Traditional Modern Terrorism

Topics: Terrorism, Jihad, September 11 attacks Pages: 5 (1539 words) Published: January 30, 2011
According to Webster’s dictionary by definition, terrorism is defined as the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion or the unlawful use of violence or threats to intimidate for political purpose or ideological reasons. When the word terrorism is mentioned most Americans will reflect to the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. Terrorism involves extraordinary violence. It is intended to create massive fear and involves a planned attack for a purpose, often against something or someone. The art of terrorism is meant to have an audience. While terrorism is meant to be an act of violence to bring about change, it is usually not committed by those officially in the government. Usually, terrorist groups have fewer members than expected. They want to be dramatic and attract attention in hopes to gain power and influence because of the act. Terrorism doesn’t just happen. Terrorism is an advanced stage of a failed political process that begins with inequalities and injustices and moves from frustrated attempts at reform that breed fear and anger to political confrontation that erupts in violence. This definition like most others raises more questions than answers. Is airline hijacking or kidnapping violence? Is a government building a non-combatant?

Recently social scientists who want to understand the causes of terrorism have exploited the role of group dynamics. Rather than exploring the psychology and circumstances of each individual group members they study how individuals function in relation to each other and the role of group identity in motivating members to commit terrorist violence. This effort was lead Dr. Alison G Smith.

In my reading, most terrorists’ acts are motivated by two things: Social and Political injustice. People choose terrorism when they are trying to prove what they perceive to be social or political. The belief that violence or its threats will be effective and will bring on change. In other words, the belief is that violence means justifiable means to the end.

The current interest terrorism in focuses on the violence perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalist Terrorism has been used as a tactic for centuries but has become pervasive since the 1960’s according to Charles Townshend. After World War II colonial powers redrew the maps in many parts of the world and gradually reduced their colonies. This led to a rise in nationalist movement seeking self-determination or seeker to replace rulers that had been imposed by the colonist. Many of the resulting conflicts had involved Revolutionary warfare strategy and guerrilla tactics. However traditional guerrilla warfare is often inappropriate in urbanized countries. For example, Rebels cannot gain and hold control over land when opposed by superior forces and cannot employ overt hit and run attacks effectively without large losses. Therefore, what emerged was urban guerrilla warfare, which has evolved to include terrorist tactics. Until recently, terrorism has been closely associated with Ethnic and minority groups that struggle for Independence. During the 1990’s a new form of international terrorism surfaced that appears less rational, less focused but more boldly called Islamist Terrorism. In fact, many of the causes and motivations remain striking similar to what could be called traditional modern terrorism. What’s different is the religious ideological foundation, is the broad definition of adversaries, the evolution in terrorist tactics and the desire and potential for devastating levels of destruction. Islamist extremist appear willing to ignore taboos against killing innocent people and able to rationalize their actions by distorting Islamic teachings. The potential to use chemicals, biological, nuclear weapons of mass destruction has created a new level of terror that demands effect solutions.

Economists also assess terrorism’s impact on global supply chain. ( A supply chain is the sequence of steps that suppliers...
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