Security in the War on Terror: Predict, Prevent, Police

Policing ‘Crime’ and ‘Violence’ - Lecture 7

Lecturer: Dr Shereen Fernandez, Queen Mary University

22 Jul 2021

The Global War on Terror, which was launched in response to the attacks in America on September 11th, has strengthened approaches to securitisation in its attempt to eliminate terrorism. The figure of the ‘terrorist’ is closely associated with that of the Muslim man who through laws and policies related to counter-terrorism and counter-extremism, such as the Prevent Duty, is constructed as a risk and threat to society.

From the Global North to the Global South, racialised communities, especially those racialised as Muslim, experience the War on Terror in their everyday spaces such as in schools and healthcare settings, as the frontlines of the war constantly expand. As we approach the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it is clear that anti-terrorism measures are becoming a permanent feature of society, despite being declared during a state of emergency.



Questions for Discussion

  1. How do pre-emptive security measures increase feelings of insecurity?
  2. In what ways has the War on Terror become a permanent feature of everyday life?
  3. To what extent has the War on Terror designated certain groups of people as security threats? In what ways can we challenge these assumptions?