Global Terrorism Term Paper

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Terrorist Groups Are Aligning to Conduct Global Terrorism.

Terrorism used to be a topic limited to only certain sectors of the world, such as the Middle East or South Africa. However, in recent years, it appears that no one is safe in any part of the world. A growing number of countries must take measures to protect citizens and visitors from the threat of terrorism. The Unites States is the latest addition to this list. It has become evident in recent years that terrorism is not a localized event any more, but has become an increasing global problem. It has also become obvious that terrorism requires a global solution as well. Evidence has been mounting that terrorist groups are beginning to connect and form alliances. This gives them greater strength and greater resources. It seems that they are finding common ground and are beginning to coordinate efforts. This will be the topic of the proposed research.

The following proposal will be for the conduct of research on the topic of global terrorism. The research will support the thesis that terrorist groups are aligning to conduct major terrorism events on a global basis. The study will be exploratory in nature, primarily through various government reports and reports of Embassy's around the world. The research will explore the number of terrorism incidents, their patterns, the major groups involved, financing connections, and the use of improved communications as a means to coordinate attacks. The research encompasses terrorism data from 1992 through the year 2002. There is significantly more information available in the later years regarding the interconnectivity of terrorist groups.

Terrorist Groups Are Aligning To Conduct Global Terrorism

Terrorist groups have been a part of culture since the beginnings of man. Espionage and Counterespionage have been a popular subject of popular literature since the beginning of time. One only needs to read the Greek Classics, Norse Sagas, or the Tales of Sheherazhad and the Thousand and One Arabian Nights to realize that the idea of using terrorism to control a population is not a new one at all. In the classic tales, terrorism was limited to a few rogue persons who usually had a vendetta against a particular person. In more recent times terrorist groups were thought of as a few people who wished to voice an opinion against a certain other group or idea. These groups were usually small, poorly funded, and consisted of only a few people.

Recently the advent of better communication systems has enabled terrorist groups to utilize this technology to their advantage. In addition they have developed a large infrastructure that supplies them with weapons, training, and the funds needed to operate. Many of these groups are now state funded. These groups still usually only consist of less than a hundred people who usually have a complaint against another group of people for one reason or another. However, there has been a recent trend for these groups to express dissatisfaction over similar issues and to speak against the same topics. These groups have realized that they may have slightly different motivations, but they feel that they have a common enemy. As a result many of these groups have formed alliances and are launching cooperative efforts against certain target groups. They have a solid funding structure, certain countries that are willing to give them safehaven, and are now developing splinter cells in other countries. They now have the communications abilities to launch a concerted attack in multiple locations at the same time via these splinter groups.

Terrorist activities used to be considered to be only a threat in certain regions of the world, such as in the Middle East and South America. This is no longer true. As the world moves towards a global marketplace and a global community, these acts now cross boundaries and lines that they never have done in the past. Terrorist groups are striking out against anyone who is their enemy, or anyone who they feel assists or supports their enemy. This means that their target base is getting larger, This will also mean that it will become increasingly more difficult to trace acts of terrorism to particular groups. For instance, a group may strike out at British Airways carrying key U.S. diplomats and because the attack was not directly at a U.S. target, it may be difficult to pin down suspects or motives. As most terrorist groups wish everyone to know why they did something, it is doubtful whether these indirect attacks will achieve their goals.

Our ability to track these groups has gotten better over the years as well, but so has their ability to evade new technologies, as well. State Departments, Embassies and Intelligence organizations all over the world have massive databases on the activities of these groups. This includes a large electronic journal published online by the U.S. Department of State which highlights and summarizes terrorist activity by year. As one examines the data available, as well as excerpts from some letters obtained, one can begin to see a pattern of more interconnectivity between these groups, a commitment to common goals, and many other signs that lead us to believe that these groups are gaining power and encompass a major threat on a global basis. This will be the subject of the following proposal and subsequent dissertation.

Chapter 1


This study will attempt to examine the evidence that supports the motives of the terrorist organizations around the world to conduct terrorism on a global basis. There is a wealth of information available regarding the various terrorist cells and organizations as well as their actions. It will be an exploratory study that will use documents and letters published for public view by various U.S. And global agencies worldwide. The data will be qualitative in nature, as numerical data in this case would merely reflect the incidence and distribution of terrorist activities around the world. Though this information would be interesting, it would hardly serve the purposes of this study.

The ability of this study hinges on many factor, not just the frequency and distribution of these terrorist events. In order to support the existence of a global terrorist effort, the interconnectivity of the various groups, their funding sources and their motives must be examined. The history of the various groups will also be examined to the extent that this information is available. Much of the data will not be available, or may be classified and not available for public knowledge. An honest attempt will be made to obtain as much information as possible. It might be noted that there is more information available in recent years, than for earlier years of this study. This is largely due to the efforts of the U.S. State Department to empower its citizenship with knowledge in order to be better able to identify and report terrorist activity in the United States. The State Department now makes available much information that was once classified. The final form of this report will be in report format detailing and summarizing the data, and evidence supporting the coordination of terrorist groups in achieving global objectives.

Rationale for Study

This study is based on information being released by the State Department to the United States general population that gives in great detail the history of known terrorist organizations, their activities their philosophy and their characteristic habits. These reports do not directly say that these groups are forming a coordinated effort and forming a global effort against their enemies, however, when one reads these reports in detail, the evidence is obvious. This evidence come in the form of statements made by leaders such as Usama Bin-Laden and leader of Libya which would point indirectly a conscious effort by terrorist groups to form alliances.

In addition to extraneous comments by terrorist leaders, certain patterns also begin to emerge in these reports, such as the pattern of attacking less specific, global targets such as UN facilities, the World Trade Towers, and the attempt to stop world relief efforts to the people of Iran. These targets are not country specific as they are places where people from all nations gather for a common goal. It is known that these groups commonly target persons of groups who they feel support their sworn enemies.

In reading the profiles of these groups one will also notice common links between funding sources and philosophies. They also use many of the same training grounds and tactics. These similarities cannot be ignored. This data is readily available to the public but is in the form of very long reports that do not excite and maintain the attention of most persons. In addition, just reading these document straight through does not readily reveal the information, a more thorough examination must be conducted in order to spot these patterns, Therefore many have not considered the data and made the comparisons that will be made in this exploratory study of these lengthy documents. The discovery of these emerging patterns is important for determining…[continue]

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