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Is Terrorism Ever Justified?

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Presentation on theme: "Is Terrorism Ever Justified?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Is Terrorism Ever Justified?
Angela Davidson Tara Gracey Allison Hoberg Kathryn O’Brien

2 Terrorism “The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.” Main cause of terrorism “Dissatisfaction with a political or social system or policy, and an inability to change it through ‘mainstream’ or non-violent means”

3 Breaking it down Paul Wilkinson from the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, University of St. Andrew, defines qualifications of terrorism. “[Terrorism] denotes a particular type of violence. It is not employed as a synonym for politically motivated violence in general It is premeditated and designed to create a climate of extreme fear; It is directed at a wider target than the immediate victims; It inherently involves attacks on random or symbolic targets, including civilians; It is considered by the society in which it occurs as ‘extra-normal’, that is in the literal sense that it violates the norms regulating disputes, protest and dissent; and It is used primarily, though not exclusively, to influence the political behavior of governments, communities or specific social groups.”

4 Examples of Terrorist Attacks
Hostages Car bombs Assassinations Shootings and other assaults Hijacking of aircrafts Kidnappings Mail/package bombs Suicide bombers These events in and of themselves are not terrorism. They are just techniques that terrorists use.

5 Timeline of Global Terrorism 60s and 70s
July 21, “Bloody Friday” IRA attacks killed 11, injured 130 in Belfast September 5, Munich Olympic Massacre 9 Israeli athletes and 5 terrorists killed December 17, 1973-Attacking and Hijacking at the Rome Airport 33 Americans, Italians, and Moroccans killed

6 Timeline of Global Terrorism 80s
1985- TWA hijacking and Achille Laura hijacking 145 passengers, 8 crew members held for 17 days Italian cruise liner- 700 hostages 1988- Pan Am Bombing 259 killed when bomb went off while flying over Scotland Believed to have been Libyan terrorists TWA-US Navy sailor murdered Achille-US passenger murdered

7 Timeline of Global Terrorism 90s
February 24, Hebron Massacre Right-wing Jews and US citizen gunned Muslims at a mosque, killing 29 and wounding 150 Various kidnappings, bombings, and attacks by rebel, guerrilla, and military groups around the world 1999- Armed attacks by ELN (National Liberation Army) and Burmese Embassy Seizure 89 people taken hostage, including a US citizen in Bangkok, Thailand

8 Timeline of Global Terrorism 2000-present
May 1, 2001-Attacks on UN Personnel 320 kidnapped, 5 killed January-June 2002-Various suicide bombings in Jerusalem May 12, Truck bombs in Saudi Arabia 34 killed (9 US citizens) Al-Qaida suspects arrested December 31, Restaurant bombing in Baghdad Car bomb killed 8, injured 35 (including 3 LA Times reporters)

9 Prominent Acts of Terrorism on Americans
Oklahoma City Bombing Was the worst terrorist attack on United States soil before 9/11. September 11, Attack on US Homeland Pentagon, WTC, and hijacked plane killed 3,025 US citizens and other nationals Declared Usama Bin laden prime suspect, Global Coalition Against Terrorism formed

10 Prominent Acts of Terrorism on Americans
May 1, First US Aircraft Hijacked 1968 and Two US Ambassadors attacked, one killed in Guatemala 1979- US Ambassador to Afghanistan killed and Iran Hostage Crisis 1983-US Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon bombed followed by Marine barrack attack in Beirut 63 people, CIA’s Middle East Director killed 242 Americans (Marines and bystanders) killed, 58 French troops killed Many U.S servicemen killed in bombings and assassinations February 26, World Trade Center Bombing Islamic terrorists-car bomb in underground garage 1000 injured, 6 dead

11 Terrorism Incidents Worldwide
From , North America, by far, had the fewest number of international terrorist attacks and terrorist related casualties in comparison to other continents. High amount of terrorism in Latin America is primarily due to guerilla warfare. Primary guerilla groups- Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) This graph represents terrorism acts within each specific country.

12 Terrorism IS Justified

13 Motivation for Terrorism
Rational Rational Choice Theory When an individual makes a choice after weighing the consequences and rewards of an action or behavior. For example, a terrorist thinks like a business person. The terrorist looks at all options and takes action on the choice that is most cost effective and beneficial to his/her cause. Psychological Arises from the individual terrorist's personal dissatisfaction with a government or political system Antisocial behaviors create “US” vs. “THEM” Believe that everyone outside their own group is EVIL Cultural Cultures shape values and motivate people to take action

14 Can Terrorism Be Justified?
What is considered justifiable by one person or group may not be to another. “In the U.S., the general consensus sees the terroristic actions of abolitionists and American revolutionists as justifiable.” Could also be considered terroristic. Example: John Brown’s raid John Brown’s raid: Oct. 16, 1859 – led 18 men to Harpers Ferry, VA Wanted African Americans to rise up and start a war against slavery. The raiders seized the federal building & gun fire between them and civilians ensued. Brown was sentenced to death for treason, murder, and conspiring slaves to rebel. Also, pertaining to John Brown & abolitionists: Violence in "Bleeding Kansas" In 1856, proslavery raiders attacked the free-soil town of Lawrence, Kansas (the "Sack of Lawrence") and burned an anti-slavery newspaper office. In response, John Brown, a fanatical abolitionist from Hudson, Ohio, led a band of men in an attack on a small pro-slavery settlement at Pottawatomie Creek, KS. There, they killed five men in their beds, hacking off their hands with machetes. Following these raids, a civil war flared off and on in Kansas throughout 1856, destroying millions of dollars in property and costing scores of lives.

15 Reasons for Terrorism Political Religious Ethnic Social
Red Army Faction Religious Islamic extremism Ethnic Hate crimes (KKK) Social Individual issues such as anti-abortion Example: “Atomic Dog” – James Kopp Red Army Faction: – was one of Europe’s most feared terrorist groups Origin: - The RAF was born out of the student protest movement in the 1960s. - It emerged from the Baader-Meinhof Gang, founded by Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof. - Its ideological basis was a commitment to violence in the service of the class struggle. - It developed an extensive network of underground guerrillas and left-wing sympathizers who claimed to be motivated by disgust with what they saw as the mindless materialism and fascist tendencies of German society. Now: - It attacked not just Germany's rich and powerful, but also U.S. military installations which current left- wing ideology saw as emblems of American imperialism. - The RAF apparently also harbored ambitious plans of achieving deadlier attacks through use of biological weapons. In 1984, a safehouse belonging to the group was reportedly uncovered in Paris, France. Inside the safehouse an improvised laboratory was found containing flasks of deadly botulism toxin. Islamic Extremists: - focus on passages of Qu’ran that promotes violence - believe the Qu’ran governs a person’s life & if anything suggests they should go to war, then they believe they should KKK: - “white Christian political and social revolution” - protests, cross-burning, lynchings Antiabortionists: - Individuals against the act of abortion. - Primarily due to religious beliefs. An example of an antiabortionists who could also be considered a terrorists is James Kopp. - Killed Dr. Barnett Slepian with a sniper while the doctor was sitting in his kitchen talking with his wife and son. - Kopp is also accused of several other attacks in both Canada and the U.S.

16 Political Oppression as Reason for Terrorism
Terrorists reason an opposing government will not respond to their demands for political change and they have no other choice than to attack. Terrorists claim the government is no longer responding to the needs of the population. Seek to motivate the population to rise up against the government. Claim that sometimes citizens can only achieve self-rule/independence through the use of revolutionary forces FMLN Attack Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front attack on 4 US Marine embassy guards June 1985 in El Salvador 13 people killed & 15 wounded FMLN claim they were fighting for land reform & demanded representation in the government, which was then controlled by the military & the landed aristocracy.

17 Religion as Justification for Terrorism
Religious Extremists Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Crusaders Al-Qaeda & Hezbollah’s interpretation of the Qu’ran has convinced many in their groups that it is a necessity to kill Jews and Americans due to a “religious war” against the West. Emphasize religious duty or the approach of the end of the world Aum Shinrikyo Al-Qaeda - " an international terrorist group [founded by bin laden and Muhammad Atef] ... which was dedicated to opposing non-Islamic governments with force and violence." Hezbollah - terrorist group in Iran - Joined with Al-Qaeda “for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States." Crusaders - claimed they were delivering the Holy Places from “Mohammedan tyranny”. - used violent force to overtake several nations Aum Shinrikyo – A Japanese religious cult obsessed with the apocalypse. - Terrorist attacks are their way of “hastening the apocalypse” or the end of the world. - This terrorist group has made several attacks on Japan. - Many of the attacks were biological attacks: Botulinus Toxin & Anthrax - tried to release biological weapons in subways but failed - did release a chemical (sarin) into subways in 1994 & 1995 - 7 killed in 1994 - 12 killed in 1995, with over 5,000 sent to the hospital

18 Ethnic Differences as a Justification for Terrorism
Races often blame the minority group for taking jobs or other economic opportunities. Feel discriminated against because of their race Examples: KKK Nazis “Ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia Genocide in Rwanda Ethnic cleansing: - definition: “At the most general level, however, ethnic cleansing can be understood as the expulsion of an "undesirable" population from a given territory due to religious or ethnic discrimination, political, strategic or ideological considerations, or a combination of these.” In Bosnia: 1992 - From 1992 – 1995, there was a war between the Serbs, Croatians, and Muslims in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina - “As well as fighting a traditional war with the Bosnian Army, the Serbian forces sought to eradicate the entire non-Serb population of the areas they controlled, either through massacres (as the Serbrenica massacre) or more usually through terrorization of the civilian population to encourage them to flee to territory controlled by government forces.” Rwanda: 1994 - “evidence suggests [that the genocide] was a clear and premeditated attempt to exterminate the country's ethnic Tutsi population. - “over one-tenth of the population, an estimated 800,000 persons, had been killed.”

19 Social/Societal Reason as Justification for Terrorism
Individual issues lead to “terrorist attacks”. Examples: Anti-abortionist attacks Timothy McVeigh bombing of Murrah building in Oklahoma City (1995) He believed the government no longer represented a majority of its citizens & wanted to initiate a mass public uprising. Wanted to restore America to an all white government.

20 Self Defense Terrorism is justified in terms of self defense.
If a group is oppressed, then they believe it is their right to retaliate. Means of retaliation may be seen as terrorism by outside groups.

21 International Acts of Terrorism
Israeli/Palestinian conflict Jewish immigration into Palestine began at about the turn of the 20th century. Arabs opposed the division of land by European powers, and they thought that they were being marginalized. Since then, there have been innumerable conflicts and acts of terrorism between the two sides. Terrorism justifiable for the Palestinians because they have been given no other choice. Palestinian children armed only with stones shot at by Israelis.

22 International Acts of Terrorism Con’t
Chechnya rebels Chechnya not allowed to separate from Russia despite differences in religion and culture. Chechens predominantly Sunni Muslims Have been subdued by Russia for over a century. Economic reasons -- oil Rebels commit acts of terrorism to gain their independence.

23 Terrorist vs. Freedom Fighter
Group being attacked calls the acts terrorism. Group attacking calls the acts rebellion. Freedom Fighter- “One engaged in armed rebellion or resistance against an oppressive government.” Terrorism is relative to which side you’re on. The definition of freedom fighter is almost identical to our definition of terrorism. It just is from another perspective.

24 Terrorism IS NOT Justified

25 Terrorism according to Powell
“Terrorists reject democracy, reject openness and have "abandoned civilized means" of making their opinions known through the killing of innocent people,” according to Secretary of State Colin Powell. There can be no political justification and no religious justification for the terrorist attack on a school in Beslan in the North Ossetia region of the Russian Federation. Powell- is the secretary of state. Although the Chechneyan’s feel that there only option is to make attacks on the Russian citizens, Powell states that the attack of innocent school children is not justified. They need to find another method to reach their cause. They are after, first and foremost, making a statement through the destruction and killing of innocent people. And they have abandoned civilized means of making your opinion known. They reject democracy, they reject openness and they resort to the killing of innocent people. There can be no justification for what happened in Russia the other day, last week, where young students on the their first day of school, showing up with flowers and pencil boxes to learn, suddenly are put at risk and then are killed by the hundreds. There's no excuse for that. There can be no political justification. There is no religious justification. This is evil and terror staring us right in the face and it's the kind of evil and terror that we saw perpetrated against us three years ago on 9/11. And it must be fought. It must be resisted. There can be no compromise in this battle.

26 Terrorism Unjustified…According to most major religions
The Christian faith condemns terrorism Psalm 37:8,10-11 Let anger alone and leave rage. Do not show yourself heated up only to do evil…But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace. Neutralizing Terrorism- Rev. Bill McGinnis (Christian Universalism) “The moral and religious theories which support terrorism are quite faulty and erroneous. They need to be identified and attacked.” Christian Universalism- faith quite similar to Christianity, but believes that although its members must accept Christ as their savior, no one will burn in hell for eternity. Eventually, everyone will go to a heavenly place, and the world is inherently good.

27 Major Religions cont’d
Catholicism does not support terrorism Cardinal John J. Conner  “…causing innocent civilians to live in daily fear-these are tactics we find morally loathsome; we condemn them with all our being.” Catholics believe that terrorists are immoral and should be responded to by force only if it is just. Just-War Theory- sets certain conditions that permit the use of war to confront "a real and certain danger" For example, “to protect innocent life, to preserve conditions necessary for decent human existence and to secure basic human rights. “ This places a moral conviction on both the act of terrorism and the victim’s response measures. Threads of moral responsibility are heavily woven throughout the article. Just-War Theory: “Just cause. War is permissible only to confront "a real and certain danger," i.e., to protect innocent life, to preserve conditions necessary for decent human existence and to secure basic human rights. Competent authority. War must be declared by those with responsibility for public order, not by private groups or individuals. Comparative justice. In essence: Which side is sufficiently "right" in a dispute, and are the values at stake critical enough to override the presumption against war? Do the rights and values involved justify killing? Given techniques of propaganda and the ease with which nations and individuals either assume or delude themselves into believing that God or right is clearly on their side, the test of comparative justice may be extremely difficult to apply. Right intention. War can be legitimately intended only for the reasons set forth above as a just cause. Last resort. For resort to war to be justified, all peaceful alternatives must have been exhausted. Probability of success. This is a difficult criterion to apply, but its purpose is to prevent irrational resort to force or hopeless resistance when the outcome of either will clearly be disproportionate or futile. Proportionality. This means that the damage to be inflicted and the costs incurred by war must be proportionate to the good expected by taking up arms.”

28 Major Religions cont’d
Islam does NOT promote, nor justify terrorism Islam which means submission promotes peace. The Quran states that the religion of Islam forbids the killing of innocent people. “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not the transgressors" (2:190). Verses such as these are construed to fit the ideals of terrorists and are often taken out of their context. When the Qur’an was presented to Muslims, it was in a time of inter-tribal violence. It warned its followers to be prepared to fight only if attacked, and to act with “forgiveness and restraint.”

29 Terrorism Unjustified…According to Bahram Soroush
Bahram Soroush is an Iranian leftist and civil rights activist. He is often called upon to interpret the Qu’ran in interviews for international magazines. “Terrorism is an act of violence which is indiscriminate” NO justification for killing innocent civilians Terrorism is no excuse for rising against government oppression The ideology of terrorism is to promote hatred Terrorism is not an issue of violence. It can and does include all types of people, such as innocent teenagers in a Jerusalem nightclub.

30 Terrorism and US Law Terrorism is unacceptable according to recent amendments to US law New laws and amendments are being passed to counter and prevent terrorism for the safety of US citizens Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 Title II – Foreign Governments supporting terrorism can be sued and victims of terrorism get increased aid and assistance Title III – Ensures that terrorist organizations that are fundraising or receiving financial support are severed from their resources Title IV – “addresses immigration-related terrorism issues” Title V – changes regulations concerning materials owned and used by terrorists that cause “catastrophic damage” Title VI – plastic explosives must have pre-explosion detection devices Immigration related terrorism issues include barring alien terrorists from the US, removing an alien terrorists from the US, speeding up deportation of criminal aliens, and decreasing efforts that protect terrorists from being removed. Remember that both republicans and democrats oppose terrorism. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act was put on the book sin 96- during Bill Clinton’s presidency and the Patriot act as well as other terrorism legislature went into effect on Bush’s watch.

31 Terrorism and US Law cont’d
Air Commerce and Safety – Security -Title 49, Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Chapter 449 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance - Title 50, Chapter 36 Rewards for Information Concerning Terrorist Acts and Espionage – Title 18, Part II, Chapter 204 Terrorism- Title 18, Part I, Chapter 113B These laws show that the US will not tolerate any form of terrorism and will punish those who engage in it Air Commerce and Safety –includes procedures on screening passengers and property, air transportation security, and agreements on aircraft sabotage, aircraft hijacking, and airport security Foreign Intel Surveillance- Authorization for physical searches for foreign intel purposes, electronic surveillance authorization w/o court order Rewards for Information Concerning Terrorist Acts and Espionage- confidentiality, witness security programs, determines maximum rewards Terrorism- criminal penalties, acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries

32 Group Conclusion Terrorism is justified because, according to our definitions, every terrorist is also a freedom fighter. Freedom fighting can be justified as a means of evoking social or political change.

33 References
Allen, J.C. & Leppman, E.J. (2004) Student Atlas of World Politics (6th. Ed.) Guilford: McGraw Hill/Dushkin.

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