The Hamm report refers to research findings by Mark .S. Hamm in a document commissioned by the US Department of Justice in Sept 2005 on the crimes committed by terrorists.
The report outlines the various crimes committed by terrorists, the world’s renowned terror groups and their operations, skills and failures with an intention of offering a learning opportunity to the law enforcement officers. The report states that the increase in terrorist activities is as a result of increased private ventures as opposed to state sanctioned terrorism. According to the report, the crimes committed range from vehicle violations, frauds in immigration, illegal arms manufacture, counter feting, armed bank robberies, weapon smuggling with special reference to transnational organized crimes (Ronczkowski, 2004). This study draws a comparison between two groups of terrorism; the international jihads and the domestic right wing groups. The research examines previous findings from law enforcement officers and testimonies by those apprehended to ascertain the opportunities as well as the circumstances under which the crimes fail. The report indicates a difference in the range of crimes committed by the two groups of terrorist.
International Jihad groups are known for major sophisticated crimes while the right wing domestic groups commit minor terrorist attacks (Hamm, 2007). The study highlights that pursuit of criminal investigations by the law enforcement teams can lead into strong findings .The examiners should aim a establishing the machinery behind the funding, material acquisition and the system of operations used by the terrorists.
It has been suggested that most crime investigations should focus on the opportunities present to the terrorists and the susceptibility of target organizations in order to devise measures that can result into crime controls. Critical establishment by Edwin Sutherland affirms that other than combating the opportunities, there is a need to focus on to the nature of the skills as successful attack cannot be based on opportunity alone. (Sutherland, 1947). A practical crackdown on the opportunities that enable transfer of the skills from one person to another is being considered good tactic of terrorism prevention by the law enforcement agencies. A follow-up on the successes and failures can be used to prevent further occurrence. Failed attacks can be used to build strategies to combat future occurrences while successes should be critically examined to ascertain weaknesses in the targets and implement corrective measures (Laqueur, 1999). Failed attacks due to unskilled terrorists can successfully be used to open leads linking to the masterminds behind most attacks; this was been to unearth those behind the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania The ability to skillfully commit crimes is attributed to many factors apart from opportunity.
These factors can be studied and addressed the law enforcers in order to curb future attacks. Most crimes require knowledge on the use and acquisition of sophisticated arms got from previous legal training. The law should focus on the eradication of these weapons to deny terrorists access to them and block cases of black markets (Ganaratna, 2002) Money laundering has been associated with terrorism with the increased secrecy of most big founders and the ease of travel by many collaborators, (Emerson, 2002).The legal framework should thus target the freezing of such big accounts As is evident from the report findings, terrorists have skill, money and all it takes to commit crimes. In an effort to combat them, the government should take prompt measures into using previous attacks to prevent future cases through investigation and further design measures that may be difficult for terrorists to attack and perhaps look into disarmament of terrorists. Protection should be accorded to vulnerable targets through proper surveillance that may limit cases of attack and offer quick recovery measures in the event of an attack.
ReferencesMark s, Hamm (2005) Crimes Committed by Terrorist Groups; Theory, Research and Prevention. Commissioned in September 2005 by the US Department of Justice.Ronczkowski, M. (2004). Terrorism and organized hate crime.: CRC Press.
Laqueur, W. (1999). The new terrorism. Oxford Univ. PressMark S. Hamm (2007).
Terrorism as Crime: From Oklahoma City to Al-Qaeda and Beyond. NYU Press.