The Council of Europe has issued a report dealing with the validity of terror lists compiled in order to identify potential terrorists. Its study indicates several weaknesses in how lists are compiled and the rights of individuals to challenge their name being present on them. “There are no procedures for an independent reviews of decisions taken…A serial killer has a lot more rights.” Swiss Senator Dick Marty argues the lists “threaten democratic order” because of the possibility there are mistakes and people have difficulty getting their names erased once they are on a list.
An issue that concerns civil libertarians is who does the identification of a terrorist and what is the process of identification. Twenty years ago, Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress was a terrorist organization and today it is the governing part of South Africa. Palestinians regard certain Israel military units as terrorist while Israel claims Hamas is a terrorist group. There is an ambiguous area in dealing with this topic. Obviously, there are groups whose goals contain terrorist aims, but there are also individuals and groups whose goals are construed as entailing violent means to achieve goals.