[EDITORIALS]Terrorism Bill Needs Amplification

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[EDITORIALS]Terrorism Bill Needs Amplification

Recent terrorist acts executed internationally, indiscriminately and ruthlessly represent no less than wars. The Sept. 11 attacks that simultaneously occurred in Washington and New York City are examples. Those acts can be considered a war waged against the United States. They were, in fact, the reasons why a war is being fought at this moment in Afganistan.

Korea is the only divided country in the world. If we look ahead to the 2002 World Cup, an international event of great importance, it is necessary for us to enact a law to prevent and deter terrorist acts.

The National Intelligence Service recently announced that it had prepared a bill for that purpose. The gist of the bill is to establish a center for anti-terrorism, a permanent organization, at the service, which is solely responsible for gathering information and investigating terrorism. The bill is provided with clauses that stipulate aggravated punishment for terror activities, and which make punishable the failure to inform law enforcement authorities of one's knowledge of terror related matters. It also gives the service special authority to do various acts, such as bringing in witnesses against their will and prolonging the period of detention for suspects at its discretion. Civic groups are protesting the bill, saying it gives the service room to abuse its power and to infringe on human rights. They argued that the National Intelligence Service should not be given the right to investigate, as it would force the service to expand unnecessarily.

When we look back to the days of the Central Intelligence Agency, the predecessor of the National Intelligence Service, it seems quite plausible for the service to enervate other investigative authorities in the name of leading the investigation of terrorism.

Terrorism should be severely dealt with, particularly in the preventive stages. It is our task to establish a strong and effective law, but we should minimize the possibility for misuse or abuse by law enforcement authorities. A permanent center for anti-terrorism data bothers us. It is preferable to establish such a place on a temporary basis when a major terrorist act occurs or when an important event such as the World Cup takes place. Other special powers for the service should be reviewed by the proper authorities.
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