Essay: Terrorism Compare and Contrast a Secular Terrorists

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Terrorism

Compare and contrast a secular terrorists and a religious terrorists.

Terrorists can be defined as people who use violence for the purpose of spreading fear rather than for the physical results of their actions. They do this to draw attention to things they perceive as wrongs that must be righted by society (Weisbach, 2004). Terrorists could be divided into two groups: those whose issues are religiously based and those whose issues are not based on religion. Al-qaeda is an example of a group that uses religious beliefs as the basis for their actions. The Basque terrorists of Spain would be an example of a politically-based organization.

Both groups have similarities. Both groups believe that working within the political system will not achieve their goals. They do not believe they can bring about the changes they want to see happen through such things as electing representatives to parliamentary bodies. Instead they use tactics designed to shock people into noticing their issues.

However, political terrorists rarely cross the boundaries of the political entities against which they fight. So the IRA, a group related to religious differences but not fighting based on what religion they think people should practice, commit acts of terror in Northern Ireland and England, but not in Africa or Asia. By contrast, Al-qaeda sees its religious message as important to the entire world, and believes that the actions of some other governments have a negative effect on religious practice in the areas they see as their domains. Because of this Al-qaeda objects to American troops in Saudi Arabia and sees American economic influence as an affront to their religion. So while the IRA sets off bombs in Great Britain, Al-qaeda has attacked in New York City and in Washington D.C., as well as bombing American embassies in Africa. There are no political boundaries for religious terrorists.

Using the IRA as an example, discuss ways terrorists groups finance their operations.

The Irish Republican Army, or IRA, has used a variety of ways to fund their operations. In one example December of last year, both the British and Northern Ireland governments believe that the IRA was behind a bank robbery described as "spectacular" in the media (Staff writer, 2005). In this bank robbery, thirty-eight Euros were stolen. That's nearly $50 million in American dollars (Staff writer, 2005). The British government says that the IRA made multiple attempts to launder the money using Mafia-like approaches, such as filtering the money through legitimate businesses. In the huge manhunt that followed the bank robbery, the Irish police seized over 3.5 million Euros, including the equivalent of 2.3 million pounds, all in cash, found with one businessman in Cork, Ireland, in February of this year. This arrest shows the ties to businesses for laundering purposes. The arrested man is a director for a financial company. Items such as computers have also been seized, suggesting that the IRA may be using modern technology to launder money.

In other cases, the IRA has been shown to participate in drug trafficking, for example with drug cartels from Colombia. Previously used approaches, such as fundraising in countries like the United States where many Irish descendents live, are not as lucrative as they have been in the past because of laws enacted making it a crime to donate to terrorist organizations.

Briefly explain what you consider to be the two main sources of conflict in the Middle East.

In my opinion the two main causes of conflict in the Middle East are the conflicts between Israel and Palestinians, and the conflicts between fundamentalist religious groups and more moderate religious groups.

The issue between Israel and Palestine stem in modern times back to the Partition… [END OF PREVIEW]

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