Counterterrorism Law and Policy


Welcome to LawShelf’s video-course on counterterrorism law. In this course, we’ll introduce you to the strategies the United States, its allies and international organizations such as the United Nations, use when combatting global terrorism. This is an introductory level course and no prior experience or knowledge of international law or national security law is necessary.

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, fighting terrorism and preventing terrorist acts across the world have become hallmarks of U.S. foreign policy. How does the United States fight terrorism though and what are the legal sources for these methods to halting this menace?

The course begins by defining the law of armed conflict and setting out the sources for this law, customary international law and treaties. We also describe how the United States’ War on Terror has affected this area of law, by illustrating how war is now fought as well as how timing and geographic scope of war have been altered.

In the second module, we discuss the capture of terrorist suspects, as well as the judicial aspects of suspect detention, including rights, conditions, and duration.  Next, we move to the “law enforcement paradigm” and identify the U.S. agencies most involved in combating terrorism and specifically looking at each of the roles and methods employed by each. Here, we’ll also learn about the legality of different methods for terrorist identification.

In the fourth module, we discuss non-criminal sanctions used to combat terrorism and will analyze the effectiveness of imposing economic sanctions and civil liability on terrorists for their acts. Finally, we wrap up by surveying international counterterrorism efforts and the laws behind international cooperation as well as the policies and strategies employed by countries and organizations when working together to halt terrorism.

Best of luck and we welcome your feedback. 


International Law of Armed Conflict and Combatting Terrorism - Module 1 of 5


Capture and Detention of Terrorists - Module 2 of 5


Law Enforcement and Methods to Combat Terrorism - Module 3 of 5


Economic Sanctions and Lawsuits Against Terrorists - Module 4 of 5


International Counterterrorism Efforts - Module 5 of 5

Final Exam only needs to be taken by those seeking to earn the Digital Badge credentials for this course.