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Defining Terrorism and Determining What Makes Different Popular Terrorists


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Defining Terrorism

Bleeding from a Terrorist attack
Bleeding from a Terrorist attack

The most ordinary popular understanding of the term ‘terrorism’ is that act which is evil, wrong, illegal, illegitimate, and a crime. However, a more precise definition of terrorism is the deliberate use of unlawful violence or the threat of unlawful violence in order to create fear among the public; with the intention of coercing or intimidating societies or governments in the quest of objectives that are religious, political or ideological. Based on the fact that terrorism is related to violence, intimidation, and fear, its activities often result in the creation of terror to its victims.

The most ordinary popular understanding of the term ‘terrorism’ is that act which is evil, wrong, illegal, illegitimate, and a crime. However, a more precise definition of terrorism is the deliberate use of unlawful violence or the threat of unlawful violence in order to create fear among the public; with the intention of coercing or intimidating societies or governments in the quest of objectives that are religious, political or ideological. Based on the fact that terrorism is related to violence, intimidation, and fear, its activities often result in the creation of terror to its victims.

These unlawful activities are always repeated and unlike assassination, the direct targets of terrorist activities are not always the main targets. The aim of terrorism is always to execute violent acts that will draw the attention of the local population, governments, and the world at large. The activities are often targeted establishing profound publicity to the terrorist groups and their primary targets are often a symbol of what they oppose, for example Christianity and any other religion besides Islam. [blur] The effectiveness of terrorism is often not the extent of damage caused by the unlawful acts but the reaction by the public and governments to the acts, which is often fear among the public and intimidation to governments. [/blur]

Features of Terrorism

[blur] According to Conte (2010), there is a clear distinction between the acts of terrorism and those of warfare and crime based on the nature of its victims, participants, and focus. First, criminal acts are often focused upon attaining a certain short term goal, for example, stealing money, gadgets, or any other commodities required by the perpetrators of the acts. However, acts of terrorism have over time proved to be continuous with long term motivations for the terrorist organizations. [/blur]

[blur] The main aim of these organizations is not the short term goals like those characterizing other criminal conducts. Their main objective as Ben and Golder explain is to undergo development in order to attain their desired long term objectives. Their way of expanding is often depended upon their level of publicity to the public, governments, and the world at large. To gain the desired publicity, they often perpetrate atrocious acts upon innocent civilians who have a belief that is different from theirs using various means, for example, executions and bombings. [/blur]

[blur] According to Conte (2010), there is a clear distinction between the acts of terrorism and those of warfare and crime based on the nature of its victims, participants, and focus. First, criminal acts are often focused upon attaining a certain short term goal, for example, stealing money, gadgets, or any other commodities required by the perpetrators of the acts. However, acts of terrorism as per the global index have over time proved to be continuous with long term motivations for the terrorist organizations. [/blur]

[blur] The main aim of these organizations is not the short term goals like those characterizing other criminal conducts. Their main objective is to undergo development in order to attain their desired long term objectives. Their way of expanding is often depended upon their level of publicity to the public, governments, and the world at large. To gain the desired publicity, they often perpetrate atrocious acts upon innocent civilians who have a belief that is different from theirs using various means, for example, executions and bombings. [/blur]

[blur] A second unique feature of terrorism according to Conte is its participants. Again, comparing terrorism and organized crime, most criminal acts are carried out by a minimal number of participants and the acts are often carried out as quietly as possible. However, this is contrary to the acts of terrorism. Despite the fact that terrorist organizations are often secretive about their imminent operations and the locations of the secret cells and so on, they are often public about their courses of action on their targets and the recruitment of as many followers as possible in order to achieve their objectives. For instance, many terrorist organizations often videotape their executions and beheadings for the public to view; thereby, slowly achieving their desired goals. [/blur]

Cases of Beading as a the search here shows

Here is a Video of Such

[blur] Moreover, Conte states that criminal acts are often perpetrated upon a specific target populace. However, acts of terrorism are often indiscriminate, targeting a random and large number of people. And as aforementioned, these random targets are not often the main targets of the acts but are only used by the organizations in attaining their desired goals. For example, many civilian shootings conducted by terrorists have been witnessed in several countries, for example,Kenya and France. These shootings have often been conducted publicly. [/blur]

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

[blur] The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was established in 2013 out of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and is led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The organization is currently one of the lethal jihadist groups battling with government forces in Syria and Iraq. The current size of the organization is not clear but resources have revealed that it consists of thousands of fighters across the Islamic states. [/blur]

[blur] The aim of the group is to establish a caliphate Islamic state in Iraq and Syria and has violently captured vast regions of the two countries. The organization has killed many civilians in the pursuit of its goals and will stop at nothing until they are achieved. Moreover, it has also captured and publicly executed many foreign civilians living in the region in order to intimidate governments and create fear across the world (Stern & Berger, 2015). However, most of the activities conducted by the organization are within its borders of Iraq and Syria. [/blur]

[blur] The leader of the extremist group has a belief that he is fighting for all the one billion Muslims in the world. The followers of the organization believe that Islam is the only religion that practices the word of Allah and considers other religions as being hypocrites (kafirs). As such, the group is often on the forefront in the elimination of the non-Muslims in the Iraqi-Syrian territory via executions and crucifixions. However, the group does not represent the interests of all the Muslims worldwide since its does not include other Muslims like the Shiites and the Kurds. [/blur]

[blur] Moreover, not all the Sunni Muslims support the activities that are perpetrated by the group. Additionally, the group believes that anyone who declines to convert from his or her religion to the group’s version of Islam should be executed. It is striving to cleanse the universe from those people who do not share a common religious belief with them, for example, the Christians and Yazidi. The group has conducted many executions and in some instances, its militants force the victims to convert to their Islamic version before executing them using brutal methods. [/blur]

[blur] In order to gain prominence and supremacy across the globe, the group often condones the tactic of brutality and fear. Such brutal tactics often include crucifixions, beheadings, and floggings among other brutal tactics (Elfenbein, 2008). Mostly, the perpetrators of the brutal executions often videotape the monstrous acts for the public to see. [/blur]

[blur] As such, the group has succeeded in instilling extreme fear among the public worldwide. This fear has been witnessed even among many Iraqi soldiers who have escaped from their posts and declined to fight the group (Stansfield, 2014). Instillation of fear among the public has emerged to be a highly potent weapon for the expansion of the group. [/blur]

Additionally, one of the core aims of ISIS is to eliminate the Yazidi populace, which is an ethno-religious minority group that is located Northern Iraq. The religion of the Yazidi people incorporates both the elements of Islam and Zoroastrianism.

[blur] As a result, ISIS has laid several claims that the Yazidi people are devil worshippers. Therefore, the group has plans of eliminating the Yazidi populace from existence, a reason that has primarily compelled the United States to initiate multiple airstrikes in the regions dominated by the group. The threat against the Yazidi populace has led to many of them fleeing from the region in an attempt to find peace in other regions (Hanish, 2015). [/blur]

[blur] Moreover, the group has also been accused of kidnapping and burying women and children alive as a way of fulfilling its course. The group is accused of having killed more than 500 Yadizi people and then captured and buried an unknown number of innocent and defenseless women and children alive (Hanish, 2015). This is a very inhuman act and it raised profound fear globally concerning the course of the group, an act that was also condemned by their counterparts Al-Qaeda. [/blur]

[blur] The group is also politically charged to take over parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa in the next five years. The group is determined to use as much force and violence as possible to achieve this objective and will execute anyone who stands in its way. The group is considered to be more lethal than Al-Qaeda since it has a stable base in Iraq and Syria where it can strategize and plan for its attacks (Holbrook, 2015). It is well financed and has a well trained and armored military base. The group is willing to engage in any form of violence since its leaders believe that violence is the only way to paradise. [/blur]

Is ISIS a Terrorist Organization?

 From the definition and features of terrorism and the acts that are perpetrated by ISIS, I can conclude that ISIS is a terrorist group. From its definition, the acts of terrorism are often aimed at generating fear, with the intention of coercion and intimidation in the quest of long term objectives that are religious, political or ideological. The main aim of ISIS is the establishment of an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria. In so doing, the organization has engaged in open battles with the government forces of the two countries and has managed to capture large territories.

[blur] The organization also has long term plans of taking over parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa in the next five Years. This is a long term objective of the group and it will use whatever military force that is necessary in attaining it. This would be a way of expanding the group to other parts of the globe besides the Middle East.  Over the years since its formation, the organization has killed many Iraqi and Syrian forces and civilians in the pursuit of its goal of establishing a caliphate state. As such, the organization has created so much terror in the region. [/blur]

[blur] Moreover, the group has often been accused of mainly targeting the non-Muslims in the region and executing them brutally. The leader of the group believes that Islam is the only religion and considers all the other religions as being hypocritical (kafirs). Therefore, the organization seeks to attain publicity by brutally executing anyone within their borders who is not of their belief. Additionally, the victims of the organization are often not their main targets but are only a means towards the achievement of their goal of attaining publicity through the creation of fear. By executing many innocent people, the group has succeeded in instilling fear among the public; thereby, gaining profound publicity globally. [/blur]

[blur] Finally, the group has often planned its impending operations secretly but most of its executions are often videotaped for the public to view. This is often a strategy employed by terrorist groups in order to attain publicity and instill fear among the public. Additionally, the group has often publicly claimed responsibility of multiple atrocious acts that have been conducted by their agents in other parts of the globe in order to attain publicity. Therefore, based on the aims, objectives, and ideologies of the organization, it can be considered to be a lethal terrorist group. [/blur]

References

Conte, A. (2010). Human rights in the prevention and punishment of terrorism: Commonwealth approaches: United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand. Berlin: Springer.

Elfenbein, C. (2008). Establishing Religion in Iraq: Islam and the Modern StateCIS3(1).

Hanish, D. S. (2015). The Islamic State Effect on Minorities in Iraq. Review of Arts and Humanities, 4(1).

Holbrook, D. (2015). Al-Qaeda and the Rise of ISISSurvival57(2), 93-104.

STANSFIELD, G. (2014). The Islamic State, the Kurdistan Region and the future of Iraq: assessing UK policy options. International Affairs90(6), 1329-1350.

Stern, J., & Berger, J. M. (2015). ISIS: The state of terror.

Defining Terrorism and Determining What Makes Different Popular Terrorists

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