After browsing through Stephen E. Atkins book Terrorism, I soon learned many
interesting things regarding the history of terrorism. It seems this form of
protest has been around since Biblical times. Also, the main goal of a
terrorist is not to do damage to one peticular person or place, but to gain
publicity for an idea they support. (page 1) Evidence of this can be found by
looking at the recent past of the United States. The Oklahoma bombing was one
man's way of expressing his dislike of the government. The exact definition of
terrorism is not a solid line, it is a very wide line that isn't defined. The
general definition of terrorism is an attack of some sort against a person or
place that involves violence and/or destruction of property and is usually
politically motivated. (Terrorism 3)
Our fight against terrorism became something the terrorists might fear in 1970,
at the Hague Convention. This United Nations convention basically defined .
..hijacking as a crime and required contracting states either to allow the
extradition of hijackers to their country of origin, or to prosecute them in the
state where they were arrested. (The Terrorists 146) Atkins states that one of
the reasons it took so long to do anything about terrorism is that it is so hard
to define, and therefore just as hard to enforce. He also says Declarations and
conventions from the UN have lacked effective enforcement mechanisms, so they
have been ignored by member states and have been characterized as largely
cosmetic. Basically, the UN is doing this to satisfy the public and little
else. This lack of understanding of the meaning of terrorism has also been a
hindrance when law 8:56 PM 12/14/96enforcement was actually implemented. Police
aren't trained to handle terrorist type attacks, instead they handle them like
ordinary criminal attacks. (Terrorism 26-27) This gives the terrorists exactly
what they wanted, publicity for their cause.
The media... [continues]
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