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Every State has an obligation to prevent terrorist attacks emanating from its territory. This proposition stems from various multilateral agreements and UN Security Council resolutions.
This study exhaustively addresses the scope of this obligation of prevention and the legal consequences flowing from its violation, so as to provide greater clarity on governments' counterterrorism duties and to enhance State accountability for preventable wrongs. It defines the contents and contours of the obligation while placing critical emphasis on the mechanics of State responsibility.
Whether obscured by new technologies like the Internet, the sophisticated cellular structure of some terrorist organisations or convoluted political realities, the level of governmental involvement in terrorist activities is no longer readily discernible in every instance. Furthermore, the prospect of governments waging surrogate warfare through proxies also poses intractable challenges to the mechanism of attribution in the context of State responsibility.
This monograph sets out the shortcomings of the extant scheme of State responsibility while identifying a paradigm shift towards more indirect modes of accountability under international law, a trend corroborated by recent State and institutional practice.