09 May 2016. This Perspective explores the international options for inhibiting the misuse of space capabilities under the aegis of an established international body like the United Nations.
The sceptre of terrorism is on the rise across worldwide and affects the entire globe. The recent Paris terrorist attacks, for instance, were a dastard act not just on Paris or France but on all of humanity, as indeed is any terrorist strike across the world. The threat is common and demands a common response by all humanity. One element common to most of the terrorist attacks worldwide are the extraordinary levels of communication, coordination and networking, in part enabled by space capabilities. The global commons of space are inherently international in character as also is terrorism. Thus domestic responses would not suffice to address them. This Perspective assesses the role of space capabilities in the conduct of terrorist activities and explores options for the space community to take a common stance against terrorism.