Concerns over terrorism are growing in the nation in the wake of attacks in Paris orchestrated by the Islamic State (IS) in November. Since the incident, the international community has vowed to combat terrorism while terrorist threats are also expanding.
Terrorism-related fear is on the rise in South Korea after the nation was found to be among IS targets and as arrests were made of foreign nationals illegally residing in the nation who were followers of IS and al Qaeda.
Even if such arrests are made, there is little the government can do to combat the threats of terrorism. If the foreign nationals are not found to have broken any laws, the government has no legal grounds to dig into their backgrounds. The only option is to deport them if they are illegally residing in the country. With such a reality, voices are growing for an anti-terrorism law.
Around December, four foreigners supporting international terrorist groups were deported. They had openly expressed on social media their desire to participate in suicide bombing attacks and jihad as well as opened a bank account to support Islamic extremists.
Such cases are alarming as they demonstrate that voluntary terrorism risks exist. Another alarming factor is that a South Korean teenager joined IS.
Amid growing calls for a law on preventing terrorism, the government has revealed plans to tighten crackdowns on foreign nationals who have resided illegally for an extended period of time. That’s because there is a strong possibility that people linked to terrorist organizations who have been smuggled into the country will likely seek cooperation from such foreigners.
The Justice Ministry, for its part, plans to strengthen immigration procedures based on anti-terrorism data shared with other countries. The ministry has also expanded the number of patrols around neighborhoods that have a large population of foreign nationals.