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Islamic terrorism is a serious problem for the United States because of the threat to national security, innocent civilians, and the foundations of democratic societies throughout the world.International terrorism has changed in structure

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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 sub-national 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, innocent civilians, and the foundations of democratic societies throughout the world.International terrorism has changed in structure and design over the centuries. Jewish zealots conducted campaigns against the Romans in the first century AD, and the Hashshashin, a Shi'ah Muslim group who gave us the word assassin, systematically murdered those in positions and leadership during the 19th century. The modern age of terrorism began in the 1960's. International terrorism in its current form began in 1968. As the 1970's passed by, the explosion of extremist groups and related incidents sparked a new awareness of the dangers of terrorism. In the 1980's, Canada was the victim of several terrorist attacks carried out by Armenian and Sikh extremists, including a bombing of an Air India flight originating in Toronto, which exploded off the coast of Ireland, killing 329 people. The Islamic radical movements main success has been their ability to gain legitimacy from the general public. 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. ...read more.


The Hizballah has tried to accomplish these goals through the use of terrorism, of which 704 attacks were committed from 1991 - 1995. The scope and nature of Hizballah's terrorist campaign reflect its close dependency on Iranian support for both the ideological and financial levers. Iran donates vast amounts of money to Hizballah, which among other things funds the movement's health and education services.The funds received from Iran in the 1980's totaled $60-$80 million a year. Throughout researching these groups, once case involving a Saudi Arabian National, Usama Bin Laden, exemplifies the difficulties with prosecuting terrorists in the International Court of Justice. Whether domestic or international in nature, terrorism is having an ever-increasing impact upon the international community. The United States has fallen victim to acts of terrorism recently, most notably the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK, and the 1998 bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Upon investigation, it was revealed that the embassy bombings were linked to Usama Bin Laden, a former Saudi Arabian National whose excessive bank accounts fund a worldwide terrorist operation. Further investigation revealed that Bin Laden was living in Afghanistan in a camp protected by his own 200-man private army and a sub-unit of the Taliban, a quasi-religious organization operating within Afghanistan's borders. The United States, backed by other nations who have had terrorist attacks related to Bin Laden, appealed to the United Nations Security Council to call for the extradition of Usama Bin Laden for trial. In response to the request, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1267 on October 15, 1999. ...read more.


The second question is who has jurisdiction over Bin Laden. This question was also interesting in that it called into question who should be responsible for trying Bin Laden if he is brought up for trial. Since the bombings in question took place in Kenya and Tanzania, the committee thought that they would have had first opportunity to try him. However, the fact that these bombings took place at United States Embassies meant that the US also had jurisdiction. This fact, although unimportant in the end, was largely ignored after brought up briefly in the beginning of the session. Another question affecting the jurisdiction issue was the question of whether or not the Taliban was the de facto government of Afghanistan. The fact that the Afghan representatives were not from the Taliban clouded this issue amidst questions of command, control, and recognition. Additionally, the fact that there is no clear information regarding whether or not Kenya and Tanzania had given up their right to try Bin Laden left the committee with questions regarding who had jurisdiction over the case if it was ever brought forth. Finally, the fact that most of the justices agreed that there was insufficient information to determine whether all other measures were taken first was troublesome. There will be no resolution to this problem in the near future; meanwhile the gap between the Western world and the Arab nations will continue to grow. Constant monitoring, careful planning, and the preservation of the International Court of Justice are our only means of prevention, or deterrence, against terrorism. ...read more.

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