International Journal of Advances in Scientific Research and Engineering-IJASRE

The Boomerang Effect of Some Counterterrorism (CT) Measure: A Mathematical Game-Theoretic Model

Article Category: Applied Mathematics

DOI: 10.31695/IJASRE.2019.33009

Pages: 8-33

Author: Israel J. Udoh,Michael O. Oladejo,Linus U. Okafor


The freedom of expression, universally acknowledged as both a fundamental and foundational human right, is not only the cornerstone of democracy but indispensable to a thriving civil society. Indeed, the freedom of expression is considered the “foundational human right” of the greatest importance; hence its suppression on the advent of any CT measure cannot be overlook in any liberal society. However, since the event of the bombing of the World Trade Centre in USA in September 11th 2001 by the Al-Qaida terrorist organization, most democratic governments have responded to terrorist attacks with such CT measures that curtail or suppress the freedom of expression and other fundamental rights and liberties of its citizenry; all in the guise of countering terrorism. The decrease in privacy and the concomitant increase in security agency’s surveillance powers are other important CT policies adopted by various liberal societies. How this policy of reacting to terrorist attacks with restrictions on free-speech protections affect the likelihood of terrorism and CT measures, has dominated front burners of public discourse over the last decades. In this study, we develop a two-person two-period dynamic game-theoretic analysis of an interaction between security agency and terrorist organization; to study the possible security implications of adopting policies that curtail or suppress free-speech protections and other fundamental rights of citizens as CT measure. The study shows that in a world in which democratic governments respond to major security threat such as terrorism with restrictions on freedom of expression and other fundamental rights and liberties of its citizens, such policies seems to have serious moral vulnerability and boomerang effect of endangering government effort at preventing terrorism and thus engender more terrorist attacks by garnering undue support for the terrorist. The analysis suggests that a commitment to “respecting the fundamental rights and liberties” of the citizenry in times of duress can be of immense security-advantage. That is, if liberal societies would remain faithful to their fundamental values in the aftermath of terrorist attacks and other security threat, such a strategy possibly has the propensity to decreasing the probability of further terrorist attack, reduce the cost of CT measure and hence a boost to government CT measures.

Keyword: Counter-Terrorism Measures, Free Speech Protection, Terrorist Organization, Cataclysmic Dynamic, Dynamic Game Theoretic Analysis.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (International) Licence. (CC BY-NC 4.0)
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