Over the past Century, terrorism has evolved from random killings to massive plans for terrorist groups. To understand terrorism you must first describe it. There have been many different definitions of terrorism. The one that truly describes it is; Terrorism can not specifically describe terrorism because people will interpret it differently. Many experts believe that terrorism is an abstract concept with no essence, a single definition cannot account for all the possible uses of the term, many different definitions share common elements. The meaning of terrorism derives from the victim of target. Even with no definite conclusion terrorism can be divided into 5 categories: Simple Violence or threatened violence intended to produce fear or change. Legal Criminal violence is violating legal codes and punishable by the state. Analytical Specific political and social factors behind individual terrorist acts. State-sponsored Terrorist groups used by small states and the Communist bloc to attack western interests. State Power of the government used to terrorize its people into submission.
The Palestine Liberation Organization is an analytical terrorist group, even though they can be part of each. The Palestine Liberation Organization was created in 1964 during a meeting known as the Palestinian Congress. This was an effort to give a voice to the many Palestinians that were located in refugee camps in Lebanon. The leader of the group is one of the most
recognized terrorists in the world, Yasser Arafat. It did not take long for sub-divisions to break off of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Most of these groups felt they could better achieve Palestinian liberation. The most notable of these groups were the popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, and al-Fatah. The Palestine Liberation Organization changed its main theory to the destruction of the state of Israel in 1967. This caused massive terrorist acts against Israel, which resulted in hundreds of casualties on both sides. In 1974 the Palestine Liberation Organization changed into not just a terrorist group but to a group which included political elements. Some members of the Palestine Liberation Organization did not like this idea and founded another sub-division called the Rejectionist Front. At this time Arafat took over all control of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Arafat provided support for highjacking a major cruise ship. With help from the PLF they took the passengers hostage. In a cowardly act members shot to death a wheelchair-bound Jewish man named Leon Klinghoffer. This formed a new meaning to the world terrorist. After many years of terrorism, Arafat ceased all terrorist acts by the Palestine Liberation Organization on September 9, 1993. This was the end of the a Palestine Liberation Organization and all their sub-divisions.
Another major terrorist organization is the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA). This group was founded in 1969 under the armed wing of Sinn Fein. “Sinn Fein is a legal political movement dedicated to removing British forces from Northern Ireland and unifying Ireland. Activities that the PIRA carried out were bombings, assassinations, kidnaping, extortion, and
robberies. Before its 1994 cease-fire, targets included senior British Government officials, British military and police in Northern Ireland, and Northern Irish Loyalist paramilitary groups. Since
breaking its cease-fire in February 1996, IRA’s operations have included bombing campaigns against train and subway stations and shopping areas on mainland Britain, British
military and Royal Ulster Constabulary targets in Northern Ireland, and a British military facility on the European Continent.” The PIRA had a few different names, the Provo’s and the IRA. They, the Catholics, wanted Britain out of Northern Ireland and were going to do anything to achieve their goal.
Here is the group structure for many if not all terrorist organizations: I. Command II. Active cadre III. Active supporters IV. Passive Supporters I. Command – the leadership, makes policy and plans while provides general direction. II. Active cadre – the terrorists, responsible for carrying out the mission of the organization. III. Active supporters – largest internal group and most important. They keep terrorists in the field by providing safe houses, intelligence, logistical needs, and maintain communications channels. IV. Passive supporters – difficult to identify and characterize, represent a favorable element of the political climate. Most people think that most terrorist acts are taking people hostage. This is not the case. Only 2 % of all terrorist acts are hostage situations. The most acts terrorists participate in are bombings; they account for 46% of terrorist acts. The rest of the numbers are like this; attacking – 24%, assassinations – 10%, highjacking – 12%, kidnaping – 6%. These figures were accumulated from 1963-1993.
Some may ask, what do people do to stop terrorism. The most recognized form of counter-
terrorism is the; The Naval Special Warfare Development Group, formerly known as SEAL Team SIX and based in Dam Neck, Virginia. They are responsible for US counter-terrorist operations in
the maritime environment. The NSWDG trains in both military and civilian facilities, their motto was “Train as you Fight, Fight as you Train.” The members of NSWDG are trained hard in every aspect one can take. They know how and what to do before they do it and their training takes after
their motto. In the past terrorist acts were mainly just bombings, highjackings or attacking of some sort. As we move toward the millennium, we face a technological era. All most every main city in the world is controlled and depends on computers and linked information. The terrorist age will change to adapt to what we are most vulnerable to. If a terrorist can threaten us by shutting down electronically dependent devices which we need to survive. They will not assassinate or bomb as much because the public will have a better understanding of how to prevent it. Terrorism in the past years has been politically motivated, in the future; it will be religiously motivated. This might cause a major problem in the future because each year more and more people create or advance a religion to suit their liking. They now will have a sense of what is supposed to be right and will do anything to get that across. Terrorism will never end; it is up to the human race to be better educated in the subject and to make the own choices.