Term Paper: Terrorist Groups Are Aligning

Pages: 20 (5841 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Terrorism  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] This information will be useful in helping to protect citizens of the world.

Scope of Study

This study will encompass the years 1992 through 2002 and will contain information from as many sources as possible. The sources must be in English or an English translation. The study will utilize as much information from as many countries as possible in order to make comparisons and contrasts between information about the same group from different sources. These contrasts will be analyzed to determine if they have an effect on the validity of the conclusions.

The study will include the activities of as many known terrorist groups as possible. However, it will focus on Middle Eastern groups, primarily these funded and supported by Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, in particular those associated with Usama bin-Laden. There are several reasons for this focus; one is that there is a vast amount of information available regarding the activities and connections between these groups. In addition, these groups have a long history of terrorism and are the ones most likely to form a cooperative effort against their sworn enemy, the United States and anyone who supports them.

Other groups in other countries will be examined, primarily to determine if they are connected to the Usama bin-Laden groups, for instance, if they are acting as a foreign cell of his groups. Groups, such as Japanese Aum Shinrikyo that poisoned the Japanese subway tunnel, will be noted, but will not encompass a major portion of this report, as these groups have shown no evidence of coordinating with other groups. The world is filled with hundreds of these small isolated groups. These groups are not the focus of this study.

Thesis and Research Objectives

The exploratory data in this study will support the thesis that terrorist groups, who once functioned independently, are now combining forces in an effort to launch a global assault against common enemies. This research hopes to achieve several objectives. The first is to compile evidence for the formation of a coordinated terrorist effort. The second is to determine their motives for doing so. The Third is to determine how they are funding such an effort. The fourth is to determine how much effect improvements in communications and transportation are in their ability to successfully carry this out.

The final product of this research will be a report that details the findings of this information in a clear format that clearly draws relationships and makes the patterns easy to detect. The final presentation will paint the picture of a global terrorist effort that has never before been seen in the world. It will also discuss various political and social implications of the formation of such a group. It will discuss various models and tactics that may be employed by government entities in order to combat this threat.

It is the ultimate objective of this research to focus on a global problem and to make suggestions that may help to pose global solutions as well. It is expected that the qualitative data found in the available report will support the main thesis of this work. The null hypothesis will state that the data revealed in the various reports will not lead to evidence for the formation of a global terrorist threat. In this case, the information will not be considered valid and the terrorist groups will be determined to be operating independently.

Chapter 2

Review of the Literature

The literature to be used for this dissertation is on an extremely popular topic at the present time. For this reason there is a wealth of information available. However, much of it, especially that found in the media cannot be considered as credible. These articles are largely opinions and not based on facts. Therefore this type of literature will not be considered at all for this study.

The study will draw its information from various official government documents and other such material. It is expected that the majority of literature will be from sources in the United States. However, literature from other world government agencies will be included, where it is available in English or in translation. These sources of information are expected to be the most complete and reliable. They will be the primary sources for this research.

Many of these documents are now available in the form of an electronic journal, to the public, online. Many of the reports can be found here in an online format. Hard copies are available by writing the U.S. State Department. However, the online versions are exact copies of the hard copy and can be considered equally reliable sources of information.

The accuracy of these sources is considered to be authoritative. However, we must remember that they are in the public domain and certain pieces of information may be omitted due to security reasons. We, as the public, have no way of knowing what these pieces of information could be. It is still believed that these pieces of information will not detract from the ability of the research to glean enough information to support the thesis.

Overview of Preliminary Research

Terrorism is politically motivated violence against persons who are not combatants in a conflict. Americans have always been targeted while in other countries, but on September 11, 2001, they also became the direct recipients of terrorist activities. The goal of these activities is to promote a sense of fear and deep insecurity. Terrorists strike those who are not combat ready. The victims are nor trained soldiers, they are ordinary citizens. These attacks often come without warning, in an attempt to invoke the greatest amount of fear (Wilcox, 1996). Terrorism attempts to undermine the citizen's faith in their government's ability to protect them. Terrorists use intimidation as their primary weapon to induce fear in a society.

Terrorists are motivated by ideology, religion, or other ethnic groups in order to overthrow governments and promote their ideas. Sometimes they use terrorism to express anger to rage over an issue. Terrorists are more technologically advanced than in earlier years. The bombs are more compact and efficient. They also have at their disposal cell phones, computers and the latest in encryption software to help them avoid detection (Wilcox, 1996). They can get fake IDs and almost anything else they want of conduct their acts.

Terrorism often has more of the terrorists' intended effect, mostly because of mass media. They wish to express their ideas, and the media gives then the perfect medium to do it. This allows the public to witness the event as if they were there themselves. This greatly increases the effect of fear. Prior to the advent of live television, the event may make the next day's newspaper, or get a brief radio mention, but that is not the same as actually being there. Terrorists use this to their every advantage to exploit our government (Wilcox, 1996).

It has been known for quite some time that Usama bin-Laden is a major financier of terrorism efforts in the Middle East. His primary organizations include HAMAS, The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine- Genera Command (PFLP-GC). In addition he also provides a safe haven for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been fighting for an independent Kurdish state since 1995 (USSD, 1996, online).

Usama bin-Laden is a major source of funding for these groups, but he is not acting alone. Sudan continues to provide a safe haven for Usama bin-Laden and his various groups, including some of the world's most violent groups such as the IG, ANO, Lebanese Hizballah, and HAMAS (USSD, 1996, online). There has not been sufficient evidence that Sudan actively took part in any terrorist activities, but it is aware of the activities of these groups within its borders and promotes their existence (USSD, 1996, online).

These groups target a number of locations all over the world. For instance, the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), and terrorists probably associated with the GIA attempted a series of bombings in France (USDS, 1996a, online). A number of groups split off from the PLO in 1974 including Abu Nidal organization (ANO) a.k.a.: Fatah Revolutionary Council, Arab Revolutionary Council, Arab Revolutionary Brigades, Black September, and Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims (USDS, 1996b, online). Their primary targets include United States, the United Kingdom, France, Israel, moderate Palestinians, the PLO, and various Arab countries (USDS, 1996b, online). Libya and Syria have funded these groups consisting of several hundred people, maximum.

Al-Fatah a.k.a.: Al-'Asifa (see Palestine Liberation Organization), Al-Jihad (see Jihad Group), and Armed Islamic Group (GIA) target a variety of entities including security personnel, government officials, civilians, journalists, teachers, and foreign residents (USDS, 1996b, online). The GIA wishes to overthrow the secular Algerian regime and replace it with an Islamic state (USDS, 1996b, online). Many of these groups are known by several different names in order to make themselves more difficult to track.

The Democratic Front for the Liberation… [END OF PREVIEW]

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