Terrorism has evolved, but responses have become old: Modi


Global terrorism has evolved over time and terrorists are now using modern technology and devices while national and international efforts to counter them have become outdated, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a gathering of global leaders at a dinner hosted by U.S President Barack Obama at the White House.

The dinner kicked off the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), an initiative of Mr. Obama to coordinate international efforts to prevent acts of nuclear terrorism. Leaders from more than 50 countries and four international organisations will discuss the topic on Friday in more detail.

Mr. Modi sat on the left side of Mr. Obama at the dinner in the East Room of the White House. To Mr. Obama’s right sat Chinese President Xi Jinping. Mr. Modi was making some animated points to the U.S President who appeared to be listening intently. Making his brief intervention at the dinner, the Prime Minister thanked Mr. Obama for putting the “spotlight on nuclear security.” “President Obama has done great service to global security,” Mr. Modi said.

Elaborating on his theme that while terrorists evolved, governments have not, Mr. Modi said: “Terror has evolved. Terrorists are using 21st century technology. But our responses are rooted in the past.” Mr. Modi said the recent terror strikes in Brussels showed the world how real and immediate the threat to nuclear security from terrorism was.

The Prime Minister identified three “contemporary features of terrorism.” “First, today’s terrorism uses extreme violence as theatre. Second, we are no longer looking for a man in a cave, but we are hunting for a terrorist in a city with a computer or a smart phone. Third, State actors working with nuclear traffickers and terrorists present the greatest risk,” he said.

Mr. Modi said while terrorism has become globally networked, “we still act only nationally to counter this threat.” “The reach and supply chains of terrorism are global; but genuine cooperation between nation states is not,” the PM said.

Mr. Modi said without prevention and prosecution of acts of terrorism there could be no deterrence against nuclear terrorism. ”Drop the notion that terrorism is someone else’s problem and that “his” terrorist is not “my” terrorist,” the PM said. Mr Modi told world leaders that nuclear security must remain the abiding national priority for all countries and all States “must completely abide by their international obligations.”

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