UNIT 1. The Concept of Terrorism
UNIT 2. Causes of Terrorism
UNIT 3. Tactics of Terrorism
UNIT 4: State-Sponsored Terrorism
UNIT 5. International Terrorism
UNIT 6. Terrorism in America
UNIT 7. Terrorism and the Media
UNIT 8. Terrorism and Religion
UNIT 9. Women and Terrorism
UNIT 10. Countering Terrorism
UNIT 11. Future Threats
UNIT 12. Trends and Projections
- There is no commonly agreed upon definition
- The former term “ I know it when I see it” has been replaced with definitional anarchy when applied to terrorism
- Terrorism involves 3 basic components: the perpetrator, the victim and the target of violence
- Fear is used as a catalyst to enhance the communication and elicit the desired response from the target
Marc E. Nicholson, An Essay on Terrorism
- Do terrorist means justify their ends?
- That is a moral question with an answer that differs little in practical context from the decision by a national state to wage war- Is there really a difference?
- Both involve death of soldiers, civilians, etc.
- A separate but closely related issue deals with the distinction between human beings called soldiers and civilians
- Terrorist movements have rarely, if ever, succeeded militarily
- Terrorism is the tool of the weak, used by disaffected groups or minorities to oppose the rule and oppression of an established and militarily superior power
- Because of little or no military force, terrorists resort to “hit and run” attacks
- In Northern Ireland the terrorists sought to wear down the voting majority and weaken the democracy
- In Egypt they sought to disrupt national economies
- In the democratic west, terrorism is a handmaiden of democracy: every man has the power, so every man is a target
- We will have enough on our hands as it is in dealing with the “wretched of the earth” in the coming century: given the widening gap between rich and poor, we can expect many more terrorist movements based on pure frustration and psychosis
- The modern terrorist differs from the common criminal in that he is motivated by a political agendaIs Terrorism’s Threat Overblown?
- There goal is to make every individual feel like they could be next
- It is conceivable that terrorist could accomplish their goals without a single attack; the panic produced by radio, T.V., etc.
- The fear of terrorism consists of a rational component and a irrational component; terrorists thrive on the irrational component
- Terrorism is psychological warfare pure and simple
- Terrorist try to personalize the attacks; They want people to say “I was there last week” or “my Aunt lives right down the street”
- A comprehensive counter-terrorism policy is needed
- The media often gives terrorist a platform to publicize their views
- The population that must live under the threat of terrorism is entitled to receive aid and instruction to help them reduce the “irrational” anxiety caused by terrorism
- The media can actually help by providing reliable information in real time
- Decision makers have a responsibility to help neutralize the effects of terrorist manipulation
- They must also be careful not to intensify the fear of terror attacks, by using the attacks as a tool in inner-party political struggles
- The knowledge that one is being manipulated and how this is being done is itself a powerful weapon for countering such manipulation
- “Americans must remain vigilant, of course, but there is no need to raid the treasury or turn the country upside down pursuing phantoms”
- No actual holiday attacks; no water system has ever been poisoned successfully, etc.
- Religious fundamental terrorist pose the
greatest threat according to preliminary research.
- The backgrounds of those interviewed varied greatly and did not influence their decision to join the terrorist group. No correlation between radical family involvement and joining an organization.- At the time of these interviews: secular terrorist were turning away from violence, while Islamic terrorist made no distinction between military/ government targets and civilians. Little attention was paid to obtaining Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), but there was a desire to produce the largest # of casualties possible.
- Major influence in joining terrorist groups was the youth’s social environment. One terrorist remarked: “Everyone was joining.”
- Almost ½ of terrorist report that the group they joined was the most active in their community.
- Recruitment Process: mostly casual/ informal for secular & Islamic groups.
- Self image then becomes intertwined with the success of the group.- Radical groups make powerless individuals powerful.
- An individual’s success is linked to the success of the terrorist group, success for the group equals individual prominence.
- Izz a-Din al-Qassam (wing of Hamas)- members overwhelmingly favor the use of WMD. These people also show no remorse.- Sense of Remorse/ Moral Red Lines: “In a jihad, there are no red lines.”
- For Islamic Jihad terrorists there were “concerns regarding the use of such weapons (WMD) being contravened by the Koran. Mass destruction, as well as poisoning wells or rivers is forbidden under Islamic Law.
fully formed adults, older
from middle class families
on their own in the West for 7 yrs.
fully formed adults
-Countries that are on U.S. list of state-sponsors of international terrorism: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria
Article 10, by Ann M. Lesch, “Osama Bin Laden’s ‘Business’ in Sudan”
34: Grim Future
Weapons have to pass through the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Threats of super bio-weapons are on the forefront.
Weapons could go on killing, something the user may not want.
35: The Myth of Cyber terrorism
There is no such thing as cyber terrorism no instance of anyone ever having been killed by a terrorist using a computer. Nor is there compelling evidence that al Qaeda or any other organization has resorted to computers for any sort of serious destructive activity.
Most hackers break for sport. To the extent hackers are mainly Web Site defacers which are merely “ankle biters” and cause only online graffiti.
Most of the “serious” cyber security breaches tend to come from insiders.
36: Inside the A Bomb Bazaar
Pakistani scientists who the U.S. excepts sold material on how to make a nuclear bomb to other Muslim countries.