Thursday, May 27, 2004

Amnesty: War on Terror Has Made World Less Safe

BOSTON GLOBE - The US-led war on terror has made the world more dangerous, rather than safer, and has prompted the most sustained erosion of human rights and international law in 50 years, Amnesty International said in an annual report released yesterday. The report, which examined the state of human rights in 157 countries and alleged abuses committed by 177 armed groups, was followed by unusually scathing criticism of the Bush administration. . .

The release of the report in Washington was accompanied by data indicating that terrorist acts have increased since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the advent of the war on terrorism. Jessica Eve Stern, a lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University who has spent six years interviewing members of terrorist organizations, cited statistics indicating that the number of terrorist incidents increased from 2,303 in the two years before the Sept. 11 attacks to 4,422 in the two years after Sept. 11.

''There is no question in my mind that the war in Iraq increased terrorism, in part because the United States created a weak state unable to maintain a monopoly on the use of force," Stern said after the news conference.

Her statistics, included in a database maintained by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit think tank, and funded by the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, run contrary to a recent State Department report that indicated a slight decline in terrorist acts from last year. The State Department did not provide details about how the data were collected to a reporter who requested the information.



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