Document Type : Article
Department of International Law, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
The attribution of actions by terrorist groups to states is a controversial and important issue that has undermined international peace and security. The author has conducted a descriptive-analytical study on this subject using library research methods. The results show that between the two theories of overall and effective control the former provides a much better basis regarding the responsibility of states for supporting terrorist groups. The theory of overall control was established by the ICTY’s Appeals Chamber in the Tadic case, which argued that the effective control criterion provided by the International Court of Justice was contrary to the logic of state responsibility. Of course, the theory of overall control is facing challenges in terms of explaining the attribution of terrorist groups to states. Firstly the relationship between supporting states and terrorist groups such as ISIS is so complicated that it is not easy to examine the extent to which governments support such groups, as they try to keep their ties to these groups completely secret. Secondly, in some cases even overall control over terrorist groups such as ISIS does not exist. In other words, despite the fact that these groups are supported by states, they operate independently. In addition, there is no unified case law in this regard, and this makes it difficult to attribute the activities of terrorist groups to states.
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