Al Qaeda has symbolized terrorism in this century, but there are many more groups.
Biblical times (Antiquity)
Joshua 11:1, 4-8
Regicide, including Caesar in 44 B.C.
Ancient-Medieval Middle East
Sicarii vs Romans and Jews
Reign of terror
A quality that is radical in opinion, especially in political matters
Characterized by intolerance toward opposing interests and divergent opinions
Presents noble arguments to rationalize and justify acts of violence
Politically motivated violence
Directed against soft targets
With no intention to affect a target audience
Systems of belief
Derived from sociological and political theories
Morality of Terrorist Violence
Crimes made illegal by legislation
E.g. gambling & prostitution
Mala in se
Crimes immoral/wrong in themselves
E.g. premeditated murder & forcible rape
One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter
One man willing to throw away his life is enough to terrorize a thousand
Wu Ch’I (400 BC)
Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice
Senator Barry Goldwater, 1964
It became necessary to destroy the town to save it
Author unknown. An unnamed major in the U.S. Army said this about the decision to bomb and shell the town of Bentre, according to an Associated Press dispatch.— The New York Times, February 8, 1968, p. 14.
Arnett refused to identify the source of the quote, but later revealingly referred to his source as "the perpetrator."
The New Terrorists
1993 World Trade Center Attack: Islamic terrorists detonated a truck bomb under the towers killing six and damaging the building.
Sarin gas attack on March 20, 1995 in the Tokyo subway: Aum Shinri Kyo (Supreme Truth) cult deposited two containers containing Sarin poison gas in the Tokyo subway system.
12 killed and up to 5000 hospitalized
Could have been much worse…air circulation evacuated most of the gas
Terrorism and Criminal Skill
September 11, 2001
Symbolism can create abstract bridges between Terrorists and their victims
168 identified fatalities
19 were children
One victim was a nurse (injuries suffered during rescue effort)
Metro hospitals treated over 400 people injured by blast
APRIL 19, 1995
Murrah Building Sentenced to DEATH on August 14, 1997 Sentenced to prison for "the duration of his life" TIMOTHY JOHN McVEIGH TERRY LYNN NICHOLS
Michael Fortier's Statement “ In the fall of 1994, I was first asked by Tim McVeigh to help him and Terry Nichols blow up a building. I considered it an outlandish request and gave an equally outlandish and negative response.” “ In December of 1994, I conspired to transport and then I did transport stolen weapons. I had to travel from Arizona to Kansas to get them. I was motivated by greed and did not care that they were stolen.”
Centennial Olympic Park bombing on 26 July 1996, in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1996 Summer Olympics . One killed, 100+ injured
Do They Fit Stereotypes?
In “Understanding Terror Networks,” Marc Sageman reported:
the terrorist stereotype - of poor, young, single men from the dusty backstreets of the Muslim world brainwashed into committing fanatical acts - doesn't stick when it comes to al-Qaeda.
Most of them are well-educated , well-off, cosmopolitan and professional, with good jobs, wives and no history of mental illness.
Marc Sageman reported
Of his sample of 382, he had information on the social status of 306 and level of education for 264:
17.6 per cent were upper class
54.9 per cent middle class
27.5 per cent lower class
16.7 per cent were educated less than high school
12.1 per cent had at least a high school education
28.8 per cent had some college education
33.3 per cent had a college degree
9 per cent had a postgraduate degree
Specific target selection
Loose, cell-based networks
Potential WMD usage
Politically vague, religious, mystical
The Nature of the Beast: Defining Terrorism
Reactionaries and Radicals
Right-wing extremism "is a reaction against a perceived threat to a group's value system, its presumption of superiority, or its sense of specialness."
Left-wing extremism is future oriented, seeking to reform or destroy an existing system prior to building a new and just society."
New Language & Conspiratorial Beliefs
UNDERSTANDING EXTREMISM: THE FOUNDATIONS OF TERRORISM
Why is understanding extremism important?
the 19 people of the 9/11 events were from at least five different countries: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, and Syria.
The key is that each held a similar if not identical belief system.
"taking a political idea to its limits, regardless of unfortunate repercussions, impracticalities, arguments, and feelings to the contrary, and with the intention not only to confront but to eliminate opposition" is political extremism, along with an "Intolerance toward all views other than one's own."
Dictionary of Criminal Justice
there are four elements in a criminal justice definition of terrorism:
1. The calculated use of violence to obtain political goals through instilling fear, intimidation, or coercion.
2. A climate of fear or intimidation created by means of threats or violent actions, causing sustained fear for personal safety, in order to achieve social or political goals.
3. An organized pattern of violent behavior designed to influence government policy or intimidate the population.
Violent criminal behavior designed primarily to generate fear in the community…for political purposes.“
(Crank and Gregor, p. 24)
Click on the object to run the slideshow
An Essay on Terrorism
Marc Nicholson, American Diplomacy , August 19, 2003
Former diplomat Nicholson describes terrorism as a "tool of the weak, used by disaffected groups or minorities to oppose the rule and (as they see it) the oppression of an established and militarily superior power."
The deliberate killing of non-military personnel in order to pursue a claimed political goal through exertion of pressure on a society; the core of other definitions is that terrorism is murderous attacks on civilians for political purposes
Official Definitions of Terrorism State Department definition, Title 22 of the U.S. Code, Chapter 38, Section 2656f(d): premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience. FBI definition: 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. Defense Department definition: the calculated use, or threatened use, of force or violence against individuals or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives. United Nations definition: any act intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to a civilian, or to any other person not taking an active part in the hostilities in a situation of armed conflict, when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act. Article 2(b) of International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism , May 5, 2004)
Common features between the definitions include:
* The use of illegal force.
* Sub-national actions.
* Unconventional methods.
* Political motivations.
* Attacks against "soft" civilian and passive military targets.
* Acts aimed at purposefully affecting an audience.
Defining Terrorism – U.S.
Terrorism is a premeditated and unlawful act in which groups or agents of some principal engage in a threatened or actual use of force or violence against human or property targets. These groups or agents engage in this behavior intending the purposeful intimidation of governments or people to affect policy or behavior with an underlying political objective.
Types of Terrorism
Terrorism from above - committed by or sponsored by governments
Terrorism from below - committed by individuals, groups, or movements not associated with governments
Terrorism motivated by an absolute belief that an otherworldly power has sanctioned - and commanded - the application of terrorist violence for the greater glory of the faith
Terrorism motivated by sheer profit
Terrorism that spills over onto the world's stage
PARTICIPANTS IN A TERRORIST ENVIRONMENT
TERRORISM OR FREEDOM FIGHTING
EXTREMISM OR MAINSTREAMISM
IDEOLOGIES AND IDEALS
Systems of beliefs
Derived form theories that explain human conditions
Can constitute political, social, or economic programs
Can constitute religious, racial, or ethnic belief systems.
Guide the worldview and manner of living for individuals.