Understanding extremist terrorism

While I hate to talk about such a grim, dark topic, terrorism is running rampant across the globe, and there just seems to be no end. In 2017, the face of terrorism are organisations like ISIS. So, what exactly is terrorism? Merriam-Webster calls terrorism “the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal.”

Let’s face it, terrorism isn’t new. It’s been around for a long time. The word, in fact, dates back to the late 18th century around the time of the French revolution. So why is it such a big deal now?

Because now terrorist organisations aren’t local. They are getting more radical, and they don’t just have political agendas. They’ve become irrational, crazed with the idea of securing the world under their woeful grasp.

To understand terrorism, it’s essential to understand where it begins. All terrorist activities are motivated by one or two things, social/political injustice or the idea that violence will solve the problem. People resort to terrorism when they’ve suffered grave hardships, being stripped of their civil fundamental rights is a good example.

This doesn’t sound like such a true analysis, but read deep enough into the history of terrorist organisations and you’ll find that either of these is generally true. Secondly, the impact of cult-like belief is quintessential when it comes to large terrorist networks, who use indoctrination and propaganda to sell their ideas to children and young adults, inclusive of all.

The prerequisites

Terrorism doesn’t just spring into an individual’s mind and then expand to thousands of people. There has to be a suitable environment that facilitates and promotes the ideas of a particular person. This situation forces people into thinking that violence will resolve their problems, and before you know it, thousands of people have banded together rebelling  against who they think is to blame.
In many cases, terrorism is common in places that have histories of injustice, violence and instability. These could be poor societies, former colonies or disputed territories.

Motive 1: Global attention

Many are also in it for the global media coverage. In many instances, you’ll see organisations claim responsibility for terrorist attacks, when in reality it is possible that they had little to nothing to do with it, but they do so because it furthers their status as a dangerous faction.

“Although many people today believe that that religious fanaticism “causes” terrorism, it isn’t true. It may be true that religious fanaticism creates conditions that are favorable for terrorism. But we know that religious zealotry does not ’cause’ terrorism because there are many religious fanatics who do not choose terrorism or any form of violence. So there must also be other conditions that in combination provoke some people to see terrorism as an effective way of creating change in their world.” [1]

The global platform that we are giving to extremists and terrorists in the form of world news is actually counterproductive. They want to spread their ideology to more people, and normally (without media coverage) would have to resort to word of mouth and other manual propaganda, but the way that world news is putting them on the front page of the morning paper, they don’t have to spend nearly half the time promoting their cause.

“Terrorism has a built in positive feedback loop. The more atrocities pay off in media attention the more appealing they become…consider how ISIS displaced Al Qaeda with its slicker production values, social media nous, and even more exciting atrocities.”[2]

Media networks have a lot to do with it, but again, they are not to blame. They try to maximise profits, and this means showing the viewers what they want to see. However, there’s little that can be done about this.

Motive 2: Threatening civil order

Most terrorist organisations recognise that the legitimacy of a government depends strongly on the security that it can provide to its citizens. So, they become fixated on the manners in which they can mass hysteria, panic and political turmoil. In modern democracies, parties in power are really worried of being removed if they don’t act against the terrorists and maintain the confidence of the populace. Hence, they are forced to deploy more security to provide protection, especially in public locales.

“Every time you see a policeman with a machine gun in an airport or train station you are reminded of how powerful and dangerous the terrorists are. All this serves to raise the price that governments pay for denying terrorist groups what they want. Sooner or later, governments always talk to the terrorists and try to cut a deal.” [2]

Motive 3: Trap of War

Governments rely on upon the confidence of their natives that they are truly responsible for things. I as of now said administrations must exhibit skill in guarding their citizens from political terror, i.e. easing panic from terror. They consider the administration responsible not just for the prosperity and success of the general population additionally as the watchdog of national tensions. Fear based oppression fills these individuals with fierceness and equitable anger. (Sometimes they feel fear as well, and that makes them considerably more furious.) Psychological militant assaults like 9/11 or Mumbai or Paris are viewed as immediate difficulties to national respect. The state must demonstrate its prevalence by responding in a yet more marvelous way and winning the mind war.

Furthermore, this is obviously precisely what a specific sort of psychological oppressor terrorism is. They have made a figured wager that inciting an outrageous response by a first world nation will shake up the norm such that their plan advantages.

“Governments routinely blunder into the terrorist trap when their sense of national dignity is insulted, sometimes with world changing results. Austria-Hungary’s overreaction to the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand launched the first world war. More recently, there was America’s overreaction to 9/11. The US spent on a scale that could have paid for mitigating climate change – an actual global threat – or ending world poverty.”[2]

 

 

Conclusion

I’ve said it countless times. Posting Twitter and Facebook statuses condemning the attacks will not do anything; it will instead serve the terrorists. In the 21st Century, terrorists are using our freedoms against us. They use the benefit of the free press to advocate for their beliefs, and terrorism moves increasingly toward the countries with the biggest audiences.

“The new problem of terrorism as a global phenomenon, which millenarian Islamism may have inaugurated but will surely not end with them, is that groups with no particular quarrel with democracies may target them just because doing so has a higher pay off. It’s not because they hate our freedoms but because they can use them against us.”

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