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Assignment #3 TerrorismThe Five Forms of Terrorism

Assignment #3 Terrorism

The Five Forms of Terrorism

According to the FBI, international terrorism is violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups who are inspired by, or associated with, designated foreign terrorist organizations or nations (state-sponsored). There is also domestic terrorism which is violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature. The threat of international terrorism has evolved since the attacks on 9/11. Lone offenders and the internet/social media are a big contribution to why terrorism is evolving. The five major forms of terrorism are Criminal terrorism, Ideological terrorism, Nationalistic terrorism, State-sponsored terrorism and Revolutionary terrorism. However, terrorist groups can usually fit into multiple forms of terrorism.

Criminal terrorism is when criminals use terroristic acts to help aid in criminal profit. Political affiliation is not common with criminal terrorism which is why criminal terrorism becomes a law enforcement problem. An example of a criminal terrorist group ISIS. ISIS makes their money in multiple ways. One way ISIS makes money is oil production and smuggling. Oil is smuggled into Turkey by militants. It is then sold to anyone who desperately need it. “ISIS makes between $1 million and $2 million each day from oil sales” (Fants, 2015). Another way Isis makes money is from kidnapping ransoms. ISIS asked the Japanese government for $200 million to free Japanese citizens. When the government didn’t follow through, ISIS slaughtered the men. ISIS uses terror for profit and psychological gain.

The second form of terrorism is ideological terrorism. “Ideological terrorism is normally an effort to change the current political power” (Lyman 2019). An example of ideological terrorism is left wing terrorism. This is when a terrorist group tries to overthrow capitalist systems and replace them with Marxists-Leninist or socialist societies. An example of a Left-wing terrorist group is Narodnaya Volya, also known as, English People’s Will. They tried to overthrow the Tsarist autocracy by means of terroristic acts. To overtake the autocracy, they would assassinate the government officials. In 1881 they official assassinated Tsar Alexander II. Other revolutionary socialists and anarchist followed in suit with this group because of its inspiration to them.

The third form of terrorism is Nationalistic terrorism. Regardless of political ideology

nationalistic terrorism supports the interests of an ethnic or nationalistic group. Nationalist terrorism is a national, ethnic religious or another affiliated group that have the feeling of oppression or being denied rights. “Nationalistic terrorists often align with either Western or Eastern ideologies” (Lyman 2019). Some nationalist terrorist seek a complete independent, soverrign state. An example of a national terrorism group is the ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna). Bombings, assassinations and kidnappings were the main violent campaigns this group accomplished. Their goal was to gain independence for the Basque Country.

The fourth form of terrorism is State-sponsored terrorism. “State-sponsored terrorism occurs when governmental regimes use or threaten to use violence in international relations outside established diplomatic protocol” (Lyman 2019). An example of State-sponsored terrorism is Iran. A US government report said that Iran remains the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Working around the world Iran has funding networks and operational cells. “Nathan Sales, the department's coordinator for counterterrorism, said Iran-linked fundraising networks in West Africa, weapons caches in South

America, and operational activity in Europe show the Islamic Republic "has no reservations about using

[terrorism] on any continent" (Al Jazeera & News Agencies, 2018). US interests in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Bahrain, Afghanistan and Lebanon were undermined due to Iran intensifying multiple conflicts.

The fifth form of terrorism is Revolutionary terrorism. “Revolutionary terrorism involves persons whose guerilla-like tactics invoke fear in those holding political power and their supporters. The goal is to overthrow the current power base and replace it with political leaders who share the terrorists’ views” (Lyman 2019). An example of this is Joseph Stalin and the Great Purge. The goal of this purge was to eliminate members of the communist party and anyone else considered a threat. “The killing and imprisonment started with members of the Bolshevik party, political officials and military members. Then the purge expanded to include peasants, ethnic minorities, artists, scientists, intellects, writers, foreigners and ordinary citizens. Essentially, no one was safe from danger” ( Editors, 2018). Overall out of the 3 billion Communist party members, one-third were killed.


Al Jazeera. (2018, September 19). US: Iran still the 'leading state sponsor of terror'. Retrieved from

Fantz, A. (2015, February 20). How ISIS makes (and takes) money. Retrieved from Editors. (2018, March 15). Great Purge. Retrieved from

Lyman, M. D. (2019). Organized Crime (7th ed.). Ny, Ny: Pearson.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2018, May 2). ETA. Retrieved from

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