The Double Cross
28 September 2021
Opportunistic authoritarian and illiberal politicians make use of the public’s support to curb the growth of extremist groups online, but in doing so hamper the civic freedoms of everyday citizens critical to their messages. What is needed is a cohesive, internationally supported policy which — at the moment — is lost in the maelstrom of hyperpolarisation.
The V4 countries have not been directly threatened by terrorism but reacted strongly following the 2020 Vienna attack. While their policies vary depending on the threat, there are two shared challenges to their counterterrorism efforts: how to tackle terrorist propaganda on social media and the financing of terrorist activities.
The question that precedes any counterterrorism policy is how one defines terrorism as the concept is often contested. There are many national and regional definitions, but there is no universally accepted legal specification, so academics also debate about it.
According to one definition by the scholar Richard English, ‘terrorism involves heterogeneous violence used or threatened with a political aim.’ There is also the intention to spread fear by committing spectacular public acts of violence and targeting civilians.