Terrorism And The United States Essay Research

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Terrorism And The United States Essay, Research Paper Islamic Terrorism and The United States Michelle Gowka PLSC 14H 04/26/01 The Threat of Islamic Terrorism With the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s and the cold war over, the international community seemed to be on the threshold of an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity. Instead, a new series of problems was created, like ethnic conflicts, weapons proliferation, environmental problems, population growth, drug trafficking, and terrorism. Terrorism, as defined by Title 22 of the United States code, section 2656f(d), is the “pre-meditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence and audience.”

Islamic terrorism is a serious problem for the United States because of the threat to national security, the safety of innocent civilians, and the foundations of democratic societies throughout the world (1997 Global Terrorism: NP). Most of the Islamic world views the West, especially the United States, as the foremost corrupting influence on the Islamic world today. The Hizballah have taken this further by labeling the Unites States as “the Great Satan” (Sinha. ?Pakistan-The Chief Patron-Promoter of Islamic Militancy and Terrorism?: NP). This growing animosity the Islamic nations feel toward the Western world has been continually demonstrated by the increase in international terrorism. However, Muslims do not view their actions as acts of terrorism, but self-defense and

their religious duty. The Islamic radical movements main success or failure has been their ability to gain legitimacy from the general public or from the greater part of it in each Muslim country (Paz 1998: NP). During the past two decades, they have had enormous success with their ability to present themselves to the Arab and Muslim world as the true bearers of Islam. They appeal to the lower class due to the shared resentment of wealthy westerners while the middle class and intellectuals are drawn toward these radical groups in order to expel imported ideologies and forms of government (State Department. ?Anti-US Attacks? 1997: NP). Radical Islamic organizations have declared a holy war, Jihad, in order to bring the Arab world together and take their place as a world power. In

order to accomplish these goals, these Islamic radicals have mainly used terrorism as their main instrument of persuasion. The biggest and most active terrorist organizations are those which are state funded. These organizations act as both an overt and covert way of spreading the sponsor countries ideologies. The U.S. Secretary of State has designated seven governments as state sponsors of terrorism: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria (State Department. ?Over of State-Sponsored Terrrorism? 1997: NP). These governments support international terrorism either by engaging in terrorist activity themselves or by providing arms, training, safe haven, diplomatic facilities, financial backing, logistic and/or support to terrorists (?Over of State-Sponsored Terrorism?

1997: NP). Iran is one of the most active state sponsors of terrorism, involving themselves in the planning and execution of terrorist acts by its own agents and by surrogates such as the Hizballah. Tehran conducted 13 assassinations in 1997, the majority of which were carried out in northern Iraq against the regime’s main opposition groups. An example occurred in January 1997, when Iranian agents tried to attack the Baghdad headquarters of Mujahedin-e Khalq using a supermortar. Despite sanctions and foreign political pressure, Iran continues to provide support in the form of training, money, and weapons to a variety of terrorist groups, such as Hizballah, HAMAS, and the PIJ (State Department ?Over of State-Sponsored Terrorism? 1997:NP). Sudan is another large supporter of