Terrorism – Probing the Mind (Genesis)
This is a layman’s termed article that explains the fundamental reasons why terrorism exists and how it is applied to modern history. It is neither academia or politically inspired and should be kept in such content and context. Although there are many theories out there for the reasons terrorism exists today, it is nothing new and has existed in our society since the beginning of time. The biggest difference today is the level of this threat and the significance it plays on your life.
Discarding the reasons, purposes and political slandering of specific groups or individuals, we want to discuss why human nature related to such extreme behaviors has not progressed or changed over time. We also want to identify how the threat has been expanded in our world today compared to the past and how time and space play into that formula for danger. Three interlocking trends have been significantly changed, improved or boosted thereby compressing time and space factors on terrorism.
Comparing the mode of travel from the Middle Ages against the means to travel today we find the globalization of international trade and business seriously impacting the ability for movement around the world. Certainly, one can see the speed of such transgressions happening compared than ever before.
The most obvious enhancement is the mode of travel which has reduced time and space down to hours rather than weeks or months in the past. Lastly, with the introduction of social media, internet and other digital improvements or devices, it allows information to be transferred at a very rapid speed making most decisions real time with a slight lapse in time and space.
The second aggravating factor is the instability of world leadership, political corruption and the economic disparities connected to radical ideological conflicts that allows individuals or groups to facilitate a cooperative or unified aggression. An act or acts of hostilities conducted by extreme or radicalized mindsets to act as conspirators using the global socio-political systems and the ascent of religious fundamentalism as an aggrieved tool to expose or explode their acts into secular trends of terror-related violence and destruction.
Unfortunately, the potential of macro-terrorists handing over their ideologies and missions to smaller [micro] groups of terrorist has been facilitated by movements and infiltration of key government or commerce positions that facilitates contact for such extreme hostile acts endangering all aspects of the security of civilization as we know it while changing daily.
Without a doubt, the subject matter crosses lines of scholarly and psychological boundaries as the behavior has been identified to be related to various reasons why this problem of terrorism exists in the first place. Apart from the most basic reason of finding the truth, there are other targets these terror groups intend to expose, attack or destroy.
Understanding the roots of the terrorists’ mindset would allow better counter-terror methods and reduce the harm inflicted by such groups or acts. It would benefit local police agencies to engage in such training and staff development methods to reduce their dependency on other agencies including the federal government in our country; a government who normally assumes complete control of such situations to conduct political damage control as well as the primary investigations of these acts leaving little behind for locals to learn from other than what has been shared in classified documents on a limited basis.
Despite such a practical and compelling need to understand the act of terrorism, many government officials have failed to dedicate sufficient time and funding to explore such motivation and despicable acts to support valid efforts by many in law enforcement to reduce such acts world-wide.
The lack of such systematic investigations has left many governments void of answers and how to reduce the origin, deployment and recognition of such terrorist behaviors in their communities making them totally depended on outside sources for help or assistance in understanding this terror phenomenon that is engaging our world today.
In fact, the lack of such insight causes multiple theoretical presumptions and assumptions that may accelerate and exasperate the situation more than help it causing unnecessary deployment of resources and creating fear in the communities without answers how to combat or counter these potential terror attacks timely and appropriately as well as having the right policies in place to implement a sound procedure to protect the citizenry from potential terror attacks created in the terrorist mind.
An optimum counter-terrorism policy would address or uncover the bases or foundation of terrorist aggression and allows a better understanding to deploy and implement better responses, reactionary plans and training for those responding to such situations.
It would be impossible to compile and list every act of terrorism there is in our world today as well as historical basis. For the basic purposes of this writing, we shall identify two common elements of terrorism that includes an act of terrorism as an aggression against non-combatants or unarmed civilians and an act to attack a political goal thereby influencing the change of direction or behaviors in a way that serves the terrorists involved.
Previous definitions of terrorism have suggested there are over one hundred academic definitions of terrorism and each one is based on their behaviors, their intent or declared reasons or motivation, and whether or not this was an act of a terrorist or a “freedom fighter” as the role is often reversed depending on the viewpoint of the scholar or research team members. Each act can be changed or deviated before the occurrence, during the spell or after the session which include variables such as:
Causes – created by self-imagined idealists or altruists, others are driven by messianic delusions, others by ethnic or religious animus, and others by entrepreneurial ambitions
The organization and involvement may stem from (1) social revolutionary terrorism, (2) left wing or right-wing terrorism, (3) nationalist-separatist terrorism, (4) religious extremist terrorism, and (5) single-issue (e.g., animal rights) terrorism, proposing that each type of occurrence or cause tends to be associated with its own social-psychological dynamics.
· Types of terrorist acts identified by mindsets and theoretical conclusions
· Perpetrator number Individual vs. group
· Sponsorship State vs. sub state vs. individual
· Relation to authority Anti-state/anti-establishment/separatist vs. pro-state/pro-establishment
· Locale Intrastate vs. transnational
· Military status Civilian vs. paramilitary or military
· Spiritual motivation Secular vs. religious
· Financial motivation Idealistic vs. entrepreneurial
· Political ideology Leftist/socialist vs. rightist/fascist vs. anarchist
· Hierarchical role Sponsor vs. leader versus middle management vs. follower
· Willingness to die Suicidal vs. non-suicidal
· Target Property (including data) vs. individuals vs. masses of people
c) Kidnapping/hostage taking
d) Mass poisoning