Premium Essay

The Nature of Terrorism

In: Social Issues

Submitted By loveatlast20
Words 1823
Pages 8
Given the growing global threats of terrorism, it is significant that an understanding of the history, nature and mechanism-premises under which terror operates is obtained. This is significant as it would shape the perspective of policy makers when addressing issues of this nature. Terrorism, as it is understood is the action of none-state weak actors, individual or groups, who for some reasons feels suppressed, marginalized and, or denied what they may view as the basic human right. All terrorism has political objectives, even though the perpetrators may use religious relics to appeal to a wider existing audience, and invoke a response through violent act to prove or propagate their point. Yoram Schweitzer in "Suicide Terrorism Development & Characteristics," Mark Sedgwick in "Al-Qaeda and the "Nature of Religious Terrorism," and Dr. James Armstrong, all demonstrates that suicide terror attacks are politically motivated even though the perpetrator may use religious symbolism to justifies their acts.

Observing areas in the world where terrorism is frequent, especially in the Middle East, it can be argued that groups that engaged in terrorists' activities are those that feel suppressed and taken advantage of by a much greater power. Thus, terrorism, particularly suicide terror is prevalent in areas where systems of gross injustice seem to exist. Therefore, the actual use of terrorism by non-state actors is a tactic aimed at polarizing the population in their favor. By killing people in mass number, they are attempting to take away the view that only the state can legitimately kill – thus undermining the state authority. As Armstrong, Sedgwick and Schweitzer exemplify, suicide terrorism is not a new happening, but an old historical phenomenon. And that just as modern day terror organizations, particularly Al-Qaeda, uses religious concepts to motivate its actions…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Terrorism

...Terrorism has deep historical roots as a threat to peaceful existence of nations and common citizens. Terrorism, as opposed to other forms of violence, is the system¬atically applied threat or use of illegitimate force with the designed intent of achieving a goal by means of such a method as coercion. It is violence used as a policy; it is fear or terror engendered on an organized basis. Terrorism is defined as (1) “intended to inflict death or seriously bodily harm upon civilians or other persons (presumably military personnel) not taking part in hostilities and (2) its purpose is to intimidate a population or persuade a government or international organization to adopt a certain policy” (Weiss, 2002, p.25). Terrorism has many applications, including purely criminal purposes; it is politically motivated terrorism, however, which is of major concern in the modem context. Motivational basis, therefore, is examined first in assessing the nature of the threat presented by the phenomenon of terrorism. Included within the context is brief reference to the contemporary historical development of terrorist activity, because in many cases the two aspects are rooted together. Following Oliverio, “The process by which the definition of terrorism is shaped and enforced involves a theoretical approach that recognizes “terrorism" as a historically and contextually produced discourse, and understood in contemporary U.S. society is the by-product of an androcentric discourse in which......

Words: 1643 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Terrorism

...Given the growing global threats of terrorism, it is significant that an understanding of the history, nature and mechanism-premises under which terror operates is obtained. This is significant as it would shape the perspective of policy makers when addressing issues of this nature. Terrorism, as it is understood is the action of none-state weak actors, individual or groups, who for some reasons feels suppressed, marginalized and, or denied what they may view as the basic human right. All terrorism has political objectives, even though the perpetrators may use religious relics to appeal to a wider existing audience, and invoke a response through violent act to prove or propagate their point. Yoram Schweitzer in "Suicide Terrorism Development &ump; Characteristics," Mark Sedgwick in "Al-Qaeda and the "Nature of Religious Terrorism," and Dr. James Armstrong, all demonstrates that suicide terror attacks are politically motivated even though the perpetrator may use religious symbolism to justifies their acts. Observing areas in the world where terrorism is frequent, especially in the Middle East, it can be argued that groups that engaged in terrorists' activities are those that feel suppressed and taken advantage of by a much greater power. Thus, terrorism, particularly suicide terror is prevalent in areas where systems of gross injustice seem to exist. Therefore, the actual use of terrorism by non-state actors is a tactic aimed at polarizing the population in their......

Words: 1774 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Terrorism

...What is Terrorism? By: James Morris Terrorism Terrorism is political phenomenon by which offenders threaten or use violence on civilians with the intent of exploiting fear. It can be defined as substitute classification of political violence. A quote by Sloan (2006) states “Terrorism is intentional violent acts carried out by nonstate actors against noncombatants with the purpose of effecting a political response.” In our society, the term terrorism is a method or strategy to effect political change in an area. Terrorism can be seen as crime, exploitation of fear, and a form of warfare (Lutz, 2005). Since the 1700’s, history has always kept record of the different types of violence our world has faced. And with terrorism it comes with consequences. (Sloan, 2006). A quote by Moghaddam & Marsella (2004) says “It is usually perpetrated by groups utilizing warfare, due to the fact that they are unable to gain advantage while using conventional methods.” Terrorism as Crime The relationship between the terrorism and crime are both equally considered as wrong doing. Traditionally, within the legal system of the United States, domestic terrorism is treated as a criminal act (Bender & Leone, 1986). It is directed toward civilians for the purpose of inducing fear, dread, and terror. Lutz states (2005) “The focus would be on collection of evidence that would be used in court to prosecute those accused of threats or acts of terrorism.” In a sense, all terrorism can......

Words: 1340 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Terrorism

...BRIEFING ON THE THREAT OF TERRORISM POSED TOWARDS TELECOMS ORGANISATIONS OPERATING IN AFRICA Purpose: The purpose of this briefing note is to present an overview of terrorist threats within Africa, spesifically towards the ... organisation operating in Africa and to make recommendations on how to mitigate the risk. Background: Terrorism: “the United Nations General Assembly has condemned terrorist acts using the following political description of terrorism: "Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_terrorism Terrorism has become a global threat and is not just confined to the theatre of war, it is also not only targeted at nations involved in those conflicts like the United States (9/11) and Great Britain (the July 7 London Bombings) but also with any nation and organization that is seen as an ally of such nations. ESICS Briefing on THE TERRORISM THREAT LINKED TO THE LIBYAN CRISIS states “obviously on the top of the list of likely targets for Colonel Gaddafi are the United Kingdom and France, they are closely followed by the United States (an old and usual enemy of Libya but also by the Arab countries taking part in the......

Words: 1344 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Terrorism

...TERRORISM Terrorism is just a word in English, but it is a hazard for mankind. India faces the problems of poverty, population, hunger and literacy. But spread of terrorism is the most frightening of all. Be it in the small countries like Ireland and Israel, or in the big ones life Russia and USA, terrorism has become the main challenge to most of the governments today. Terrorism has been described as ‘the use of international violence by group or individuals to achieve political goals’, by the experts in U.S.A. In simple words, it is the spread of terror. It has to be remembered that if destruction of people is taken by the behalf of an established government against another country, then it is known as war, not terrorism.Terrorism is more accurately defined as act(s) of violence by an organization directed towards civilians, rather than against the military done to achieve an objective.It consists of a series of act planned to spread pressure, panic and destruction in a population. Terrorists aim at achieving political power by overthrowing and destroying the democratic and lawful governments. They try to create disturbance and unstable conditions on a vast scale to achieve their own political ends. They are trained, inspired and financed by very powerful national and international vested interests. They receive deadly weapons and ammunition from these powers and create havoc. This ugly and dangerous socio-political phenomenon called terrorism knows no limits of land,......

Words: 1486 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Terrorism

...According to Christopher Hitchens, “Terrorism is the tactic of demanding the impossible, and demanding it at gun point,” of which is undeniably true. Terrorism is the extension of fear, trepidation and distress to project its views into the then current political spectrum, to alter the views, culture and ethos of the respective political power. Essentially, terrorism is about acquiring awareness in society for its cause, subsequently questioning the government’s stance or perspective. In doing so terrorism, as this essay will discuss, creates reservations about the legitimacy of the current government, raises doubts surrounding the power of the state; a manoeuvre that demands concessions. Moreover, terrorism has taken on a pseudo religious-political form that has resulted in an involuntary knee-jerk reaction throughout the modern liberal democracies in the Western World. Not many events, actions or ideologies have influenced politics as terrorism has done so consistently throughout history. Terrorism and politics intertwine more than many understand. Terrorism is a catalyst for political interaction and development; as politics is seldom contained to one opinion, it is home to a myriad of diverse beliefs and judgements. It is about command and control and is not regulated to a sole individual, but the interconnections of various people from differing backgrounds and faiths, prompting revolution, oppression and liberalisation (Delaware Criminal......

Words: 1889 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Terrorism

...TERRORISM I. Introduction II. Causes of terrorism A. Illetracy B. Injustice C. Poverty D. Food insecurity E. Madrasshs F. Unemployement G. Soviet invasion H. Iranian revolution I. Intolerance J. Extremism K. Geopolitical location III. IMPACT OF TERRORISM A. ECONOMIC LOSS B. SOCIAL BREAKDOWN C. PSYCHOLOGICAL DIORDERS IV MEASURES NEEDED TO CURB TERRORISM A. National commission B. Propagation of education C. Religious integration D. Employment for youth E. Dispensation of justice V . conclusion Pakistan is plagued with myriad problems, the gravest of them probably being terrorism. it has crippled the economy of the country and deteriorated the social fabric. it has also effected the psychological health of the citizens of the country. Many factors such as poverty, illiteracy, social injustice, madrassas, weakness of government among others have bred terrorism. Strickly speaking, there is no formal definition of terrorism. however, generally it is defined as the use of violence or threat of violence by individuals or groups, against non combatants, to further their vested interests. As is rightly said “ terrorism is tactic of demanding the impossible and demanding it at gun point” Illetracy is probably the most significant contributing factor of terrorism. according to the survey conducted, only one out of 5 aged 18-25 is capable of reading and writing and only one out of 20 individuals holds a college degree. with such a bleak picture, it is......

Words: 2178 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Terrorism

...James Janosz Political Science 495 Terrorism December 14th, 2009 The Changing Look of Terrorism The purpose of this paper is to study and look at how terrorism has changed from pre 9/11, to post 9/11, to the current and future times. The United States is currently fighting the war on terror. But who is the enemy to the war? Can terrorism actually be considered an enemy? The answers to these questions are difficult to answer and defend, depending on the circumstances. But the key constant to the question is, there is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear/terror, are perpetrated for an ideological/political goal, and deliberately target or disregard the safety of civilian targets. The first section of this paper will deal with both views of the changing face of terrorism from pre 9/11, to post 9/11, and to the present day. The next section of this paper will discuss the variables of why terrorism has changed. In conclusion this paper will summarize the study of the changing face in terrorism. Throughout this paper there will be historical facts, evidence, theories, and analysis to support my argument how terrorism has changed over time. The language of terrorism that we, as Americans read it as, on September 11, 2001, two American airplanes flew into the World Trade Center and another into the Pentagon, while yet another suspiciously crashed in a deserted......

Words: 3370 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Terrorism

...Terrorism Paper Damon Walton His/145 Dec 3, 2012 Senitra Upton Terrorism Paper The word "terrorism" is politically and emotionally charged which compounds the difficulty of providing an accurate definition of terrorism. Some research studies by scholars have shown there to be over 100 different definitions of terrorism. A less politically and emotionally charged meaning of terrorism is a better defined term used for terror. The word "terror" comes from a Latin word meaning "to frighten.” My definition of terrorism is a violent act which is intended to create fear, to promote an ideological/political goal, and deliberately target civilians and non civilian targets. The age of modern terrorism might be said to have begun in1968 when the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked an El Al airliner en route from Tel Aviv to Rome. While hijackings of airliners had occurred before, this was the first time that the nationality of the carrier (Israeli) and its symbolic value was a specific operational aim. Also a first was the deliberate use of the passengers as hostages for demands made publicly against the Israeli government. The combination of these unique events, added to the international scope of the operation, and gained significant media attention. The founder of PFLP, Dr. George Habash observed that the level of coverage was tremendously greater than battles with Israeli soldiers in their previous area of operations. "At least the world is...

Words: 1971 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Terrorism

...Terrorism 1. What is terrorism? Terrorism is hard to define. In its broadest sense terrorism can be thought of as the use or threatened use of force against civilians designed to bring about political or social change. Moreover, while we think of terrorism as being both a political and irrational act (especially suicide terrorism), terrorism can also be thought of as a rational act conducted specifically because of the impact -- fear, confusion, submission -- it will have. Given the U.S. government's pledge to wage a war against terrorism, it is important to look at its definitions. According to both the Department of Defense (DOD) and the FBI, terrorism is "the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives." The DOD definition adds that a goal of terrorism can be "inculcating fear" (thus the psychological dimension), while the State Department is more elaborate, specifying that terrorism may include the use of biological, chemical or nuclear devices as well as the act of "assassination." The latter would suggest that assassinating bin Laden would be a terrorist act by our definition of the word; the former that allied forces in the fire bombings of cities in Dresden, and specifically the U.S., through its use of nuclear weapons to end World War II and of chemical weapons in Vietnam, has already engaged in......

Words: 4291 - Pages: 18

Free Essay

Terrorism

...SECURITY RESEARCH PAPER A PERSPECTIVE ON TERRORISM Piers Hutt piershutt@hotmail.com 1 March 2015 A PERSPECTIVE ON TERRORISM ABSTRACT Purpose: To critically examine the threat of modern terrorism to Western society. Design/methodology: An assessment was made of publically available documentation. The paper is then divided into a number of sections. It initially deals with the difficulties of defining terrorism, followed by its symbiotic relationship with the media. The next section looks at the modern Islamic Fundamentalist threat and the primarily neocon response since 9/11. Whilst the US has withdrawn combat forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, a bipartisan approach has been maintained to counterterrorism. The dangers of such an approach are examined along with emerging threats. Table of Contents * Abstract * Introduction * Define * Role of the Media * Psychology * Modern Terrorism * The Response * Counterview – The Dangers * Looking Ahead – The Next Potential Threats * Another Approach * Conclusion INTRODUCTION “Terrorism has become part of our daily news diet. Hardly a day goes by without news of an assassination, political kidnapping, hijacking or bombing somewhere in the world. As such, incidents of terrorism have increased in the past decade, the phenomenon of terrorism has become one of increasing concern to governments....” Introduction. With the recent high profile terrorist attacks in......

Words: 7041 - Pages: 29

Free Essay

Terrorism

...country; national loyalty.” It also defines terrorism as “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.” It must also be understood that these definitions are not universal, as these interpretations of the words depend on the geographic location, as well as the context of which it’s being used and the political ideology. As referenced above, the IRA is a perfect example of how patriotism and terrorism can be used to describe the same group, depending on your views politically and geographically. The Irish Republican Army to themselves were patriots, wanting Ireland to be a nation free of British rule; but to the British they were terrorists who used violence and fear to eventually help gain independence (Cowell-Meyers). The guerrilla tactics used by the IRA to combat the British police force and the Black and Tans, as well as the destruction of homes and other buildings, can be compared to the actions of “terrorist” groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. Another instance in which patriotism and terrorism can be defined in the eye of the beholder is the American Revolution. While it may be accurate to say that the revolution itself wasn’t an act of terrorism the actions of many individual revolutionaries and revolutionary groups such as the sons of liberty were incredibly violent and can be seen as acts of terror. The largest and most infamous act that can be viewed as terroristic in nature was the Boston Tea Party in which members of...

Words: 1302 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Terrorism

... • Disregard for safety Background of World Anti-Terrorism Day: Terrorist activities have increased multi-fold over the last decade. A global initiative uniting all nations is required to combat terrorism. After the 9/11 terrorist attack on the U.S, terrorism has become the primary cause of concern for nations. History of World Anti-Terrorism Day: The concept of World Anti-Terrorism Day was initiated because thousands of youth are lured into the folds of terrorist camps and organizations each year. May 21 is observed as Anti-terrorism day every year. Purpose of World Anti-Terrorism Day: The Purpose of observing World Anti-Terrorism Day is to: Spread the message of global peace and non-violence. Deter vulnerable youth from following cult practices and being misguided. Commemorate and honor the sacrifices made by thousands of soldiers who battled against terrorism. Pay homage to the victims who lost their lives in terrorist attacks. Device ways and hold awareness programs to protect the future generations from radical influence. Important Features of World Anti-Terrorism Day: Features on World Anti-Terrorism Day are as follows: Observing a few minutes of silence to express grief over the damage caused by terrorism world-wide. Pledging to oppose violence and promote peace. Organizing programs and campaigns to further the cause of combating terrorism. The events and programs conducted on World Anti-Terrorism Day is initiated by: • The Union Home Ministry ...

Words: 2861 - Pages: 12

Free Essay

Terrorism

...Terrorism Terrorism has been in existence since the recording of history and manifests itself in different ways. Understanding terrorism has been a task that most agencies have never reached a conclusion. Quantifying terrorism comes in as a complicated philosophy. To start with, the problem quantification of terrorism begins with physiological anomalies where the disparity between gains and losses is considered. Questions of whether people are willing to pay to reduce terrorism arises. Similarly, terrorism as a phenomenon is international. Terrorists easily move from one country to another and therefore accounting for such a trend makes it difficult to quantify it. (The Struggle to Define Terrorism, n.d.) Defining terrorism is as difficult as quantifying it. The main reason comes from the misunderstanding among most anti-terrorism agencies on what should be included to get with terrorism acts. The difficulty in this is determining where there is legitimacy in the use of violence and where it is directed. Most beliefs are that terrorism is associated with the Islamic religion, and this has made it hard to define elements of terrorism. Terrorism stems out of misunderstandings and in search of justice, and that is where most agencies fail to understand. (The Struggle to Define Terrorism, n.d.) Various agencies define terrorism in different ways. The FBI outlines terrorism as the illegal use of force and violence against individuals or property to intimidate a governing......

Words: 421 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Terrorism

...governments themselves, organized crime syndicates or common criminals, rioting mobs or persons engaged in militant protest, individual psychotics or lone extortionists -- is often labelled `terrorism'. “a violence or the threat of violence calculated to create an atmosphere of fear and alarm – in a word, to terrorize- and thereby bring about some social or political change”  Terrorism has been described variously as both a tactic and strategy; a crime and a holy duty. Terrorism has often been an effective tactic for the weaker side in a conflict. As an asymmetric form of conflict, it confers coercive power with many of the advantages of military force at a fraction of the cost. Due to the secretive nature and small size of terrorist organizations, they often offer opponents no clear organization to defend against or to deter.  Terrorism as “the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.”  "Terrorism is the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives."  Terrorism is a criminal act that influences an audience beyond the immediate victim. The strategy of terrorists is to commit acts of violence that draws the attention of the local......

Words: 352 - Pages: 2