Term Paper: Terrorist Groups

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Terrorist Groups

Since September 11th, terrorism is one of the most significant topics for Americans today. September 11th shattered American's view that they were somehow protected within the confines of their country borders. Although attacks had been made on Americans, in the past, these were still somehow disjointed from the American experience, and as such, did not have the powerful effect that the strikes on America, on that fateful Fall day, did.

This paper will examine three of the most prominent terrorist groups today. Al Qaeda, Hizballan and Abu Nidal will be detailed. In addition, similarities and differences to these groups will be given, in hopes to better understand their motivations.

Terrorist Groups

Introduction:

Since September 11th, terrorism is one of the most significant topics for Americans today. September 11th shattered American's view that they were somehow protected within the confines of their country borders. Although attacks had been made on Americans, in the past, these were still somehow disjointed from the American experience, and as such, did not have the powerful effect that the strikes on America, on that fateful Fall day, did.

This paper will examine three of the most prominent terrorist groups today. Al Qaeda, Hizballan and Abu Nidal will be detailed. In addition, similarities and differences to these groups will be given, in hopes to better understand their motivations.

Al Qaeda:

Al Qaeda is Arabic for 'the foundation' or 'the base'. It is a militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden in 1988. It was originally formed to expand the mujahideen resistance movement against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, into a pan-Islamic movement to fight for other Islamic communities that were also under siege. These included Kashmir, Bosnia, Chechnya, and Palestine. Their methods include both military and terrorist tactics ("Al Qaeda," 2005).

Al Qaeda is a militant Islamist movement that has become confrontational with the United States due to several alliances the United States has. These alliances include Israel, Saudi Arabia and other entities that they perceive to be oppressive to Muslims. In addition, they feel that there are certain aspects of Western culture and values that are incompatible with the teachings of Islam. Al Qaeda believes that Western governments, such as the United States, interfere in the activities of Islamic nations, such that they are against the interests of Muslims. They see the economic and military support of certain entities as oppressive to Muslims. ("Al Qaeda," 2005).

Al Qaeda has claimed involvement in a number of attacks against both civilian and military targets around the world. As such, they have been labeled as a terrorist organization by not only the United States, but also by the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and many other of the world's leading governments ("Al Qaeda," 2005).

The most notable Al Qaeda attack happened on September 11th, 2001. Suicide members of Al Qaeda flew passenger airplanes into the World Trade Center, in New York City, and the Pentagon, in Washington, D.C., killing approximately 3,000 people ("Al Qaeda," 2005). In addition, Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda have been connected to a number of other atrocities including the 1998 bombing of the two U.S. embassies in East Africa, bombings on the island of Bali, suicide attacks in Casablanca, Riyadh and Istanbul, and the attack on the U.S.S. Cole ("Who is Osama," 2004).

The International Institute for Strategic Studies states in a 2004 report that Al Qaeda has more than 18,000 potential militants scattered around the world operating in more than 60 countries. (However), others question whether this murky entity has more than a handful of true members" ("Al Qaeda," 2005). The senior leaders of Al Qaeda are supposedly also multi-national and are also senior leaders… [END OF PREVIEW]

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