Homeland security questions
1. Discuss three ways ethnic and nationalistic terrorism differs from other types of terrorism.
Ethnic or nationalistic terrorism those acts of terrorism committed within the boundaries of a defined geopolitical region. On the other hand, international terrorism entails those terrorist activities that occur in other countries. Ethnic or nationalistic terrorism is majorly committed by the residents or citizens of a given country unlike international terrorism which is committed by individuals drawn from different countries. Operations of nationalistic terrorists are limited within the country against own people unlike the international terrorism like theal-Qaida that target the global society.
2. Discuss the following groups (where do they operate and why do they exist?):
IRA (Irish Republican Army) is a republican paramilitary group that seeks to unify both south and north Ireland. They also fought to establish a republic and end the British rule in the Northern Ireland. The group used guerrilla tactics to end British rule in Northern Ireland.
ETA, acronym for Basque Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basque Homeland and Liberty), was a separatist group operating mainly in Spain’s Basque region. The group used terrorism to agitate for freedom Basque state as an independent state.
GAL (gruposantitwrroristas de liberacion), Antiterrorist Liberation Groups, were death squads established and financed illegally by the interior ministry officials of the Spanish government. The groups were founded solely to fight ETA. These groups were active from 1983 to 1987. LTTE (the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), based in Northern Sri Lanka, LTTE was a militant group formed in 1976 to fight for the independence of the Tamil state in north and east of the country. The group used insurgency to champion for their cause.
3. How are the situations in Cyprus and Algeria different?
The Algerian attacks were organized and executed by locals drawn mainly from the local militia. Therefore, unlike in the case of Cyprus, this was domestic terrorism. Cyprus was attacked by individuals from outside the country therefore making it international terrorism.
4. Discuss the following groups:
Mau Mau was a ragtag militia group which drew membership mainly from Kenyan’s central region. The group fought for political and economic independence from Britain using guerilla tactics.
PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) was founded in 1978 to lead an unsuccessful armed struggle for independence of a Kurdish state 1984. The group was founded on Marxist Leninist ideologies. Uighars is a Chinese separatist group formed solely to fight for the independence of their region from China. The group is comprised of Muslim and Turkish militiamen.
Boko Haram, also known as WilayatGharbifriqiyyah in Arabic, is a terrorist group based mostly in northern Nigeria. It is an Islamic terrorist group that champions for extremism in application of Islamic laws especially in the Muslim dominated regions where they operate. The group is opposed to Western-style civilization including education, economic and health systems. During its foundation, the group had links with al-Qaida but has since swore allegiance to the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). The group has increasingly attached southern regions dominated by Christians.
Al Shabab is a Somali-based jihadist terrorist group with strong links to al-Qaida. While the group has increased its operations to other East African countries especially Kenya, its primary goal is to destabilize Somalia and establish its rule in the country.
5. Define endemic terrorism.
Endemic terrorism is the constant threats and acts of terrorism witnessed in a country as a result of poor political leadership and instability which turn a country into a terrorist hub.
6. Discuss the three sources of violence in the Middle East.
The primary source of violence in the Middle East is discontent with the political leadership in the region. Second, the violence is fuelled by the religious differences between Shia and Sunni Muslim factions in the region. Lastly, the violence is also fuelled by lack of space for political expression especially through political parties’.
7. What are the two main branches of Islam and how do they differ?
The two branches of Islam are the Sunni and the Shia Islam. While these two factions share fundamental Islamic beliefs that govern the Islamic faith and articles, they also have significant differences that are mostly politically founded. The primary contentious issue between the two factions is the successor to Prophet Muhammad after his death. The Sunnis hold that the successor should be chosen by the community while the Shias hold that the successor should be Muhammad’s cousin. The ShiaMuslims believe imams are naturally sinless and his authority infallible since it comes from Allah. However, Sunnis counter that no hereditary privileges are given to spiritual leaders to become saints.
8. Discuss the following groups:
Fatah is a secular Palestinian political party formerly the PLM (Palestinian National Liberation Movement). The party also has militia that agitates for Palestinian nationalist ideology and pushes for the self liberation of Palestinian Arabs. The group’s militia wing is opposed to Israel’s occupation of land in Palestine. The organization was founded in 1974 through armed struggle that led to the liberation of Palestine. It is therefore viewed by many in Palestine as their legitimate representative. However, it is viewed as a terrorist group by the United States and Israel due to the activities of its militia wing.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad is an Islamism paramilitary organization in Palestine that was formed in 1981 with the objective of destroying Israel as well as establishing an independent Palestinian state. The group has been over the years financed by countries such as Iran and Syria. The group primarily operates in the West Bank and Gaza strip especially in Hebron and Jenin cities. The activities of the group include suicide bombings, attacks on the Israel populations and also firing rockets into Israel. It is popular among the Hamas who fights against the existence of Israel.
Hezbollah, or the party of Allah/God, is a Shia Islamist militia group based in Lebanon that also operates as a political party. Its paramilitary wing is in the jihad and its political wings pays allegiance to the resistance block of the Lebanese party. It was initially formed to attack Israel’s establishments while also acting as a state within a state with representations in the Lebanese government.
Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni Islamic organization that has a social win and a military wing and it has been governing the Gaza strip. The aim of the group which forms their basic ideals is to liberate the Palestinians as well as to restore the Palestinian rights under the Qurans dispensations. This has led them have three ideology outline including the evoking the spirit of jihad (resistance) and to defend the Palestinians as well as their land against the Zionists occupation and manifestation as well as liberating the Palestine’s and their land that was taken by the Zionists forces and settlers.
Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, labeled as terrorist group by several countries including Canada and Israel, is a secular group that brings together Palestinians. It is the military wing of Fatah and mainly operates in the West Bank. It has actively attacked Israel’s establishments since 2002.
9. Understand the major Middle Eastern issues leading to violence. How did the division of the Middle East and emergence of Israel lead to a growth in terrorism?
The Arab countries consider Israel as an alien leading to several wars between Israel and Arab countries. However, Israel has won most of these wars. Most of these Arab countries have formed militia groups to fight Israel. Pakistan in particular formed jihadist groups and trained jihads to fight Israel and curb its growing influence in the region and globally. This resulted in increased cases of terrorism and emergence of terrorist groups in the region.
10. Understand issues regarding Iran and its transformation into an Islamic Republic.
Iran had a revolution in 1979 which saw the president overthrown by ayatollah Khomeini. Khomeini became a dictator and declared the country to be an Islamic state. He introduced Islamic laws and abolished most of the democratic institutions that had been set up by the secular laws.
11. Understand the evolution, organization, and operations of Hezbollah and Hamas.
Discuss Israel’s controversial counterterrorist policies.
The controversial policies include the assassination of any terrorist who is captured by Israel within and out of the country, organizing of secret operations targeting suspected terrorists and brutal retaliations against attacks by terrorist groups which sometimes lead to the death of civilians.
12. What is Jihadi Salafism?
This is a transnational religious and political ideology that is primarily based on the ideology of physical jihadism and the adherence to the doctrines of true Sunni Islamism.
Know the following militant scholars: Taymiyya, Wahhab, and Qutb.
This was a defender of the Sunni Islam and a strict adherent of the Quran and Sunna practices of the late prophet Muhammad. Wahhab was a conservative theologian from Saudi Arabia. Qutb was an Islamic theorist and a poet and leader in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood during the 1950s and 60s.
12. Discuss the evolution of al Qaeda core. What does al Qaeda want? How has al Qaeda fragmented?
Al-Qaida generally wants to rule all the territories that they capture and subject them to Islamic laws. The group has fragmented in many parts of Middle East, Africa and other parts of the world. It is now a global network of terrorists.
14. Discuss the rise of ISIS. What does ISIS want to accomplish? Are they friendly with al Qaeda?
ISI arose after the death of Osama Bin Laden from al-Qaida. The group wants to rule all the places that it has started battles in. They are friendly with al-Qaida since they formed from them though conflict may not lack.
15. Know the following groups: Lashkar-e-Taiba, The Pakistani Taliban, groups in Indonesia.
Lashkar-e-Taiba is a terrorist group from Pakistan who attacked the Indian soldiers. Pakistan Taliban are terrorist group from Taliban who lives in Pakistan and carry out terrorist activities in the country.
16. Slides – How did al Qaeda develop from Cold War geopolitics (how did the Soviet Invasion of
Afghanistan impacts the development of al Qaeda?)?
The Cold War led to the formation of rebel groups. These groups solidified forming strong leadership that was able to source for finances to fight the enemy. The invasion of Afghanistan led to the formation of al-Qaida since the Iraqis were an easy target and they had to protect themselves.
17. What are some challenges with defining domestic terrorism?
One may not be able to define boundaries properly. At the same time, it would be impossible to categorize a person who has dual citizenship as a local or international terrorist.
18. Discuss the ideologies of violent white supremacy movements.
They believe that the whites may be rendered irrelevant and defeated by the black if actions are not taken immediately. They consider black as inferior beings with little to no value.
19. Know right-wing extremist groups such as the Sovereign Citizens.
This group is from America and Canada and believes in white extremist and believes that America was never a republic.
20. What are The Turner Diaries and Hunter?
These are novels
21. What are some causes of the resurgence of right-wing extremism in the past few years (same as duringthe Clinton years)?
There was increased radicalization, the social economic and political issues also caused the resurgence of the group.
22. What is left-wing extremism and why did it die out?
These are militia groups /terrorist that intends to overthrow the capitalistic systems then replacing them with the socialist ones.
23. Be able to describe single-issue terrorist groups/ideas.
These are groups that protests over a given grievance that they have special interest in
24. What are homegrown Jihadists?
These are terrorist who have been born and brought up in a given country as citizens but have joined Islamic militias/terrorists