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Terrorism – a Worldwide Problem of the 21 Century

  • Date Submitted: 05/05/2013 07:48 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 24.7 
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‘Terrorism’ is an age-old problem with no easy solutions. It is a very controversial term which has never been successfully defined by the international community. Terrorism is commonly understood as the use of violence against civilians or governments, which is intended to terrify or intimidate them, in order to achieve political aims or objectives.
The modern meaning of terrorism comes from the late 18th century, referring to the system of political repression implemented by the Jacobins during their ‘Reign of Terror’ after the French Revolution in 1789. It was thus first used to describe political violence by a government against its citizens and political opponents. State terrorism of this kind was later used by Lenin and Stalin in the Soviet Union after the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917; by Nazi Germany across occupied Europe in the Second World War.
After the terrorist attacks on the United States of 11 September 2001, world attention became focused on a different kind of terrorism – religious extremism as embodied by Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda network. It is a mistake, however, to see Al-Qaeda purely as a fanatical Islamic movement aimed at destroying American power or secular western civilisation. Al-Qaeda has also made political demands, such as that America remove its foreign military bases, stop supporting Israel, sign the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, and respect international law.
Traditional forms of liberation terrorism have, of course, continued – such as suicide bombings by Chechen rebels in Russia, Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, Kashmiri militants in India, Palestinians in Israel, and Maoist rebels in Nepal. In addition, there are a range of special interest political groups which have used violence domestically to instil fear, such as extreme anti-abortion activists, animal liberationists, environmental warriors, and race-hate groups.
Terrorism’s sole purpose is to use the psychological impact of violence or of the threat of violence...

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