The History and Current Status of Terrorism
The goal of this essay is to provide the reader with an understanding of terrorism, its history and the current status. In addition, this essay will identify and analyze the most effective anti-terrorist tactics and organizations in the world.
Terrorism has brought about a general atmosphere dominated by fear among the people in the world and this has triggered a particular political goal. The United Nations General Assembly defined terrorism in 1992 as “criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them” (www.un.org).
However, there is no single universally accepted definition of terrorism. Various legal systems and government agencies use different definitions of terrorism in their national legislation. This also leads to different classification of terrorist groups.
2. What is terrorism?
The word “terrorism” has been used throughout history with different meanings. It originally came from the French word “terrorisme” which meant “government by intimidation”. The first recorded use of the term “terrorism” was during the French Revolution when Maximilien Robespierre used it to describe his regime (www.merriam-webster.com).
The first international convention to address terrorism was The International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1997 (www.unodc.org).
3. History of terrorism
The history of terrorism is as old as humanity itself. There have been terrorist acts throughout history for various reasons such as religious, political or social reasons. One of the earliest recorded terrorist act was during the 1st century BC when Zealots blew up the palace of Herod in Jerusalem (www.historylearningsite.co.uk).
During the 19th century, there was an increase in terrorist activities due to social upheavals such as revolutions and nationalism movements (www.britannica.com). One notable terrorist organization during this period was People’s Will which was responsible for assassinating Tsar Alexander II of Russia (www.britannica.com).
The 20th century saw an increase in terrorist activities with groups such as ETA in Spain and IRA in Ireland using violence to achieve their political goals (www.britannica.com). The 1970s and 1980s were particularly violent years with terrorist groups such as Red Army Faction in Germany and Red Brigades in Italy carrying out bombings and assassinations (www.britannica.com).
4. Current status of terrorism
According to the Global Terrorism Index 2018, there were 17,284 terrorist attacks globally in 2017 which killed a total of 32,577 people (www..startegicstudiesinstitute/armywarcollege/ pubs/Parameters/Issues/Winter_2018_No_4/article 05.pdf). This was a decrease from 2016 where there were 22,437 attacks which killed 62,979 people (www..startegicstudiesinstitute/armywarcollege/ pubs/Parameters/Issues/Winter_2018_No_4/article 05.pdf).
The majority of terrorist attacks in 2017 were carried out by non-state actors such as ISIS, Taliban and Al-Qaeda (www..startegicstudiesinstitute/armywarcollege/ pubs/Parameters/Issues/Winter_2018_No_4/article 05.pdf).
5. The most effective anti-terrorist tactics, organizations in the world
There are various anti-terrorist tactics and organizations in the world. One of the most effective anti-terrorist tactic is intelligence gathering which is used to gather information on terrorist groups and their plans (www.fbi.gov). This information is then used to thwart terrorist attacks and apprehend terrorists.
Organizations such as the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the National Counterterrorism Center play a vital role in gathering intelligence on terrorist activities (www.fbi.gov). These organizations share information with other agencies such as the CIA, NSA and Department of Homeland Security to create a comprehensive picture of terrorist threats (www.fbi.gov).
Another effective anti-terrorist tactic is law enforcement which involves using police and military forces to apprehend terrorists and disrupt their plans (www.fbi.gov). This tactic is often used in conjunction with intelligence gathering to create a more comprehensive approach to countering terrorism.
Terrorism is a global problem which needs to be addressed by all countries. Intelligence gathering and law enforcement are two effective anti-terrorist tactics which need to be used in order to counter terrorism. Organizations such as the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the National Counterterrorism Center play a vital role in countering terrorism.
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