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Key challenges for Jordan’s security services

Jan 20,2019 - Last updated at Jan 20,2019

Recent history has taught many about the dynamics of terrorist groups, most importantly their capacity to consistently adapt innovative actions and doctrines to ensure their survival. Their transformation does not only help with their persistence, but it also inhibits programmes and policies trying to deter them.

Jordan’s intelligence system is the major power of the country, especially for the role it plays in encountering global terrorism trends. To ensure the efficiency of this security system, it is always important to analyse the new challenges and their impact on the security apparatus. This requires a comprehensive revision of the nature of all the challenges, from ideological to logistic.

Any review of the intelligence and operational level should also consider the entire de-radicalisation process. It is clear that all the conferences, seminars and money spent on strategies and plans to combat extremism and terrorism, including the establishment of the anti-extremism unit, have been in vain, and had no concrete results so far.

It is also vital to remember that security and military methods will never be enough to fight radicalisation on their own. These methods must be applied in combination with concrete development projects and supplementary integration processes to reduce the risk factors that create the threat. Abandoning the next generation will only create more radicalism; we must nurture our youth, feed their minds with constructive ideas that help them integrate into our society and the rest of the world. It might also be difficult for the security apparatus to find people to recruit who are not influenced by any radical thoughts in any way.

Jordan should focus on the redistribution of power among society and the state, where citizens feel involved in the decision-making process, especially in matters that directly impact their lives, such as fixing of prices and salaries, taxation, inflation, political banking, strategic projects and election laws. People need to be engaged in the processes, rather than hear rumours or read about the decisions afterwards in the media. With the challenges the world is currently facing, we should be focused on adopting a strategy that combats terrorism by recognising its causes and influences. If some countries continue to use terrorism for politicking, we cannot effectively combat an increasingly sophisticated network of terrorists.

Enhancing and advancing the competency of the security system is crucial. The few incidents that Jordan has experienced should be a wake-up call for the security apparatus to treat the threat with sensitivity and decisiveness. Fatigue, ill preparation and underestimation of the threat have resulted in the attacks we have been victims of so far. So, it is imperative to understand the nature of the threats and the sensitivity of the situation. We cannot underestimate the threats and we must understand the risks in our current context. Therefore, it is essential for the government to enhance its security measures, both on the borders and internally, simultaneously, which should not affect the image of a civic state.

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