History of Terrorism Part 1
History of Terrorism
Amidst all the terrorist attacks and the fight against terrorist, one pauses and asks, what really is the cause, reason or goal of terror? Do the organizations that are behind terrorist attacks have any sympathy for human life or care about humanity? This paper discusses the dramatic shifts in the underlying causes of terrorist activities and how they have led to an equally dramatic shift in their organization, financing as well as tactics. The paper also discusses the need for contingency planning in the United States at the federal, state as well as at the local level for crisis scenarios that have been projected.
There are different kinds of terrorist groups in the world today and each is motivated by a certain ideological cause. For instance, the terrorist group in the horn of Africa, Al Shabaab wants to topple the government and instill Muslim sharia laws all over the country. On the other hand, the Al Qaeda’s main aim is to attack American citizens and the allies of the United States such as Israel.
Terrorism is a major threat to peace the world over and governments have spent significant amount of their money to fight terror organizations and deter terrorism. The main source of terror and terrorist activities are the nations populated by Muslims especially those located in South-East Asia and the Middle East. Terrorism poses grave danger to peace and security of the world. The most dangerous and largest terrorist organization in the world today remains the Al-Qaeda. Even though its founder and leader, Osama Bin Laden was captured and killed in the year 2011, they are still a major threat to world peace and stability. The organization has taken responsibility for several terrorist attacks on civilian populations, which have left many people dead and several others with minor and major injuries. The organization mostly targets Americans and American citizens who are in foreign countries and it is for this reason that the United States declared war on terror, other countries supported it on this mission. Frayman indicates that in the last four years, this mission of the U.S to wipe out terror groups all over the world has been the most important thing that shaped world agenda.
The fact that most terrorist activities are carried out by people of the Muslim religion might lead to a conclusion that religion is a major contributing factor to terrorism. Since only a tiny number of Muslims worldwide either support or take part in these terror attacks against civilians, religion only could not be the major motivating factor. Culture is also a big contributing factor. There are certain cultural conditions interlink with firmly held religious beliefs resulting in terror attacks by Muslims.
Terrorism and its organization, financing as well as its tactical approaches has not been static over the years. Terrorism in the 1990’s was somehow different from that of years before 1990, both in terms of goals, organization, tactics and the weaponry applied. Moreover, terrorism of today is different from that of the 1990’s in the very areas of organization, motivations, tactical approach and types of weapons used. Today’s terrorism employs fatal and dangerous means and is also unique in its organization compared to terrorism of previous years. Previous terrorist attacks were mostly driven by political and nationalistic agendas unlike nowadays where Muslim extremists primarily are after destruction and killing. Today’s terrorists have no meaningful political agenda and therefore governments cannot negotiate with their requirements.