Counter-terrorism (also spelled counterterrorism) is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt to attack terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.
The tactic of terrorism (used by terrorists) is available to insurgents and governments. Not all insurgents use terror as a tactic, and some choose not to use it because other tactics work better for them in a particular context. Individuals, such as Timothy McVeigh, may also engage in terrorist acts such as the Oklahoma City bombing.
If the terrorism is part of a broader insurgency, counter-terrorism may also form a part of a counter-insurgency doctrine, but political, economic, and other measures may focus more on the insurgency than the specific acts of terror. Foreign internal defense (FID) is a term used for programs either to suppress insurgency, or reduce the conditions under which insurgency could develop. Counter-terrorism includes both the detection of potential acts and the response to related events.
Anti-terrorism versus counter-terrorism
The concept of anti-terrorism emerges from a thorough examining of the concept of terrorism and includes those measures taken to protect society from terrorist acts. Terrorism is distinctly different from acts that are intended to terrorize. In military contexts, almost all acts are intended to create fear. But terrorism is the organized, premeditated use of violence by non-state groups against non-combatants on order to advance an ideological goal.
Counter-terrorism refers to offensive strategies intended to prevent, deter, preempt, and respond to terrorism.” In other words, counter-terrorism is a set of techniques for denying an opponent the use of terrorism-based tactics, just as counter-air is a set of techniques for denying the opponent the use of attack aircraft.
Anti-terrorism is defensive, intended to reduce the chance of an attack using terrorist tactics at specific points, or to reduce the vulnerability of possible targets to such tactics. “Defensive measures used to reduce the vulnerability of individuals and property to terrorist acts, to include limited response and containment by local military and civilian forces.”
To continue the analogy between air and terrorist capability, offensive anti-air missions attack the airfields of the opponent, while defensive anti-air uses anti-aircraft missiles to protect a point on one’s own territory. The Sri Lankan Civil War,, Colombian Civil War and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, are examples of conflicts where terrorism is present, along with other tactics, so that participants use counter- and anti-terrorism to limit the opponent’s use of terror tactics. Units engaged in counter-terrorism include the US Navy Seals and Delta Force.
Money laundering is the process of concealing the source of legally, illegally, and grey area obtained money.
The methods by which money may be laundered are varied and can range in sophistication. Many regulatory and governmental authorities quote estimates each year for the amount of money laundered, either worldwide or within their national economy. In 1996 the International Monetary Fund estimated that two to five percent of the worldwide global economy involved laundered money. However, the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), an intergovernmental body set up to combat money laundering, stated that “overall it is absolutely impossible to produce a reliable estimate of the amount of money laundered and therefore the FATF does not publish any figures in this regard”. Academic commentators have likewise been unable to estimate the volume of money with any degree of assurance.
Regardless of the difficulty in measurement, the amount of money laundered each year is in the billions (US dollars) and poses a significant policy concern for governments. As a result, governments and international bodies have undertaken efforts to deter, prevent and apprehend money launderers. Financial institutions have likewise undertaken efforts to prevent and detect transactions involving dirty money, both as a result of government requirements and to avoid the reputational risk involved.