This chapter examines the problems that could arise when a state invokes self-defence to justify action against terrorist groups in another state. It first considers indirect armed attack against armed groups and the controversy surrounding the use of self-defence where armed groups are controlled by a foreign state, with particular reference to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisprudence. It then discusses the possibility that an armed attack could occur, permitting a forcible response in the context of international law, without attribution to a state by citing the Nicaragua case in which the ICJ pronounced that self-defence is permissible against a host state in effective control of an armed group. The chapter also looks at the case of Afghanistan and its relationship to Al Qaeda as an example of a state’s claims of self-defence against terrorism.
Moir, L. (2015). Action against host states of terrorist groups. In M. Weller (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of the use of force in international law, 720-736. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/law/9780199673049.003.0033