Historical Perspective of Terrorism & Cyber Terrorism
The term "terrorism" comes from the French word terrorisme, which is based on the Latin verb terrere (to cause to tremble). It dates back to 1795 when it was used to describe the actions of the Jacobin Club in their rule of post-Revolutionary France, the so-called "Reign of Terror". Jacobins are rumored to have coined the term "terrorists" to refer to themselves. Terrorism refers to a strategy of using violence, social threats, or coordinated attacks, in order to generate fear, cause disruption, and ultimately, brings about compliance with specified political, religious, or ideological demands. The European Union includes in its 2002 definition of "terrorism" the aim of "destabilizing or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a country." Terrorism is defined in the U.S. by the Code of Federal Bureau of Investigation as: ".the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
The words terrorism, insurgency, civil war, revolution, guerrilla war, intimidation, and extremism are most often interchanged and used very loosely. What is common in all is violence. Terrorism is an organized system of intimidation. It is broadly defined as “violent behavior designed to generate fear in the community, or a substantial segment of it, for political purposes”. It is also defined as ‘a method whereby an organized group or party seeks to achieve its avowed aims chiefly through the systematic use of violence.’ (Encyclopedia of Social Sciences). The US Central Intelligence Agency’s 1980definition of it, duly accepted by the state department is: “The threat or use of violence for political purposes by individuals or groups, whether acting for or in opposition, when such actions are intended to shock, stun, or intimidate a target group wider than the immediate victims”  Terrorism is characterized by a technique of perpetrating random and brutal intimidation, coercion or destruction of human lives and property, and used intentionally by sub national groups operating under varying degrees of stress, to obtain realistic or illusionary goals. The main characteristics of terrorism are:
* It is against the state or community,
* It has a political purpose,
* It is illegal and unlawful,
* It aims at intimidating and creating impact of fear and panic not only for the victim but also for the people at large, caused for the purpose of coercing or subduing,
* It is accompanied by a feeling of impotence and helplessness on the part of the masses,
* It stops rational thinking,
* It leads to reaction of fight or flight, and
*It contains arbitrariness in violence as victims’ selection is random or indiscriminate.
1793: The Origins of Modern Terrorism:
The word terrorism comes from the Reign of Terror instigated by Maxmilien Robespierre in 1793, following the French revolution. Robespierre, one of twelve heads of the new state, had enemies of the revolution killed, and installed a dictatorship to stabilize the country. He justified his methods as necessary in the transformation of the monarchy to a liberal democracy. Robespierre sentiment laid the foundations for modern terrorists, who believe violence, will usher in a better system. For example, the 19th century Narodnaya Volya hoped to end Tsarist rules in Russia. But the characterization of terrorism as a state action faded, while the idea of terrorism as an attack against an existing political order became more prominent.
1950s: The Rise of Non-State Terrorism:
The rise of guerrilla tactics by non-state actors in the last half of the twentieth century was due to several factors. These included the flowering of ethnic nationalism (e.g. Irish, Basque, and Zionist), anti-colonial sentiments in the vast British, French and other empires, and new ideologies such as communism. Terrorist groups with a nationalist agenda have formed in every part of the world. For example, the Irish Republican Army grew from the quest by Irish Catholics to form an independent republic, rather than being part of Great Britain. Similarly, the Kurds, a distinct ethnic and linguistic group in Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq, have sought national autonomy since the beginning of the 20th Century. The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), formed in the 1970s, uses terrorist tactics to announce its goal of a Kurdish state. The Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are members of the ethnic Tamil minority. They use suicide bombing and other lethal tactics to wage a battle for independence against the Sinhalese majority government.
Terrorism as international crime:-
Like no other event in recent history, the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001 concentrated the world’s attention on the problems of terrorism. Among the many problems terrorism poses is a familiar crux of international law: the failure of attempts by the community of nations to find an acceptable legal definition of terrorism. The principle reason for these emporia is that the international community finds it difficult to distinguish between terrorism, national liberation movements and other movement that has or continue to use force to defend their right of self-determination. For this reason, the international law concerning terrorism has developed haphazardly and now consists of an unsystematic hodge-podge of treaties concerning specific modes of terrorism. Individual states have chosen which among these treaties they will ratify and incorporate into their domestic legal systems. Accordingly, prosecutions of acts of terrorism falling within the various treaties tend only to occur in domestic legal fora.
In S.C. Resolution 1373, adopted on September 28, 2001, the Security Council stated that the acts committed on September 11, 2001, “like any act of international terrorism, constitute a threat to the peace and security” of the international community. The dreadful terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, have made it clearer than ever that the international community needs to cooperate and take actions against terrorism on an international level. In this sense, the role that can be played by the International Criminal Court is extremely important, owing to its nature as an international judicial body with universal jurisdiction and a specialized area of action (international crimes).
A brief analysis of terrorist acts with the jurisdictional power of the ICC indicates the terrorism might be prosecuted as a crime against Humanity, war crime or possibly genocide. The emphasis of the Rome Statute lies with individual responsibility so there is no need to demonstrate that a State has been the perpetrator. Now that the category of offenders was extended to include terrorist organizations, the September 11 attacks could be theoretically viewed as crimes against humanity. Of the international core crimes, the crime against humanity is the one best suited to tackle terrorist crimes with. The central requirement of crimes against humanity is that the illegal act must be committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population. The state, or in this case the non-state actor, must not necessarily adopt a policy as the formal policy.
However, in researcher opinion, it would be beneficial to amend the ICC Statute with express provisions concerning terrorism. One has to keep in mind that terrorism is a separate category and as such deserves separate contemplation and prosecution. As already laid out earlier, not all terrorist acts meet the high threshold of crimes against humanity. Consequently, certain terrorists could escape ICC jurisdiction even though their act was vile and a serious crime of international concern.
The ICC is currently the only capable international institution that could fill the current gap in the law and serve as an ideal tool in the battle against terrorism by upholding justice. The important link between peace and prosecution by an impartial court should not be underestimated. With sufficient support of the international community, the ICC could be a powerful mechanism, and it could be an especially credible one by virtue of its transparency and commitment to the legal ideals respected by most domestic legal systems. It would be a serious setback if the Court were allowed to emerge stillborn.
Historical perspective of cyber terrorism
Cyber terrorism is the premeditated use of disruptive activities, or the threat thereof, in cyber space, with the intention to further social, ideological, religious, political or similar objectives, or to intimidate any person in furtherance of such objectives. Computers and the internet are becoming an essential part of our daily life. They are being used by individuals and societies to make their life easier. They use them for storing information, processing data, sending and receiving messages, communications, controlling machines, typing, editing, designing, drawing, and almost all aspects of life.
The most deadly and destructive consequence of this helplessness is the emergence of the concept of “cyber terrorism”. The traditional concepts and methods of terrorism have taken new dimensions, which are more destructive and deadly in nature. In the age of information technology the terrorists have acquired an expertise to produce the most deadly combination of weapons and technology, which if not properly safeguarded in due course of time, will take its own toll. The damage so produced would be almost irreversible and most catastrophic in nature. In short, we are facing the worst form of terrorism popularly known as "Cyber Terrorism". The expression "cyber terrorism" includes an intentional negative and harmful use of the information technology for producing destructive and harmful effects to the property, whether tangible or intangible, of others. For instance, hacking of a computer system and then deleting the useful and valuable business information of the rival competitor is a part and parcel of cyber terrorism.
The definition of "cyber terrorism" cannot be made exhaustive as the nature of crime is such that it must be left to be inclusive in nature. The nature of "cyberspace” is such that new methods and technologies are invented regularly; hence it is not advisable to put the definition in a straightjacket formula or pigeons whole. In fact, the first effort of the Courts should be to interpret the definition as liberally as possible so that the menace of cyber terrorism can be tackled stringently and with a punitive hand.
The law dealing with cyber terrorism is, however, not adequate to meet the precarious intentions of these cyber terrorists and requires a rejuvenation in the light and context of the latest developments all over the world.
Definition of Cyber Terrorism:
Before we can discuss the possibilities of “cyber terrorism, we must have some working definitions. The word “cyber terrorism” refers to two elements: cyberspace and terrorism.
Another word for cyberspace is the “virtual world” i.e. a place in which computer programs function and data moves. Terrorism is a much used term, with many definitions. For the purposes of this presentation, we will use the United States Department of State definition:” The term ‘terrorism’ means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub national groups or clandestine agents.”
If we combine these definitions, we construct a working definition such as the following:
“Cyber terrorism is the premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs, and data which result in violence against noncombatant targets by sub national groups or clandestine agents.
The basic definition of Cyber-terrorism subsumed over time to encompass such things as simply defacing a web site or server, or attacking non-critical systems, resulting in the term becoming less useful. There is also a train of thought that says cyber terrorism does not exist and is really a matter of hacking or information warfare. Some disagree with labeling it terrorism proper because of the unlikelihood of the creation of fear of significant physical harm or death in a population using electronic means, considering current attack and protective technologies.
The U.S National Infrastructure Protection Center defined the term as
“A criminal act perpetrated by the use of computers and telecommunications capabilities, resulting in violence, destruction and/ or disruption of services to create fear by causing confusion and uncertainty within a given population, with the goal of influencing a government or population to conform to particular political, social or ideological agenda.”
Center for strategic and International Studies defined Cyber Terrorism as
“The use of computer network tools to shut down critical national infrastructure (such as energy, transportation, government operations) or to coerce or intimidate a government or civilian population “. (The center for Strategic Infrastructure Studies (NIPS), formerly a unit of the federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) It conducts investigations and provides a response to computer attacks.)
Who are Cyber Terrorists?
From American point of view the most dangerous terrorist group is Al-Qaeda which is considered the first enemy for the US. According to US official’s data from computers seized in Afghanistan indicate that the group has scouted systems that control American energy facilities, water distribution, communication systems, and other critical infrastructure.
After April 2001 collision of US navy spy plane and Chinese fighter jet, Chinese hackers launched Denial so Service (DoS) attacks against American web sites.
A study that covered the second half of the year 2002 showed that the most dangerous nation for originating malicious cyber attacks is the United States with 35.4% of the cases down from 40% for the first half of the same year. South Korea came next with 12.8%, followed by China 6.2% then Germany 6.7% then France 4%. The UK came number 9 with 2.2%. According to the same study, Israel was the most active country in terms of number of cyber attacks related to the number of internet users. There are so many groups who are very active in attacking their targets through the computers. The Unix Security Guards (USG) a pro Islamic group launched a lot of digital attacks in May 2002.Another group called World's Fantabulas Defacers (WFD) attacked many Indian sites. Also there is another pro Pakistan group called Anti India Crew (AIC) who launched many cyber attacks against India. There are so many Palestinian and Israeli groups fighting against each other through the means of digital attacks. 
Modes of cyber terrorism
(1) Cyber terrorism is the forerunner of war face. In the era of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) one nation causes terrorist violence by using new technology against other nation or nations. These are not the conventional way of war rather cyber war or net war between two or more nations which are very much unpredictable. For example between Israel and Pakistan net war, India and Pakistan net war, China and USA net war.
(2) International cyber terrorist attack. When international Organizations of terrorists link or communicate between them through internet and their own network to attack any nation, it is called international cyber terrorist attack. For example, in the year 2001 on 11th September World Trade Centre and Pentagon attack; immediately after that in the same year on 13th December 2001 attack at Indian parliament.
(3) Use of computer system and internet facilities. Use of computer system and internet facilities by terrorism group to develop own websites and network to send messages to each other worldwide are affective mode of cyber terrorism.
(4) Cyber terrorists use encryption programmed and digital signature. Cyber Terrorism use encryption programmed and digital signature to coordinate them using e-mail service which cannot be read by anyone. Even the national Security Agency through their super computing system failed to crack terrorist group’s code. The United States of America is fighting against these attacks from 1990’s
(5) Terrorists now using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) including satellite transmission. Terrorists now using ICT including satellite transmission, cell phones, wireless etc. to communicate with each other and organize for terrorist attack.
(6) Flowing ‘warm’, viruses, ‘Trojan horse’. Flowing ‘worm’, ‘virus’, ‘troan horse’ to collapse Government departments such as defense, intelligence, commerce, academic and health. Access to Global electronic network and information’s is one way which facilitates cyber terrorism.
Above mentioned modes are the possible ways of exploitation of ICT by terrorists. Terrorist’ activities are dependent on certain contributory factors. These are as follows; Motivation
Motivations of terrorists may be psychological, cultural or national. (i) Cultural motivations depend on the feelings of native land and outsiders, group and outsiders, community, language and like. (ii) Psychological motivations depend on satisfaction and dissatisfaction in life, with family, with community, with society. (iii) National motivations are motivations of military or business personality for financial purpose with certain goals for benefits.
Organization is very much important for terrorism and in the era of ICT it is increasing day by day. Within group they do collect information’s from other and plan for further attack very secretly.
They train themselves for attack and activities. Therefore, training is also a very important factor.
Targets and Weapons
Information and Communication Technology are available to all including terrorists. These are misused sometimes as targets and sometimes as weapons.
As cyberspace has no specific jurisdiction therefore they do not need visa, passport etc. to move from one country to other country in cyber world.
Terrorist’s activities depend on publicity of their work so that people and Government will be terrified of possible danger. For example, on 9th August 2005, in West-Bengal Maobadi groups published for possible attack on 15th August against Government and general people.
Command and control
Terrorists always try to establish their command and control to earn money which is very essential for their existence.
Terrorist use process of computer and other information processing devices for breaking, cracking, hacking, denial of services attack, flowing of virus and objectionable article, altering important data or deletion of data.
Some incidents of Cyber Terrorism:-
The following are notable incidents of Cyber Terrorism:
• In 1998, ethnic Tamil guerrillas swamped Sri Lankan embassies with 800 e-mails a day over a two-week period. The messages read "We are the Internet Black Tigers and we're doing this to disrupt your communications." Intelligence authorities characterized it as the first known attack by terrorist against a country’s computer systems.
• During the Kosovo conflict in 1999, NATO computers were blasted with e-mail bombs and hit with denial-of-service attacks by hacktivists protesting the NATO bombings. In addition, businesses, public organizations, and academic institutes received highly politicized virus-laden e-mails from a range of Eastern European countries, according to reports. Web defacements were also common.
• Since December 1997, the Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT) has been conducting Web sit-ins against various sites in support of the Mexican Zapatistas. At a designated time, thousands of protestors point their browsers to a target site using software that floods the target with rapid and repeated download requests. EDT's software has also been used by animal rights groups against organizations said to abuse animals. Electrohippies, another group of hacktivists, conducted Web sit-ins against the WTO when they met in Seattle in late 1999.
One of the worst incidents of cyber terrorists at work was when crackers in Romania illegally gained access to the computers controlling the life support systems at an Antarctic research station, endangering the 58 scientists involved. More recently, in May 2007 Estonia was subjected to a mass cyber-attack by hackers inside the Russian Federation which some evidence suggests was coordinated by the Russian government, though Russian officials deny any knowledge of this. This attack was apparently in response to the removal of a Russian World War II war memorial from downtown Estonia.
Law relating to Cyber Terrorism:-
Presently there are established laws that govern the “Terrorism” in Meta Space. However, there are no special laws governing “Cyber Terrorism”.
On October 17, 2000 special laws governing Cyber Crimes became effective in India with the passage of Information Technology Act 2000 (ITA-2000). Subsequently, the special act for Terrorism, POTA was also enacted with effect from 24th October 2001. We need to therefore look at the laws governing “Cyber Terrorism” within these laws and any other associated legislation that may come into effect by cross reference including the IPC.
Terrorism in Meta Space using Cyber space as a conduit is to be governed by the laws of the Meta space such as POTA with evidence gathered from Cyberspace as per the provisions of ITA-2000 which brought in some changes in the Indian Evidence Act.
On the other hand, “Terrorism” in Cyber Space is a different aspect. Unfortunately, when ITA-2000 was enacted, the focus of legislation was not on “Cyber Terrorism”. ITA-2000 therefore addresses some issues of Cyber Crimes but does not adequately address the issues of “Cyber Terrorism”.
Indian law and Cyber Terrorism:-
In India there is no law, which is specifically dealing with prevention of malware through aggressive defense. Thus, the analogous provisions have to be applied in a purposive manner. The protection against malware attacks can be claimed under the following categories:-
(1) Protection available under the constitution of India, and
(2) Protection available under other statutes.
(1) Protection available under the constitution of India:-
The protection available under the Constitution of any country is the strongest and the safest one since it is the supreme document and all other laws derive their power and validity from it. If a law satisfies the rigorous tests of the Constitutional validity, then its applicability and validity cannot be challenge and it becomes absolutely binding. The Constitutions of India, like other Constitutions of the world, is organic and living in nature and is capable of molding itself as per the time and requirements of the society.
(2) Protection available under other statutes
The protection available under the constitution is further strengthened by various statutory enactments. These protections can be classified as:
(a) Protection under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, and
(b) Protection under the Information Technology Act (ITA), 2000.
The problems associated with the use of malware are not peculiar to any particular country as the menace is global in nature. The countries all over the world are facing this problem and are trying their level best to eliminate this problem. The problem, however, cannot be effectively curbed unless popular public support and a vigilant judiciary back it. The legislature cannot enact a law against the general public opinion of the nation at large. Thus, first a public support has to be obtained not only at the national level but at the international level as well. The people all over the world are not against the enactment of statutes curbing the use of malware, but they are conscious about their legitimate rights. Thus, the law to be enacted by the legislature must take care of public interest on a priority basis. This can be achieved if a suitable technology is supported by an apt legislation, which can exclusively take care of the menace created by the computers sending the malware. Thus, the self-help measures recognized by the legislature should not be disproportionate and excessive than the threat received by the malware. Further, while using such self-help measures the property and rights of the general public should not be affected. It would also not be unreasonable to demand that such self-help measures should not themselves commit any illegal act r omission. Thus, a self-help measure should not be such as may destroy or steal the data or secret information stored in the computer of the person sending the malware. It must be noted that two wrongs cannot make a thing right. Thus, a demarcating line between self-help and taking law in one’s own hand must be drawn. In the ultimate analysis we must not forget that self-help measures are “watchdogs and not blood-hounds”, and their purpose should be restricted to legitimate and proportionate defensive actions only. In India, fortunately, we have a sound legal base for dealing with malware and the public at large has no problem in supporting the self-help measures to combat cyber terrorism and malware.
 The Hindustan Times, January 15, 1996
 Zalman Amy, “The History of Terrorism” available at http://terrorism.about.com/od/whatisterroris1/p/Terrorism.htm
 Michael lawless “Terrorism: an International Crime” available at http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/vo9/no2/05-lawless-eng.asp
 Kevin Coleman, “cyber Terrorism, Technolytics, October10, 2003
 Maura Conway: what is cyber terrorism; the current history, December 2002 ,page.436.
Dr.R.K.Chaubey, an Introduction to Cyber Crime and Cyber Law, page,474
 Wright,Looming Tower(2006),page.133-4
 Mudawi Mukhtar Elmusharaf, Cyber terrorism: The New Kind of Terrorism, Computer Crime Research Center April8,2004
 Dasgupta.M, Cyber Crime in India,page,190
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