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WHY HAS TERRORISM BECOME SUCH AN IMPORTANT ISSUE OVER THE LAST 40 YEARS?

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Introduction

Mohsin shafi 11Q 10479 WHY HAS TERRORISM BECOME SUCH AN IMPORTANT ISSUE OVER THE LAST 40 YEARS? There are many reasons why terrorism has become such an important issue over the last 40 years. In this paper I will be exploring the answers to this question through three related topics; 1) the threat from terrorism; 2) why people join terrorist groups and; 3) dealing with terrorism. I will be using the sources provided and historical facts related to three groups; the IRA, the PLO and Al-Qaeda. Section 1 ? The threat from terrorism Terrorism has been defined in many ways and not everyone agrees with any one definition. The UK government defines it as: ?The threat of, for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause, of action which involves serious violence against any person or property.? Over the last 40 years powerful modern states have faced challenges from various terrorist groups using violence and have found it more and more difficult to deal with them. The main threat from terrorism has been serious violence against people and property resulting in deaths and huge damage to properties. Source 1, a sketch by Stanley Franklin in 1985, illustrates this threat in form of a giant vulture over the globe shown to destroy airplanes belonging to different countries. It refers to some of the airplane hijackings by the PLO that took place in the 80?s. It paints the image of terrorists as pure evil, preying on innocent victims with the ability to strike anywhere. ...read more.

Middle

They also strongly focus on the US backed occupation of Palestine and the Al-Aqsa mosque (in Jerusalem) by Israel and the US troops that are based in Saudi Arabia home to the holiest mosque in Islam. This has been supported by statements from al-Qaeda itself. This is also supported by source 10 a statement by Osama bin Laden made in 1998. After pointing out the political and military injustices of the ?Americans and their allies? he quotes verses from the Quran to back his argument for Muslims to kill Americans and their allies. Source 4 is a similar statement made by al-Qaeda which further proves the motives. Whilst these are secondary sources they are supported by similar video statements made by al-Qaeda in this period and by their actions. Source 9, a picture of a young boy chanting anti ?US slogans in Pakistan may further support the fact that al-Qaeda support is based on seeing the US as the enemy. The source Reuters is a very credible international news agency. However it is not fully known why the boy is chanting slogans. The PLO was another group considered as terrorists between 1964 and until 1991 by the United States and Israel. In 1993 the PLO recognised Israel?s right to exist and rejected ?violence and terrorism?; in response Israel officially recognised the PLO as the representatives of the Palestinian people. At the time PLO were considered terrorists their aims were to remove or destroy the state of Israel, to re-establish Palestine as the home of the Palestinian Arabs and to have freedom from the Israelis. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Israeli forces used a wide range of security measures including the set up of checkpoints. This helped to restrict the activities of PLO members. On the other hand Israel were criticized for being too tough and earned themselves a bad reputation, in one event the Israelis killed 19,000 Palestinians and Lebanese which were mostly civilians and they also killed many innocent journalists. This damaged the support for Israel around the world. The Palestinians became very angry and launched the first Intifada. What worked by talking to the PLO was that after many meetings and negotiations the PLO signed a peace agreement with Israel. From then on the PLO was considered legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people and the PLO recognised Israel as a state, this was an achievement for Israel. Terrorism has become an important issue over the last 40 years because of the number and size of attacks against modern states and the threat they pose to safety. Sources 2 and 3 provide evidence of real damage caused by them. People join these organizations usually because they feel they have been oppressed, victims of injustice or that they are right to do so. Governments have struggled to deal with terrorism or to wipe out terrorism because of the small size of organizations, the support that they enjoy sometimes amongst their people and due to the strong motivations behind members joining these organizations. Also the fact that many of the Governments fighting these organizations are seen as unjust powers or foreign occupiers makes it harder for them to defeat these groups. This is illustrated well by sources 4, 7 and 11. ...read more.

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