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Terrorism and state terrorism studying

by Thomas Guoting Guo

   

   Terrorism has become one of the hottest topic in both academic and practice sphere, since 911 atrocity. Between 1968 to 2003 there weremore than 6100 transnational terrorist attacks, causing more than 36000 deathsand injuries.[1]In 2001, the year of the 9/11 atrocity, there were 1,732 recorded incidents worldwide;five years later 、、. the annual figure had risen to 6,659 (English 2010, 77)[2].anew book on terrorism appears nearly every six hours, and Richard Jackson notesthat, during this period, peer-reviewed papers have increased by approximately300% (Guardian Weekly, 21 September 2007, 44).

   

   

   [1]Kristopher K.Robison, Edward M.Crenshaw, J.Craig Jenkins, Ideologies ofViolence: The Social Origins of Islanist and leftist Transnational Terrorism2006, p.1.

   [2]Matt Haunstrup Qvortrup, Terrorism and Political Science, BJPIR: 2012 VOL 14, p.503

   

   the earliest actsof terrorism to have started in ancient Palestine during the first century CE,when Jewish citizens sought freedom from Roman occupation by engaging inassassinations of Romans and suspected Jewish collaborators. One group wascalled the Sicari because of their favored use of the sica orshort dagger to murder Jewish collaborators. Another group, led by Simon BenKoseba, exhibited intense fanaticism by killing mainly Romans and Greeks, oftenin open displays of violence similar to those seen today. This group was calledthe Zealots, and it is from them that we derive the present meaning ofthe word for individuals who are fanatics (CDI, 2003).[1]By the early middle ages, a radical Muslim group in the Middle East began tokill those who failed to follow fundamentalist versions of Islam. It wasrumored that these killers used hashish prior to their killings and it is fromthe term “hashish” that the modern word “assassin” is derived (CDI, 2003).Another group in India that functioned between the 7th and the 19th centuries,the Thugees (it is from them that we derive the word “thug”), strangledtheir victims as an offering to the Hindu goddess of terror and violence (CDI,2003).

   

   [1]Anthony J. Marsella PhD, DHC& Fathali M. Moghaddam (2004)The Origins and Nature of Terrorism, Journalof Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma,9:1-2, 19-31, DOI: 10.1300/J146v09n01_02To link to this article:http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J146v09n01_02

   Osama Bin Laden, Al Queda and 911 terrorists attacks

   

   The 1993 attack onthe World Trade Center (WTC) led by Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, in which six peoplewere killed and hundreds injured. In 2001, September 11 attacks, as well as theothers around the globe, were part of a larger master plan guided by aninternational terrorist group known as Al Qaeda, a well organized andrichly-funded Muslim fundamentalist group headed by an educated and wealthySaudi Arabian citizen, Osama Bin Laden. In the words of Osama Bin Laden, he andAl Qaeda [translation: The Source or Base] were seeking revenge for whatthey viewed as America’s many economic, political, and cultural exploitationsof Islamic people and cultural traditions.[1]

   

   . . . The people ofIslam had suffered from aggression, iniquity, and injustice imposed on them bythe Zionist-Crusaders’ alliance . . . the latest of these aggressions incurredby the Muslims since the death of the Prophet is the occupation of the land ofthe two Holy Places . . . by the armies of the American Crusaders and theirallies. . . . For over seven years the United States has been occupying the landsof Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches,dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, andturning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight theneighboring Muslim people. (Osama Bin Laden, 1998; Source: Strategic StudiesInstitute,www.army.mil.usassi)

   

   Osama Bin Ladencommented on the attack of September 11,2001: What America is tasting now issomething insignificant compared to what we have tasted for scores of years.Our nation [the Islamic World] has been tasting this humiliation and thisdegradation for more than 80 years, its sons are killed, its blood is shed, itssanctuaries are attacked, and no one hears and no one heeds. (Osama Bin Laden,October 8, 2001; Source: Associated Press)

   

   America was to bepunished for its many offenses against the Muslim people and Islam. Revengewould be had and it would be meted out in destructive scenarios designed tobring the Al Qaeda cause to people around the world. Osama Bin Ladenknew very well that his destructive acts would bring cheers from many whoshared his views of America’s perceived role as “Satan,” and not all among themwould be Muslims. Others who perceive America to be the source of theirproblems would use this opportunity to condemn America’s foreign and economicpolicies. For example, Arundhati Roy, a popular English journalist with theManchesterGuardian, likened Osama Bin Laden to America itself. He wrote:

   

   What is Osama binLaden? He’s America’s family secret. He is the American President’s dark“doppelganger.” The savage twin of all that purports to be beautiful andcivilized. He has been sculpted from the spare rib of a world laid to waste byAmerica’s foreign policy: its gunboat diplomacy, its nuclear arsenal, itsvulgarly stated policy of “full-spectrum dominance,” its chilling disregard fornon-American lives, its barbarous military interventions, its support fordespotic and dictatorial regimes, its merciless economic agenda that hasmunched through the economies of poor countries like a cloud of locusts. Itsmarauding multinationals who are taking over the air we breathe, the ground westand on, the water we drink. The thoughts we think. Now the family secret hasbeen spilled, the twins are blurring into one another and gradually becominginterchangeable. (Roy, 2001, p. 1)

   

   the actions of AlQaeda on September 11, 2001 constitute a crime of mass murder anddestruction and demand punishment and retribution. The acts meet the criterianeeded to define terrorism and as such are subject to international legalaction. Murder of innocent civilians to promote political, economic, or socialaims is a horrendous crime, and cannot be justified by cries of oppression orabuse. Efforts to alter political, economic, or social conditions bysub-national groups are not crimes in themselves, but the efforts must beconducted within the constraints of law and morality as codified in local,national, and international systems.[2]

   

   [1] KristopherK.Robison, Edward M.Crenshaw, J.Craig Jenkins, Ideologies of Violence: TheSocial Origins of Islanist and leftist Transnational Terrorism 2006, p.3

   [2] KristopherK.Robison, Edward M.Crenshaw, J.Craig Jenkins, Ideologies of Violence: TheSocial Origins of Islanist and leftist Transnational Terrorism 2006, p.12

   The definition of terrorism

   

   There are manydefinitions of terrorism (see Burgess, 2003; Hallett, 2003; Moghaddam &Marsella, 2003),many legal and scholarly experts accept the definition used bythe United States Department of State in Title 22 of the United States Code,Section 2656f(d): “ . . . premeditated, politically-motivated violenceperpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestineagents, usually intended to influence an audience”. The essential elements ofterrorism are thus: (a) The use of force or violence; (b) by individuals orgroups; (c) directed toward innocent civilians; (d) intended to influence orcoerce changes in political or social decisions and policies; (e) by instillingfear and terror. broader definition, which would include state-sponsoredterrorism and state terrorism.

   Dose any reasons justify political violence?

   

   There are numerousother struggles between governments and disaffected minority groups who seekindependence. Consider the situations between the Israelis and thePalestinians, Spain and the Basques, England and the IRA in Northern Ireland,China and the Tibetans, and, of course, the Shiite and Kurdish efforts againstthe former government of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But what is it that justifiesthe use of violence and the label guerilla, insurgent, or freedom fighterrather than terrorist? Many unresolved issues remain surrounding the nature,definition, meaning, and legal implications of terrorist acts (e.g., Burgess,2003).

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