MI5 was accused by a British Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee of misjudgement in failing to warn travellers of the threat posed by terrorists in Indonesia before the Bali bombing. At the same time the British government was accused of ignoring intelligence warnings pointing to the Bali bombing and the attack on Israel tourists in Mombassa, Kenya in 2002. The United States had warned both Britain and Australia about the possibility of attacks but it appeared only Australia heeded the prior warning of the atrocity.
See also: Data Sources; Threat Assessment Guidelines.
In 1997-98 the United Nations made moves to establish an International Criminal Court to deal with war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. This court is able to try individuals rather than merely states for crimes. The events in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda created an international awareness for an international court to try individuals, such as former President Milosovic of Serbia for acts of terror. The need to solve the issue of responsibility for the Lockerbie tragedy in 1988 showed there was a need for an international tribunal (Combs, 2003). However, the ICC initially was not given authority to consider crimes of terrorism. The issue was viewed as 'too politically difficult' to be included in the Courts' jurisdiction.
This court will eventually replace the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and will be a permanent body that will eventually try individuals for crimes against humanity throughout the world. The International Court of Justice (sometimes called the World Court) rules in disputes between governments, and cannot prosecute individuals.
By 2003, seventy-six states had ratified the treaty setting up the ICC and a further 139 said they may ratify in the future. The USA has refused to become involved, arguing that their soldiers may be the subject of politically motivated or frivolous prosecutions. Other countries such as China and India have not signed the treaty; while others such as Russia and Iran have signed but remain dubious. There are growing accusations levied against the court that it is geographically unrepresentative and Western dominated. The absence of the USA and Japan make the funding of the court more expensive for others; and Germany, France and the UK will be the largest contributors.
Contemporary principles of international law permit a state to intervene or interpose on humanitarian principles to prevent another state or persons within a state from committing a gross act of persecution or barbarism.
There have been infrequent instances of intervention or interposition for humanitarian purposes due to the decentralised nature of the contemporary international system and the mistreatment of foreign individuals does not adversely affect the intervening state except in a community sense. Intervention may ultimately operate against the interests of the persecuted individuals unless it is
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Publication information: Book title: Dictionary of Terrorism. Edition: 2nd. Contributors: John Richard Thackrah - Author. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 2004. Page number: 132.
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