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Thanks to the rapid development of the media, and especially of television, the more recent forms of terrorism are aimed not at specific and limited enemy objectives but at world opinion. Their primarypurpose is not to defeat or even to weaken the enemy militarily but not to gain publicity and to inspirefear – a psychological victory. The same kind of terrorism was practiced by a number of Europeangroups, notably in Germany, Italy, Spain, and Ireland. Among the most successful and most enduring inthis exercise has been the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).The PLO was founded in 1964 but became important in the 1967, after the defeat of the combined Arabarmies in the Six-Day War. Regular warfare had failed; it was time to try other methods. The targets inthis form of armed struggle were not military or other government establishments, which are usually toowell guarded, but public places and gatherings of any kind, which are overwhelmingly civilian and inwhich the victims do not necessarily have a connection to the declared enemy. Examples of this tacticinclude, in 1970, the hijacking of three aircrafts – one Swiss, one British, and one American – whichwere all taken to Amman. These and other operations by the PLO were remarkably successful inattaining their immediate objectives – the capture of the newspaper headlines and television screens.They also drew a great deal of support in sometimes-unexpected places, and raised their perpetrators tostaring roles in the drama of international relations. Small wonder that others were encouraged to followtheir example.For a while freedom and independence were used as synonymous and interchangeable terms. The earlyexperience of independence, however, revealed that this was a sad error. Independence and freedom arevery different, and all too often the attainment of one meant the and of the other, and the replacementof foreign overlords by domestic tyrants, more adept, more intimate, and less constrained in theirtyranny.A new phase in religious mobilization began with the movement known in western languages as pan-Islamism. Launched in the 1860s and 1870s, it probably owed something to the examples of theGermans and the Italians in their successful struggles for national unification in those years. TheirMuslim contemporaries and imitators inevitably identified their objectives in religious and communalrather than nationalist or patriotic terms, which at that time were still alien and unfamiliar. But with thespread of European influence and education, these ideas took root and for a while dominated bothdiscourse and struggle in the Muslim lands. Yet the religious identity and loyalty were still deeply felt,and they found expression in several religious movements, notably the Muslim Brothers. With theresounding failure of secular ideologies, they acquired a new importance, and these movements tookover the fight – and many of the fighters – from the failed nationalists.A letter to America published in November 2002, and attributed to Usama Bin Ladin, enumerates insome detail various offences committed not just by the government but also by the people of the US andset forth, under seven headings, “what we are calling you to do, and what we want from you.” The firstis to embrace Islam; the second is to stop your oppressions, lies, immorality, and debauchery; the third,to discover and admit that America is a nation without principles or manners; the fourth, to stopsupporting Israel in Palestine, the Indians in Kashmir, the Russians against the Chechens, and the Manila
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Terrorism, an issue that plagues our world every minute of everyday. You never know when or where a terrorist organization is going to strike. All groups reasons are different, some for political or religious reasons, others for hatred.
The roots of terrorism are believed to have started in 1007 A.D. Hassan ben Sabbah born in Qom, Iran was an Ishmaili Muslim and opposed all other Muslim groups except for the Ishmaili’s. He is believed to be the father of terrorism. Ben Sabbah’s actions had started a whole new trend, people began to follow his actions and started to form terrorist organizations. Terrorism started back then and its motives and tactics have continued to evolve through the reign of Stalin and Lenin in the Soviet Union and Mao Tse-tung in China. Many people consider what Hitler did in Germany to be terrorism, and when you actually think about it, it makes sense. When you define terrorism most definitions say it is the act of violence and/or intimidation to achieve certain political or religious goals. The definition of a terrorist is a person that employs terror or terrorism as a political weapon. And when you think about that definition that pretty much fits Hitler. He wanted to create a society that fit his personal political agenda. Of course the examples are from world history, but what about in the United States? Do we have terrorism in our own country committed by our citizens? Of course we do, take the Oklahoma City Bombing for example. Timothy McVeigh, out for himself and his own political agenda. The first act of terrorism recorded in the US was in 1622 committed by Indians, when they massacred the people in the settlement of Jamestown. Terrorism is problem everywhere not just the middle east, contrary to what people think.
People think there is such a thing as a “typical terrorist”, but there really is not. I guess it could be said that terrorists are stereotyped in many ways. Many people believe that terrorists in the Middle East are either Muslims or Islamic, which is not true either. Just because a person is of one region of the world it does not mean they are a terrorist. As far as I am concerned it could be a next door neighbor. But to understand what terrorism is you must first understand the causes; the motivation to commit these acts of violence.
First, at the government level states may use terrorism against their own people or other nations for several reason. One states may wish to force their message of ideology, politics, or religion upon people or other nations. Second states may use terrorism to eliminate dissent among the population. Third governments may resort to terrorism to eliminate normal political systems or because of fear of another system developing and being embraced by citizens. Fourth, the government may use terror to harass, control, or eliminate political, religious, or radical minorities. Fifth, the government may be in constant conflict with external enemies. Sixth, the government may be in business purely for itself and for what it can get without regard to the welfare of its citizens(Mullins 90).
Then there is the reasoning behind individual terrorism. An individual terrorist’s act is very different from that of a group or how a government would use terrorism. Although the ideology and motivation is the same; to invoke a violent act to achieve some political ends, how it is wanted by the individual. Some reasons for an individual committing terrorist acts are: First, minorities that are economically or politically repressed with poor job opportunities are prone to terrorism. Second, rising employment and inflation can result in people turning to terrorism in and attempt to force improvements in economic and workforce conditioned.
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