Jonathan R. White www.cengage.com/cj/white Chapter 1: Terrorism, Criminal Justice and theAmerican Way of War: Some Reasons Why Definitions Matter Rosemary Arway Hodges University
The Pejorative Meaning of Terrorism Pejorative Connotation o Negative and derogatory o Political and social degradation when labeled a terrorist ▪ Particular individuals and/or groups are demonized o Dual standards and contradictions lead to confusion any time the term terrorism is employed.
Social Contexts of Terrorism Alex Schmid: o Terrorism is a social construct, which means it is : ▪ defined by people from different social backgrounds. ▪ developed through the application of political power. ▪ its definition changes within social and historical contexts. o Social construct: Vacillating social and political realities influence definition. FBI views Hezbollah as a terrorist group. Organization of Islamic Conferences views Hezbollah as a legitimate revolutionary force.
FBI Defines Terrorism Official FBI definition of terrorism separates domestic and international terrorism. o Domestic terrorism refers to activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal law of the U.S. or any state; appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian populace, influence policy of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S. o International terrorism involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the U.S. or any state, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the U.S. or any state.
Historical Circumstances Definition of terrorism is influenced by history. o 1789 – 1795 French Revolution ▪ Term terrorism used to describe actions of the French government. o Late 1800s – Early 1900s Terrorism used to describe violent activities of various groups: Labor organizations, nationalist groups revolting against foreign powers
Historical Contexts of Terrorismo Mid-1960s – Early 1980s Terrorism applied to nationalists and violent left- wing groups (hate movement).o Present day Terrorism encompasses such groups as violent religious fanatics; groups who terrorize for a particular cause. Environmental groups Narco-terrorism Ecological groups
War and Violence Meaning of terrorism fluctuates around various types of war. o Commando tactics o Guerrilla warfare Term terrorism is used to describe violent activity that explodes during a peaceful period. o Insurrection in Iraq after 2003 U.S. invasion
Political Power and Repression Governments can increase their power when they label opponents as terrorists. o More public acceptance of governmental power o Beccaria proposed that when a state becomes an executioner it does not act in self-defense but simply in revenge . Terrorists are not deserving of humanitarian privileges. o Labeling can have dire results: ▪ Illegal arrests ▪ Lack of constitutional protection (Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib)
Political Power and Repression Related to the issue of power is repression. Routinely used by some governments to keep citizens in line o Secret police ▪ Joseph Stalin’s USSR ▪ Saddam Hussein’s Iraq ▪ Latin America Repression developed outside formal political structures is called extra-juridical repression. o Repressive groups who use terrorism as a means of creating conforming behavior
Social Contexts of Terrorism The definition of terrorism is also influenced by: o Media ▪ Attracts attention ▪ Term terrorism is used to define political violence ▪ Uses multiple definitions to engage public debate o Crime ▪ Criminal act versus act of terrorism ▪ Terrorism always involves some king of criminal activity o Religion
Social Contexts of Terrorismo Specific types of terrorism: ▪ Violent eschatology ▪ Religious purification ▪ Martyrdom ▪ Religion as a causeo Specific types of terrorism: Technological terrorism, cyber-terrorism, narco- terrorism, eco-terrorism, nuclear terrorism, agri- terrorism
Range of Definitions The range of definitions include: o Laqueur’s Simple definition: ▪ Use of force to achieve political objective; targets innocent people. o Legal Definition: ▪ Internal contradiction and short-sided, designed to give to the government power to take an action against specific crimes. o Schmid’s Academic Consensus Definition: ▪ Terrorism should be viewed as a method of combat in which the victims serve as symbolic targets. o Badey’s definition: ▪ Importance of examination of terrorists: ▪ Internal – by terrorist themselves (do they work with or against state) ▪ External – by the governments (intent, motivation, chances of repetition)
Typologies of Terrorism Strengths: o Broad scope of problem presented. ▪ Terrorism is not defined as a single action; rather, terrorism can be considered a composition of a variety of actions. o Aids in identification of the kind of terrorism to be examined. ▪ Local, national, international o Provides for the level of the problem to be identified. ▪ This in turn allows for the determination of the level of response. o Use of typologies avoids debates on the meaning of terrorism.
Typologies of Terrorism Weaknesses: o Typologies do not solve definitional dilemmas. o The typologies and definition change because terrorism is in a constant state of change. o Typologies describe patterns, not specifics. Each terrorist incident must be viewed and understood individually in its special social, historical, and political circumstances. o Distorts reality ▪ Alter terrorist act to blend with a particular typology.
Toward a Tactical Typology of Terrorism Humans live in constant state of conflict. Spectrum of conflict o Conflicts can range from low-level conflicts to nuclear devastation. o Terrorism is a form of civil disobedience. Tactical typology o The level of activity is correlated with the size of the group. o Terrorism is primarily a problem for law enforcement and the justice system. o Terrorists have acted outside the law.
Defining the War on Terrorism War declared on a concept such as the “war on terrorism” is not possible under the U.S. Constitution. President G. W. Bush: o America and its allies are at war with terrorism. President B. Obama: o Terrorism is a criminal justice problem and military force is used to augment legal power. The U.S. Government: o The weapons that America will use in the war on terror would be the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and the USA Patriot Act of 2001.
“War on Terrorism” Arguments accepting the “war on terrorism” include: o Friedman: ▪ War on terror is the third great struggle against totalitarianism. o Blank: ▪ Terrorism is caused by radical groups driven by economic, social and political pressures. o Cohen and Hill: ▪ There is a necessity to identify militant groups and to present military power in the face of these groups.
“War on Terrorism” Arguments that do not accept the war on terrorism: o Howard: ▪ Terrorism is an emergency situation that should be handled by law enforcement and intelligence. o Duffy: ▪ A militaristic framework of the war on terrorism marginalizes the rule of law. o Ringmar: ▪ Engaging in a war against terror may dehumanize the opposing side.
Networks and Law Enforcement The primary job of law enforcement in preventing terrorism is to stop criminal activity within criminal networks. Terrorists target the societal structures, not the military forces. Law enforcement responsibility: o Maintaining public safety o Collecting criminal intelligence o Sharing information in a legal manner
Networks and Classical Theories of Conflicts Carl von Clausewitz’s theory of war: o War requires mobilization of the population and imposes political will on the defeated. Sun Tzu’s theory of war: o The highest form of military leadership comes in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting. o The purpose of terrorism is to give the immersion that powerful economic, military and political forces cannot protect ordinary people.
Pearl Harbor and 9/11 Two different worlds Pearl Harbor: attack attempted to destroy a military force 9/11 attacks: designed for drama 9/11 attacks: tragedy performed on the sub-national level 9/11 attacks: terrorist “success” was assured by God’s promise
Critical Engagement: Definitions and the Future David Bell’s timeline: o 17th and 18th century: ▪ Political wars sought to maintain the political system o The French Revolution: ▪ Total war o Today: ▪ Technological advances make the destruction of the planet in total war a possibility, while at the same time making terrorism possible.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki Hiroshima and Nagasaki: o Technological advance took the war on the next level, making the destruction and total war (terrorism) the reality. Can Hiroshima and Nagasaki be considered: o a war crime or act of the terrorism? o an attack on the city or nation? o a politically explained act? o an absolutely necessary act? o the day of America’s infamy?
International Definition of Terrorism Terrorism expert Walter Laqueur has counted over 100 definitions and concludes that: o “the only general characteristic generally agreed upon is that terrorism involves violence and the threat of violence. Yet terrorism is hardly the only enterprise involving violence and the threat of violence. So does war, coercive diplomacy, and bar room brawls.” (Laqueur, W. (1999). The New Terrorism: Fanaticism and the Arms of Mass Destruction. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 6.) In 2005, Secretary General of United Nations, Kofi Annan presented “terrorism proposal” hoping that other countries will finally agree on the definition of terrorism.