What Motivates Terrorist and Assassins
By Hillary Parks
English Composition II
Have you ever wondered why terrorist and assassins commit the crimes they commit? There are many factors contributing to why these events happen and how they affect society in everyday life. This paper will give you an insight on how and why they commit the crimes or events they use to either establish fear in a group of people or to make a point about certain factors like political, religious and other outstanding circumstances in whatever culture they are influencing.
There are many different definitions of terrorism. One definition was created by the modern godfather of urban terrorism and the author of the Mini manual of the Urban Guerilla, Carlos Marighella. He defined terrorism as the action an urban guerilla must execute with the greatest cold bloodedness, calmness and decisions. But Brian Jenkins of the Rand Corporation describes terrorism on a more scholarly level as “the calculated use of violence to attain goals that are political, religious or ideological in nature. Terrorism involves a criminal act that is often symbolic in nature and intended to influence and audience beyond the immediate victims.” The one the U.S. Department of State uses as a definition is more on the political level. Their definition states that “terrorism is a premeditated, politically motivated violence portrayed against non-combatant targets by substantial group’s clandestine state agents, usually intended to influence an audience. There has been ancient text such as the Bible, the Iliad, the Odyssey, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and letters inscribed in cuneiform on clay tablets that have specific details about such occurrences in the eastern Mediterranean. During the 1990’s less than 0.01% of the terrorist attacks caused 70% of the terrorism injuries and 19% of the deaths. (Johnson 2001). There was a large sample of terrorist attacks that ended the turn of the twentieth century. These attacks included: the hijacking by Lebanese Shi’a terrorist on June 14, 1985 of the TWA Flight 847 while it was in route from Rome to Cairo. The bomb explosion at Berlin disco killing two American soldiers. The bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988, killing all 259 passengers and crew plus 11 unknown people on the ground at the crash site. On December 1992 two hotels in Aiden where U.S. troops stop routinely while waiting to deploy to Somalia were bombed, killing two people but no Americans were harmed.
Assassination is a specialized form of assault that has been proven to be a very effective tool for terrorist. This form is also used for intimidation against the targeted communities the terrorist or assassins has picked to commit crimes or terror attacks against. Assassination attacks are designed to gain the most media attention and also have the most psychological impact on the organization or victim represented. The political leaders and military will react to an assassination with a repression aimed at the general public. It is used by such groups like the separatists Basque movement, ETA in Spain, the FARC narco-terrorists in Columbia and various Islamic jihad groups in the Middle East. In the eleventh century Hasam-I Sabbah the director of the small group of the Ismailia Shiite Muslims made the act of murder for a political purpose a major component of terrorism. With this being said this is how his followers became known as assassins. They were also trained to complete suicide missions. When completing these missions the assassins were paid in full in an advance so their families could have the money before they completed the mission. Assassins have been classified as the most historical group but there are others that have committed crimes sometimes far worst then whatever crime the assassin was assigned to like Guy Fawke who bombed the English parliament, the Barbary...
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