS) as a Muslim caliphate on June 29, 2014, with himself as caliph, a term reserved for a successor to the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). His would be the newest…
Speaker of the House Bronwyn Bishop has backed down on her proposal to segregate people wearing head coverings in Parliament. Lukas Coch/AAP

Bishop backs down on burqas, with a twist

Speaker Bronwyn Bishop and Senate President Stephen Parry have reversed their decision to segregate veiled women watching…
Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Wassim Doureihi addresses a protest rally about counter-terrorism raids in Sydney last month. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Why Australia shouldn’t ban Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott calls it “a thoroughly objectionable organisation”, “un-Australian” and “un-Islamic”. But would it be a good idea to ban the Islamic organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir? Hizb…
Violent rhetoric appeals to disaffected young men because it gives them a challenge to express aggression as ‘proof’ of manhood. Sillouetted children playing as soldiers/Shutterstock

Masculinity and terror: the missing conversation

Recent coverage of counterterrorism raids in Australia featured hard-core gyms, anabolic steroids, nightclub bouncers, gangs and weapons. Footage from the Middle East regularly depicts truckloads of young…
Islamic State flags flown by militants in the east of the Syrian city of Kobanê, within sight of the Turkish border. EPA/SEDAT SUNA

Kobanê teeters on the brink in a fight to the end against ISIS

The black flag of ISIS has been sighted in the Syrian city of Kobanê. For three weeks, heavily armed ISIS gangs have advanced on Kobanê – also known as Ayn al-Arab – steadily pushing back the local YPG…
An Iraqi man prays at the Al-Noori Al-Kabeer mosque – now draped with the Islamic State flag – in Mosul, northern Iraq. EPA/STR

The truth about whether Islam is a religion of violence or peace

Islam has a history of violence. Muslims can be violent. Denying this is not at all different to denying that Islam is peaceful and that all Muslims are pacifists. The dichotomy is simply false. The Qur’an…
Known as White Rocks, this quartz outcrop was the site of a three-hour gun battle in 1915 between police and two Afghans, who had shot and killed picnickers leaving Broken Hill. Amanda Slater/Flickr

History repeating: from the Battle of Broken Hill to the sands of Syria

It’s another hot Australian New Year’s Day, and 1200 people are aboard a train bound for a picnic when a burst of gunfire shatters the festive atmosphere. Police return fire, killing the attackers – but…
Troops conduct an anti-terrorist drill in front of a banner of one of the Saudi royal family. Despite the kingdom’s role in fostering extremism, the US sees Saudi Arabia as an ally against Islamic State. EPA/Saudi Press Agency

Anti-terrorism plan must tackle ‘allies’ who also fuel radicalism

As Australia prepares to join combat operations, the coalition of nations stitched together by the US in response to the developing threat of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS or ISIL) is overlooking the…
The Australian parliament has given rise to the ‘burqa box’, the top tier of glassed-in public galleries. AAP/Lukas Coch

Parliamentary push to ‘ban the burqa’ defies logic of real security

So leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives want to ban the burqa in open parliamentary chambers on the grounds of “security”. They would relegate wearers to a glass box usually reserved…

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