Thursday, June 25, 2009

Terrorism Essay

On September 11, 2001 at 8:46 A.M. Americans awoke (with=to) the reality of terrorism. The events that unfolded changed our country; it changed the way that we looked at terrorism forever. Americans have heard about terrorism in the past, but no incident had ever struck so hard or so close to home as this one did. This was the worst terrorism attack on the United States since the Oklahoma City Bombing in April of 1995. American(s) watched in awe as terrorists hijacked four planes: two that hit the Twin Towers in New York, one that crashed into the Pentagon, and one that was successfully stopped by heroic passengers in Pennsylvania (Wrobleski, 2003). The threat of terrorism has always been real, but on this day it was brought to light. Unfortunately, there are different types of terrorism that is possible, many of which Americans do not realize. While terrorism is at its greatest, it is important for Americans to know what types of terrorism there are, what (stems=surs?) terroristic acts and what we can and are (we) doing to prevent it.

While the different types of terrorism have not been classified, they have been broken into six different types: Nationalist, Religious, State-Sponsored, Left-Wing, Right-Wing, and Anarchist. Almost each terrorist act that has happened can be placed under one of these categories. Regrettably, there have been new forms of terrorism that have started to surface. These would be bio-terrorism and domestic terrorism (Council, 2003). In order to understand terrorism as a whole we must look at the background and history from which it stems.

Nationalist terrorism can easily be seen in the terrorist group the Irish Republican Army. Many nationalists, such as these, do not see themselves as terrorists, but as mere freedom fighters. They excuse their actions by stating that they are trying to fight for national liberation of their country. The I.R.A. (Irish Republican Army) is an organization that wants to end British rule and unify with the Republic of Ireland. Since the late 1960’s, the I.R.A. has killed more then 1,800 people, many of which were targeted British troops, police officers, and judges (Council, 2003). In July 2002, though, the I.R.A. offered its sympathy to those families that they have killed, and has since partially disarmed and has called out for peace, (although=delete) they admit that they are still an armed force who opposes any foreign occupation in their country (Sullivan, 2001).

Religious terrorism consists of many faiths and cults. They believe that they have the right to commit violence due to their beliefs. Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network is one of the major religious terrorist organizations in the world (Council, 2003). One of the goals of the al-Qaeda network was to oust the United States Armed Forces out of Saudi Arabia with whatever force and acts necessary. Osama bin Laden’s network took full responsibility for the crimes committed on September 11, 2001. Since then, though, the al-Qaeda network has bombed Pakistan and Tunisia, committed suicide attacks in Bali, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia, and has attacked aircraft over Kenya and the Atlantic Ocean (Terrorism, 2002). The al-Qaeda network has continued to terrorize the world despite global efforts to stop them.

Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan are the seven countries that the United States (had=has) declared state-sponsors of terrorism. Even though the United States has made efforts to decrease state-sponsored terrorism, it remains at an all time high. One of the most active countries is Iran, who has continued to sponsor major terrorist organizations such as the Lebanese Hizballah, the Palestine Islamic Jihad, and Ahmad Jibril's PFLP-GC (United, 2001). State-sponsored terrorism is one of the worst types of terrorism. This is because it allows the group’s access to the money and means necessary to carry out their acts. A state-sponsored country tries to take the blame away from the country itself, and puts the blame onto a particular terrorist group, while funding the group in the shadows (Council, 2003).

Left-wing terrorism usually seeks not to hurt people in a country; rather they try to free the country of capitalism by destroying monuments and kidnapping capitalist leaders (Council, 2003). One of the major left-wing terrorist groups is Italy’s Red Brigade. First attracting attention in the 1970’s, they continue to kidnap and murder top political and educational citizens in Italy. They are responsible for bombings in Rome, Milan, and Genoa. They are also responsible for the murder of Italy’s former Prime Minister Aldo Moro; it was a murder that shocked Italy, and it was comparable to the murder of J.F.K. in the United States. Police in Italy are still issuing warnings for top party officials in Italy; a sure sign that the Red Brigade is still active and harmful (Israely, 2003).

Just this past September German officials took custody of eleven neo-Nazi’s. Also taken into custody was 30 pounds of explosives and hand grenades (Boston, 2003). The neo-Nazi’s, to this day, represent right-wing terrorism. They want to overthrow democratic governments in exchange for a fascist government (Council, 2003). Nobody can forget the attacks that the neo-Nazi’s led against the Jews some 65 years ago. Although lacking structural organization, there have been some minor attacks by the neo-Nazis since the 1930’s. There have also been some spin-off groups that claim to hold the same goals as the neo-Nazis; one of these groups is the Baader-Meinhof gang. The Baader-Meinhof gang has been responsible for the murders of German business leaders and politicians, and the attacks on United States military posts in the past two decades (Boston, 2003).

Anarchists want to overthrow established governments. They were big during the 1870’s until the 1920’s. A major example of an anarchist attack is the murder of the United States former president William McKinley, who was killed in 1901 by a Hungarian refugee (Council, 2003). It is a fact that anarchists remain, even in the United States. There are many websites dedicated to the overthrowing of the United States government, and these websites have been made by our own people. One website,, even answers questions ranging from how to become an anarchist to what anarchy could do for the United States health care system. With the protests of globalizations on the rise, experts are expecting an increase of anarchist violence (Council, 2003).

New technology and scientific developments are being discovered every day, and along with them comes new waves of terrorism. One of the most frightening types of new terrorism is bioterrorism. One of the most publicized acts of bioterrorism has been the anthrax scare that has riddled the United States. The fact is that bioterrorism can strike anyone and anywhere. It can be in our food, it can be in our air, and it can even be in our water. Bioterrorism represents "the most significant national security threat in the 21st century," said Tara O'Toole, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies. She also states that the most possible bioterrorism attacks include anthrax, smallpox, and biological agents in out water and food supply. Currently the United States has teamed together five agencies with the preparation and prevention of a bioterrorism attack: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, FDA, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (Posner, 2003).

Another new category of terrorism is domestic terrorism. Groups that fall under domestic terrorism include animal rights activists, pro-life activists, and environmentalists (eco-terrorists). We have all heard some of the insanely acts committed by one or more of these groups. One of the major domestic terrorist groups is the Environmental Liberation Front (E.L.F.). They have attacked car dealerships, burned down apartment complexes, and torched laboratories. An animal activist group, the Animal Liberation Front, has been responsible for $45 million worth of damage in at least 600 arsons and other incidents. Unfortunately, the crimes are always traditionally covered. The American Legislative Exchange Council states that state legislatures “make no legal distinction between the common thug who vandalizes a public park and an organized ecoterrorist “ and “this allows for a significant circular turnover rate, where criminals return to their organizations to commit further crimes in other locations or jurisdictions” (Bandow, 2003). In Conclusion, many Americans still do not realize the Total Threat of Terrorism, but after reading this paper I hope to convey to others the effects and the different Types of Terrorism. I believe this country is a lot more informed than it used to be, after the events of September 11th, 2001. Also you can see it in the way this country is trying to protect itself. 1) Increased Security of National Airports. 2) Increased Security at all major Military Installations, 3) More involvement in Overseas Affairs. 4) Increased Security at many Federal Buildings, and 5) Just an overall better idea of what Terrorism really is and just how important it is to protect ourselves from the Threat of Acts of Terrorism.


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