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Combating Terrorism: An International Humanitarian Law Perspective

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Chapter Summary

International humanitarian law establishes sufficiently rigorous and clear rules of play for identifying and condemning terrorist actions as war crimes. The rules of international humanitarian law are intended to limit the violence of war and must be respected whatever the causes defended by the parties to the conflict or reasons for resorting to arms. As a result of the September 11, 2001 attacks, classified in official circles in the United States as true acts of war, the U.S. authorities began to consider that the attacks had created a state of armed conflict requiring the use of United States armed forces. The prohibition to commit terrorist acts, which we have just referred to in relation to situations of international armed conflict, therefore most certainly applies to wars of national liberation.

Keywords: 2001 attacks; international armed conflict; International humanitarian law; national liberation; September 11; United States

10.1163/ej.9789004170537.i-514.78
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