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After 9/11 expressions like international terrorism, state terrorism, suicide bombers, mass destruction weapons and Islamic extremists, are used by the public around the world as part of their everyday life. The words terrorism and terrorists are now a component of a universal vocabulary among politicians, scientists, researchers and journalists and they all use a mixture of definitions for terrorism. Some of the definitions focal point is on the terrorist organization's method of function. Often lay emphasis on the motivations and uniqueness of terrorism and methods of operating of individual terrorists.
In the UK, terrorism is defined by the Terrorism Act 2000 as 'the threat of action intending to manipulate a government or an international organization, causing serious damage to the public and/or property, with the purpose of proceeding a political, ideological, racial and/or religious cause'. In the effort against terrorism, the difficulty of definition is an imperative component, in the challenge to synchronize international cooperation.
Almost every country has created new vital tools in the fight against terrorism since the terrorist activities are a serious threat to the fundamental interests of the individual, society, and the nation as a whole. According to the Security Service MI5, the
UK is a main and well-known target for international terrorists groups, not only in national boards but overseas as well. It is also noted that the threat is constantly changing, alerting the UK's intelligence services and the police with new and key challenges. All the policy makers, Government, law enforcement agencies and Security Services have commence a numerous of actions in order to counter appropriate and eliminate this threat. These include legislative, strategic and organizational improvements, and are proposed to supply the citizens with tools required to tackle the urgent threat as well as to deal with the core issues raised by international terrorism. As noted in the National Security Strategy, 'the United Kingdom faces a serious and sustained threat from the violent Islamic extremists; terrorists also aspire to attack our critical national infrastructure by the use of new methods. Terrorism represents a threat to all our communities, our values and our way of life.' The significance of the terrorism threat is also noted in the US Homeland Security as a need to defeat terrorism international. In order to be able to counter terrorism and its effects, the US will reinforce intelligence gathering to classify and interdict those who propose to damage them in any way.
Strategic Framework: Absolutely all acts of terrorism are motivated by the accomplishment of an aim (Robinson, 1997). This aim is linked to social, religious or political transform with a sense of believing that the terrorist is justified in his brutal acts in order to achieve an additional imperative religious, social or politically aggravated modification. The intentions of their cruel acts are as follows: 1. to generate extensive public fear, 2. attract the attention of the mass media to highlight their cause in a global or national level, 3. humiliate security organizations by alerting them and making them overreact, 4. extort money and weapons to their networks, 5. destroy or interrupt federal facilities just to create doubt to the public about their safety, 6. disrupt the country's economy, 7. try to corrupt a government and its legislation, 8. free political prisoners and 9. they have a high sense of revenge.
In the USA the greatest threat and the most wanted terrorists come from the Al Qaeda network and numerous extremist groups. The Al Qaeda organization has many of the characteristics of a 'globalized insurgency' and employs subversion, sabotage, open warfare and terrorism. Their goal is to damage the United States, its allies and interests and then move forward to damage a broader international system by the use of weapons of mass destruction, suicide bombers and many other forms. Al Qaeda aims to overthrow the existing world order and replace it with what they believe as the best based on their ideology; a reactionary, transnational, authoritarian entity.
The cruel actions of terrorism are not unreasonable events, but are the intentional exercise of force to accomplish certain objectives. For example, Palestinian Hamas is not considering as an exemption of this rule. It has been described solely as a movement identified with Islamic fundamentalist and suicide bombings. The objectives at the top of its agenda are the liberation of Palestine through a holy war against Israel, establishing an Islamic state on its soil, and reforming society in the spirit of true Islam. It is this Islamic vision, combined with its nationalist claims and militancy toward Israel that accounts for the prevailing image of Hamas as a rigid movement, ready to pursue its goals at any cost, with no limits or constraints. Islamic and national zeal, bitter opposition to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and strategies of violence against Israel have become the movement's hallmark. Furthermore, Al Qaeda's members adopt an extreme interpretation of Islamic teaching which they believe places an obligation on believers to fight and kill in order to achieve their goals. They also take violent actions against the government and citizens of the states who oppose their ideology, and they strongly opposes Western influences and ideas that it regards as 'un-Islamic". Osama bin Laden, in his call for jihad against America, stated 'The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies, is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country which it is possible to do it.'
Linkage between terrorist groups exists and it appears in the form of shared members, training camps, weaponry and tactics, through the international terrorism congress.
Socio-Psychological Framework: : "One man willing to throw his life away is enough to terrorize thousands." Wu Ch'I, Chinese military commander (400 BCE). Terrorism must not be seen as a syndrome but as a method of social and political influence. Terrorism is a psychological weapon and is directed to create a general climate of fear. Terrorists are not insane or irrational actors; neither the suicide terrorists as individuals. It appears not to be any common personality profile that can be applied and characterize terrorists. They tend to follow their own rationalities, based on their ideologies and beliefs. The phenomenon of terrorism can occur in well organized and wealthy nations as well as in less organized or poor countries. Thus, there is no single root that can cause terrorism in a sense to be able to identify terrorism by a personality profile.
Terrorists are motivated by an excessive resentment and extreme self-righteousness and they are highly persuaded that their cause; ethnic, religious, ideological, has been betrayed in a systematic notion by others. Therefore, they feel justified when victimizing those who violent their beliefs (revenge). According to their principle, they have been left with no choice than to act with the way they do. Terrorists view the world as being good and evil and they then represent an absolutist approach to resolve any political problems. Many terrorists believe that they are those who can save the world from the evil. A great deal of contemporary terrorism is aggravated and encouraged by fundamentalist religious doctrine. The economic variable, social factors, sub nationalist dynamics, conspiracy theories- all play a significant role in causality and motivations that should be examined and then analyzed.
Terror groups are like families to the members, they sharing roles and responsibilities and they all try their best to keep their group alive and they live for the survival of the group's ideas and beliefs. They are emotionally connected and they have a blind loyalty to their group in a sense that they lack types of personality, individuality or self esteem which drives them to kill without any solid convictions of themselves as individual human beings. Moreover, terrorists isolate themselves from the rest of the society and the social norms and they focus as a whole to the ideology of the group; they are extremely dedicated to their cause. Their motivation to kill is a combination of factors either because of political or economical reasons, but they might also kill because they want to feel powerful and in this way they can prove their power to the rest of the group without feeling guilt or shame for anything they do. They act in such aggressive mode because it makes them feel more powerful and noble.
Criminological Framework: Terrorism is a complicated phenomenon and that is why is distinguishing from any other type of crime. Is like no other crime, its' uniqueness is focusing on the connection between multiple forms such as social, political, cultural and economic challenges. Terrorists are acting in such violent manner because they are trying to achieve their goals by illustrating the awareness of the local population, the government and the world to their cause. Terrorists prefer targets that represent the opposite from their ideology and they plan their attacks in order to accomplish the most of the possible publicity, showing their group's signature and ideology.
Terrorists commit crime in their struggle for a cause and that is the main difference from average criminals. The nature of the terrorist activity is much more complicated than a typical criminal activity. The fact that they have a cause and an ideology behind that cause, make them feel powerful, they stay focus from the day they first join the group until the end, they are devoted and discipline to their cause, and they are trained in such way that their target only seems like a symbol of revenge and not a human being. Therefore, if policy makers and law enforcement agents want to effectively deal with this phenomenon of terrorism, they must first be able to identify and recognize the distinction between a common criminal behavior and terrorist activity.
Terrorism has a complex illegal (criminal) nature and they use several methods to accomplish their goals. They intentionally create public fear and the society as a whole feels unsafe and insecure. They are terrorizing the citizens and federal organizations in order to achieve and maintain their aim. Terrorists support their groups with funds either from state sponsors or from a variety of illegal activities such as kidnapping, smuggling, fraud, robbery, drugs and human trafficking. These activities illustrate how terrorist organizations function concluding that terrorism goes beyond any other criminal activity.
To bring to a close, strategic, socio-psychological and criminological framework of terrorism, all share noticeable common characteristics and some, less in number, but still important differences. Government, law enforcement agencies and Security Services, must take under consideration these three approaches in order to be able to counter terrorism and its modern context. Terrorism cannot be eliminated but if all the organizations cooperate in national and international level, then they would be able to reduce this phenomenon and its consequences. Additionally, a more depth understanding of these different approaches, as to their similarities and differences, can end up as a very useful tool against terrorism from the agencies perception and on the other hand, a useful guide of information for the public.