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Terrorism and It's Causes

Updated on September 18, 2012

Causes of Terrorism

Terrorism is classified as the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. By using terrorism individuals and/or organizations attempt to bring light to a political cause, end an economical condition, or to resist an opposing religion or ideology.

Terrorists believe that they have no alternative options to counter what is usually a very larger opponent such as the government, a financial institution, or a Religion. I liken it to the "Davis and Goliath" scenario in the bible however ,terrorists have no problem killing and maiming civilians at random places and at random times to achieve their goal or give publicity to their causes. In return, terrorist believe the publicity resulting from the act will cause more violence and uprisings. Terrorists believe that eventually, their actions will force changes in favor of their political, economic, or religious cause.

Political and Economic causes

Political terrorism usually takes place within the confines of a country. Different political organizations develop differing political views as to where the country should be going. Lines are drawn between conservative and liberal socialist ideology. One usually blaming the others for the state of the country's poor economic and social condition. Propaganda fuels disdain until someone snaps and takes matters into his own hands. The terrorism can take the form of an assassination as with (JFK) or the bombing of a government building as in Oklahoma with Timothy McVeigh.

Economic terrorism occurs as an opposition to capitalist ideology. It can take place anywhere in the world and against a particular country, a Financial organization or a company. The most infamous case of economic terrorism is 911 but there are others like Oil pipeline bombings in Nigeria, and mining company bombings in south America. On Sept 11 2001 the Terrorist organization Al-Queda led by Ben Laden organized a major economic statement against the center of world capitalism, the twin towers that housed the World Trade Organization. Since
then Al-Queda has vowed to attack every symbol of US imperialism anywhere in the world and has been affective or thwarted on several other occasions.

In most middle eastern countries where Islam is the major religion the country is politically subjected to strict religious and social laws. Western culture is frowned upon. Over the past 25yrs the world has changing through the insistence of Globalization. Major western corporations want into the middle east but religious fundamentalists want them kept out allowing only the oil giants to operate under strict guidelines. Over time small but well funded Islamic fundamentalist groups like Al-Queda who dislike increasing economic and cultural influence into Islamic regions have taken up the cause for the defense of Islamic values.

In Nigeria the the Oil company Shell has been the victim of several terrorist attacks over the years. tribal groups who are in opposition to the exploitation of their lands have blowing up the pipe lines that carry oil from the inland refineries to the coastal ports where the oil is loaded onto tanker ships. The conflict came about mainly because the government of the country does not adequately compensate the tribes with some of the billions of dollars that they get from the oil company. The oil company therefore bears the brunt of the terrorism while the government army is relegated to being a security force for them.

In South America where mining and farming have become major industries the native people who have been pushed off their lands further and further into the jungles are using terrorism to fight back. Not surprisingly the major companies hire ruthless security henchmen as countermeasure. These henchmen have been known to massacre whole villages in a reverse terrorism stance. The severe brutality of their acts are used as a deterrent to other disgruntled tribes.

suicide bomber
suicide bomber

Religious Terrorism

Religious terrorism is arguably the most dangerous of the three major forms of terrorism. It started thousands of years in the middle east and is the product of festering grievances between Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Religious ideology can be considered a step-father of the others because it can and does greatly influence ones political and economical views. The more religious a person is the more conservative he tends to be and the less religious the more Liberal. Conservatives are usually upset about the moral principles in relation to the lifestyle of a people and culture.

For thousands of years there have been brutal wars between the Jews of Israel and their surrounding Arab neighbors. Over time the Jews became fragmented and most were either driven out or voluntarily re-located into Europe, Asia, Africa, and the United States. After the events of WW2 where approx 2 to 5 million Jews in Europe were killed by Hitler the United Nations re-drew the map of the middle east and gave Israel back to the Jews. The Palestinian people who were inhabiting the land were pushed out to accommodate the repatriating Jews. Not surprisingly conflict imminently flared up and the UN had to support the Jews with arms to defend themselves.

The Jews who were like "David" soon became the "Goliath" of the middle east and by the 70's they were considers one of the most well armed country in the world. They still boast their own Nuclear arsenal that could obliterate any of their Arab neighbors within the blink of an eye. The Arabs, most of which are now Muslims turned to terrorism to get back at Israel. One of the most infamous incidents occurred in Munich during the 1972 Olympic games. 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually murdered by Black September, a militant Palestinian liberation group.

Over the years numerous acts of terrorism has been perpetuated by other religious organizations such as the IRA in Ireland but it is the Islamists that have found it to be an effective tool. For them the promise of martyrdom and eternal life at the side of God makes it easy to blow themselves up along with as much enemy as possible. With each act Muslims in the middle east and other parts of the world have become increasingly sympathetic and emboldens to the cause of their fellow Islamic brothers.

Most view the case of the Palestinians as western hypocrisy and an injustice. Although many also viewed Saddam Husein as a tyrant and a brutal dictator they also feel that America didn't take him out to help the Iraqi people but rather to get further control of middle eastern oil. Today they continue to carry out terrorist acts against each other because of tribal divisions and for betraying Islam by being sympathetic to the foreigners.

America and every country worldwide have become nervous, guarded and suspicious of it's own citizens which means that terrorism works to a certain extent. Terrorism it self was not started by Muslims and will not end with Muslims. As long as there are people who feel that their cause is worth killing for then terrorism will always exist. We can slow it down but realistically speaking I don't believe it can ever be prevented.


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    • profile image

      Kigbu samuel john 

      6 years ago

      Selfish interest, corruption etc make peoples involues in terrorism

    • shivanikapoorllm profile image


      6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Terrorism of any kind is a brutal act of a human. Being from such a similar place i can relate to such a twinge.. We are stupid, selfish and insane because we don't realize that in the event of carrying such activities for whatsoever reasons, what are we actually loosing.. Very well crafted!!! Keep it up..We need to spread such awareness as much as possible... Hats off!!

    • profile image

      Innocent mhlanga 

      7 years ago

      thanks for the wonderful information which you provide. It helps to research our assignment

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Very well written! Thanks.

    • mintinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Yes you are right avangend. That is why I stated that religion could be considered the step-father of the others. Religion is perhaps the greatest motivator of all time. It has benefited humanity greatly but at the same time it is also responsible for the death of millions.

    • avangend profile image


      8 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      You have some very interesting and accurate insights in this article, I enjoyed it very much.

      A question for you though: would you agree, perhaps, that the most dangerous and violent acts of terrorism combine two or more of the terroistic categories you described? 9/11, for example, included elements of all three.

    • mintinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thank you Earnestshub. I try my best to be an impartial observer of world affairs.

    • earnestshub profile image


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I know it may be contoversial, but this is as honest an article as I have ever seen on the issue. Well done and a double thumbs up.


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