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Essentials of Terrorism JUS 429 Final Paper International Terrorism


One should bear in mind that none of them were fundamentally aggressive and that they were not terrorist movements. The United Freedom Front has proven to be the most enduring of all the terrorist groups of the period. However, the larger more violent terrorist groups will be impossible to take down using some methods. As events have demonstrated over the last few years, both domestic and international terrorist groups pose threats to Americans within the boundaries of the Unit. A variety of terrorist organizations and cells were born out of this climate. Within this context, cadres of African American revolutionaries committed to using political violence to overthrow what they saw as racist and oppressive regimes have evolved. It presupposes both public funding and more independent terrorist organizations.

International Terrorism

"International terrorism involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or any state.” (FBI, 2016). Acts are intended to threaten or coerce the civilian population, influence the policy of the government, or influence the actions of the government. These actions cross national borders in terms of the means through which they are carried out, the individuals they intend to threaten, or locality in which the perpetrators work. As events have demonstrated over the last few years, both domestic and international terrorist groups pose threats to Americans within the boundaries of the Unit. Terrorism in the international arena has been a common characteristic of political violence since the late 1960’s, when political extremists started to understand the importance of their revolutionary struggles to be waged in the global arena, largely for their propaganda gains. International terrorism is one of the strongest examples of asymmetrical warfare--I.e., unorthodox, unforeseen, and almost unpredictable acts of political abuse. Through practicing it, terrorists can potentially obtain and use new high-yield arsenals, hit unforeseen targets, trigger mass casualties, and apply special, idiosyncratic tactics. The problem for victims and policy makers in the area of counterterrorism is that by using these techniques, the perpetrator will win the initiative and redefine the international security climate by implementing conventional safeguards and dissuasive policies.

International terrorism happens when the target is a global icon, and the political and psychological consequences go beyond a strictly domestic agenda. Many dissident terrorist organizations and extremist movements have routinely operated in solidarity with foreign interests, such as class struggle or national liberation. Ties between

seemingly domestic dissident militant groups and foreign terror are also not unusual. Irrespective of whether political violence is directed toward domestic targets that are foreign icons or take place in other countries, the main aspect of international terrorism is that international implications are apparent. “For example, the February 1993 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City had clear international consequences, as did the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001” (Martin, 2019). In both cases, foreign terrorist cells and the Al-Qaeda network used transnational tools to place terrorist agents in the United States, their targets were prominent symbols of international trade and influence, and their victims were civilians from several nations.

For a variety of factors, militant organizations and movements turn to international terrorism. Some operate in collaboration with others, carrying out an international war against a perceived global enemy. Some groups are inspired by the idiosyncrasies of the community. If one were to apply the Marxists interpretation as reflecting the internationalized struggle of global exploitation by the West. The conceptual labels widely used by violent extremists—both political and religious—include the following: Imperialism, Neocolonialism, and Zionism. One fundamental explanation for high incidence of international terrorism is that it is viewed by many extremists as “a highly efficient instrument for achieving the aims of terrorist movement.” Using the argument of perceived efficiency as a key motive, the practical explanations for international terrorism include a variety of factors: The potential for maximum publicity, Inflicting the potential for maximum psychological anxiety, and pragmatism. One can observe that foreign radicals are applying new adaptations to their theories on a global scale. It is also instructive to look at their ideas from an international perspective. 1) Fish swimming in the sea of people: With the inexorable movement towards globalization, many national, information, and communication barriers have drastically changed. Members of dissident groups are now able to reside in many countries and stay in daily contact across the internet and other communications technologies. 2) Enraging the beast: Relatively weak groups continue to try to provoke governments to respond in ways that are harmful to government interests. They almost guarantee that new followers will appear to join the cause. The idea of an international terrorist network naturally presupposes one or more of the following environments: Terrorists groups talk to each other, The international terrorist environment is basically conspiratorial, terrorist groups support each other, or governments sponsor terrorists. The emphasis in the model of the monolithic terrorist environment is on state-centered actions. In the strong multipolar model of the terrorist climate, the focus is also on state-centered actions. This model assumes that state funding controls terrorist activity, but that many governments fund their chosen organizations. In order to address this form of setting, a variety of outlets will logically have to be co-opted independently of each other. In this model of weak multipolar terrorist setting, the focus moves from the state to terrorist movements. It presupposes both public funding and more independent terrorist organizations. Under this situation, some governments fund their chosen parties, but several of them are largely autonomous.

Countering this climate is more complicated than countering monolithic or dominant multipolar models, since dissident groups are more versatile and adaptable. Theoretically, cutting off one source of assistance would have barely any more effect than a temporary interruption of operations. In the model of a cell-based terrorist setting, the focus is on the terrorist movement. This model assumes that state sponsorship may exist to some degree, but that the revolutionary movement is independent of government restrictions, a kind of free-floating revolution that retains its sovereignty through its own resources. Since this environment has a fluid organizational structure, this environment is the most difficult to counter.

Domestic Terrorism

“Unlike many terrorist environments elsewhere in the world, where the designations of left and right are not always applicable, most political violence in the United States falls within them” (Martin, 2019). “The United States faces a growing terrorism problem that will likely worsen over the next year. Based on a CSIS data set of terrorist incidents, the most significant threat likely comes from white supremacists, though anarchists and religious extremists inspired by the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda could present a potential threat as well” (Jones, et al 2020).

The modern America left is distinguished by a variety of movements that developed out of the revolutionary fervor of the 1960s. They were fairly intertwined, so knowing their roots offers an insightful insight into the fundamental issues of the left. One should bear in mind that none of them were fundamentally aggressive and that they were not terrorist movements. However, the trends of the radicals within them led to groups that often-fought violent confrontations, and some of them were enraged by terrorist violence. As the New Left and Black power movements and organizations became radicalized, many individuals and groups started to promote active resistance against the establishment—identified as mainstream American political and social institutions. Many of these groups referred to themselves as revolutionaries, and some supported the abolition of the military-industrial complex. Prototypic revolutionary movements started to form at the end of the 1960s, and a few groups formed factions that became terrorist organizations. A large number of politically motivated bombings, shootings, and attacks took place during this time. There are four trends on the violent left: 1)

Generational Rebellion: New Left Terrorism, 2) Civil Strife: Ethno-nationalist Terrorism on the

Left, 3: The Revolution Continues: Leftist Hard Cores, and 4) Single-Issue Violence on the Left.

The New Left was greatly influenced by the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and the unrest in the inner-city African American communities. A variety of terrorist organizations and cells were born out of this climate. While the Weatherman group was the most famous example, other organizations, such as the Symbion Liberation Army, also engaged in terrorist activity. The United Freedom Front has proven to be the most enduring of all the terrorist groups of the period. Ethno-nationalist violence—which can be differentiated from racial supremacist violence—has been unusual in the United States. This is partly because activists’ societies have not traditionally embraced nationalist terrorism. Exceptions emerged from the political climate of the 1960s, when nationalist political violence originated in African America and Puerto Rican activist movements. Racial tensions in the United States were particularly high in the 1960s. In the urban areas of the North and West, cities have become areas of conflict between African Americans, the police, and the National Guards. Within this context, cadres of African American revolutionaries committed to using political violence to overthrow what they saw as racist and oppressive regimes have evolved. After the collapse of groups such as the Weather Underground and the BLA, the left-wing revolutionary underground re-formed. The left has created violent single-issue movements and individuals focused on one issue to the exclusion of others. For them, their championed question is the central point—probably the political crux—to address many of the world’s problems. The leftist single-issue extremism is characteristic of the fringe environmental movement.

“Right-wing terrorism in the United States is usually motivated by racial supremist and anti-government sentiment” (Martin, 2019). Unlike the militant left, extremist campaigns by clandestine right-wing groups and networks have been unusual, as have major bombings such as the Oklahoma City attack. It is more popular for the right to be characterized by small-scale, cell-based conspiracies within the patriotic and neo-Nazi movements. The terrorist right can be investigated by following these subjects: Homegrown Racism: The Legacy of the Ku Klux Klan,

Racial Mysticism: Neo-Nazi Terrorism, Patriotic Threats, and Case in Point: Moralist Terrorism.

The Ku Klux Klan is a fascist movement with no parallel in the foreign right-wing movements—a solely American phenomenon. The KKK is best characterized as an enduring movement that has established the following ideology: racial supremacy, violent assertion of Klan racial doctrine, Protestant Christian supremacy, ritualistic symbolism, greetings, and fraternal behavior, and American cultural nationalism. Neo-Nazi terrorism is based on a diverse mix of religious fanaticism, political violence, and racial supremacy. Although most of the violence stemming from these beliefs has been expresses as lone-wolf terrorism and hate crimes, several groups have committed violent acts of violence. Moral terrorism refers to acts of political violence inspired by a moralistic ideology. Any of the moralistic terrorism in the United States is inspired by the fundamental religious ideology, which is typically a fringe view of Christianity.

Leftist policies have still not vanished in the United States. New icons captured the interest of a revived, far-left movement. Likewise, trends show that radicals on the fringe and far right persist in promulgating conspiracy theories and drawing true believers to their causes.

There continues to be intermittent violence by paramilitary activists, racial supremacists’ organizations, and religious militants sometimes attacking government symbols, ethnic and religious minority groups, and single-issue victims.

Counter Terrorism

Counterterrorism, as it has come to be called, applies to aggressive measures aim directly at removing the extremist climate and organizations. The main aim is to save lives by stopping or reducing the number of terrorist attacks. There are several classifications of counter-terrorism choices and sub-options: The first is the use of force. This policy designation encourages policy makers to use the force of arms against terrorists and their allies. Examples of authoritarian military and paramilitary choices are as follows: Suppression campaigns are military strikes against targets affiliated with terrorist., Coercive covert operations are secretive operations that include assassinations, sabotage, kidnapping, extraordinary renditions, and other quasi-legal methods., and Special operations forces are highly trained military and police units that are deployed to conduct unconventional operations. The second option is repressive options. This policy designation helps policy makers to impede and discourage extremist activity without resorting to military options. Examples of non-military authoritarian alternatives are as follows: Nonviolent covert operations are secretive operations that include a number of possible counterterrorist measures, such as infiltration, disinformation, and cyberwar., Intelligence refers to collecting data about terrorist movements and to predict their behavior., Enhanced security refers to the hardening of targets to deter or prevent terrorist attacks., and Economic sanctions are used to punish or disrupt state sponsors of terrorism. The third option is conciliatory options. This policy designation encourages policy makers to establish a variety of alternative that do not require force or other coercive approaches.

Examples of conciliatory choices are as follows: Diplomatic options refer to engaging with the terrorists to negotiate an acceptable resolution to a conflict. Diplomatic solutions can be incident specific, or they can involve sweeping conditions that may completely resolve this conflict., Social Reform is an attempt to address the grievances of the terrorists and the group they champion., and Concessionary options refer to different degrees of capitulation to the terrorists. Concession can be incident specific, in which immediate demands are met, or generalized, in which broad demands are accommodated. The last option is legalistic responses. The main goal of legalistic responses is to promote the rule of law and routine legal proceedings. Examples of these are as follows: Law enforcement and counterterrorism refers to the use of law enforcement agencies and criminal investigative techniques in the prosecution of suspected terrorists., Domestic laws attempt to criminalize terrorist behavior within nations., and International law relies on cooperation among states who are parties in international agreements.


Progress has been won against domestic terrorists—especially where governments have been unrestrained in their use of intimidation and coercion—but this is not a universal outcome. Short-term successes globally have culminated in the settlement of specific terrorism attacks. However, long-term successes have often proven difficult to attain. Conciliatory responses have had both short-term and long-term effectiveness in ending the terrorism climate. There have also been a number of unsuccessful convivial operations. Diplomatic options have enjoyed considerable success in some situations but have been thwarted by entrenched hostilities and uncooperative parties in others. Legalistic responses are in many ways, the front line for counter-terrorism strategies. Security-based policing roles have effectively addressed or monitored terrorism environments. Domestic regulation is the application of legal frameworks to domestic terrorism crises. Some of these changes, both authoritarian and democratic, have been quite successful. International rules and organizations have also achieved some popularity, but since they are essentially cooperative, parties to conventions and other arrangements must comply with their terms and conditions. Otherwise, there is very little regulatory power in international law and agencies. The best way to stop terrorist is to use the use of force when needed or combine methods. I do not believe one method is best on its own. If it is a smaller terrorist organization nonviolent method might work in taking the organization out from the inside out, or any other methods of bringing the group down without using violence. However, the larger more violent terrorist groups will be impossible to take down using some methods. These organizations are good at keeping their members hidden. You will most likely know about the leaders and those they want you to know about. It would be impossible to know every member of the organization, and because of this it is probably best to use the use of force even though others might get hurt. You have to do what is best for your people and to save lives. INTERPOL is one of the best resources for stopping terrorism. When a terrorist is known if is very important to communicate with others on this terrorist and his whereabouts. INTERPOL always for that information and communication to help track down terrorist. There is no perfect solution for countering terrorist, but there are several options and resources to help reduce terrorism.


FBI. (2016, May 3). Terrorism. FBI.

Martin, G. (2019). Essentials of terrorism concepts and controversies (5th ed.). SAGE.

The Escalating Terrorism Problem in the United States. The Escalating Terrorism Problem in the United States | Center for Strategic and International Studies. (2020, December 2).

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