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

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Presentation on theme: "Is Terrorism Ever Justified? Angela Davidson Tara Gracey Allison Hoberg Kathryn O’Brien."— 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” “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 1. It is premeditated and designed to create a climate of extreme fear; 2. It is directed at a wider target than the immediate victims; 3. It inherently involves attacks on random or symbolic targets, including civilians; 4. 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 5. 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

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

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

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 Right-wing Jews and US citizen gunned Muslims at a mosque, killing 29 and wounding Various kidnappings, bombings, and attacks by rebel, guerrilla, and military groups around the world Armed attacks by ELN (National Liberation Army) and Burmese Embassy Seizure 89 people taken hostage, including a US citizen in Bangkok, Thailand 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 320 kidnapped, 5 killed January-June 2002-Various suicide bombings in Jerusalem May 12, Truck bombs in Saudi Arabia 34 killed (9 US citizens) 34 killed (9 US citizens) Al-Qaida suspects arrested Al-Qaida suspects arrested December 31, Restaurant bombing in Baghdad Car bomb killed 8, injured 35 (including 3 LA Times reporters) 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. 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 Pentagon, WTC, and hijacked plane killed 3,025 US citizens and other nationals Declared Usama Bin laden prime suspect, Global Coalition Against Terrorism formed 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 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 63 people, CIA’s Middle East Director killed 242 Americans (Marines and bystanders) killed, 58 French troops 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 Islamic terrorists-car bomb in underground garage 1000 injured, 6 dead 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.

12 Terrorism IS Justified

13 Motivation for Terrorism Rational Rational Choice Theory 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 Arises from the individual terrorist's personal dissatisfaction with a government or political system Antisocial behaviors create “US” vs. “THEM” Antisocial behaviors create “US” vs. “THEM” Believe that everyone outside their own group is EVIL Believe that everyone outside their own group is EVILCultural Cultures shape values and motivate people to take action 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. Could also be considered terroristic. Example: John Brown’s raid

15 Reasons for Terrorism Political Red Army Faction Red Army FactionReligious Islamic extremism Islamic extremismEthnic Hate crimes (KKK) Hate crimes (KKK)Social Individual issues such as anti-abortion Individual issues such as anti-abortion Example: “Atomic Dog” – James Kopp

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 Claim that sometimes citizens can only achieve self- rule/independence through the use of revolutionary forces FMLN Attack FMLN Attack

17 Religion as Justification for Terrorism Religious Extremists Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Crusaders 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. 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 Aum Shinrikyo

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 KKK Nazis Nazis “Ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia “Ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia Genocide in Rwanda Genocide in Rwanda

19 Social/Societal Reason as Justification for Terrorism Individual issues lead to “terrorist attacks”. Examples: Anti-abortionist attacks Anti-abortionist attacks Timothy McVeigh bombing of Murrah building in Oklahoma City (1995) 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. 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 20 th century. Jewish immigration into Palestine began at about the turn of the 20 th century. Arabs opposed the division of land by European powers, and they thought that they were being marginalized. 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. 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. Terrorism justifiable for the Palestinians because they have been given no other choice. Palestinian children armed only with stones shot at by Israelis. 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. 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. Have been subdued by Russia for over a century. Economic reasons -- oil Rebels commit acts of terrorism to gain their independence. 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.” Freedom Fighter- “One engaged in armed rebellion or resistance against an oppressive government.”

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. 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.

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. 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) 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.”

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.” 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. 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. “ For example, “to protect innocent life, to preserve conditions necessary for decent human existence and to secure basic human rights. “

28 Major Religions cont’d Islam does NOT promote, nor justify terrorism Islam which means submission promotes peace. Islam which means submission promotes peace. The Quran states that the religion of Islam forbids the killing of innocent people. 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). “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” “Terrorism is an act of violence which is indiscriminate” NO justification for killing innocent civilians NO justification for killing innocent civilians Terrorism is no excuse for rising against government oppression Terrorism is no excuse for rising against government oppression The ideology of terrorism is to promote hatred The ideology of terrorism is to promote hatred

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 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 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 IV – “addresses immigration-related terrorism issues” Title V – changes regulations concerning materials owned and used by terrorists that cause “catastrophic damage” 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 Title VI – plastic explosives must have pre-explosion detection devices

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

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. 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 orism.html html er er ism.html ism.html line/ html Palestinian_conflict sp Allen, J.C. & Leppman, E.J. (2004) Student Atlas of World Politics (6 th. Ed.) Guilford: McGraw Hill/Dushkin. erty/johnbrown/ erty/johnbrown/ notes.org/chptoutlines/apoutlines/chapter20.htm notes.org/chptoutlines/apoutlines/chapter20.htm stm alqaeda.html alqaeda.html nocide/bosnia.htm nocide/bosnia.htm htm htm htm htm


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