World Antiterrorism Laws: Jurist Legal Education Network.


Background Discussion/Response: Lawrence Johnson, Conflict Analyst at the United Nations, 25 April 2012. [Edited for clarity]

  • Lawrence Johnson: The rapid political developments in Arab world creates room for such weapons to be found in the wrong hands.. the international community must embrace those changes without overlooking the challenges they pose towards the security of the human family... 

  • Stephen M. Apatow: Absolutely, it is my view that the War Against Terrorism, the players and vulnerabilities created in every uprising or conflict must be viewed with a comprehensive approach. Protection of civilians must be prioritized and security is critical, this is why the UNSC has such an important role to play in peacekeeping operations. The collaboration of countries, with military strategic interests, manipulating the UNSC (through the abuse of the veto) for those interests, without regard for international law, has the potential to not only be counterproductive but catastrophic.  

  • Lawrence Johnson: True to the point.. It will be very serious to have both the terrorists and weapons of mass destructions on one table. In as much as we support the causes of the Syrians and other Arab states citizens, there must be some kind of serious international scrutinies.. Otherwise we are slamping terrorism during the day and dealing with the same people at night.. Nations needs to to be precipitated when intervening.. What kind of pro-democracy fighters are these who uses suicide bombers? Syria, Libya and Yemen might remain equally ungovernable for sometimes..creating more rooms for human sufferings.. The world must act now and act very fast! 

  • Stephen M. Apatow: 13 months into this Syrian nightmare, without UNSC action proportional to the challenges presented, is nothing less then incomprehensible. As for the threat, we are one WMD attack from a potential nuclear retaliatory strike. The release of the 7/7 mastermind of the London bombings in February with the potential transfer of WMD capabilities, provides a broader view of what international challenges we have on the table for containment, nevertheless the immediate threat to surrounding countries in the region. The protection of civilians is a humanitarian sideline, but the conflict demonstrates the importance of WMD security and containment in any failed state.


23 April 2012

Contact: Stephen M. Apatow
Founder, Director of Research & Development
Humanitarian Resource Institute (UN:NGO:DESA)
Humanitarian University Consortium Graduate Studies
Center for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine & Law
Phone: 203-668-0282
Email: s.m.apatow@humanitarian.net
Internet: www.humanitarian.net

HRI:UNArts: Humanitarian Intervention Initiative
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Syria: The War Against Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction

International humanitarian and security discussions [1] have recently transitioned back to CBRN threats in Syria. [2]  Topics include an overview of Syrian Weapons of Mass Destruction, [3] Iraq: Former Regime Weapons Programs and Outstanding U.N. Issues [4] and reports of weapons that transitioned from Iraq to Syria prior to the Gulf War. [5]

In the context of national security, the paper "Terrorism and WMD In the Contemporary Operational Environment" (US Army TRADOC TRADOC G2 Handbook No. 1.04, 20 August 2007), outlines the importance of WMD containment in a failed state:

The Essential Task: "Prevent our enemies from threatening us, our allies, and our friends with weapons of mass destruction.”

“The United States of America is fighting a war against terrorists of global reach. The enemy is not a single political regime or person or religion or ideology. The enemy is terrorism – premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against innocents.”

“The greater the threat, the greater the risk of inaction – and the more compelling the case for anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack. There are few greater threats than a terrorist attack with WMD.”

The Terrorist Objective:

 “Acquiring weapons for the defense of Muslims is a religious duty. If I have indeed acquired these weapons (WMD), then I thank God for enabling me to do so. And if I seek to acquire these weapons, I am carrying out a duty. It would be a sin for Muslims not to try to possess the weapons that would prevent the infidels from inflicting harm on Muslims.” -- Usama Bin Laden interview with Time Magazine, December 1998.

“…option was to destroy the United States by means of decisive strategic operations with weapons of mass destruction including nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons if mujahidin are able to obtain them in cooperation with those who possess them, purchase them – or manufacture and use primitive atomic bombs or so called dirty bombs. …”Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, December 2004 jihadist website.

  1. Syria: International Humanitarian & Security Discussions: Humanitarian Intervention Initiative. Url: http://www.unarts.org/H-II/ref/syria242012OHCHR.html
  2. Exclusive: State Department quietly warning region on Syrian WMDs: Foreign Policy, 24 February 2012.  Url: http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/02/24/exclusive_state_department_quietly_warning_region_on_syrian_wmds
  3. Syrian Weapons of Mass Destruction: An Overview: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2 June 2008. Url: 
  4. Iraq: Former Regime Weapons Programs and Outstanding U.N. Issues: CRS Report for Congress, 29 July 2008. Url: 
  5. Saddam's WMDs were moved to Syria: Iraqi General Georges Sada Interview: Fox News. Url: 


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