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Understanding terrorism, Chapter 1

by: Amanda Beecham

Understanding terrorism, Chapter 1 EM 351

Marketplace > Jacksonville State University > Emergency Mgmt > EM 351 > Understanding terrorism Chapter 1
Amanda Beecham
Jacksonville State University
GPA 3.4
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These notes cover chapter 1 of Understanding Terrorism 5th edition. It is for EM 351- introduction to terrorism
Introduction to terrorism
Eugene I. Rothman, Jeff R. Ryan
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amanda Beecham on Friday August 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to EM 351 at Jacksonville State University taught by Eugene I. Rothman, Jeff R. Ryan in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 48 views. For similar materials see Introduction to terrorism in Emergency Mgmt at Jacksonville State University.

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Date Created: 08/19/16
Understanding T errorism: chapter 1 Understanding Al-qa’ida o Holy war is a duty required for the salvation of their souls and the deliverance of the Muslim nation. o There is no middle ground—you are either an ally or an enemy. o Legal restrictions on the use of force do not apply because this is a justified war. o Mass attacks on economic targets are the goal because Western power is based off of the economy. o Islamic governments that cooperate with the West are to be violently overthrown and are seen as enemies. o Israel must be destroyed o The war on terrorism is not just a conflict of a belief system but also an organization. September 11, 2001: The Dawn of the New Era o These attacks confirmed warnings from the 1990’s saying that a new terrorist environment would emerge.  This new environment has been coined “New Terrorism” where they are focusing on asymmetrical methods. Asymmetrical methods: these methods were not previously accepted as rules of engagement. They will be discussed further in chapters 8 & 10. Extremism and Terrorism o Extremism is radical in opinion especially regarding political subjects. o Extremists who become terrorists always have arguments to rationalize and justify acts of violence against their enemies. o Extremism: how someone expresses an idea and which belief they act upon. o An instinctive understanding of terrorism is that the attacks are typically politically motivated, directed against civilian or government targets, intended to terrorize an audience. o Presumably terrorist acts are grounded in extremists beliefs that come from intergroup conflict, group identity, and a chosen strategy. Symbolism o Symbolism is used to rationalize violence. It can be molded to fit any target. Mala Prohibita or Mala in Se? o Mala prohibita: Acts that are illegal because society deems them to be wrong. They are not inherently evil.  Example: prostitution, gambling, etc. o Mala in Se: Crimes that are immoral or wrong in themselves. These crimes will never be legal.  Example: murder, rape. The Just War Doctrine o This concept is often used by religious extremists to justify war. o There are two components to the concept of a just war  The rationale for initiating the war  And the method of warfare o Jus in Bello: correct behavior while waging war (justice in war) o Jus ad Bellum is having the correct conditions for waging war. (justice of war) Historical Perspectives on Terrorism o Tyrannicide: the killings of tyrants. These assassins were often honored by the public. o The Roman Age: o The Roman Empire was full of violent demonstrations of power, which could arguably now be called terrorism.  Crucifixion was a form of public execution where the persons suffocated due to their bodies sagging on the cross.  Regicide or the killings of kings was also very popular during the Roman Empire. Arguably the most famous case of regicide was the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE. o Medieval Middle East  There are cases in the Middle East that would be considered terrorist tactics in present day.  One example would be the sicarii who attacked both the Romans and members of a Jewish establishment because they opposed the Romans occupying Palestine. The Dark Ages: Prelude to Modern Terrorism o The mid 17 century brought about conflict that changed tactics from open warfare to other means such as guerrilla warfare, insurgency, and terrorism. o The French Revolution  Edmund Burke, a British philosopher, coined the term terrorism to describe the Reign of Terror.  The Reign of Terror occurred between June of 1793 until July of 1794. This was a time where the Jacobin dominated government would arrest any known enemies or anyone perceived to be an enemy and put them on trial.  The trials were known as Revolutionary Tribunals.  Those found guilty during their tribunal were sentenced to death by a new instrument called the guillotine.  Somewhere between 17,000-40,000 persons were executed during the reign of terror and possibly another 200,000 prisoners died from disease and starvation.  The Jacobin dictatorship is would be known today as state terrorism. o Nineteenth-Century Europe.  Several movements in the 19 century advocated for the rights of the lower classes.  One such movement was the luddites. These were English workers who did not like the industrialization of the world. They believed that these machines threatened jobs and would target the machinery in their attacks. The supposed leader of the luddites was Ned Ludd. The luddites operated from 1811-1816 destroying wool and cotton mills until the British government passed the anti-lubbite laws which made destroying machines a crime that was punishable by death. The Unabomber is known as a neo-luddite because he is known as an anti-technology activist as well as a terrorist.  People’s Will in Russia is another example. People’s Will grew out of student unhappiness with the czar in the 19 century. Many of these students became radical reformists within the group, Land and Liberty.  Land and liberty was founded in 1876 with the goal of a peasant uprising. After many public trials, Land and Liberty split into two groups in 1879. Black Repartition still wanted a peasant uprising, while People’s Will became a terrorist organization.  People’s Will is responsible for the assassination of Czar Alexander II on March 1, 1881. The Modern Era and the War on Terrorism o New terrorism has many different characterizations from traditional terrorism. New terrorism is characterized by:  Motivations that are politically vague, religious or otherwise.  Loose cells. Minimal command lines.  They want to possess weapons of mass destruction.  Recruit via internet and manipulation of the media.  Asymmetrical methods that maximize casualties. o The characteristics of traditional terrorism fall more along the lines of the following bullet points:  Easily identified movements  Small arms and explosives  Specific grievances  And a careful selection of targets. o Careful calculation of targets will not only attract a global audience but will also disrupt routine and produce long periods of global awareness which can be devastating to an economy. Criminal Skill and Terrorism o Anders Breivik  Many terrorist attacks are by extremists using relatively low degree of criminal skill. One such case occurred on July 22, 2011 in Norway.  Anders Breivik detonated a car bomb killing eight and wounding at least a dozen before driving several hours to a youth camp disguised as a policeman. He approached the camp claiming to have information on the bombing, as people gathered around he opened fire on the masses. The attack lasted for 90 minutes until police arrived. The death toll was 80 people.  Breivik is a lone wolf who does not represent a group and used low criminal skill in his attack. o Ted Kaczynski  Kaczynski is an example of someone who shows a medium amount of criminal skill in his crimes. This allowed him to stay active for an extended period of time without being caught. Some people will go into a retirement phase for long periods of time, while others remain active-even if only sporadically.  Kaczynski was active for 18 years in which time he was responsible for detonation of more than 15 bombs killing 3 and injuring 22. He was arrested in April of 1996. o Ramzi Yousef  Yousef showed a high degree of criminal sophistication in his attacks.  In February 1993, Yousef detonated a bomb in the parking garage of tower one of the world trade center. His objective was to collapse tower one into tower two and have them fall like dominos.  Yousef had connections with other terrorists, some well funded. He was also highly trained in explosives. He evaded law enforcement until February of 1995 where he was captured in Pakistan and extradited to the US; he was sentenced to 240 years in a super max prison.


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