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Tragedies from deadly terrorist attacks have made the international communities to pervasively fear and loath terrorism. Terrorism is undertaken by individual with motivations that are complex for the understanding of security agencies and individuals. Definition according United States statutes states terrorism to be politically motivated, premeditated, violence against noncombatant individuals, private property by clandestine agents or subnational groups, with an intention to obtain audience (Launtenberg, 2011). This definition is adopted for purposes of this paper.
Attempts to shed some light on terrorism highlight the motives of the perpetrators while they give some appropriate measures to resolve the problem. The organizations linked to supporting terrorism by State Department stood at 22 in the year 2001. In three years' time, the list of identified terrorist groups had grown to 36 with more groups being listed as unofficial terrorist organizations. One might mistake terrorism industry for a thriving economic entity or the definitions to terrorism to have become liberal increasingly given the high growth rate seen. Although many have found it difficult to understand terrorism, it is not as mysterious phenomenon. It is a political action, a tactic undertaken as the final procedure of political violence by the dissidents to coerce opposing government to yield to demands (Morag, 2004).
History of Terrorism
To better understand United States' history of terrorism, it is ideal to call to mind international terrorism and its origin. Earliest act of terrorism can be traced as far back as the Roman Empire in the 10th century then perpetrated by an organization known as sicarii. The membership of the group comprised of Jews who sought to ensure that the Romans would not refrain them from following their religious dictates. Groups such as assassins, comprise of the other early acts of terrorism exhibiting traits similar to modern terrorism by assassinating key figures considered being enemy targets. Modern trends of terrorism are inspired by the early terrorist groups that are considered by scholar to have operated in antiquity (Ridgeway, 1990).
The first recorded terrorist attack on American soil is the killing of up to 35% of the residents of Jamestown in 1622 by a Native Americans - Powhatan. American history marks the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) as the first terrorist organization formed in 1867 with its membership comprising of the white supremacists. At its inception, the organization was non-violent turning violent later by beating and murdering supporters of the Republican Party and the black voters. The organization was started by a former general, Nathan Bedford Forrest, accused of initiating the civil war seeking secession of the south. The group sought to intimidate the black people in effect changing the political scene in the United States. Massive crackdown by the federal government forced the KKK group to disband itself in 1873. The group's effect on the society at the present day is imminent in the evidenced racial supremacy extremism. This discredits the federal government efforts of sufficiently contributed to the demise of the group (Ridgeway, 1990).
At the end of the KKK organization, the anarchist movement rose in 1872 presenting a new form of challenge and violence. The first wave of what is considered terrorism in the modern time is the Haymarket square bombing in 1886. The anarchist's activities comprised the assassination of the American President - McKinley in 1901, Wall Street bombing and a number of bombings targeting government officials. The groups operations reigned until 1972 a point at where the key leaders in the movement were assassinated by the federal government. In the period 1920-1960, few terrorist attacks took place on the American Soil with the exception shooting by Puerto Rico of congress in 1954. In the existence of the U.S.S.R. many left wing proponents came up and their exit came with the fall of the U.S.S.R. In 1991. This fall of the leftist organization is not as a result of the FBI rather, a result of the gains achieved by pressure groups and the fall of the Soviet Union.
The FBI a government agency has since devised countermeasures and program to obtain intelligence and thwart terrorist groups' activities. The counterintelligence measures used from the 1960's to early 70's led to a public outcry mainly the church that saw the government enact an Act - Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- prohibiting some of the surveillance measures deployed by the FBI. In exception of the 9/11 attacks on the American soils, the FBI has managed to prevent terrorist attacks since 1990. It is however, realized that a majority of the terrorist attacks Carried out are affiliated to the white supremacist.
Influence of the Russian revolution and the Irish Republican Army on terrorism in the Western hemisphere
Russian revolution is described as one of the major revolutions in the history of the world following the French and American revolutions. This revolution was against communist and economic oppression by the Czar's dynasty that ruled Russia with an iron fist. Acts of rebellion and terrorism against the Czar's dynasty by a small group led to the overthrow of the government. Following in the change of the system and taking advantage of the existent situation of anarchy and turmoil Bolshevik Party led by Lenin assumed leadership. This instituted a political system with the ideals of communism in mind bringing a new world order forth. The new party experienced internal opposition from the Czars' white army causing a civil war in Russia. The red -- an army formed by Bolsheviks was in constant conflict with the white army bringing about what is now known as the Russian civil. The Russian revolution culminated from two sets of revolutions, the February revolutions and the November revolutions. The former is credited to the leading to the ouster of "Tsar" through mass uprising while, the latter resulted in the ouster of the interim government by supporters of Lenin (McCarthy, Timothy, & McMillian, 2008).
The Iris Army was a formation from different groups in Ireland with a common goal of attaining freedom from Britain through fighting. The Army is credited for organizing Easter Rising in 1916 to bring to end British rule over Ireland and creating an independent republic. The rebellion against the British Rule began on a day that the British Army was preparing to engage in the First World War. The Army formed from different groups joined hands and in forming the Irish Army organized and assumed control of the major buildings. Thereafter, they announced the independence of the former British colony and formed the Irish Republic (McCarthy et al., 2008).
The Russian revolution and the Irish Republican Army have characteristics of underground movements that forged efforts to exert pressure on existing forms of authority. This is a feature observable of modern terrorist activities and groups with an agenda to compromise the authority and coarse adherence through submission. Like the present day terrorist groups, the Russian revolution and the Irish Republican Army are seen to show their dissatisfaction with the operations of the government and through public acts that seek to coarse change in ideologies. Many terrorist groups seek to undertake actions that catch the public's attention and change the political religious and ideological views in the governments (Launtenberg, 2011)
Left-wing, guerilla ideological terrorism and the recent trend toward right-wing, religiously motivated terrorism
The Marxist ideologies that seek to replace capitalism with communism system by Marx and Lenin is seen to a feature in the left-wing extremism. The extremist are comprised of movements by the working class that seeks to eliminate the class distinctions in the society. Left-wing extremism in the modern day is manifested in the terrorist acts undertaken in the United States. This evidences that the left-wing extremism did not necessarily die with fall of the U.S.S.R. And (McCarthy et al., 2008) argue that, they exist in the United States within the white supremacy extremist among other organizations. The right-wing extremists are prominent threat in the nation with violence sparking against political stance, racial affiliations, ethnic and religious beliefs.
In the United States, present day right-wing is seen in the lynching of black people, racial shooting in schools and violence directed on government representative in North America. Ideological terrorism is seen in state actions of sanctions against non-compliance of a member or trading state. These economic sanctions have been placed against nations to force them to adopt political ideologies advocated. Religiously motivated terror attacks have taken a center stage in common day terrorism. The perpetrators of terror attack in the United States have taken a religious front to justify their action since they seek recognition and justification for actions. This form of terrorism display hatred to people because of their ethnicity or religion and cannot be likened to the one promulgated in a common place (Sargent, 1999)
Introduction of weapons of mass destruction into terrorism and methodologies of preventing and detecting terrorism
The debate on the likely use of mass destruction weapons by terrorists has been explored for some time since the 9/11 attacks. The discussions have shifted concern to highlight the likely resultant number…[continue]
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