At present, terrorism is a monstrous war unleashed against any state, a society, and against each of us. Not guilty people die; the destinies of the whole families are crippled as the results of terroristic actions. The atmosphere, which terrorists try to create with their own actions, fills the life of ordinary people with fear, confusion, and uncertainty in tomorrow. The overall objective of terrorism is to spread panic in a society and to intimidate people. The state and its citizens should oppose terrorism. It is a vital task of the world community.
Terrorism is not only saboteurs-singles, skyjackers or shahids-kamikaze killers. Modern terrorism is a powerful branched and well-equipped structure. The examples of Afghanistan, Iraq, and the USA testify that the modern terrorism is capable of waging subversive and terrorist wars and participating in confrontations. Terrorism turned to a very profitable business of a global scale with a developed labor market (mercenaries) and capital appendices – arms supplies, drug-dealing, etc.
There are different definitions of “terrorism”, but the given research paper will consider three of them.
Houen defines terrorism
“Terrorism is defined as the ‘use or threat of action’ to ‘influence the government or to intimidate the public’ in order to advance ‘a political, religious, or ideological cause’. In this context, “action” was also widened to include “serious damage to property” and “serious disruption” of “an electronic system” (Houen: 2002).
Ronczkowski, M. R. in his book “Terrorism and Organized Hate Crime: Intelligence Gathering, Analysis, and Investigations” defines terrorism as:
“…an activity, directed against persons involving violent acts or acts dangerous to human life, which would be a criminal violation, if committed within the jurisdiction of the U.S.; and is intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping…” (Ronczkowski: 2004).
In my opinion, the above-mentioned definition of Ronczkowski is closer to my understanding of terrorism; moreover, it fully reveals all the aspects of terrorism, including the influence of government and its policies. Modern terrorism is a method of war prosecution with a social mode, consisting in the demonstration of a full rejection of legality and expressed in self-judgement penalties of officials.
Sighs of terrorism:
1. Terrorism assumes the achievement of the put political goal.
2. The violence in this or that form is applied concerning the opposing party.
3. The threat of violence is accompanied by the mass intimidation directed at a partial or full demoralization of the object of influence.
4. The purposes of terrorist influence are the following:
- some categories of citizens, defined according to political, social, national, religious or other principle or casual people;
- public order, which is a constitutional system or one of its elements (territorial integrity, an order management, economic power, etc.).
However, the following definition of terrorism presented by Halwani is also close to my perception of terroristic actions. It says that:
“Terrorism is the organized use of violence to attack noncombatants (“innocents” in a special sense) or their property for political purposes” (Halwani: 2006).
Terrorism is quite often called a global problem of the present, and the forecasts of scientists and experts concerning the further development of terrorist activity, especially after the events on September 11th, 2001, in New York and Washington seem to be not very pleasant.
The researchers of those events underline that the new era – an era of terrorism – began on 9/11. Symbolically, that exactly on September 11th (only 1990), Bush-senior declared his historical speech titled “Towards the new historical order” in the American Congress. He stated that the new world order, in which people of this world – the East and the West – could prosper and live in harmony.
Terrorism is a difficult and multidimensional phenomenon influencing these or those spheres of people’s lives protected by the law in various ways. It complicates both the development of the general concept “terrorism”, and its distinctive signs.
The domestic terrorism
“The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines domestic terrorism as terrorism involving groups based in, and operating entirely within the United States and its territories, without foreign direction. The FBI further divides domestic terrorism into three basic categories: right-wing, left-wing, and special-interest terrorism” (Knight: 2012).
Domestic terrorism is a widely used variety of terrorism in the world. It emerges on the basis of the internal contradictions, having different causes, and it is one of the most critical forms of domestic opposition. Domestic terrorism has two major manifestations: firstly, the activity of internal extremely oriented political forces, organizations and separate persons regarding the current power; secondly, the activity of opposing political powers and extremely oriented organizations.
In the first case, the activity of terrorist structures and separate persons expresses their negative attitude to an existing system, political power, and is directed at a violent liquidation, change or easing of a political system, its institutes, policies (internal or external) conducted by the governments or at achievement of other political terroristic goals.
In the second case, the purpose of domestic terrorism is easing of political opponents of this or that terrorist organization, or different political movements, strengthening of own positions and forces in an internal political struggle. Such purposes as liquidation of leaders and active workers of political opponents, pressure upon a policy followed by them, defeat of their organizations, intimidation of their supporters, and attraction of sympathies of the population are often characteristic for the given manifestation of domestic terrorism.
Both displays of internal terrorism are connected with the application of all basic forms of terroristic activity. The means of technological terrorism are mainly coordinated with conducting struggle against an existing system and a political power.
Among the variety of definitions of domestic terrorism, it is possible to distinguish several of them.
Definition of domestic terrorism by Brenda and Jackson Lutz
“Domestic terrorism is an internal affair and at least in theory less open to the involvement of other states. Domestic terrorist actions may only be possible with foreign support and aid, yet the presence of that support and assistance may not be known for some time, leading to a misclassification of the act” (Lutz & Lutz: 2004).
The other definition of domestic terrorism is closer to my personal understanding and perception of such an awful phenomenon:
“Domestic terrorism involves violence against the civilian population or infrastructure of a nation often, but not always by citizens of that nation and often with the intent to intimidate, coerce, or influence national policy” (Domestic Terrorism: 2011).
I agree with this definition of domestic terrorism as it shows an orientation of internal terrorism against a political system of the country, its law and order, public safety, personal rights and freedoms of citizens. As a whole, this kind of terrorism poses the main threat, first of all, for the constitutional system of the given country. It mentions the various parties of public life of the states, encroaches on the vital interests of a society, a state and a person.
Therefore, the prevention and suppression of domestic terrorism are considered as one of the central problems in the general system of the safety of a society, a state and a person; it supposes the use of a wide spectrum of corresponding general and special measures.
The problem of terrorism is the most vital in the world, and much attention of the world’s publicity is riveted on this issue. Moreover, people are not only involved into the process of different military operations directed at the decrease of terrorist groups; they respond and act on it in different ways.
There is a great variety of definitions of terrorism. However, there is hardly one definition, which can include all the fears and terrors of the terroristic acts. All the terrible events, which accompany terroristic acts, are just the elements of “a big political game”. The whole world community understands that the idea of an endless war with terrorism is inevitable.