A brief history rise and reasons history essay

Contrary to the popular belief, terror has been practiced by state and nonstate actors throughout history and throughout the world.[1]It did not begin in the 1960’s, much less at the beginning of new millennium. The word ” terrorism” entered the vocabulary of the French in the form of ” regime de la terreur” during the last decade of the eighteenth century[2]. But the fact that it was defined in the eighteenth century does not imply that its existence was unknown previously. Rather terrorist violence has a long history which we shall discuss in this chapter.

History and Upsurge…

On a Global Scale

The earlier terrorist campaigns were mostly religious in nature, although they garnered political ambitions as well. The members of such groups sought to purify the world by getting rid of scourge of corruption and thus hasten the advent of messianic era. The most ancient instance of terrorist campaign can be traced to almost two thousand years ago when the activities of the Jewish Zealots[3], often known as the Sicarii (Hebrew: ” Daggers”), who engaged in frequent violent attacks on fellow Hebrews suspected of collusion with the Roman authorities. Their aim was to bring upon an uprising against the roman rule of Judea. The Zealots believed that ” God would intervene in human history for his true followers”. Being heavily outnumbered against the roman militia, the members used to kill the Jewish leaders who would seem content with the Roman rule, killing garrison of roman soldiers who surrendered to them and killing innocent Greek Judea citizens. The Zealots would pick a target, and on days of a feast or a large gathering appear out of the blue, stabbing the victim in full public view and disappearing back into the crowd where he came from. The intention behind these acts used to be attracting maximum public attention and inviting utmost repressions by Romans. Their wishes finally came true, when a Jewish uprising took place against Romans, where the Jews were badly defeated, exiled, enslaved and it resulted in fall of Jerusalem. In the Middle East the religious sect of ” Assassins[4]” was originated in Persia and was active in eleventh to thirteenth century. The assassins were a group of Shiite Muslims also known as Ismailis-Nizaris, who made it their purpose of cleansing Islam of Sunnis. Their area soon expanded to modern day Syria and other parts of the region. They were trained to be ” Fedayeens” and believed that their acts would earn them a place in heaven. Just like the Zealots, they believed that by killing the unmerited and corrupt officials, governors and caliphs, they would accelerate the arrival of the Holy One. The assassins were trained to work their way into the circles of significant Muslim figures or leaders and when they saw the right time, they’d assassinate the victim with the dagger. However the thing that separates them from the Zealots or the modern day terrorists is that after assassination, the assassin would stay nearby the victim to anticipate the judgment of the authorities, which was normally execution itself. So it can be considered as a suicidal mission when it came to the missions of Ismailis-Nizaris. Apart from religion, political ambitions were also an instigating factor behind terrorist acts. While the Nizaris and Sicarii thought God to be a motivating factor their acts, In Europe various groups arose after ” The Renaissance” in France who believed in handing the power over to the public. ” The People[5]” as an abstract entity became the ultimate source of authority. Governments that did not act in the name of the People or whose conduct was not accord with the Public’s will were thereafter considered to be illegitimate. It gave rise to revolutions and modern terrorism, which grew in Europe and migrated to the rest of the world. Over the course of 19th century, as nationalism and industrialism spread throughout the world, people became equated with the nation, on whose behalf virtually all forms of political actions became justified. Similarly, with the spread of industrial capitalism in Europe and beyond the idea of the People as a particular social class took hold. Either way, it were a handful of the enlightened who believed that they had what it takes to understand what the People wanted irrespective of what individuals belonging to this category did or said. Likewise, the use of terror was openly advocated by Robespierre during the French Revolution, and the Spanish Inquisition used arbitrary arrest, torture, and execution to punish what it viewed as religious heresy. After the American Civil War (1861–65), defiant Southerners formed the Ku Klux Klan to intimidate supporters of Reconstruction (1865–77) and the newly freed former slaves. In the latter half of the 19th century, terror was adopted in Western Europe, Russia, and the United States by adherents of anarchism, who believed that the best way to effect revolutionary political and social change was to assassinate persons in positions of power. From 1865 to 1905 a number of kings, presidents, prime ministers, and other government officials were killed by anarchists’ guns or bombs. The 20th century witnessed great changes in the use and practice of terror. It became the hallmark of a number of political movements stretching from the extreme right to the extreme left of the political spectrum. Technological advances, such as automatic weapons and compact, electrically detonated explosives, gave terrorists a new mobility and lethality, and the growth of air travel provided new methods and opportunities. Terrorism was virtually an official policy in totalitarian states such as those of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler and the Soviet Union under Stalin. In these states arrest, imprisonment, torture, and execution were carried out without legal guidance or restraints to create a climate of fear and to encourage adherence to the national ideology and the declared economic, social, and political goals of the state. After the Second World War (1939-1945), the meaning of terrorism changed again as people revolted against European domination of the world; nationalistic groups were deemed to be terrorists groups. In India, groups that adopted violent methods against the British were branded as militant/terrorist groups. Events of the Middle Eastern politics after the assassination of King Abdullah of Jordan in 1951 gave rise to radical Muslim elements and terrorism became even more rampant. Anti-Israeli terrorism became a major and well-publicised feature of world politicsin the 1960s. From about 1964 to the early 1980s, the term terrorism was also applied to the violent left-wing groups, as well as nationalists. Use of violence to achieve political objectives came to be recognised as the weapon of the weak against the powerful. A minority syndr3ome spread so far that these groups were willing to espouse the cause of other groups in the world. This has led to international linkages and terrorism began to be viewed as sub-national warfare. Use of terrorism as a tool of statecraft by the small and weak nations against powerful countries with the objective of bringing about a change in their perception/ policies, etc. to suit the convenience of the perpetrator countries started gaining momentum. Terrorists weresponsored by rogue regimes like, Libya-supported Irish Republican Army(IRA), Arab terrorist groups, Philipinos, Germans, etc, Iran- supported Hezbollah against Israel, Iraq-supported Hamas against Israel, and Pakistan supported terrorists groups against India. Terror has been used by one or both sides in anticolonial conflicts (e. g., Ireland and the United Kingdom, Algeria and France, and Vietnam and France and the United States), in disputes between different national groups over possession of a contested homeland (e. g., Palestinians and Israelis), in conflicts between different religious denominations (e. g., Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland), and in internal conflicts between revolutionary forces and established governments (e. g., in the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Peru). In the late 20th and early 21st centuries some of the most extreme and destructive organizations that engaged in terrorism possessed a fundamentalist religious ideology (e. g., Hamas and al-Qaeda). Some groups, including the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and Hamas, adopted the tactic of suicide bombing, in which the perpetrator would attempt to destroy an important economic, military, political, or symbolic target by detonating a bomb on his person. In the latter half of the 20th century the most prominent groups using terrorist tactics were the Red Army Faction, the Japanese Red Army, the Red Brigades, the Puerto Rican FALN, Fatah and other groups related to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Shining Path, and the Liberation Tigers. In the late 20th century the United States suffered several acts of terrorist violence by Puerto Rican nationalists (such as the FALN), antiabortion groups, and foreign-based organizations. The 1990s witnessed some of the deadliest attacks on American soil, including the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City in 1993 and the Oklahoma City bombing two years later, which killed 168 people. In addition, there were several major terrorist attacks on U. S. government targets overseas, including military bases in Saudi Arabia (1996) and the U. S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (1998). In 2000 an explosion triggered by suicide bombers caused the deaths of 17 sailors aboard a U. S. naval ship, the USS Cole, in the Yemeni port of Aden. Terrorism appears to be an enduring feature of political life. Even prior to the September 11 attacks, there was widespread concern that terrorists might escalate their destructive power to vastly greater proportions by using weapons of mass destruction—including nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons—as was done by the Japanese doomsday cult AUM Shinrikyo, which released nerve gas into a Tokyo subway in 1995. These fears were intensified after September 11, when a number of letters contaminated with anthrax were delivered to political leaders and journalists in the United States, leading to several deaths. U. S. President George W. Bush made a broad war against terrorism the centrepiece of U. S. foreign policy at the beginning of the 21st century.

In India

India has remained a victim of cross-border terrorism since gaining its independence from the British. Pakistan’s propensity for using non-state actors as proxies to fight its war goes back to 1947 and the founding of the Pakistani state, and has continued to the present. Pakistan is not alone promoting these acts, ” but what makes it unique and worthy of attention is the dominance of these tools and the near exclusivity of their use in its relations with India[6]”. In its first attempt to take over Kashmir by military means, Pakistan initially opted to use irregular tribesmen it had trained and equipped rather than commission its regular forces for the task. This conflict precipitated the 1947 war. After conventional wars had failed Pakistan, it turned to sub-conventional war, which has existed in varying forms and intensities in its rivalry with India until the present. Pakistan’s rationale for supporting the mujahideen is based on the Pakistani military’s determination to pay India back for its humiliating defeat of the 1971 war and dismemberment of East Pakistan into Bangladesh. Pakistan has lost every war it has fought with India and is massively outgunned and outnumbered by India[7]. India dwarfs Pakistan in population, economic strength and military might[8]. According to estimates ” the Indian army has around 400, 000 troops in Kashmir—a force more than two-thirds as large as Pakistan’s entire army[9]”. The Pakistani government thus supports these sub-national actors as a relatively cheap and easy way to keep the Indian forces tied down and to balance the conventional asymmetry. Terrorism across the border has rendered the conventional and nuclear balance between India and Pakistan irrelevant. The U. S. government believes that Pakistan also funds, trains and equips militant groups and supports their asymmetric strategies. Apart from an ongoing covert war in Kashmir, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) also supported insurgent groups in Punjab seeking an independent Khalistan state from 1984-1995, as well as the jihadin Afghanistan during the same period against the Soviet Union after that country’s intervention in Afghanistan. There exists a strong link between the growing spread of militancy and terrorism in South Asia to the Afghan war in the 1980s, which saw a corresponding upsurge in U. S. aid and Saudi funneling of arms to the anti-Soviet guerrillas through Pakistan’s ISI agency. During the Afghanistan jihad the ISI ” created a string of training camps and deeni madaris [religious schools] along the Afghan-Pakistan border, mainly with Saudi funding, to turn out religiously motivated students, in what later became characterized as an assembly line of gun-fodder’ for the mujahidin[10]”. These Afghan veterans have also come to haunt India’s security. Large portions of military aid given to anti-Soviet Afghan rebels by the U. S. Central Intelligence Agency was siphoned off by the conduit ISI[11]to ignite a bloody insurgency in Indian Kashmir after the ISI failed to trigger an uprising in India’s Punjab state, despite arming Sikh dissidents in the early 1980s. Because of its own agenda, the United States accepted the condition that the ISI control the flow of weapons and pinpoint arms recipients. However, ” ISI appropriated for its own purposes an estimated 50% to 70% of the military resources intended for the mujahedeen…The diversions were known at the time within the region and within the United States but were accepted as an unpleasant but necessary element of the aid program without an alternative conduit for aid[12]”. Both in the Afghanistan and Kashmir wars, Pakistan has promoted and perpetuated the concept of a pan-Islamic jihad and a jihad culture, supported by substantial quantities of U. S.-supplied weapons into the Pakistani black market (Stern 2000). South Asia felt the greatest impact of cross-border movement of Afghan veterans and illegal arms, with India bearing the brunt of the unintended consequences of foreign intervention in Afghanistan from 1979-1989. The genesis of the present day insurgency can also be traced to the alleged electoral manipulation of the 1986 election in Kashmir, which led to a loss of face by Kashmiris in the Central Government in Delhi and the breakdown of law and order in the state. India’s neighbor took advantage of the situation, and began to arm and train Kashmiri youths who crossed over the Line of Control for training in insurgency operations against India. The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), a militant separatist movement, was initially responsible for all political violence and insurgency in Kashmir. There is a common belief among terrorist groups that India is harming Muslims and Muslim interests. Terrorists have used ” an essentially nationalistic conflict and morphed it into a pan-Islamic jihad, a religious war with global implications” (Weaver 2002). With this dimension terrorism has become a way of life in South Asia, inflicting destruction on the civilian population and property, and bringing about unprecedented misery. Being wedged between authoritarian states or fledgling democracies engaged in breach of international lawby exporting terrorism, narcotics and fake currency, India since the 1980s has been fighting a proxy war in the Indian part of Kashmir with Islamic militants and groups committed to the cause of liberating Kashmir. Groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba are known for the attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001, the 2006 Mumbai train bombings, the February 2007 blast of a train between India and Pakistan, and the orchestration of the November 26, 2008 Mumbai attacks. Some of the other groups that operate in the region and have been alleged to have carried out attacks against India are Jaish-e-Muhammad, Harkat ul Mujahideen, Harakat-ul Jihad-al-Islami, Jamat-ul Mujahideen, and Hizbul Mujahideen. Apart from Pakistan, India also faces terrorist threats fromits eastern border with Bangladesh. Attacks by Harakat-ul Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) have been attributed to Bangladeshi soil. India’s Northern Army Commander, responsible for counterinsurgency operations in the entire state of Kashmir, has estimated that there are about 3, 000-4, 000 backed insurgents operating in Kashmir (Ram 2002: 142). In Kashmir, limited guerrilla warfare is conducted primarily in rural areas and is fought against by regular Indian Army forces and special police units that operate primarily in the Kashmir valley. More recently, one sees the emergence of newer groups like the Deccan Mujahideen and Indian Mujahideen. These groups appear to confirm a disturbing new trend of events domestically. According to the Status Paper on Internal Security (2008: 43), indications suggest ” involvement of local elements in the actual local level planning, execution of these acts with the help and support of external groups. The increasing use of technology and communications has enabled them to successfully avoid detection in the processes of planning and executions of operations.” Adopting these strategies, the Indian Mujahideen joined the terror of forces claiming responsibility for the series of blasts in November 2007 in the state of Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow and Varanasi) and the 2008 attacks in the Indian cities of New Delhi, Jaipur, India’s software capital Bangalore, the industrial city of Ahmadabad, and the high-tech hub Hyderabad. The Indian Mujahideen, a homegrown group, has been linked to the Bangladeshi Harakat-ul Jihad-al-Islami, and another organization that has recently been in controversy for its radicalism, the Student Islamic Movement in India (SIMI). The SIMI was founded in Uttar Pradesh in 1977 to promote teachings of Islam, but became increasingly radical in the 1990s. New Delhi banned it in 2001, labeling it a terrorist organization. In February 2007, the Indian Supreme Court labeled SIMI ” secessionist” and refused to lift the ban. The police suspect that they have links with the Indian Mujahideen. These homegrown groups and their Pakistani supporters have raised concerns about India’s vulnerability and security in combating terrorist attacks, which have occurred with much greater frequency in the last couple of years.

From Bombs to Virus Attacks

Since the late 1980s, the Internet has proven to be a highly dynamic means of communication, reaching an ever-growing audience worldwide. The development of increasingly sophisticated technologies has created a network with a truly global reach, and relatively low barriers to entry. Internet technology makes it easy for an individual to communicate with relative anonymity, quickly and effectively across borders, to an almost limitless audience. The benefits of Internet technology are numerous, starting with its unique suitability for sharing information and ideas, which is recognized as a fundamental human right. It must also be recognized, however, that the same techno-logy that facilitates such communication can also be exploited for the purposes of terrorism. The use of the Internet for terrorist purposes creates both challenges and opportunities in the fight against terrorism. An operation can be done by anyone anywhere in the world, for it can be preformed thousands of miles away from a target. An attack can cause serious damage to a critical infrastructure which may result in casualties. Attacking an infrastructure can be power grids, monetary systems, dams, media, and personal information. Some attacks are conducted in furtherance of political and social objectives, as the following examples illustrate: In 1996, a computer hacker allegedly associated with the White Supremacist movement temporarily disabled a Massachusetts ISP and damaged part of the ISP’s record keeping system. The ISP had attempted to stop the hacker from sending out worldwide racist messages under the ISP’s name. The hacker signed off with the threat, ” you have yet to see true electronic terrorism. This is a promise.” In 1997 the Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT) starts conducting Web ” sit-ins” against various domains in support of the Zapatistas of Mexico. Thousands of protesters point their browser at a site using software that overloads the site with requests for downloads. Again in 1997, Chaos Computer Club creates ActiveX Controls that trick Quicken into removing money from a user’s account and transferring it someplace else. In 1998, Spanish protestors bombarded the Institute for Global Communications (IGC) with thousands of bogus e-mail messages. E-mail was tied up and undeliverable to the ISP’s users, and support lines were tied up with people who couldn’t get their mail. The protestors also spammed IGC staff and member accounts, clogged their Web page with bogus credit card orders, and threatened to employ the same tactics against organizations using IGC services. They demanded that IGC stop hosting the Web site for the Euskal Herria Journal, a New York-based publication supporting Basque independence. Protestors said IGC supported terrorism because a section on the Web pages contained materials on the terrorist group ETA, which claimed responsibility for assassinations of Spanish political and security officials, and attacks on military installations. IGC finally relented and pulled the site because of the ” mail bombings.” In 1998, ethnic Tamil guerrillas swamped Sri Lankan embassies with 800 e-mails a day over a two-week period. The messages read ” We are the Internet Black Tigers and we’re doing this to disrupt your communications.” Intelligence authorities characterized it as the first known attack by terrorists against a country’s computer systems. During the Kosovo conflict in 1999, NATO computers were blasted with e-mail bombs and hit with denial-of-service attacks by hacktivists protesting the NATO bombings. In addition, businesses, public organizations, and academic institutes received highly politicized virus-laden e-mails from a range of Eastern European countries, according to reports. Web defacements were also common. After the Chinese Embassy was accidentally bombed in Belgrade, Chinese hacktivists posted messages such as ” We won’t stop attacking until the war stops!” on U. S. government Web sites. Since December 1997, the Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT) has been conducting Web sit-ins against various sites in support of the Mexican Zapatistas. At a designated time, thousands of protestors point their browsers to a target site using software that floods the target with rapid and repeated download requests. EDT’s software has also been used by animal rights groups against organizations said to abuse animals. Electrohippies, another group of hacktivists, conducted Web sit-ins against the WTO when they met in Seattle in late 1999. These sit-ins all require mass participation to have much effect, and thus are more suited to use by activists than by terrorists. In another instance in 1999, assassins hacked into a hospital computer to change the medication of a patient so that he would be given a lethal injection. He was dead within a few hours. Perhaps the biggest incidence related to cyber warfare and terrorism was attack on Estonia[13]in 2007. The reason behind this attack was a row that erupted at the end of April 2007 over the Estonians’ removal of the Bronze Soldier Soviet war memorial in central Tallinn, the country was subjected to a barrage of cyber warfare, disabling the websites of government ministries, political parties, newspapers, banks, and companies[14]. Weeks of cyber attacks followed, targeting government and banks, ministries, newspapers and broadcasters websites of Estonia. Some attacks took the form of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks (using ping floods to expensive rentals of botnets). Almost 128 unique DDOS attacks (115 ICMP floods, 4 TCP SYN floods and 9 generic traffic floods) took place[15]. Hundreds or thousands of ” zombie” computers were employed and Estonian Web sites were pelted with thousands of requests a second, boosting traffic far beyond normal levels. Attacker commanded other computers to bombard a web site with requests for data, causing the sites to stop working. Access to the banks, government agencies website became unavailable such as Estonian national Web sites, including those of government ministries and the prime minister’s Reform Party. A flood of junk messages was thrown at the e-mail server of the Parliament, shutting it down. The attack heavily affected infrastructures of all networks: Routers damaged. Routing tables changed. DNS servers overloaded. Email servers mainframes failure, and etc. This particular incident opened the eyes of countries all over the world and forced the Estonian defence minister to admit that they had been indeed ” lucky” to survive this attack. In contemporary times, the mass media reports everyday on terrorist attacks around the world. These attacks may be launched at any time in any place and country. The method of attack in the overwhelming majority of cases is the same: an individual or a group triggers an explosion at a target. It could be done remotely or in suicidal mode. The common dominator of these tragic events is that the attackers are representing only a small part of society and most of the victims are innocent people who just happen to be in the proximity of the explosion.


Ideology and motivation influence the objectives of terrorist operations, especially regarding the casualty rate. Groups with secular ideologies and non-religious goals often attempt highly selective and discriminate acts of violence to achieve a specific political aim. This often requires them to keep casualties at the minimum amount necessary to attain the objective. This is both to avoid a backlash that might severely damage the organization, and also maintain the appearance of a rational group that has legitimate grievances. By limiting their attacks they reduce the risk of undermining external political and economic support. Groups that comprise a ” wing” of an insurgency, or are affiliated with aboveground, sometimes legitimate, political organizations often operate under these constraints. The tensions caused by balancing these considerations are often a prime factor in the development of splinter groups and internal factions within these organizations.

What Conditions Give Rise to Terrorism

Initially, it is simple to identify the social and political backgrounds of the places where terrorism breeds.[16]Even a layman can come to a conclusion that economic deprivation and poverty are the major factors which lead people to terrorism. In places where the government and state agencies work for development and that development results in economic upliftment, people will naturally ally with the government, because they seek a secure future with development. On the contrary, places where people have to struggle for survival and where they find the government responsible for their decline, they’ll be forced to adopt such methods. Similarly, absence of democracy may be another reason. People irked against regime under which they are, may resort to violent activities, if denied the right to peacefully protest in the political process. If all the channels of open political expression are blocked, distressed individuals will turn to terrorism as their last resort to make themselves heard. However concluding that terrorism is prevalent those states where democracy is absent might be unreasonable. Under the dictatorship of General Suharto in Indonesia, terrorist activities never arose as the critical issue. However, after Suharto was forced to resign from power, the transitional phase from autocracy to democracy in Indonesia was marked by several violent attacks carried out by the Islamist organisation called Jemaah Islamiyyah[17]. Again, supporting the fact were studies carried out by World Bank economists after the 9/11 attacks, concluded that there seemed to be a small but positive relation between the Gross Domestic Product of the place and incidence of terrorist attacks[18]. Hence, it is also worth observing that terrorists often intend to strike those places which are easily recognized as financially affluent. In words of Leonard Weinberg ” Countries inhabited by the wretched of the Earth were somehow less susceptible to terrorism than better-off locales”. Apart from political and religious ambitions garnered, reasons behind adopting terrorism can be strategic. Saying that a group has a strategic cause for using terrorism is another way of saying that terrorism isn’t a random or crazy choice, but is chosen as a tactic in service of a larger goal. Hamas, for example, uses terrorist tactics, but not out of a random desire to fire rockets at Israeli Jewish civilians. Instead, they seek to leverage violence (and cease fires) in order to gain specific concessions related to their goals vis-a-vis Israel and Fatah. Terrorism is typically described as a strategy of the weak seeking to gain advantage against stronger armies or political powers. We can also understand the example of how targeted violent attacks against non-Islamists in Jammu & Kashmir[19]by terrorists and similar attacks by groups like Ku Klux Klan in United States against the African-American population is also a strategy. Due to a massive number of terrorist attacks known and recorded in human history, with so many reasons for carrying them out, so many goals – religious and secular, nationalist and antinationalist, that it is unreasonable to expect the same conditions that were the cause of rise of one type of terrorist campaign to also apply to the others.

What Kind of People Become Terrorists

After discussing briefly about the circumstances that give rise to terrorist campaigns, it is fitting to ask where terrorists come from. Since it is impossible to get a definite answer of this question; hence it is better to derive answers from scholars. Firstly, most of the individuals who join terrorist organizations become their members in their early twenties, it should not be a surprise to infer that terrorists or would be terrorists come from school settings. Chances are they are brainwashed by the school curriculum.[20]Given the predominance of Islamist terrorism in recent years, this frequently means that recruits are drawn from madarasas in Islamic states[21]. But that does not mean that this trend is limited to muslims alone. In United States, the members of Symbionese Liberation Army were the students of University of California at Berkeley, the founders of Red Brigade in Italy came from the University of Trent etc. Jails and prisons offer an encouraging environment for terrorists. Often inmates may learn to use violence as a means of surviving in a brutalizing environment. Political education may be provided by inmates committed to converting others to their cause or by groups on the outside engaged in prison outreach programs that correspond with and offer sympathy to elements of the prison population. Also, the jail administration may further provoke them by their mistreatment, for example the inmates after being mistreated may be radicalized by their experience and may resort to terrorist violence after their release. The youth, disgruntled with situation of society often joins a community or a party with the hopes of ushering changes. They are attracted by the ideological, religious and political aims and motives. But after engaging in active politics, the leaders are forced to compromise with situations and other contestants. Priorities change, and a few are left out. This results in members leaving the party to form a new group, or creating an ” active wing” within the party. This active wing, to no one’s surprise, detaches itself from its parent organization after a while, blaming them for disregarding the objectives they once stood for. What comes further is the realization of being betrayed, and so to fulfill the lost objectives, the ” youth wing” resorts to violent measures. Terrorists may also emerge from places where people are known for having sympathies to the relevant causes. In Northern Ireland, place around Belfast are known to have a soft corner of organizations such as IRA and protest paramilitaries did most of the recruiting. Similarly, LTTE has been known to have sympathizers in countries like Norway and Canada, donating enormously[22]to their causes.

Why do people become terrorists

One of the most discussed responses is mental sickness. People who join terrorist organizations possess personalities that dispose them to kill innocent or unsuspecting. Further they’re brainwashed into thinking radically different from most people[23]. Few studies or clinical interviews with terrorist or ex-terrorists have detected serious signs of mental disturbance. However, it is unlikely for organizations to admit such members, because of people who hear to inanimate objects or tend to live into a delusional state are likely to leave the lives of their fellow members in jeopardy. But on the contrary in these organizations, training comprises of brainwashing the terrorist, making him disregard the value of human life and demonizing the enemy, thereby eliminating the target as the only option. Also they’ll be made to realize that they’re the chosen ones, upon whom lies the task of fulfilling the will of the ” God”. Consequently, it can be inferred that though terrorists are ” motivated” after they’re trained, but in the initial stage they cannot be referred to be ” mentally deranged”. In addition there is an occurrence of ” identity”. A person if relates himself to an organization on an emotional and mental scale, then he’d risk greater on behalf of a group as compared himself acting all alone. This also attributes to the mental internal states which is common among the people who join the group. These groups are joined by people on account of their own volunteering interests. Believing in the cause serves as a major enticement. Other incentives include the opportunity to get involved into action. Individuals who are tired of their routine monotonous lives finally get a chance to translate dreams into reality[24]. These are the kinds of people who believe in the promises of something beyond the rhetorical condemnation of various enemies. Status amongst the community, from which the terrorist belongs, is also one of the encouraging factors behind people joining terrorist groups. Although joining a terrorist organization is a little different from joining a group of elite scientists, but for young people walking down the roads, flashing their guns, watching people intimidated sure looks like exhibiting power. Moreover, people are often lured into believing that they’d be called the ” true sons of soils” and would be deemed ” martyrs” if they sacrificed their lives for the cause. They achieve fame because their posters appear throughout the area. Their surviving kith and kin receive enhanced status by the community at large because of their kin’s sacrifice on the behalf of the cause. Apart from respect, it is the material benefit that attracts people towards terrorism. Often these organizations approach individuals struck by poverty offering them huge sums of money, for joining and carrying out different tasks. Different Islamic militants receive huge sum of money as donations from oil rich Sheikhs, which is further pumped to jihadi organizations engaged in terrorist activities. The opportunity to exact revenge for previous humiliations and atrocities may also be a reason for joining groups involved in terrorism. For example ” Birds of Paradise” in Sri Lanka and ” Black Widows” in Chechen were female suicide bombers who had been the victim of rape from Sinhalese and Russian antagonists respectively.

The Psychology of terrorism