The terrorists are increasingly using the internet as a tool to share information, coordinate attacks, spread their propaganda, raise funds, and recruit, (Kaplan, 79). Haifa University’s Gabriel Weizmann who is an authority in this area, the number of terrorist sites increased tremendously from about 100 to more than 4,800 in the last decade. The use of internet is attractive because of the ability to hide one’s identity and location, and its ability to reach many people across the globe.
Terrorism promoted by many factors chief of them a feeling that justice has not been done.
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Hamas exists in Palestinian territory to fight for what they feel was injustice met on the Palestinian people. The terrorist in many cases aspire a change of government in their target country. Their actions therefore are geared towards weakening the government. One way they do this is to instill fear in the government so that the government panics and overreacts. The idea is that when the government panics and overreacts, it will put it in collision with its subjects and they will turn against the government. For example the war in Iraq and Afghanistan which were a reaction to September 11 later become very unpopular with the American citizenry and largely contributed to the Republicans defeat in elections of 2008.
The terrorists other goal is to gain publicity from national and international media. In this they aim to attract the world attention to the cause they are fighting for. To gain such publicity, the terrorists strike at facilities which are of absolute importance or commemorations of events of national or international importance which are likely to be covered by the international media. For example recently when Nigeria was celebrating its 50years of independence on October 1st 2010, a terrorist group struck near the park where the celebrations were taking place killing eight people on the sport.
Terrorists aim to spread widespread fear. This way they are likely to be listened and given attention.
They also intend to discourage investments by both local and foreign investors so that the economy dips and as reaction the people turn against their government. By this, they can effect a change of leadership through the populace. On September 21st 2010, a terrorist group going by the name of Al%u2010Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) , claimed responsibility for abducting five French nationals in a uranium mining site in Niger, West Africa. The aim is to force the French company, whom they accuse of stealing their resources, to close down and leave the country.
Terrorist destroy critical infrastructure such as communication lines, electricity installations, roads and pipelines to portray the government as impossible to protect its citizens lives and property and to create an atmosphere of desperation in which more ground will be prepared for their actions to proliferate.
Terrorists other main aim is to instigate a guerrilla warfare with the government in which the government, in a desperate move to hold onto power, will concentrate its forces in urban areas giving the terrorists a free hand to establish themselves in the rural areas and to control the rural communities.
They aim to secure supplies such as foodstuffs and weapons to sustain their activities.
Furthermore there are those that are driven by religious reasons. The largest proportion of Islamic militants belongs in this. They see the spread of western culture and influence as an assault on Islam and it take upon themselves to protect Islam. Imam Samudra, indicted for organizing the Bali bombings in 2002 saw the night clubs of Bali as part of the cultural assault of the West on Islamic world. He is quoted as having said that he was angered by the ‘dirty adulterous behavior’ of the ‘whites’ there, (Burke, 115).
The Muslim world has many also who fear domination by the West. These ones are motivated by the need to restore ‘dignity’ to themselves after the Gulf war and the American invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Many felt dominated by the west and humiliated. It is out of this humiliation that they get motivation to inflict pain on the West so as to gain back their dignity. Below is an excerpt said to have been uttered by Osama Bin Laden in 2002,
In compliance with God’s order, we issue the following fatwa [religious injunction] to all Muslims: The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies—civilians and military—is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa mosque and the holy mosque [in Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. (Bin Laden 2002b, p. 150.)
The Muslims extremists view the West as an enemy and a threat to Islam and Muslim and therefore believe it’s their primary duty to resist any perceived Western influence and to inflict pain on the perceived enemy.
According to Bin Laden, in a video released just before the 2004 presidential elections, what they oppose is not the person leading the American government but rather America’s Foreign Policy. Their goal therefore is to influence the change of the American Foreign Policy which they view as imperialist, dominating and oppressive. This view is shared by many of his compatriots and is a major inspiration to terrorists throughout the Muslim world.
Others engage in terrorism to free themselves from economic hardships. These are mainly youths living in refugee camps West Bank and Gaza as well as other disgruntled Palestinians. They feel their land together with the opportunities it comes with was stolen by the Jews. This gives them justification for their actions against the Israelites’ believing that one day they will get back ‘their’ land and flee themselves economically. Though under different circumstances, the Somali youth languishing in refugee camps in Kenya without a source of livelihood and others inside Somalia facing unemployment and with little hope in life become as easy target for Al-Shabab terrorist groups due to the promise of money and therefore economic gain.
Some of the factors that lead individuals to join a terrorist organization include; poverty, where individuals join an organization in promise of a better financial status. The terrorist organization promises the new recruits of financial gain from their activities example of these groups include FARC in Colombia (Human Rights Watch, 29). Also some terrorist organizations are known to use religion to gain new recruits e.g. Islam is known to use its ideology to recruit its members, in the Muslim faith, Muslims are called upon to defend their religion through Jihad or holy war. The extremist use this to recruit members and urge them to lay their lives for Allah in return of a better live in heaven. Some terrorist organizations recruit members by force, this is where they force people to join them through threats, intimidation or they train all the people they have trained one such group is the LRA in Uganda. Other groups are known to target children either through education or targeting children and forcing them to join them as guerillas. In education they drill the children to a particular ideology and the children grow believing in the ideology and ready to join an organization that spreads the ideology. Other target people who have issues problems e.g. they are from unstable families or people who have been discriminated against and join the groups to find their acceptance and also prove themselves.
One of the effects of the terrorist in America is that it has affected privacy; security is paramount for the development of any nation. Today we are living in a world where security is increasingly being threatened by terrorists across the globe. The National Security Agency has an obligation to ensure security to American citizens by providing other organs of the state with the intelligence information necessary to undertake their work. Even the strongest proponent of right of privacy will agree that that right carries a responsibility. If not checked, the right of expression and privacy granted to the American citizens may be abused by the enemy and end up compromising the security of the nation. If the NSA was to allow unrestricted access to its information, the ensuing court cases will be many of people claiming their right of privacy has been violated since they were spied on. Furthermore it can be argued using the words ‘reasonable’ and ‘private’ in the fourth amendment that it is constitutional to monitor someone’s conversation when that person is suspected of being a threat to the security of the United States. It should also be understood that such people should not reasonably expect their conversation to be treated as private.
Terrorism is seen by those involved in it as a justifiable means to fight oppression and dominance. The terrorists through their actions seek public sympathy to their cause and seek to portly the legitimate governments as inefficient, corruptible and oppressive to the people so that they can turn the people against the government and bring about regime change.Like the rest of society, the terrorists are not left behind and they are actively using the internet to achieve their goals.