Iraqi security forces battle IS terrorists
Iraqi security forces battle IS terroristsReuters

Defeating global terrorist networks requires a "counter-network" of intelligence services and other parties to take the fight to them, according to Dr Boaz Ganor, the founder and Executive Director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT).

Speaking to Arutz Sheva at the 14th International Conference on Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Dr. Ganor emphasized that states and agencies combating terrorism needed to be "humble" and understand that they were on a constant "learning curve" against a "dynamic phenomenon... which evolves all the time."

Full interview:

He noted that terrorist groups themselves were constantly learning, developing new modus-operandi in a bid to discover and target "the soft underbellies of the societies they are fighting against."

But while criticizing global counter-terrorism agencies for not learning fast enough, Ganor acknowledged that there have been significant improvements in efforts in the fight against jihadi terrorism since 9/11.

"The world is dealing with terrorism much better today than it used to... 10 years ago, but there are a lot of things which still need to be adopted."

Ganor lamented the fact that counter-terrorism experts couldn't even agree on a universal definition on terrorism, insisting that defining the enemy was a crucial prerequisite for being able to effectively combat it. 

He noted that terrorism is "not an ideology" but a method of warfare, and offered his own definition of it as the "deliberate use of violence against civilians in order to achieve political ends."

"Once you understand that, you understand that this is not a subjective term," he explained. "It's not (true) that 'one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter', because even if you support freedom fighters, you cannot support the deliberate attacks against civilians, i.e. terrorism."

Echoing calls by world leaders - including Israel's defense minister - for international cooperation to defeat the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, he said the only way to confront the threat was by forming a comprehensive "network" against terror.

"It takes a network to beat a network," he said. "The terrorists created the global jihadi network, and now there is a real need for the global counter-jihadi network - which includes many Muslims around the world and many Muslim countries."