Three important UN resolutions (1368, 1373 and 1377) after 9/11 attacks: • affirmed the right of self-defense, • found terrorism to be a threat tointernational peace and security, • and stressed the accountability of the supporter as well as the perpetrator of terrorist acts.
What is terrorism? Terrorism is an instrument of political violence for a variety of ends. • The State Department defines it as ''premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets . . . usually intended to influence an audience.''
Who is a terrorist? • The world is deeply divided over who is a terrorist. • There will always be those who will claim that some acts of violence against states and civilians are justified. • There will always be those who claim that there is a universal standard for defining terrorism.
Various groups described as terrorist: • South America: FARC (Colombia);The Shining Path or Sendero Luminoso (Peru; Tupac Amaru (Peru) • Africa:The Shabab (Somalia) Armed Islamic Group (GIA in Algeria) • Middle East: Hizbollah (Lebanon) Hamas (Palestinian territories) • South Asia: Sikh terrorism (India) • Europe: October First Anti-Fascist Resistance Group (GRAP), a radical Marxist group (Spain); The Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) • Central Asia: Al-Qaeda (operating out of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan) • North America: Christian religious groups, such as the Aryan Nations. The Jewish Defense League maintains a presence in North America as well.
What do terrorist organizations fight for? • Political autonomy/Separatism (the Basques, the PKK, ETA, in Kashmir, the Bodo tribes in Assam, Uigher in China, Chechens in Russia, Sikhs in Khalistan). • Ideology (left-wing groups such as as the Turkish Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party - Front (DHKP-C), the Peruvian Sendero Luminoso, and the Naxalites of India). (17th November, Greece). • Religious differences (Sunni and Shia Groups in Pakistan) • Spillover: of the Algerian strife (France). • Creation of an Islamic state (al-Qaeda of Iraq, the Shabab in Somali, Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA). • Resistance of an occupation (Hamas + the Palestine Islamic Jihad)
Who or What is being targeted? • attacks on civilians, • government facilities, • key economic targets, and • information systems.
Which methods do terrorist use? At the lowest levels of conflict, attackers use such new forms of war as “cyberterrorism.” At the highest level of conflict, states, terrorist groups, or individuals can try toovercome an opponent’s conventional military capabilities by using biological or nuclear weapons. One of the first uses of a chemical nerve agent in a sarin terrorist attack, by the Aum Shinri Kyo cult in Tokyo in 1995, has been widely viewed as the crossing of a threshold (12 dead and 5,500 injured).
How old is international terrorism? • About 40 years. • 1968: three members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked an El Al Boeing 707, en route from Rome to Tel Aviv, carrying ten crew and 38 passengers.
What causes terrorism? • Public despair and humiliation. • Anarchy (failed states). • Religion?
What has the US done to deal with terrorism? (Who is the US targeting?) • Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush issued a classified order authorizing the C.I.A. to kill or capture Qaeda militants around the globe. • (According to the report declassified in Nov. 2008) The United States military since 2004 has used secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere. • The 2004 order identified 15 to 20 countries, including Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and several other Persian Gulf states.