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Chapter 13 Terrorism & Terrorists

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  1. Chapter 13 Terrorism & Terrorists

  2. Chapter Summary • Chapter Thirteen is an overview of domestic and international terrorism. • The Chapter begins with a definition of terrorism and the extent of terrorism worldwide. • Chapter Thirteen then outlines three major terrorist groups throughout the world. • This is followed with a discussion of terrorist groups within the borders of the United States.

  3. Chapter Summary • The Chapter concludes with possible causes of terrorism and how law enforcement is attempting to combat terrorism. After reading this chapter, students should be able to: • Define terrorism • Explain the difference between terrorists and freedom fighters • Discuss the extent of terrorism

  4. Chapter Summary • Understand Al-Qaeda, the PLO, and Hizballah • Discuss terrorism in the United States • Explain the causes of terrorism • Discuss law enforcement’s policy for combating terrorism

  5. Introduction • Terrorism has a long history • The term terrorism itself is believed to have originated with the French Revolution.

  6. Terrorism Defined • Terrorism is highly organized and conducted primarily for political or religious reasons. • The FBI defines terrorism as: The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social goals.

  7. Why Terrorism? • Terrorism is a tactic used to influence the behavior of others through intimidation. • Terrorists typically appeal to a higher moral good. • Terrorists strike at innocents because the very essence of terrorism is public intimidation. • Terrorism has an ultimate purpose. • Every time terrorists gain an objective they have sought, the rationality of terrorism in demonstrated along with its immorality.

  8. Is there a Difference between Terrorists & Freedom Fighters? • Freedom fighters are fighters in wars of national liberation against foreign occupiers or against oppressive domestic regimes they seek to overthrow. • Freedom fighter activity is typically confined to third-world dictatorships or one-party states, while terrorists operate mostly against liberal Western democracies.

  9. Figure 13.1 International Terrorist Attacks, 1982–2003 Source: U.S. Department of State (2004). Patterns of Global Terrorism, 2003.

  10. The Extent of Terrorism • Although terrorism has ancient roots, it became far more prevalent, deadly, and destructive from the late 1960s onward, because: • The instability experienced by many countries following WWII • The high point of conflict between the superpowers • Modern transportation • Modern technology

  11. The Extent of Terrorism • Of the 74 terrorist groups listed by the U.S. Department of State (2003), only three of the groups still active originated before 1960. • We are seeing fewer terrorists incidents as counter terrorism becomes more sophisticated. • Although deaths and injuries caused by terrorists are matters of grave concern, the damage to a society as a whole is more psychological than physical.

  12. Terrorism & Common Crime • Terrorist organizations must be financed. Funding may come from: • Governments sympathetic to the cause. • Private sympathizers • Common criminal activities • Nongovernmental organizations

  13. Table 13.1 International Terrorist Attacks, 1982–2003 Sources: 2000 - 2003 terrorism figures from U.S. Department of State (2004); the 2004 figure from the National Counterterrorism Center. Homicide figures from the 2001 through 2005 UCRs.

  14. Al-Qaeda • Al-Qaeda is not a single terrorist group but rather the base organization for a number of Sunni Muslim terrorist groups. • Al-Qaeda got its start under Osama bin Laden in the late 1980s. • Bin Laden and his organization are virulently anti-West in general, and anti-American in particular.

  15. Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) • The PLO serves as an umbrella organization for several groups serving a variety of ideologies and agendas united by Palestinian nationalism. • The PLO was created at the first Arab Summit meeting in Egypt in 1964 with the aim of liberating Palestine from the Israelis.

  16. Hizballah: Party of God • Hizballah is the best contemporary example of a state-sponsored terrorist organization.

  17. Hizballah • It was organized by the Shi’ite religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini to fight the secular rule of the Shah of Iran. • The more radical among modern Shi’ites view the existence of a Jewish state in an area they also consider holy to be an affront to Islam.

  18. Table 13.2 Some Major Terrorist Groups Source: Department of State (2004). Patterns of Global Terrorism.

  19. Table 13.2 Some Major Terrorist Groups Source: Department of State (2004). Patterns of Global Terrorism.

  20. Table 13.2 Some Major Terrorist Groups Source: Department of State (2004). Patterns of Global Terrorism.

  21. Terrorism in the United States • Left-wing terrorism in the United States became active during the turmoil of the 1960s. • Some left-wing terrorist groups in the United States: • Weather Underground • May 19 Communist Organization • Revolutionary Armed Task Force • Black Liberation Army

  22. Ideological: Right-Wing • Most right-wing American groups characterized as terrorist are extremist rather than terrorist groups in that they hold views that are to the extreme right of mainstream. • Some right-wing terrorist groups in the United States: Aryan Nations

  23. There are a number of groups in the United States that employ terrorist tactics that have no grand sociopolitical agenda but rather seek to resolve special issues: Animal Liberation Front Earth Liberation Front Anti-Abortion Groups Special-Issue Domestic Terrorism

  24. Theories about the Causes of Terrorism • Terrorism cannot be understood without understanding the specific historical, social, political, and economic conditions behind the emergence of each terrorist group. • The groups originated in response to some perceived injustice.

  25. Theories about the Causes of Terrorism Many Islamic terrorists are recruited from religious schools known as madrasas.

  26. Is there a Terrorist Personality? • No study of terrorist psychology has ever produced a psychological profile leading the majority of terrorist experts to suspect that there is any such thing as a terrorist personality. • Terrorist groups live on the fringes of the host society & espouse a violently radical vision of reality. • We should look at what terrorist groups have to offer if we want to understand why individuals join them.

  27. Is there a Terrorist Personality? • The terrorist group is made up of three types of individuals. • The charismatic leader is socially alienated, narcissistic, arrogant, and intelligent. • Antisocial individuals have opportunities in terrorist groups to use force and violence to further their own personal goals. • The majority of terrorists are simple followers who see the world purely in black and white and have deep needs for acceptance.

  28. Becoming a Terrorist • The bulk of terrorists are probably better characterized as crusaders convinced of the moral rightness of their cause. • The willingness to perform terrorist acts may reflect a process of moral disengagement more than a manifestation of pathological and/or criminal traits the individual brings to the terrorist group.

  29. Law Enforcement Response & Government Policy • There are a number of ways a democracy can respond to terrorism, ranging from making concessions to military intervention. • Concessions are only likely when there is moral substance to the terrorist cause, or when such concessions are reasonable. • Military intervention may be used when the terrorist threat is too big for civilian authorities to handle.

  30. Law Enforcement Response & Government Policy • The principle of international law obliges countries to either extradite terrorists to the country where their crimes were committed or to punish them themselves. • The mission of the Department of Homeland Security is to detect, prevent, prepare for, and recover from terrorist attacks within the United States.

  31. Law Enforcement Response & Government Policy • The US Patriot Act grants federal agencies greater authority to track & intercept private communications, greater powers to the treasury Department to combat corruption & prevent money laundering, & creates new crimes, penalties, and procedures for use against domestic & foreign terrorists.