Terrorist Groups

By: Ty Schuldt


Wick Griswold

Whats left of A
l - Quaeda


Terrorist Groups

    Terrorism has been occcuring for longer than anyone thinks.  Terrorism is hard to define even though the word terror is very easy to define.  Technically terrorism is any military action; or anything that causes death and terror.  Modern day terrorism has been mainly caused by alleged political or religious reasons.  The main reason for religious intended terrorism is because of religious extremists, these individuals normally reject the authority of secular governments.  They also view legal systems that are not based on religion illegitimate.  Terrorist groups generally are categorized of organizations.  Hierarchical and networked are the two main organizations.  Ideology can have an effect on internal organization. An Ideology is the study of the nature and origin of ideas.  Most terrorist groups that are associated with a political stand point often require a more hierarchical structure.  Terrorist groups with various stages of development in the point of capabilities and sophistication.  On the other hand newer groups with fewer resources will most likely work in hand with another organization with more experience who is more proficient to develop proficiency.  In a terrorist group it comes down to the individual terrorist to play the role of the building block to a successful terrorist organization.    The primary intellect of the structure of a organization is its security;  The loss of one cell should not give out any information, including identity, location, or actions of other cells.  A cell of terrorist which usually consist of 3 to 5 members.  “To insure operational security the members of adjacent terrorist cells usually don’t know each other or the identity of their leadership.”  Terrorism and cell organizations have devious and corrupt motives. These individuals are influenced by other forms of government and different religious beliefs.  They will do whatever it takes to keep their organization on the down low but at the same time deplete other forms of government and religion.
    Often people seem to mix up the term insurgency and terrorism.  Two such related concepts most likely lead to confusion to most people.  Guerilla warfare and insurgencies are mostly assumed to be synonyms with terrorism.  The main reason for this mix up is because terrorism and insurgencies more times than less have similar goals.  However when you go in depth with guerilla warfare and insurgencies specific differences pop out.  An insurgency is considered a movement, a political effort with a specific aim.  That point sets it apart from both guerilla warfare and terrorism, simply because they are both methods to pursue the goals of the political movement.  The specific choice to use terrorism considers its effectiveness in inspiring further resistance; Such as destroying a particular government efficiency, and mobilizing support.  When an insurgency is practiced the ultimate goal is to challenge the existing government to obtain control to some or all of its territory and/or force sharing political power.  Rarely will terrorist attempt to control a certain terrain, terrorist as a rule avoid direct encounters with government forces.  On the other hand guerilla force has something to gain while taking on government forces proving that they can compete effectively with government forces, where a terrorist group has nothing to gain from such a clash.  Terrorist use tactics to slowly deplete  the strengths of prevailing forces.  For example terrorist groups with perform the following attacks: Bombing attacks on civilian targets where off duty officials spend time, ambushes on undefended convoys, and assassinations of low level security.  Overall the main difference from insurgencies and terrorism is the intent of the actor.
        There are many different categories of terrorism and terrorist groups that are currently in use today.  They separate the different categories of terrorism due to specific criteria, mostly related to the field or profession.  The different types of categories are: Separatist, Ethnocentric, Nationalistic, Revolutionary, Political, Religious, Social, Domestic, and International or Transitional.  All of these different categories have different beliefs and expectations.  Separatist groups have one simple goal, which is separation from existing entities through independence, self governance, or religious freedom or domination.  One very important categorie that is currently on the rise in modern time is religion.  Religious terrorism has a forty-three percent increase of total international terror groups adopting religious motivation from 1980 to 1995.  Organizations that are motivated due to religion see their objectives as holy writ, therefore are non negotiable and will be willing to do whatever it takes.  This form of terrorism is currently the greatest threat to the United States.  Nationalistic groups are sometimes the most dangerous, due to there devotion to there nation and will to do whatever it takes to help there nation succeed. Two other very important categories are international and transnational.  International groups often operate in multiple countries, but there main focus is on events in Lebanon and Israel.  On the other hand Transnational groups internationally but are not put together with a particular country or region.  For example Al Quaeda the United States most feared terrorist group is transnational; Being made up of many nationalities, but are based on multiple countries all at the same time and conduct operations throughout the world.  Their objectives are intended to different countries with differing political systems, religions, ethnic compositions, and national interests. (Terror Re.)
    Al-Quaeda has been the worlds most infamous terrorist group ever since the attack on the world trade center, on September 11, 2001.  Al-Quaeda- “the base” in Arabic, is a network group of extremist organized by Osama Bin Laden, Osama killed in a joint mission with the CIA and U.S. Troops in May 2011.  Due to the work of the U.S. Military, we have obtained documents and computer files taken from bin Ladens compound(Hayes).  We were able to confirm that Al-Quaedain Afganistan and Pakistan had been seriously weakened as a result of U.S. Counterterrorism missions taking place in Pakistan(Hayes).
    Al-Quaeda had extremely specific and at the same time deviesse goals as a terrorist group.  There first goal and most difficult one was to drive Americans and all American influence out of Muslim nations, bin Laden stated that he will not be afraid to do it by force. Bin Laden was very specific with his plans.  He wanted to especially get all American influence out of Saudi Arabia, destroy Israel, and lastly take over pro-Western dictatorships throughout the middle east.  Finally Bin Laden wished to unite all Muslims and establish an islamic nation following the rule of the first Caliphs. (Hayes) Al-Quaeda differs in many ways from other terrorist organizations, this group runs like a franchise. Al-Quaeda provides many benefits for other smaller terrorist groups, such as financial and logistic support(Hayes).  Theses benefits are in affect for terrorist groups in the following places, Philippines, Algeria, Eritrea, Afganistan, Chechnya, Tajikistan, Somalia, Yemen, and Kashmir.  In other works certain terrorist groups will act in the name of Al-Quaeda in order to improve there reputation,  these groups will even say that they are receiving support from Al-Quaeda when they are not.
    In Cites such as Bali, Madrid, London, and Algeria there have been terrible bombings attributed to the acts of Al-Quaeda.  This groups is has no problem in admitting to these horrific strikes.  The war on terror has cost the Untied States about $1 trillion.  Ted Gistar, the US governments senior terrorism analyst stated in a report that, by forging closer ties to Pakistani militants, al-Quaeda is more capable of launching an attack in the US than it was in 2007.  The pakistani militants have released safe haven in remote areas to train recruits.  Though bin Laden has been killed al-Quaeda up is forced to replace their top-tier leadership will less experienced individuals.  Yet this terrorist group is still considered the countries number one threat. In a result to bin Ladens death some say that will be a reason for the US to withdraw from Afganistan, meaning that terrorist continues to plague the country and the region.
    Terrorism is something that will most likely be involved in the world for many years to come.
It is a world wide threat and it will take more than the United States to get rid of it.  In a graph that expressed the amount of plots and the amount of actual attacks has been very different as the years go on.  In 2001 there were four plots and one attack, as opposed to 2002 there were three attacks and one plot.  These statistics have changed frequently as the years continue.  I believe that as the years continue terrorism is going to have its up and downs as one hole organization.  As far as groups go the only groups that will survive and be able to do what they are there to do are the ones that have a good leader who is not head strong.  For example AL-Quada had a very good leader that is why there plots went as planned and it took them so long to kill him.  Know matter what terrorism will never take over the world because they do not have enough supporters for there campaign.  (Terr).