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Definition of Terrorism?

What is terrorism?
The definition assigned to the term very much depends on who you ask,
although, as Hoffman writes, few words have so insidiously worked their way in
to our everyday vocabulary.

Oots writes that terrorism has been defined in different ways by various scholars.

Hoffman suggests that most individuals have vague notions of what the term
means, but cannot offer precise, explanatory definitions.

The Terrorism Research Center claims that terrorism by nature is difficult to


Townshend writes that both politicians and scholars have been hung up in
attempting to define terrorism in a way that distinguishes it from other criminal
violence and even military action.

Complicating attempts to define terrorism, the meaning and usage of the term
have changed over the years. Complications aside, most people would agree
that terrorism is a subjective term with negative connotations, a pejorative term,
used to describe the acts of enemies or opponents. The term has moral
connotations and can be used to persuade others to adopt a particular viewpoint.
For instance, if an individual sympathizes with the victims of terrorism, then the
perpetrator is considered to be a terrorist, but if an individual sympathizes with
the perpetrator, then the perpetrator is considered to be a freedom fighter or is
referred to by equally positive characterizations.

About this, the Terrorism Research Center writes: One man's terrorist is another
man's freedom fighter.

Whittaker distinguishes between terrorists, guerrillas, and freedom fighters in

writing: the terrorist targets civilians; the guerrilla goes for military personnel and
facilities; and the freedom fighter conducts a campaign to liberate his people from
dictatorial oppression, gross disarmament, or the grip of an occupying power.

One author included over one hundred definitions for the term terrorism. Another
quoted over ninety definitions and descriptions. The definitions range from those
that are quite simplistic to those that are equally comprehensive.

The following definitions are illustrative of the broad range of thought:

• Terrorism is violence for purposes of creating fear.
• Terrorism is politically and socially motivated violence.
• Terrorism is political violence in or against true democracies.
• Terrorism may be described as a strategy of violence designed to inspire
terror within a particular segment of a given society.
• Terrorism is the most amoral of organized violence.
• Terrorism is a form of war fare used when full-scale military action is not
• Terrorism is a method of action by which an agent tends to produce terror
in order to impose his domination.
• Terrorism is the systematic use of coercive intimidation, usually to service
political ends. It is used to create a climate of fear.
• Terrorism is the threat or use of violence, often against the civilian
population, to achieve political or social ends, to intimidate opponents, or
to publicize grievances.
• Terrorism is the use of coercive means aimed at populations in an effort
to achieve political, religious, or other aims.
• Terrorism is politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-
combatant targets by sub national groups or clandestine agents, usually
intended to influence an audience.

Whittaker explores the complexity of defining terrorism by furnishing a

comprehensive list of terrorism criteria:

• The violence or threat of violence inherent in terrorism is premeditated and

politically motivated for the purpose of intimidating or coercing a
government or the public in general.
• The strategy of terrorism is to instill fear and insecurity.
• Sustained campaigns or sporadic incidents are applied by terrorists in
conducting their unlawful activities.
• Calculated use of violence is applied against civilian, non-combatant
• Acquiring, manipulating, and employing power is at the root of terrorism.
• Revolutionary terrorism attempts to completely change the political system
within a state; sub-revolutionary terrorism attempts to effect change
without totally replacing the existing political system.
• Terrorism consists of carefully planned goals, means, targets, and access
conducted in a clandestine manner.
• The goals of terrorism focus on political, social, ideological, or religious
ends. This distinguishes terrorism from other criminal activity.
• Terrorism is conducted occasionally by individuals, but most often by sub-
national groups.
An important
objective of
terrorism is to
obtain maximum
publicity .

Increasingly, terrorist zones of action are extending beyond national borders,

becoming transnational in effect.

The vast number of definitions proposed for the term terrorism might make one
wonder if there could ever be agreement around a common definition. For
without a common understanding about what terrorism is, how can it be
challenged and ultimately removed as a threat to modern civilization? Despite the
many definitions for terrorism, there does seem to be an emerging consensus on
the definition of the term, according to Jenkins. For instance, Enders and Sandler
offer the following comprehensive definition of terrorism:

“Terrorism is the premeditated use or threat of use of extra normal

violence or brutality by sub national groups to obtain a political, religious,
or ideological objective through intimidation of a huge audience, usually
not directly involved with the policy making that terrorists seek to

Enders and Sandler's definition will be used for the purpose of this essay not only
because it is an example of a current consensus description, but also because it
contains criteria suggested by other definitions surveyed in the literature review
-violence or threats of violence; intimidation of large civilian audiences; desire to
influence; sub national terrorist groupings; and political, religious, or ideological
Who is Terrorist?

• A person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates

• A person who terrorizes or frightens others.
• (Formerly) a member of a political group in Russia aiming at the
demoralization of the government by terror.
• An agent or partisan of the revolutionary tribunal during the Reign of
Terror in France

Historical Roots of
Colin Gray writes that terrorism is as old as strategic history. The roots of
terrorism can be traced back in time to ancient Greece, and terrorist acts have
occurred throughout history since that time.

The term terrorism, however, originated in the French Revolution's Reign of

Terror and was popularized at that time. Terrorism in this era carried a very
positive connotation as it was under taken in an effort to establish order during
the anarchy that followed uprisings in France in 1789. It was considered to be an
instrument of governance instituted to intimidate counter-revolutionaries,
dissidents and subversives and was associated with the ideals of democracy and

In fact, according to Hoffman, the revolutionary leader Maximillien Robespierre

claimed that virtue, without which terror is evil; terror, without which virtue is
helpless and that terror is nothing but justice prompt, severe and inflexible; it is
therefore an emanation of virtue.

Terrorism at the start of the twentieth century retained the revolutionary

connotations it had acquired during the French Revolution as it took aim on the
Ottoman and Habsburg Empires.

In the 1930s, the meaning of terrorism mutated to describe activities of

totalitarian governments and their leaders against their citizenry in Nazi
Germany, Fascist Italy, and Stalinist Russia. For instance, in Germany and Italy,
gangs of brown shirts or black shirts harassed and intimidated opponents,
although leaders of these nations denied that this occurred. After World War II,
the meaning of terrorism changed once again, returning to its revolutionary
connotations where it remains today.

Terrorist activities in the 1940s and 1950s primarily focused on revolts by

indigenous nationalist groups opposing colonial rule in Asia, Africa, and the
Middle East, resulting in independence for many countries.

Although terrorism retained its revolutionary connotation in the 1960s and 1970s,
the focus shifted from anti-colonialist to separatist goals.

Today, terrorism involves broader, less distinct goals. The right-wing and left-
wing terrorism that became widespread in recent times included acts by diverse
groups such as the Italian Red Brigades; the Irish Republican Army; the
Palestine Liberation Organization; the Shining Path in Peru; the Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka; the Weatherman in the United States; various militia
organizations, also in the United States; radical Muslims through Hamas and Al
Quaeda; radical Sikhs in India; and the Aum Shinrikyo in Japan. Some
governments, such as those in Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, are also considered to
be involved in terrorism as sponsors of terrorist activities. Some people, such as
American dissident Noam Chomsky, contend that the government of the United
States is engaged in terrorism, as exemplified by the title of Chomsky's 2001
article entitled U.S.A Leading Terrorist State, which appeared in the Monthly

Terrorism associated with the French Revolution had two important

characteristics in common with terrorism today. Firstly, terrorism was, and is
today, organised, deliberate, and systematic. Secondly, the goals of terrorism
then and now were and are to create a new, better society. But, terrorism today
has changed in some very fundamental ways:

(1) Terrorist organisations have evolved into network forms and are less often
organised in hierarchies;

(2) The identities of transnational terrorist organisations are harder to identify

because they claim responsibility for specific acts less often;

(3) Today's terrorist groups do not make demands as often as in the past and
their goals appear to be more hazy and vague;

(4) Motives have generally shifted from those that are more politically-oriented to
those that are more religiously-oriented;

(5) Targets of terrorists are more dispersed around the globe; and
(6) Terrorist violence, today, is more indiscriminate, involving significant collateral
damage to the public.

With this historical foundation, particularly the description of the evolution of

terrorism into its current form, the focus now shifts to possible solutions to
dealing with the issue today.

Origin of Terrorism
Terror" comes from a Latin word meaning "to frighten". The “terror cimbricus”
was a panic and state of emergency in Rome in response to the approach of
warriors of the Cimbri tribe also known as the Zealots in 105BC.
The Jacobins cited this precedent when imposing a “Reign of Terror” during
the French Revolution. After the Jacobins lost power, the word "terrorist"
became a term of abuse. Although the Reign of Terror was imposed by a
government, in modern times "terrorism" usually refers to the killing of innocent
people by a private group in such a way as to create a media spectacle. This
meaning can be traced back to Sergey Nechayev, who described himself as a
"terrorist". Nechayev founded the Russian terrorist group "People's
Retribution" (Народная расправа) in 1869.

In November 2004, a United Nations Security Council report described

terrorism as any act "intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to
civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or
compelling a government or an international organization to do or or abstain
from doing any act".

Types Of Terrorism
The red print shown below will inform you on which information is needed for
the Types of Terrorism quiz.

There are six different types of terrorism. They are anarchist terrorism, state-
sponsored terrorism, right wing terrorism, left wing terrorism, religious
terrorism, and nationalist terrorism.
Anarchist Terrorism
Anarchist terrorism was a major global phenomenon from the 1870s to 1920.
A young Hungarian refugee killed President William McKinley who was
persuaded to by anarchist sentiment in 1901.

State-Sponsored Terrorism
Iran accused Cuba, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria of supporting
terrorism. The Abu Nidal Organization is an example of state-sponsored

The 1870s to 1920. A young Hungarian refugee killed President William McKi
nley who was persuaded to by anarchist sentiment in 1901


Right wing terrorism is one of the least organized terrorists. They attack
immigrants and refugees

Left wing terrorism limits the use of violence, but destroys the democracy and
take over with socialist or communist regime. They also stay away from
harming victims. Baader-Meinhof Group, the Japanese Red Army,
Weathermen, and the Red Brigades are all examples of left wing terrorism

Narcoterrorism is another type of terrorism that has to do with drugs. Some
terrorist groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia,
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, United Self-Defense Forces of Columbia,
National Liberation Army, Shining Path, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, Hezbollah,
Al-Queda (Taliban), Real IRA, and Basque Fatherland and Liberty, use
narcoterrorism. Experts think that the word is nonspecific.
Cyber terrorism
Cyber terrorism is a type of terrorism that uses computers and network.
Usually, small terrorist groups use cyber terrorism. Experts have only identified
Aum Shinrikyo and the Tamil Tigers of using cyber terrorism so far. These two
terrorist groups usually use cyber terrorism to fail the computer security, or to
show off their technical abilities. Cyber terrorism can allow disruptions in
military communications and even electrical power. Some ways that cyber
terrorism is demonstrated can be by controlling from a distance electrical
things such as dams or power plants. Another way cyber terrorism can be
used is by destroying the actual machine that contains the electronic
information. What can you do to lessen the vulnerability to cyber terrorism?
Well, experts recommend individual computer users to use virus protection
software and also to stay away from strange emails and computer programs

Different types of terrorism have been defined by lawmakers, security

professionals and scholars. Types differ according to what kind of attack agents
an attacker uses (biological, for example) or by what they are trying to defend (as
in ecoterrorism). Here, a comprehensive list of types of terrorism, with links to
more information, examples and definitions.

Researchers in the United States began to distinguish different types of terrorism

in the 1970s, following a decade in which both domestic and international groups
flourished. By that point, modern groups had began to use techniques such as
hijacking, bombing, diplomatic kidnapping and assassination to assert their
demands and, for the first time, they appeared as real threats to Western
democracies, in the view of politicians, law makers, law enforcement and
researchers. They began to distinguish different types of terrorism as part of the
larger effort to understand how to counter and deter it

State Terrorism
Creative commons license Many definitions of terrorism restrict it to acts by
non-state actors.

But it can also be argued that states can, and have, been terrorists. States can
use force or the threat of force, without declaring war, to terrorize citizens and
achieve a political goal. Germany under Nazi rule has been described in this
It has also been argued that states participate in international terrorism, often
by proxy. The United States considers Iran the most prolific sponsor of
terrorism because Iran arms groups, such as Hezbollah, that help carry out its
foreign policy objectives. The United States has also been called terrorist, for
example through its covert sponsorship of Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s.

Bio Terrorism
Bioterrorism refers to the intentional release of toxic biological agents to harm
and terrorize civilians, in the name of a political or other cause. The U.S.
Center for Disease Control has classified the viruses, bacteria and toxins that
could be used in an attack. Category A Biological Diseases are those most
likely to do the most damage. They include
• Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis)
• Botulism (Clostridium botulinum toxin)
• The Plague (Yersinia pestis)
• Smallpox (Variola major)
• Tularemia (Francisella tularensis)
• Hemorrahagic fever, due to Ebola Virus or Marburg Virus

Ecoterrorism is a recently coined term describing violence in the interests of
environmentalism. In general, environmental extremists sabotage property to
inflict economic damage on industries or actors they see as harming animals
or the natural environment. These have included fur companies, logging
companies and animal research laboratories.

Nuclear terrorism
Courtesy of Department of Homeland Security"Nuclear terrorism" refers to a
number of different ways nuclear materials might be exploited as a terrorist
tactic. These include attacking nuclear facilities, purchasing nuclear weapons,
or building nuclear weapons or otherwise finding ways to disperse radioactive
Types of Terrorism in
early 1975
In early 1975, the Law Enforcement Assistant Administration in the United
States formed the National Advisory Committee on Criminal Justice Standards
and Goals. One of the five volumes that the committee wrote was entitled
Disorders and Terrorism, produced by the Task Force on Disorders and
Terrorism under the direction of H.H.A. Cooper, Director of the Task Force
staff .The Task Force classified terrorism into six categories.

Civil disorder
A form of collective violence interfering with the peace, security, and normal
functioning of the community.

Political terrorism
Violent criminal behavior designed primarily to generate fear in the
community, or substantial segment of it, for political purposes.

Non-Political terrorism
Terrorism that is not aimed at political purposes but which exhibits “conscious
design to create and maintain a high degree of fear for coercive purposes, but
the end is individual or collective gain rather than the achievement of a political

The activities incidental to the commission of crimes of violence that are
similar in form and method to genuine terrorism but which nevertheless lack its
essential ingredient. It is not the main purpose of the quasi-terrorists to induce
terror in the immediate victim as in the case of genuine terrorism, but the
quasi-terrorist uses the modalities and techniques of the genuine terrorism, but
the quasi-terrorist uses the modalities and techniques of the genuine terrorist
and produces similar consequences and reaction. For example, the fleeing
felon who takes hostages is a quasi-terrorist, whose methods are similar to
those of the genuine terrorist but whose purposes are quite different.

Limited political terrorism

Genuine political terrorism is characterized by a revolutionary approach;
limited political terrorism refers to “acts of terrorism which are committed for
ideological or political motives but which are not part of a concerted campaign
to capture control of the state.
Official or state terrorism –"referring to nations whose rule is based upon fear
and oppression that reach similar to terrorism or such proportions.” It may also
be referred to as Structural Terrorism defined broadly as terrorist acts carried
out by governments in pursuit of political objectives, often as part of their
foreign policy.

Several sources have further defined the typology of terrorism:

• Political terrorism
• Sub-state terrorism
• Social revolutionary terrorism
• Nationalist-separatist terrorism
• Religious extremist terrorism
• Religious fundamentalist Terrorism
• New religions terrorism
• Right-wing terrorism
• Left-wing terrorism
• Single-issue terrorism
• State-sponsored terrorism
• Regime or state terrorism
• Criminal terrorism
• Pathological terrorism
Democracy and domestic
The relationship between domestic terrorism and democracy is very complex.
Terrorism is most common in nations with intermediate political freedom, and
is least common in the most democratic nations. However, one study suggests
that suicide terrorism may be an exception to this general rule. Evidence
regarding this particular method of terrorism reveals that every modern suicide
campaign has targeted a democracy–a state with a considerable degree of
political freedom. The study suggests that concessions awarded to terrorists
during the 1980s and 1990s for suicide attacks increased their frequency.

Religious terrorism
Religious terrorism is terrorism performed by groups or individuals, the
motivation of which is typically rooted in the faith based tenets. Terrorist acts
throughout the centuries have been performed on religious grounds with the
hope to either spread or enforce a system of belief, viewpoint or opinion.
Religious terrorism does not in itself necessarily define a specific religious
standpoint or view, but instead usually defines an individual or a group view or
interpretation of that belief system's teachings.

The perpetrators of acts of terrorism can be individuals, groups, or states.
According to some definitions, clandestine or semi-clandestine state actors
may also carry out terrorist acts outside the framework of a state of war.
However, the most common image of terrorism is that it is carried out by small
and secretive cells, highly motivated to serve a particular cause and many of
the most deadly operations in recent times, such as the September 11 attacks,
the London underground bombing, and the 2002 Bali bombing were planned
and carried out by a close clique, composed of close friends, family members
and other strong social networks. These groups benefited from the free flow of
information and efficient telecommunications to succeed where others had

Over the years, many people have attempted to come up with a terrorist profile
to attempt to explain these individuals' actions through their psychology and
social circumstances. Others, like Roderick Hindery, have sought to discern
profiles in the propaganda tactics used by terrorists. Some security
organizations designate these groups as violent non-state actors.
A 2007 study by economist Alan B. Krueger found that terrorists were less
likely to come from an impoverished background (28% vs. 33%) and more
likely to have at least a high-school education (47% vs. 38%). Another
analysis found only 16% of terrorists came from impoverished families, vs.
30% of male Palestinians, and over 60% had gone beyond high school, vs.
15% of the populace.

To avoid detection, a terrorist will look, dress, and behave normally until
executing the assigned mission. Some claim that attempts to profile terrorists
based on personality, physical, or sociological traits are not useful. The
physical and behavioral description of the terrorist could describe almost any
normal person.[90] However, the majority of terrorist attacks are carried out by
military age men, aged 16–40.

State sponsors
A state can sponsor terrorism by funding or harboring a terrorist organization.
Opinions as to which acts of violence by states consist of state-sponsored
terrorism vary widely. When states provide funding for groups considered by
some to be terrorist, they rarely acknowledge them as such.

State terrorism
Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often
unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to
those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it
is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those
higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror,
and the felicitation of the victims.

Terrorism is a form of asymmetric warfare, and is more common when direct
conventional warfare will not be effective because forces vary greatly in power.

The context in which terrorist tactics are used is often a large-scale,

unresolved political conflict. The type of conflict varies widely; historical
examples include Secession of a territory to form a new sovereign state or
become part of a different state
• Dominance of territory or resources by various ethnic groups
• Imposition of a particular form of government
• Economic deprivation of a population
• Opposition to a domestic government or occupying army
• Religious fanaticism

Responses to terrorism are broad in scope. They can include re-alignments of
the political spectrum and reassessments of fundamental values.

Specific types of responses include:

• Targeted laws, criminal procedures, deportations, and enhanced police

• Target hardening, such as locking doors or adding traffic barriers
• Preemptive or reactive military action
• Increased intelligence and surveillance activities
• Preemptive humanitarian activities
• More permissive interrogation and detention policies

Mass media
Media exposure may be a primary goal of those carrying out terrorism, to
expose issues that would otherwise be ignored by the media. Some consider
this to be manipulation and exploitation of the media.

The internet has created a new channel for groups to spread their messages.
This has created a cycle of measures and counter measures by groups in
support of and in opposition to terrorist movements. The United Nations has
created its own online counter-terrorism resource.

The mass media will, on occasion, censor organizations involved in terrorism

(through self-restraint or regulation) to discourage further terrorism. However,
this may encourage organizations to perform more extreme acts of terrorism to
be shown in the mass media. Conversely James F. Pastor explains the
significant relationship between terrorism and the media, and the underlying
benefit each receives from the other.

“There is always a point at which the terrorist ceases to manipulate the

media gestalt. A point at which the violence may well escalate, but
beyond which the terrorist has become symptomatic of the media gestalt
itself. Terrorism as we ordinarily understand it is innately media-related.”

(Novelist William Gibson)

Modern Terrorism
What are the most recent
developments regarding the
threat of terrorism.
Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the threat of terrorism has
become a major preoccupation in the United States and to a somewhat lesser
degree in the rest of the world. Shortly after the World Trade Center bombings,
the U.S. launched an invasion of Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban regime.
This was accomplished and a new government in that country has been installed
although instability remains in that region. The campaign did not fully destroy the
Al-Queda organization and Osama Bin Laden himself remains at large. It is likely
that the organization has an underground presence in the border area between
Pakistan and Afghanistan. Operations continue in the region with the assistance
of Pakistan and there have been periodic arrests of key Al-Queda operatives. But
any doubt that the organization continues to operate effective cells in developed
countries was erased by a coordinated series of railroad bombings in Madrid,
Spain in March 2004 which killed 191 people and injured more than 1800. The
bombings in Spain came just prior to scheduled elections and appear to have
affected the outcome. With new leadership, Spain promptly withdrew its support
of the U.S. campaign in Iraq.

There have been no major publicized subsequent acts of terrorism in the United
States although the government frequent issues warnings that attacks are
imminent. Because of the secrecy associated with the intelligence which has
provoked such warnings, it is virtually impossible to evaluate the gravity of such
threats. It is also possible that terrorist incidents have not been publicized in
order to prevent panic or to deny terrorists the ability to claim success.

President Bush established a cabinet-level Homeland Security Agency to

coordinate anti-terrorist efforts and substantially increased funding for anti-
terrorism activities.

In the wake of revelations regarding intelligence breakdowns prior to the attacks,

a new cabinet-level agency, The Department of Homeland Security, was created.
The new Department essentially involved a reorganization of existing agencies
but the reorganization did not affect the primary intelligence gathering agencies
within the federal government: the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency,
and the branches of the armed services. The new agency is also responsible for
coordinating emergency responses to terrorist acts and is thus the parent agency
of FEMA, the federal emergency response agency. The operations of DHS have
thus come under considerable attack in the aftermath of FEMA's delayed
response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

In the wake of 9/11, a bipartisan commission was created to investigate what

could have been done to prevent the tragedy and what could be done to prevent
future similar events. In a report issued in July 2004, the 9/11 commission found
that many errors helped lead to the 9/11 tragedy. The hijackers had repeatedly
broken the law in entering the United States, intelligence agencies had
considered the threat of suicide hijackings, and Mr. Bush received an August
2001 briefing on evidence of continuing domestic terrorist threats from Al Qaeda.
The commission found that an attack described as unimaginable had in fact been
imagined, repeatedly. The commission said that several threat reports circulated
within the government in the late 1990's raised the explicit possibility of an attack
using airliners as missiles. The commission also found that bin Laden had
financed Al Qaeda's operations through a core group of wealthy Muslim donors,
mainly in the Persian Gulf. Most alarming, the FBI was warned about Arab
students who had enrolled in flight schools, including one who indicated no
intention of learning to land a plane. But this development did not result in any
measures which could have prevented the event.

The commission's report listed 43 specific recommendations to combat future

acts of terrorism. Perhaps the most controversial recommendation was the call
for the appointment of a cabinet-level director of intelligence with control over the
CIA, the FBI, and the country's dozen other intelligence agencies to improve US
ability to disrupt future terrorist attacks. Also recommended was stronger
cooperation with the rest of the world in anti-terror efforts, an acceleration of
economic development policies in the Arab world and a reexamination of the
relationship of the U.S. with Saudi Arabia. Democratic candidate Kerry urged
quick implementation of all the Commission's recommendations. The Bush
Administration has indicated a willingness to establish an intelligence oversight
post but not with the expansive authority recommended by the Commission.

What are the general

implications of modern
With the decline in Cold War tensions, many military experts now consider
terrorist activity as perhaps the greatest threat to world security. The possibility
that terrorists could have access to weapons of mass destruction means that
small bands of criminals fortified by rogue nations could conceivably have the
ability to exert extensive global influence and destruction. This is a scenario not
unlike those portrayed by Ian Fleming's James Bond novels decades ago.

Much of the terrorist activity

comes from organizations
and countries in the Middle
East. Is there a common
The common thread appears to be a concern with the impact of western values
and culture on Islamic traditions. Movies and television entertainment which
display such values are considered evil. There is particular concern about issues
concerning sexual morality and the status of women. Although most Muslims are
not fanatical and deplore the tactics of terrorists, the anti-Western sentiment has
widespread popular political appeal in all of these Islamic countries. There is
particular animosity with Israel mainly because this Jewish state is "westernized"
and because it is geographically situated in the heart of the Islamic world. In the
wake of the Iraqi invasion and occupation, negative Arab attitudes toward the
U.S. have intensified further.

What is the likelihood that

these and other terrorist
organizations can use weapons
of mass destruction?
This issue has been a policy concern. Osama Bin Laden has publicly
pronounced that acquiring weapons of mass destruction, chemical, biological,
radiological, and nuclear (CBRN), is a religious duty. The threats are the

• Nuclear weapons There is no persuasive evidence that the terrorist

organizations possess nuclear weaponry or the means to deliver such
weapons. However, both the United States and the Soviet Union
developed portable "suitcase" nuclear weaponry during the cold war. Due
to the secrecy involved with the development and locations of this
weaponry, it is difficult to determine with certainty that all such devices are
accounted for. Pakistan does have a limited nuclear capability but the
threat of terrorist use of this weaponry is remote.
• Chemical weapons These are agents such as the sarin gas used by an
extremist organization in the Tokyo subway attack. There is no evidence
at this point that terrorist organizations have the ability to cause mass
destruction through the use of this weaponry because they are not
believed to have weapons which could efficiently deliver such chemicals.
• Biological weapons These are agents which spread infectious
diseases and are considered a real and evolving threat by experts. The
are potentially horrendous weapons whose damage can range from
catastrophic pandemics to economic disasters. They are technologically
easy and inexpensive. They can be, and have been, manufactured by
individuals, groups, or nations. Until September 11, 2001, there had been
no instance of mass destruction of civilian life. With the strike against the
World Trade Center and Pentagon, we know that terrorists, perhaps state-
sponsored, have passed a threshold; it is now plausible, perhaps
inevitable, that biological weapons will be used in the future. While nations
might be deterred from overt use of these weapons, terrorist use and
covert use by nations are now highly significant threats.

In the two months subsequent to the September 11 attack, the biological

threat became a reality through letters mailed with anthrax to journalists
and politicians. There were five fatalities. These attacks resulted in the
closure of the Hart Senate office building for more than six months. There
has been very little public disclosure regarding the investigation of the
possible perpretrators of these attacks. The focus has apparently been on
labs in the United States because of the identification of the strain that
was used although the timing and messages associated with the mailings
point to Arab involvement. No one has yet been identified as responsible
for these attacks. If there have been any further instances of biological
terrorism, they have not received any press coverage.

Biological weapons can be delivered through several, different means,

ranging from using people as carriers of the disease (including person to
person infections), covert dissemination such as aerosolization, or via
missile. It is unclear whether the known terrorist organizations have the
capacity to develop and deliver these agents.

It could take days, or even weeks, for the symptoms of a biological agent
to begin to manifest themselves. In the case of a BW attack, the first
responder is likely to be a primary care physician, healthcare provider,
veterinarian, agricultural services inspector, or perhaps an entomologist.
Given the unheralded nature of these silent killers, it would fall upon the
public health and medical communities to detect the attack, contain the
incident, and treat the victims.
Experts believe that the United States is inadequately prepared and
underequipped and resourced to deal with bioterrorism. In particular, they
maintain that the biomedical, public health, and human services
communities are under-equipped, under-informed, and ill prepared for a
biological attack and for infectious disease in general. Legislation
authorizing $4.3 billion for drugs, vaccines, training and other initiatives to
deal with a bioterror attacks was signed in June 2002. This legislation calls
for tightening security at water plants, improving food inspections, and
increasing stockpiles of vaccines against smallpox and other diseases. It
also provides $1.6 billion for states to aid with emergency preparedness.

• Use of hijacked aircraft The fully fueled aircraft which exploded into
the World Trade Center and Pentagon must be considered another type of
weapon of mass destruction. It is highly unlikely that there will be a
repetition of this event because a key element to the success of this tactic
was that it was not anticipated.

What efforts have been made

to combat terrorism?
Combating terrorism involves a variety of policies and activities:

• Economic Sanctions The U.S. maintains an official list of countries

involved in state-sponsored terrorism. This list presently consists of Iran,
Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Cuba and North Korea. These countries are
subject to U.S. economic sanctions because of their support for terrorism
although in some cases, notably North Korea and Cuba, the policy is
rooted in other objectives. The UN has also imposed sanctions on Libya
and presently Afghanistan because of terrorist policies. It is generally
agreed that UN economic sanctions have been effective in reducing
Libya's sponsorship of terrorism.
• Preemptive military strikes by the U.S. have been directed at Libya,
Iran, Iraq, and Sudan for purposes of retaliation and destruction of terrorist
capability. Some of these missions have not succeeded and in any event,
they have clearly not uniformly deterred further acts of terrorism.
• Preparedness and security measures have actually been quite
successful in deterring some types of terrorist activity. In particular, airline
security measures have kept guns and bombs off aircraft. The success of
the terrorist hijacking attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon was
not due to a security failure, but rather the failure of the intelligence
community to anticipate this type of event and make design changes in
aircraft which would prevent such attacks. These adjustments almost
certainly will now occur and will be successful in preventing similar
attacks. Funding has been in place for stockpiling vaccines to prepare for
a possible chemical or biological weapon attack.
• Intelligence involves infiltrating terrorist groups, intercepting their
communications and anticipating the types of terrorist activity. Infiltrating
these groups is difficult and has not been successful although many
intelligence experts are now saying that more resources must be devoted
to this activity. The volume and ease of modern communication, especially
through use of the Internet, makes the electronic interception of terrorist
communications very difficult. It is quite apparent that the method of attack
used at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was a complete
surprise. The failure to anticipate this tactic by intelligence experts has to
be regarded as a major and costly failure. The disclosures in the aftermath
of this disaster indicate that the intelligence community did have sufficient
information to anticipate the attacks but did not correctly process and act
on the information that it had. To a certain extent, this costly failure was
the result of a longstanding failure of the FBI and CIA to share important
field information. This deficiency is key to the primary recommendation of
the 9/11 Commission to establish a overall intelligence umbrella agency.

Some of the above efforts are costing Americans more than money - to a certain
extent it has been at the expense of civil liberties. Already, Arab-Americans have
been subject to detentions and surveillance which has led to charges of "ethnic
profiling" . The "Patriot Act" which was quickly passed by Congress in the
aftermath of 9/11 has been the subject of considerable controversy which is
discussed in a separate Newsbatch summary on civil liberties. One of the
greatest challenges the United States faces in the fight against terrorism is how
to create situational awareness-the ability to know what terrorists are doing inside
U.S. borders-without becoming a police state.

What additional measures can

be undertaken?
International coalitions must be maintained

The terrorist assault on the United States had a distinctly international

character. The terrorists came from several different countries and had
resided in many others. The victims of the attacks were from 60 different
countries. Most prior terrorist assaults have occurred outside of U.S.
borders. As are result of its international character, anti-terrorists experts
maintain that the U.S. needs to forge effective cooperative relationships
with many different countries, most importantly in Europe, Russia and
China. Recent unilateral actions by the U.S. including its development of
missile defense systems and it failure to cooperate in a World Criminal
Court are not conducive to the maintenance of these relationships.
Respond to unfair anti-American propaganda

According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to prevail

in the war against terrorism, and then to secure the peace, the United
States must start changing hearts and minds in the Arab and Muslim
worlds. By its actions, it must prove that it stands with the vast majority of
the world's population on the things of most concern to them-including
enhancing developing countries'ability to satisfy their people's social and
economic needs, as well as addressing some of the political challenges
and conflicts that both arise from and exacerbate those needs. Through its
words, the United States must communicate the U.S. side of the story
more effectively.

Work to prevent and improve "Failed States"

Al Queda was allowed to operate and thrive in Afghanistan primarily

because the United States and other countries ignored conditions in that
country subsequent to the withdrawal of the Soviet Union. Other countries,
primarily in Africa, suffer from the level of impoverishment and lack of
governmental systems that recently characterized Afghanistan. There
must be a renewed commitment by developed countries to assist these
countries in emerging from these conditions.

Foster Greater Political and Economic Development in the Mideast

The single most important driver of the Islamic rage which fueled the
September 11 attacks is the failure of many “moderate” Islamic states to
create modern governments responsive to the needs of their people and
viable civil societies where even minimal levels of debate and democracy
are tolerated. For various strategic reasons, the U.S. has tolerated
regimes that have failed to provide hope and progress to their citizens.
Instead, these regimes have facilitated fundamentalist clerics who preach
an antimodern credo that endorses violence, as long as it is directed at
others. Many Middle Eastern schools, mosques, universities,and
discussion groups favor a form of rarefied militant theology that might
prompt the politically disaffected or religiously zealous alike to leave for
the fight abroad. According to an important report issued by Center for
Strategic and International Studies, the top U.S. priorities must be
assisting-if necessary, pressuring-various regimes to create more modern
governments responsive to the needs of their people as well as more
pluralistic civil societies in which the average citizen has greater
opportunities for political participation and fostering economic
development that provides an alternative to violence, especially for
younger generations.
What are the major Middle East
terrorist organizations?
Among the more prominent terrorist organizations presently active in the Middle
East are the following:

• Al-Qa'ida (the Base) It was cThis has unquestionably been the most
prominent organization because of its resources, sophistication, and
alliances with other groups.reated by a wealthy Saudi national, Osama Bin
Laden, and is rooted in Muslim fundamentalism. Until recently, it was
based in Afghanistan. Bin Laden used an extensive international network
to maintain a loose connection between Muslim extremists in diverse
countries. Working through high-tech means, such as faxes, satellite
telephones, and the internet, he was in touch with an unknown number of
followers all over the Arab world, as well as in Europe, Asia, the United
States and Canada. His organization also served as an umbrella
organization and includes other groups, notably the Egyptian al-Gama'a
al-Islamiyya and the Egyptian al-Jihad.

The organization's primary goal has been the overthrow of what it sees as
the corrupt and heretical governments of Muslim states, and their
replacement with the rule of Islamic law. Bin Laden has been intensely
anti-Western, and views the United States in particular as the prime
enemy of Islam. In the wake of the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan, the fate
and future effectiveness of bin Laden and his organization is uncertain.

• Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) is a radical Islamic organization

which became active in the early stages of the Intifada (the mainstream
Palestinian resistance movement begun in 1987), operating primarily in
the Gaza Strip but also in the West Bank. The Hamas has played a major
role in violent fundamentalist subversion and radical terrorist operations
against both Israelis and Arabs. Hamas is committed to a "holy war" for
the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of an Islamic Palestine
"from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River". By its participation in
street violence and murder, it boosted its appeal in the eyes of the
Palestinians, further enhancing its growth potential and enabling it to play
a central role in the Intifada. As a result of its subversive and terrorist
activity, Hamas was outlawed in September 1989. After the Gulf War,
Hamas has become the leading perpetrator of terrorist activity throughout
the territories as well as inside Israel.
• Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (, IG) is not an organization but rather a
collective name for several Egyptian fundamentalist groups. Following the
release of most of the Islamic prisoners from the Egyptian jails by
president Sadat after 1971, several groups of militants began to organize
themselves. These militant groups or cells took names such as the Islamic
Liberation Party, al-Takfir wal-Hijra (Excommunication and Emigration), Al-
Najun min al-nar (Saved from the Inferno), and Jihad (Holy War), as well
as many others, including al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (The Islamic Group).
Each cell operated separately and was self-contained, a fact that allowed
the organization to be structured, but at the same time losely organized.
• Jihad Group The Jihad movement in Egypt is an Islamic group active
since the late 1970s. The movement appears to be divided into two
factions: one led by Ayman al-Zawahiri-currently in Afghanistan-and the
Vanguards of Conquest (Talaa' al-Fateh) led by Ahmad Husayn Agiza. Al-
Zawahiri is a key leader in terrorist financier Osama Bin Laden's new
World Islamic Front. Like al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya, the Jihad factions
regard Sheikh Umar Abd-al Rahman, imprisoned in the United States, as
their spiritual leader.Abbud al-Zumar, leader of the original Jihad, is
imprisoned in Egypt and recently joined Sheikh al-Rahman, in a call for a
"peaceful front." The goal of all Jihad factions is to overthrow the
government of President Hosni Mubarak and replace it with an Islamic
state. They have become increasingly vocal in calling for an end to
Western influence in Muslim countries, and have shown a willingness to
target Western-particularly American-interests.
• Harakat ul-Ansar (HUM) is an Islamic militant group based in Pakistan
that operates primarily in Kashmir and regularly carries out terrorist
activities in that region. Originally established to fight in Afghanistan
against the Soviet occupation, this organization is a member of Osama bin
Laden's "Islamic World Front for the struggle against the Jews and the
Crusaders". The organization operates terrorist training camps in eastern
Afghanistan and suffered casualties in the US missile strikes on Bin
Laden-associated training camps in Khost in August 1998. Its leader
subsequently warned that HUM would take revenge on the United States.
In 1997 the US Government placed the HUM on its list of foreign terrorist
groups. This prompted Pakistani security agencies, which covertly back
Muslim insurgents in Kashmir, to distance themselves from the
organizations. But Pakistan has not cracked down on the group's militant
activities in Kashmir fearing a backlash from Islamic fundamentalist
• Hezbollah is a Lebanese group of Shiite militants that has evolved into a
major force in Lebanon's society and politics. It opposes the West, seeks
to create a Muslim fundamentalist state modeled on Iran, and is a bitter
foe of Israel. The group's name means "party of God". According to the
State Department, the group receives substantial amounts of financial,
training, weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic, and organizational aid
from Iran and Syria. Hezbollah is also an important player in Lebanon's
politics, a key vehicle of Lebanese Shiite empowerment, and a major
provider of social services to thousands of Lebanese Shiites.
The group has been responsible for a series of kidnappings of Westerners,
including several Americans, in the 1980s; the suicide truck bombings that
killed more than 200 U.S. Marines at their barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, in
1983; the 1985 hijacking of TWA flight 847, which featured the famous
footage of the plane's pilot leaning out of the cockpit with a gun to his head;
and two major 1990s attacks on Jewish targets in Argentina-the 1992
bombing of the Israeli embassy (killing 29) and the 1994 bombing of a Jewish
community center (killing 95).

Islam & Terrorism

What Islamic nations are

known to protect and support
• Afghanistan is an extremely poor, landlocked country, highly dependent
on farming and livestock raising (sheep and goats). It is also a major world
supplier of opium and hashish. Its population is almost entirely Islamic;
about 84% are Sunni Muslims. During the first decades of the cold war,
Afghanistan was a neutral "buffer" state which received foreign aid from
the west and the Soviet Union. That status changed in 1978 when a
government friendly to the Soviet Union gained power. When that
government was attacked by fundamentalist Islam factions in 1979, the
Soviet Union began a military occupation which lasted until 1989. A civil
war waged during this period and the opposition consisted of radical
Islamic factions financed and trained by the west, particularly the CIA.
During that conflict one-third of the population fled the country, with
Pakistan and Iran sheltering a combined peak of more than 6 million
refugees. In early 1999, 1.2 million Afghan refugees remained in Pakistan
and about 1.4 million in Iran.

The group gained ascendancy during the 90's was known as the Taliban
which declared themselves rulers of the country. In actuality, there was no
functioning government although the Taliban controlled the capital of
Kabul and now about 90% of the country including the predominately
ethnic Pashtun areas in southern Afghanistan. Only three states
recognized the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan: Saudi Arabia,
Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates. The United States embassy in
Kabul had been closed since 1989.
The Taliban is a group comprised of Afghans trained in religious schools
in Pakistan along with former Islamic fighters. Upon their ascendancy to
power in 1996, they achieved some popular support because of their
success in stamping out corruption, restoring peace and allowing
commerce to resume. The Taliban said their aim was to set up the world's
most pure Islamic state, banning frivolities like television, music and
cinema. Their attempts to eradicate crime were reinforced by the
introduction of Islamic law including public executions and amputations.
Regulations forbidding girls from going to school and women from working
quickly brought Taliban into conflict with the international community. Such
issues, along with restrictions on women's access to health care, have
also caused some resentment among ordinary Afghans.

Bin Laden moved to Afghanistan in 1979, the year of the Soviet invasion
and formed one of the insurgency groups financed and supplied by the
CIA. Bin Laden advertised all over the Arab world for young Muslims to
come fight in Afghanistan. Bin Laden paid for the transportation of the new
recruits to Afghanistan, and set up facilities to train them. It is estimated
that as many as 10,000 fighters received training and combat experience
in Afghanistan, with only a fraction coming from the native Afghan
population. Nearly half of the fighting force came from bin Laden's native
Saudi Arabia. Others came from Algeria (roughly 3,000), from Egypt
(2,000), with thousands more coming from other Muslim countries such as
Yemen, Pakistan and the Sudan. In ten years of savage fighting the
Islamic factions (including bin Laden's group) vanquished the Soviet
Union. What had begun as a fragmented army of tribal warriors ended up
a well-organized and equipped modern army. The departing Soviet troops
left behind an Afghanistan with a huge arsenal of sophisticated weapons
and thousands of seasoned Islamic warriors from a variety of countries.

In the early 1990s, bin Laden returned to his native Saudi Arabia but he
was soon expelled and operated out of Sudan, building an business
empire there. The Sudanese government, responding to Western
pressure, also expelled bin Laden in 1996 and he returned to Afghanistan.
Bin Laden was tolerated by the Taliban partly because of his wealth and
partly because of a mutual opposition to all things western.

• Pakistan was created after the breakup of British India. The primary
Muslim areas of the former colony in the east and west were formed into
one country named Pakistan. In 1971, East Pakistan became the separate
country of Bangladesh after a civil war which ultimately involved India as
well. After Indian forces were victorious, Pakistan was forced to permit
Bangladesh independence. The country is 97% Muslim, 77% of which are
Sunni. The country is a poor, heavily populated country, suffering from
internal political disputes, lack of foreign investment, and a costly
confrontation with neighboring India. Presently, the government is based
on a military dictatorship which took power through a coup in 1999.
Pakistan remains in conflict with India and began testing nuclear in
response to similar Indian tests.

Pakistan's association with terrorism is in part based on its support of

regular terrorist activities of HUM and other groups in the Indian states of
Jammu and Kashmir and its very warm relationship with the Taliban
government of Afghanistan. Pakistan benefited from the order which
Taliban has restored to Afghanistan in that the trade routes to its
northwest have been restored. This continues now that the Taliban have
been overthrown.

• Iraq was formerly part of the Ottoman Empire. Iraq became an

independent kingdom in 1932. A "republic" was proclaimed in 1958, but in
actuality a series of military strongmen have ruled the country, most
recently Saddam Hussein. Territorial disputes with Iran led to an
inconclusive and costly eight-year war (1980-1988). In August 1990 Iraq
seized Kuwait, but was expelled by US-led, UN coalition forces during
January-February 1991. The victors did not occupy Iraq, however, thus
allowing the regime to stay in control. Following Kuwait's liberation, the UN
Security Council (UNSC) required Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass
destruction and long-range missiles and to allow UN verification
inspections. In 1998, Iraq discontinued its cooperation with UN inspectors.
Ultimately, in the wake of concerns regarding the likelihood of Saddam's
continued possession of weapons of mass destruction and its possible
links to international terrorist organizations, the US and a limited coalition
of other countries launched a successful military campaign to overthrow
the Iraqi regime in 2003.

The aftermath of the Iraqi invasion has so far revealed that concerns
regarding Iraq's potential threat were significantly overexagerated. No
weapons of mass destruction were discovered during the year long
occupation by the U.S. nor have any been discovered since. The 9/11
Commission Report concluded that links between al Qaeda and Saddam
Hussein's government were weak. It stated that representatives of the two
may have been in contact in 1994 or 1995, 1998 and possibly 1999,
largely because of what the commission described as a shared hatred of
the United States. But the commission found that their interests were
largely out of sync, and nothing came of the contacts. On the other hand,
Administration officials, notably Vice President Cheney, have insisted that
important links did exist. At least one Iraqi expert, Laurie Mylroie,
concluded that Iraqi intelligence was involved in the 1993 World Trade
Center bombing in New York City; the 1995 bombing of the U.S. training
mission for Saudi troops in Riyadh; the 1996 attack against the U.S. base
in al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, and the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies
in Africa. Her primary basis for these conclusions involved identifying a
Pakistani operative with ties to al Qaeda as actually an Iraqi intelligence
agent under an assumed identity. However, this identification has been
largely discredited.

• Iran has a modern history which is in part affected by the cold war and in
part by religious fundamentalism. Because of its proximity to the Soviet
Union and because of its rich oil reserves, the United States and Britain
were anxious to keep Iran under western influence after World War II. In
1951, the National Front movement, headed by Premier Mussadegh, a
militant nationalist, forced the parliament to nationalize the oil industry and
form the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). The CIA engineered a
covert operation which successfully restored the Shah, Muhammad Reza
Shah Pahlevi, to power. What followed was two decades of dictatorship
which ultimately resulted in a revolution in 1978.

The revolution was led by two diverse elements: students and intellectuals
with western values who opposed the repressive Shah regime and
fundamental Islamics who opposed the westernization of Iranian society.
In the revolution's aftermath, a religious regime resulted. The new
government, led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, represented a major
shift toward conservatism. It nationalized industries and revived Islamic
traditions. Western influence and music were banned, women were forced
to return to traditional veiled dress, and Westernized elites fled the

Iran helped pioneer the current wave of state-sponsored terrorism in 1979

by permitting a student group to occupy the United States embassy and
taking 52 American hostages. Khomeini refused all appeals, and agitation
increased toward the West with the Carter administration's economic
boycott, the breaking of diplomatic relations, and an unsuccessful rescue
attempt. The hostage crisis lasted 444 days and was finally resolved after
all Iranian conditions had been met, including the unfreezing of nearly $8
billion in Iranian assets.

According to the United States State Department, Iran continues to be

deeply involved in the planning and execution of terrorist acts by its own
agents and surrogate groups. It provides ongoing direction, safe haven,
funding, training, weapons and other support to a variety of radical Islamic
terrorist groups including Hizballah in Lebanon, as well as Hammas and
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) to undermine the Middle East peace
process. There are press reports that Iran is building a terrorist
infrastructure in the region by providing political indoctrination, military
training, and financial help to dissident Shia groups in neighboring
countries, including Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.
• Sudan is a very poor country which has been ravaged by two decades of
civil war between the Islamic north and the Christian/African south. In
recent years, up to 2 million deaths have been attributed to this conflict
and its associated economic conditions.
• Until 1956, Sudan was controlled by Great Britain. Its history as an
independent nation has been characterized by an ongoing struggle
between the north and the south. Political and economic power has been
dominated by the Muslim north. Recent discovery of oil in the south
promises an emergence from its status as among the world's most
impoverished countries but also exacerbates the conflict between the
north and the south. Sudan has been ruled by a succession of military
regimes. The present military regime has strengthened ties with Libya,
Iran, and Iraq and reinforced Islamic law.

Like Libya, Iran and Iraq, Sudan has also been associated with
international terrorism and served for a time as headquarters for Osama
Bin Laden's organization. In 1998, U.S. missiles destroyed a
pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum that was suspected of manufacturing
chemical-weapons compounds to be used in terrorist activities; however,
international investigators were unable to find evidence to support the
charges. According to the U.S. State Department, Sudan continues to
serve as a refuge, nexus, and training hub for a number of terrorist
organizations including Hizballah, Hamas, and bin Laden's al-Qaida
organization. Egypt and Ethiopia have charged the Sudanese government
with involvement in a failed assassination attempt against President Hosni
Mubarak while in Ethiopia in June 1995. Sudan continues to permit its
territory to be used by Iran to transport weapons to Islamic extremist
groups and as a meeting place for Iranian-backed terrorist groups.

• Syria has been independent since 1946. It is primarily a Moslem country

although 10% of the population is Christian. In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War,
Syria lost the Golan Heights to Israel. From 1971 until his death last year,
Syria was been ruled by Gen. Hafez al-Assad. In recent decades there
has been a vocal fundamentalist Islamic minority which supports a
religious oriented government similar to Iran. Recent negotiations for the
return of the Golan Heights have been stalled after the recent Israeli
elections and the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian hostilities.

It is generally believed within the western community that Syria has a long
history of using terrorists to advance its own interests. The United States
has said that it has no evidence of Syrian government direct involvement
in terrorism since 1986. Informed sources suggest, however, that the
Syrian government remains active, hiding behind the sophisticated
operational level of their intelligence services and their ability to mask
such involvement. Many major terrorist groups are known to maintain an
active presence in Syria including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.
• Libya was a very poor nation known primarily as a major World War 2
battleground until oil was discovered in 1958. The development of that
resource improved the economy significantly. In 1969, a military
strongman, Muammar al-Qaddafi, seized power and has ruled the country
ever since. The regime pursued a policy of Arab nationalism and strict
adherence to Islamic law. Although Qaddafi espoused socialist principles,
he was strongly anti-Communist. He was particularly concerned with
reducing Western influences.

Libya under Qaddafi was another pioneer of state-sponsored terrorism. In

1980 he began ordering the assassination of Libyan dissidents who were
living in exile in Europe. In 1981, two Libyan fighter planes attacked U.S.
forces on maneuvers in the Gulf of Sidra (which Libya claims as national
waters) and were shot down. Libya's relations with the United States
became even more hostile when it began to support international terrorist
organizations. In 1986, in an apparent attempt to kill Qaddafi, U.S.
President Ronald Reagan ordered air strikes in retaliation for the Libyan-
sponsored terrorist attack in West Berlin that had killed two American
servicemen. In 1988, a bomb blew up on a Pan Am commercial airplane
over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people. International warrants were
issued for the arrest and extradition to Great Britain of two Libyan
suspects in the case, but the government refused to surrender them. In
1989, it was discovered that a West German company was selling Libya
equipment for the construction of a chemical weapons plant. These
actions led to economic sanctions by the United Nations and by the United
States. In 1999, Libya handed over the suspects in the Lockerbie crash to
the United Nations; and the trial resulted in the conviction of one of them.
The UN sanctions were lifted, but those imposed by the United States
remain in place.
War on Terror
The War on Terror (also known as the Global War on Terror or the War on
Terrorism) is an ongoing international military campaign led by the United States
of America and the United Kingdom with the support of other NATO and non-
NATO countries. The campaign was launched in 2001 with the U.S./U.K.
invasion of Afghanistan in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks. Since
then, other operations have commenced, the largest being the War in Iraq,
beginning with a 2003 invasion. Originally, it was waged against al-Qaeda and
other terrorist organizations
with the purpose of
eliminating them.

The phrase War on Terror

was first used by former US
President George W. Bush
and other high-ranking US
officials to denote a global
military, political, legal and
ideological struggle against
organizations designated as
terrorist and regimes that
were accused of having a
connection to them or
providing them with support or
were perceived, or presented
as posing a threat to the US and its allies in general.

It was typically used with a particular focus on militant Islamists and al-Qaeda.

Although the term is not officially used by the administration of President Barack
Obama (which instead uses the term Overseas Contingency Operation), it is
still commonly used by politicians, in the media and officially by some aspects of
government, such as the Army's Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

The notion of a "war on terror" has been criticized for lacking a defined and
identifiable enemy, thus making it a potential framework for perpetual military
action pursuing other goals.
Precursor to the 9/11 attacks
In May 1996 the group World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and
Crusaders (WIFJAJC), sponsored by Osama Bin Laden and later reformed as al-
Qaeda, started forming a large base of operations in Afghanistan, where the
Islamist extremist regime of the Taliban had seized power that same year.[2]

Following the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania,[3] U.S.

President Bill Clinton launched Operation Infinite Reach, a bombing campaign in
Sudan and Afghanistan against targets the US asserted were associated with
WIFJAJC,[4][5] although others have questioned whether a pharmaceutical plant in
Sudan was used as a chemical warfare plant.

The plant produced much of the region's antimalarial drugs and around 50%
of Sudan's pharmaceutical needs. The strikes failed to kill any leaders of
WIFJAJC or the Taliban.

Next came the 2000 millennium attack plots which included an attempted
bombing of Los Angeles International Airport. In October 2000 the USS Cole
bombing occurred, followed in 2001 by the September 11 attacks.
The conflict has been referred to by names other than the War on Terror. It has
also been known as:

• World War III

• World War IV (assuming the Cold War was World War III)
• Bush's War on Terror
• The Long War

In 1984 the Reagan Administration used the term "war against terrorism" as part
of an effort to pass legislation that was designed to freeze assets of terrorist
groups and marshal the forces of government against them. Author Shane Harris
asserts this was a reaction to the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing.[20]

On September 16, 2001, at Camp David, President George W. Bush used the
phrase war on terror when he said, "This crusade - this war on terrorism - is
going to take a while, [...] And the American people must be patient. I'm going to
be patient. But I can assure the American people I am determined."[21] On
September 20, 2001, during a televised address to a joint session of congress,
Bush launched the war on terror when he said, "Our 'war on terror' begins with al
Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of
global reach has been found, stopped and defeated."[22] Bush did not say when
he expected this would be achieved. (Previous to this usage, after stepping off
the presidential helicopter on Sunday, September 16, 2001, Bush stated in an
unscripted and controversial comment: "This crusade, this war on terrorism is
going to take a while." Bush later apologized for this remark due to the negative
connotations the term crusade has to people of Muslim faith. The word crusade
was not used again).

US President Barack Obama has rarely used the term, but in his inaugural
address on January 20, 2009, he stated "Our nation is at war, against a far-
reaching network of violence and hatred." In March 2009 the Defense
Department officially changed the name of operations from "Global War on
Terror" to "Overseas Contingency Operation" (OCO). In March 2009, the Obama
administration requested that Pentagon staff members avoid use of the term,
instead using "Overseas Contingency Operation".

Both the term and the policies it denotes have been a source of ongoing
controversy, as critics argue it has been used to justify unilateral preventive war,
human rights abuses and other violations of international law.[26][27]
US objectives
The George W. Bush administration defined the following objectives in the War
on Terror:

1. Defeat terrorists such as Osama Bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and
destroy their organizations
2. Identify, locate and destroy terrorists along with their organizations
3. Deny sponsorship, support and sanctuary to terrorists
1. End the state sponsorship of terrorism
2. Establish and maintain an international standard of accountability
with regard to combating terrorism
3. Strengthen and sustain the international effort to fight terrorism
4. Work with willing and
able states
5. Enable weak states
6. Persuade reluctant
7. Compel unwilling states
8. Interdict and disrupt
material support for
9. Eliminate terrorist
sanctuaries and havens

4. Diminish the underlying conditions that terrorists seek to exploit

1. Partner with the international community to strengthen weak states
and prevent (re)emergence of terrorism
2. Win the war of ideals
5. Defend US citizens and interests at home and abroad
1. Implement the National Strategy for Homeland Security
2. Attain domain awareness
3. Enhance measures to ensure the integrity, reliability, and
availability of critical physical and information-based infrastructures
at home and abroad
4. Integrate measures to protect US citizens abroad
5. Ensure an integrated incident management capability.
US and NATO-led military
Operation Active Endeavour

Operation Active Endeavour is

a naval operation of NATO
started in October 2001 in
response to the September 11
attacks. It operates in the
Mediterranean Sea and is
designed to prevent the
movement of militants or
weapons of mass destruction
and to enhance the security of
shipping in general. The
operation has also assisted
Greece with its prevention of
illegal immigration.

Operation Enduring Freedom

Operation Enduring Freedom is the official name used by the Bush

administration for the War in Afghanistan, together with three smaller military
actions, under the umbrella of the Global War on Terror. These global operations
are intended to seek out and destroy any al-Qaeda fighters or affiliates.
Pakistan involvement
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, former President of Pakistan Pervez
Musharraf sided with the United States against the Taliban government in
Afghanistan after an ultimatum by U.S. President George W. Bush. Musharraf
agreed to give the United States the use of three airbases for Operation Enduring
Freedom. United States Secretary of State Colin Powell and other administration
officials met with Musharraf. On September 19, 2001, Musharraf addressed the
people of Pakistan and stated that, while he opposed military tactics against the
Taliban, Pakistan risked being endangered by an alliance of India and the U.S. if
it did not cooperate. In 2006, Musharraf testified that this stance was pressured
by threats from the U.S., and revealed in his memoirs that he had "war-gamed"
the United States as an adversary and decided that it would end in a loss for

On January 12, 2002, Musharraf gave a speech against Islamic extremism. He

unequivocally condemned all acts of terrorism and pledged to combat Islamic
extremism and lawlessness within Pakistan itself. He stated that his government
was committed to rooting out extremism and made it clear that the banned
militant organizations would not be allowed to resurface under any new name.
He said, "the recent decision to ban extremist groups promoting militancy was
taken in the national interest after thorough consultations. It was not taken under
any foreign influence".[52]

In 2002, the Musharraf-led government took a firm stand against the jihadi
organizations and groups promoting extremism, and arrested Maulana Masood
Azhar, head of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, chief of
the Lashkar-i-Taiba, and took dozens of activists into custody. An official ban was
imposed on the groups on January 12.[53] Later that year, the Saudi born Zayn al-
Abidn Muhammed Hasayn Abu Zubaydah was arrested by Pakistani officials
during a series of joint U.S.-Pakistan raids. Zubaydah is said to have been a
high-ranking al-Qaeda official with the title of operations chief and in charge of
running al-Qaeda training camps.[54] Other prominent al-Qaeda members were
arrested in the following two years, namely Ramzi Binalshibh, who is known to
have been a financial backer of al-Qaeda operations, and Khalid Shaikh
Mohammed, who at the time of his capture was the third highest ranking official
in al-Qaeda and had been directly in charge of the planning for the September 11

In 2004 the Pakistani Army launched a campaign in the Federally Administered

Tribal Areas of Pakistan's Waziristan region, sending in 80,000 troops. The goal
of the conflict was to remove the al-Qaeda and Taliban forces in the region.
After the fall of the Taliban regime many members of the Taliban resistance fled
to the Northern border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan where the Pakistani
army had previously little control. With the logistics and air support of the United
States, the Pakistani Army captured or killed numerous al-Qaeda operatives
such as Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, wanted for his involvement in the USS Cole
bombing, the Oplan Bojinka plot, and the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter
Daniel Pearl.

The United States has carried out a campaign of Drone attacks on targets all
over the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. However, the Pakistani Taliban
resistance still operates there. To this day it’s estimated that 15 U.S. soldiers
were killed while fighting al-Qaeda and Taliban remnants in Pakistan since the
War on Terror began.[55]
The notion of a "war" against "terror" or "terrorism" has proven highly
contentious, with critics charging that it has been exploited by participating
governments to pursue long-standing policy objectives, reduce civil liberties, and
infringe upon human rights. Some argue that the term war is not appropriate in
this context, since they believe there is no identifiable enemy, and that it is
unlikely international terrorism can be brought to an end by military means.[69] The
Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the Crown Prosecution Service in the
United Kingdom, Ken McDonald has stated that those responsible for acts of
terror such as the 7 July 2005 London bombings are not "soldiers" in a war, but
"inadequates" who should be dealt with by the criminal justice system.[70] Other
critics, such as Francis Fukuyama, note that "terrorism" is not an enemy but a
tactic; calling it a "war on terror" obscures differences between conflicts.

The term terrorism has been characterized as unacceptably vague. The United
Nations Office on Drugs and Crime stated that there is lack of agreement on a
definition of terrorism and that has proven to be an obstacle to meaningful
international countermeasures. It proceeds to declare that "Some have often
commented that one state's 'terrorist' is another state's 'freedom fighter'".
Governments in Iran, Lebanon, and Venezuela consistently use the term
"terrorism" to describe actions taken by the United States.[71] The use of state
terrorism by the U.S. and the inherent hypocrisy of the term have been
commented upon by Americans as well, including 3 star general William Odom,
formerly President Reagan's NSA Director, who wrote:

"As many critics have pointed out, terrorism is not an enemy. It is a tactic.
Because the United States itself has a long record of supporting terrorists and
using terrorist tactics, the slogans of today's war on terrorism merely makes the
United States look hypocritical to the rest of the world. A prudent American
president would end the present policy of "sustained hysteria" over potential
terrorist attacks..treat terrorism as a serious but not a strategic problem,
encourage Americans to regain their confidence, and refuse to let al Qaeda keep
us in a state of fright."[72][73]

Further criticism maintains that the War on Terror provides a framework for
perpetual war; the announcement of such open-ended goals produces a state of
endless conflict, since "terrorist groups" can continue to arise indefinitely.[74]
George W. Bush pledged that the War on Terror "will not end until every terrorist
group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated".[75] During a July
2007 visit to the United States, newly appointed British Prime Minister Gordon
Brown defined the War on Terror, specifically the element involving conflict with
Al Qaeda, as "a generational battle".[76]

The War on Terror has been criticized as inefficient, with a number of security
experts, politicians, and policy organizations having claimed that the War on
Terror has been counterproductive, that it has consolidated opposition to the
U.S., aided terrorist recruitment, and increased the likelihood of attacks against
the U.S. and its allies. In a 2005 briefing paper, the Oxford Research Group
reported that "Al-Qaida and its affiliates remain active and effective, with a
stronger support base and a higher intensity of attacks than before 9/11. ...Far
from winning the 'war on terror', the second George W. Bush administration is
maintaining policies that are not curbing paramilitary movements and are actually
increasing violent anti-Americanism." On September 19, 2008, the RAND
Corporation presented the results of a comprehensive study for "Defeating
Terrorist Groups" before the United States House Armed Services Committees,
which said that "by far the most effective strategy against religious groups has
been the use of local police and intelligence services, which were responsible for
the end of 73 percent of [terrorist] groups since 1968."[77] The RAND Corporation
recommended "[The U.S. military] should generally resist being drawn into
combat operations in Muslim countries where its presence is likely to increase
terrorist recruitment." They stated that "moving away from military references
would indicate that there was no battlefield solution to countering terrorism."

Others have criticized the U.S. for double standards in its dealings with key allies
that are also known to support terrorist groups, such as Pakistan. Afghan
President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly stated that in the "war against terrorism,"
“the central front is Pakistan"; Pakistan has also been alleged to provide Taliban
operatives with covert support via the ISI.[78] These accusations of double dealing
apply to civil liberties[79] and human rights as well as terrorism. According to the
Federation of American Scientists, "[i]n its haste to strengthen the "frontline"
states' ability to confront transnational terrorist threats on their soil, and to gain
the cooperation of regimes of geostrategic significance to the next phases of the
"War on Terrorism", the administration is disregarding normative restrictions on
U.S. aid to human rights abusers."[80] Amnesty International has argued that the
Patriot Act gives the U.S. government free rein to violate the constitutional rights
of citizens.[81] The Bush administration's use of torture and alleged use of
extraordinary rendition and secret prisons have all fueled opposition to the War
on Terror.

International support of the War on Terror has also faced a substantial decline,
both in public opinion and by foreign state officials. In 2002, strong majorities
supported the U.S.-led War on Terror in Britain, France, Germany, Japan, India,
and Russia. By 2006, supporters of the effort were in the minority in Britain
(49%), France (43%), Germany (47%), and Japan (26%). Although a majority of
Russians still supported the War on Terror, that majority had decreased by 21%.
Whereas 63% of the Spanish population supported the War on Terror in 2003,
only 19% of the population indicated support in 2006. 19% of the Chinese
population supports the War on Terror, and less than a fifth of the populations of
Turkey, Egypt, and Jordan support the effort. Indian support for the War on
Terror has been stable.[86] Andrew Kohut, speaking to the U.S. House Committee
on Foreign Affairs, noted that, according to the Pew Research Center polls
conducted in 2004, "majorities or pluralities in seven of the nine countries
surveyed said the U.S.-led war on terror was not really a sincere effort to reduce
international terrorism. This was true not only in Muslim countries such as
Morocco and Turkey, but in France and Germany as well. The true purpose of
the war on terror, according to these skeptics, is American control of Middle East
oil and U.S. domination of the world."[87]

Stella Rimington, former head of the British intelligence service MI5, has
criticized the war on terror as a "huge overreaction", and had decried the
militarization and politicization of the U.S. efforts as being the wrong approach to
terrorism.[88] In January 2009, the British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, wrote
that "ultimately, the notion is misleading and mistaken" and later said "Historians
will judge whether [the notion] has done more harm than good".[
Future of Terrorism
As a conflict method that has survived and evolved through several millennia to
flourish in the modern information age, terrorism continues to adapt to meet the
challenges of emerging forms of conflict, and exploit developments in technology
and society. Terrorism has demonstrated increasing abilities to adapt to counter-
terrorism measures and political failure. Terrorists are developing new
capabilities of attack and improving the efficiency of existing methods.
Additionally, terrorist groups have shown significant progress in escaping from a
subordinate role in nation-state conflicts, and becoming prominent as
international influences in their own right. They are becoming more integrated
with other sub-state entities, such as criminal organizations and legitimately
chartered corporations, and are gradually assuming a measure of control and
identity with national governments.

Adaptive Capabilities of Terror

Terrorists have shown the ability to adapt to the techniques and methods of
counter-terror agencies and intelligence organizations over the long term. The
decentralization of the network form of organization is an example of this.
Adopted to reduce the disruption caused by the loss of key links in a chain of
command, a network organization also complicates the tasks of security forces,
and reduces predictability of operations.

Terrorists have also been quick to use new technologies, and

adapt existing ones to their uses. The debate over privacy of computer data
was largely spurred by the specter of terrorists planning and communicating
with encrypted data beyond law enforcement's ability to intercept or decode
this data. To exchange information, terrorists have exploited disposable
cellular phones, over the counter long-distance calling cards, Internet cafes,
and other means of anonymous communications. Embedding information in
digital pictures and graphics is another innovation employed to enable the
clandestine global communication that modern terrorists require.

Terrorists have also demonstrated significant resiliency after disruption by

counter-terrorist action. Some groups have redefined themselves after being
defeated or being forced into dormancy. The Shining Path of Peru (Sendero
Luminosa) lost its leadership cadre and founding leader to counter-terrorism
efforts by the Peruvian government in 1993. The immediate result was severe
degradation in the operational capabilities of the group.
However, the Shining Path has returned to rural operations and organization
in order to reconstitute itself. Although not the threat that it was, the group
remains in being, and could exploit further unrest or governmental weakness
in Peru to continue its renewal.

In Italy, the Red Brigades (Brigate Rossi) gradually lapsed into inactivity due to
governmental action and a changing political situation. However, a decade
after the supposed demise of the Red Brigades, a new group called the Anti-
Capitalist Nuclei emerged exhibiting a continuity of symbols, styles of
communiqués, and potentially some personnel from the original Red Brigade
organization. This ability to perpetuate ideology and symbology during a
significant period of dormancy, and re-emerge under favorable conditions
demonstrates the durability of terrorism as a threat to modern societies.

Increasing Capabilities of
Terrorists are improving their sophistication and abilities in virtually all aspects
of their operations and support. The aggressive use of modern technology for
information management, communication and intelligence has increased the
efficiency of these activities. Weapons technology has become more
increasingly available, and the purchasing power of terrorist organizations is
on the rise. The ready availability of both technology and trained personnel to
operate it for any client with sufficient cash allows the well-funded terrorist to
equal or exceed the sophistication of governmental counter-measures.

Likewise, due to the increase in information outlets, and competition with

increasing numbers of other messages, terrorism now requires a greatly
increased amount of violence or novelty to attract the attention it requires. The
tendency of major media to compete for ratings and the subsequent revenue
realized from increases in their audience size and share produces pressures
on terrorists to increase the impact and violence of their actions to take
advantage of this sensationalism.

Today, most experts believe that certain parts of the Middle East, Pakistan
and Afghanistan are turning out to be the main power centers for terrorism.
Decades of lawlessness and corruption have seen Islamic terrorist groups fill
the power vaccum in this region and continue to turn out an alarming number
of religiously motivated terrorists.
Terrorism: A Modern
Terrorism has become a part of modern life. Hijackings, bombings, and
assassinations on different continents of the world may seem like isolated
attacks, but they reflect an easy reliance on violence as a way to promote social,
political, and religious change. They are elements of a pervasive end justifies the
means philosophy being followed to its most perverse conclusions.

International terrorism has become the scourge of all democratic governments.

These democratic governments are accustomed to dealing within a legal
structure, often find it difficult to deal with criminals and terrorists that routinely
operate outside of the law. However, deterrence is just as much a part of justice
as proper enforcement of the laws. Democratic governments that do not deter
criminals inevitably spawn vigilantism as normally law-abiding citizens who have
lost confidence in the criminal justice system take the law into their own hands. A
similar backlash is beginning to emerge as a result of the inability of western
democracies to defend themselves against terrorists. However, lack of
governmental resolve is only part of the problem.

Terrorists thrive on media exposure, and news organizations

around the world have been all too willing to give terrorists what they crave,
publicity. If the news media gave terrorists the minuscule coverage their numbers
and influence would decline. But, when hijackings and bombings are given
prominent media attention, governments start feeling pressure from their citizens
to resolve the crisis and eventually capitulate to terrorists’ demands. Encouraged
by their latest success, terrorists usually try again -Winston Churchill Recent
successes have made terrorists hungry for more attacks. News commentators
have been unwilling to call terrorism what it is, Blind criminal violence. They
soften their barbaric acts by arguing that one man’s terrorist is another man’s
freedom fighter. This illusion is simply not true. Terrorists are not concerned
about human rights and human dignity.

In fact, they end up destroying human rights in their alleged fight for human
rights. A relatively new term for terrorism has been coined, new warfare. Yet,
terrorists turn the notion of war on its head. Innocent citizens become targets in
the devastating terrorist attacks. How do we define a terrorist? Is a terrorist a
common criminal? If terrorists are mere criminals, then with reference to the
Bible, they should be dealt with by their host governments. In Romans 13, the
Apostle Paul says; He who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God;
and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behaviour, but for evil. Do you want to
have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the
same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be
afraid: for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an
avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil This passage of
scripture helps us make an important distinction we will use in our analysis of
terrorism. It shows us that criminals are those who do evil and threaten the civil
peace. But, any outside threat to the existence of the country is not a criminal
threat but an act of war, which is also to be dealt with by the government. In other
words, criminals threaten the state from within. Foreign armies threaten the state
from outside. These evildoers should live in fear of government. However,
terrorists do not live in fear of the governing authorities in the countries where
they live. Their governments do not think of them as breaking civilian laws and
thus do not prosecute them. Let us look over an imaginary situation. If an anti-
Syrian terrorist group was based somewhere in North America, we would
prosecute those terrorists as enemies of our countries.

This North American based terrorist group would be illegal because it would be
engaging in activities reserved for the governments of the North American
countries. Why wouldn’t the Middle Eastern governments prosecute these
terrorists? It’s simple, because the terrorists often carry out the policies and
desires of such host governments. The assumption that is made after studying a
case like this is that both the terrorist groups and their host nations are truly
enemies of the North American governments. After studying this imaginary case,
it is possible to see that both the terrorist groups and their host nations are truly
enemies of North American government and people. When they capture and kill
innocent civilians for military and foreign policy purposes, it is not simply civilian
murder but, military warfare. What the world is facing is a new type of military
aggressor. As explained earlier, terrorists are not common criminals to be tried in
civil courts. They are military targets who must be stopped since they are armed
and military enemies of the governments whom they oppose. In the same way
that it took traditional armies some time to learn how to combat guerrilla warfare,
so it is taking Western governments time to realise that the rules for warfare have
been revised in the case of terrorism. Diplomatic efforts have failed to convince.

Meetings and negotiations haven't been able to strike fear in the hearts of
terrorists. When we fight terrorism we need to realise we are talking about war.
Military warfare is different from civilian peacekeeping. In civilian peacekeeping,
people are presumed innocent until proven guilty. A citizen can be arrested and
detained before trial but must be released unless guilt is proven. Military warfare
is different. A trial is not held for each military action. In a sense, in a just war, a
trial of sorts is held before any action is taken. Discussion and debates among
government officials usually occur before war is declared. Fact-finding studies,
presentations, testimonies, and other kinds of forethought go into a declaration of
war. In a sense, when the use of the military is involved, the trial period comes
before anyone is confronted or arrested.
But once war is declared, there are no more trials until the enemy is defeated.
And every one who aids and abets the enemy is guilty by association. At present,
terrorism is a one-sided war that the target governments are loosing. Soldiers
and citizens are being killed in the war. Unfortunately, the target governments are
not treating terrorism like the war it is. If we take the United States as an
example, the limited war powers granted to the president by Congress are not
powerful enough and are not used in a systematic way to defeat the enemy. If we
are to win the war against terrorism, we must realise that it is war. Until we see it
as military aggression, we will be unsuccessful in ending terrorism in this decade.
If we continue on with the example of the United States, The ability of these
groups to carry out their agenda is not the issue.

The fundamental issue is how U.S. government leaders should deal with this new
type of military strategy. Terrorists have held American diplomats hostage for
years, blown up military compounds, and hijacked aeroplanes and cruise ships.
Although some hostages have been released, many others have been killed, and
the U.S. has been unsuccessful at punishing more than a small number of
terrorists. Even though international diplomacy has been the primary means used
by The United States against terrorism, we should consider what other means
may be appropriate. In the past American leaders have responded to military
aggression in a variety of ways short of declaring war. The U.S. Constitution
grants the following powers to Congress: To define and punish piracies and
felonies committed on the high Seas, and offences against the law of nations; to
declare war, grant letters of marquee and reprisal, and make rules concerning
captures on land and water. Terrorist acts fall into at least two of the
congressional provisions for dealing with attacks on the nations. They are: (1) to
punish offenses against the law of nations, and (2) to declare war. In either case,
there are strong constitutional grounds for taking action against terrorists. The
difficulty comes in clearly identifying the enemy and being willing to risk offending
many Arab nations whom we consider allies. Congress must identify the enemy
and call that group a military target. Once that has happened, many of the other
steps fall into place with less difficulty. It can be seen that, through diplomatic
channels we must make two things very clear to the leaders of the host country.
First, they should catch and punish the terrorist groups as civilian criminals.

Or, second, they should extradite the enemy soldiers to an

international court for trial. If the host country fails to act on these two
requests, we should make it clear that we see it as in complicity with the
terrorist groups. By failing to exercise their civil responsibility, these countries
leave themselves open to the consequences of allowing military forces hostile
to the target government, to remain within their borders. Although diplomacy
has its place, it is easy to see that diplomacy and negotiation do not strike fear
in the hearts of terrorists. In most cases, diplomatic efforts have failed to bring
terrorists to justice. It has been shown that Romans 13 acknowledges the
government's right to bear the sword to protect its citizens from criminal
threats within the country and military threats outside the country.
We have also shown that military action is sanctioned by Congress to punish
piracies and felonies and to punish offence against the law of nations. With
these facts as background, we should now focus on the issue of just
punishment. The principle here is that the punishment must be proportional to
the crime. A judge could not chop off a man's hand merely because he
scratched another man's hand in a fight. The punishment should be burn for
burn and wound for wound. In saying this, it does not mean that the target
government should not go off and start to bomb the host countries’ cities if the
do not do anything to stop a terrorist group that had for examples sake,
kidnapped the target government’s governmental officials.

However, just and proportional punishment also means that we should not
apply too light a punishment. Countries that harbour terrorists and refuse to
punish or extradite them should be pressured. Punishment could come in the
form of economic embargoes, import-export restrictions, the serving of
diplomatic relations, or even military actions. Any excessive reaction in a
situation like this would not only be unjust, bit it would also fuel the fires of an
even stronger retaliation from the host country. In the most desperate cases, a
strike force of counterterrorists might be necessary where the threat is both
real and imminent. This however, should be considered only as an option of
last resort. Some examples of such actions are, in 1989, an Israeli special
forces team successfully captured a man by the name of Sheik Obeid, and no
doubt put a dent in the terrorist network by bringing one of its leaders to
justice. Another example is, in 1985, United States Air Force planes were able
to force down an Egyptian airliner to prevent the escape of another terrorist
leader. These are acts which should be done rarely and carefully. But, they
may be appropriate means to bring about justice.

In conclusion, terrorism must be recognised as a new type of military

aggression that requires governmental action. It involves an undeclared war
and government officials must take the same sort of actions that they would if
threatened by a hostile country. There must be changes in order to prevent
further terrorist aggression in this decade and in the future. There has to be a
line drawn if we are too completely eradicate this modern scourge of terrorism.

Terrorist activities in the world (2000 – 2010)

Terrorism’s Impact on International Relation

videowss of terrorism…..