Chris Flaherty Social Problems Sociological Research Unit Project Hour 6 February 26, 2012 Topic: Terrorism“The Odd Couple”
According to the National CounterterrorismCenter’s Report on Terrorism, Sunni extremistsaccounted for 25% of the total yearly terrorist-related deaths. In 2010, that number rose to 70%.
• From 2005 to 2010, Sunni extremists tripled their death toll in percentage.• Or you can say that in that window of time, they went from taking a quarter of the board to taking almost three quarters. (Visualize a number line of 1-10.) 2005 2010
Sunni is a branch of Islam.Basically what you need to know is that Sunnis believe that the next Islamic leadershould be elected.Also semi-relevant, Sunnis believe that their Imams, the Muslim counterparts to apastor or priest, should earn their right to be influential and that the people theimam is preaching to have the right to remove it if the imam is abusing its power.The entire umbrella organization of al-Qaeda is Sunni.
• Hypothesis #1 – Sunni extremism hasn’t changed, the other perpetrators have just decreased.• Hypothesis #2 – Three specific groups have upped their game starting 2005: The Ba’athists in Iraq, the Taliban in Pakistan/Afghanistan, and the Lebanese Hezbollah.• Hypothesis #3 – The different groups and allies of al-Qaeda finally snapped and went gangland on each other and their targets.
• June, 2001 – the EIJ and al-Qaeda merge into today’s al-Qaeda Super Ferry 14 in the Istanbul – November 2004 Madrid train Philippines – February 20, 2003 – 57 dead and bombings – 191 dead and 27, 2004 – 116 dead 700 wounded 2,050 wounded
• Before 2001 – Zawahiri and bin Laden had collaborated off and on for the twenty years previous as business associates.• Because of that, everybody in al-Qaeda had already had a taste of what their combined leadership was like.• In the opinion of the foot soldiers and the 56 different branches, it sucked.
• Both men were egotistical sadists to anybody who knew them.• Tired of all their leaders’ crap, the different branches broke off and formed their own groups.• Zawahiri and bin Laden, in time, ‘made peace’ with their former group members’ decision and made an arrangement.• What was left of the organization would remain ‘al-Qaeda’.• Bin Laden would financially back the rogue groups as long as they became allies of al-Qaeda.
• So, while remaining in the umbrella organization al-Qaeda, the now-allied groups were also separate - a highly volatile situation.• This gave rise to rivalries adding to the violence already created by their goals. This happened in Somalia, where one al- Qaeda splinter group tried to take out a key player in another splinter group, killing 13 innocent civilians.
• The following is a few of the bigger al-Qaeda splinter groups-turned-allies: -al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula -al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (north Africa) -A splinter group of this recently kidnapped and executed three American college students in Morocco. -al-Qaeda Organization in the Land of Two rivers -Ansar al-Islam (Iraq) -and a new and more violent EIJ
• Along with developing new allies, Zawahiri also made ties with his organization to other Sunni extremist groups.• Wanting to further promote his cause, Zawahiri established militant al-Qaeda branches off those groups.• A few of those groups include: -Hezbollah (Lebanon) -Fatah (Palestine) -Hamas (also Palestine) -al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades (also Palestine) -Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) -and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
• The newly formed groups – both allied and militant branches off already-existing groups – have way more violent and ruthless and reckless and able leaders to launch more attacks and more deadly attacks.• That factor alone is a huge part of my hypothesis.
• Also part of the al-Qaeda umbrella organization is a group that calls itself Jund al- Sham.• What’s significant about this group is that it’s one of the few flat-out enemies of the previously mentioned groups.• What you have to realize about all of the groups I’ve mentioned is that their rivalries are basically a much higher escalated version of gang warfare. • Due to this new inter-terrorist violence, civilians get caught in the middle and end up becoming casualties.
• It wouldn’t make any sense to conduct a survey, because the subjects you would have to survey lie to stay alive, so they’re quite good at it.• It would be literally impossible to do an experiment.• That leaves observation as the best way to conduct the research needed.
• There would be two ways to conduct the observation: surveillance and spying.• Surveillance would be natural-observational (passive), so the subjects don’t act differently with the knowledge that they’re being watched.• Spying, in the literal sense, would be the same thing, but I don’t know what else to call it. Somebody would have to be on the ‘inside’ to do the study and report back to the…note taker. Then, in this case, that somebody would have to be drug out ASAP so they don’t get executed.
• Based on my original research, my statistic, my hypothesis, and the research I did to make sure it was plausible, it’s safe to conclude – especially since I know my hypothesis is fact – that the division and than re-smashing together of al-Qaeda is responsible for the Sunni extremists taking almost 300% of their usual terror-related casualties in the last seven years.