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Chapter 13 Terrorism & Terrorists. 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.

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chapter summary
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.
chapter summary3
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

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
  • Terrorism has a long history
  • The term terrorism itself is believed to have originated with the French Revolution.
terrorism defined
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.
why terrorism
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.
is there a difference between terrorists freedom fighters
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.

Figure 13.1

International Terrorist Attacks, 1982–2003

Source: U.S. Department of State (2004). Patterns of Global Terrorism, 2003.

the extent of terrorism
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
the extent of terrorism11
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.
terrorism common crime
Terrorism & Common Crime
  • Terrorist organizations must be financed.

Funding may come from:

  • Governments sympathetic to the cause.
  • Private sympathizers
  • Common criminal activities
  • Nongovernmental organizations

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.

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.
palestine liberation organization plo
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.
hizballah party of god
Hizballah: Party of God
  • Hizballah is the best contemporary example of a state-sponsored terrorist organization.
  • 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.

Table 13.2 Some Major Terrorist Groups

Source: Department of State (2004). Patterns of Global Terrorism.


Table 13.2 Some Major Terrorist Groups

Source: Department of State (2004). Patterns of Global Terrorism.


Table 13.2 Some Major Terrorist Groups

Source: Department of State (2004). Patterns of Global Terrorism.

terrorism in the united states
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
ideological right wing
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
special issue domestic terrorism
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
theories about the causes of terrorism
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.
theories about the causes of terrorism26
Theories about the Causes of Terrorism

Many Islamic terrorists are recruited from religious schools known as madrasas.

is there a terrorist personality
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.
is there a terrorist personality28
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.
becoming a terrorist
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.
law enforcement response government policy
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.

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.

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.