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The Threat Of Islamic Terrorism

.. ht place, at the right time. Another recent trend in terrorism is suicide bombing. Suicide bombings have emerged as a tactic used particularly by radical Islamic terrorists. Even though Islam prohibits suicide, these suicide bombers believe that death in a holy struggle assures them a faithful place in heaven; thus, by committing this act of war, they feel they are guaranteed to go to heaven.

This method of terrorism is almost impossible to defend against, that is why the terrorists must be prevented, not deterred. Many radical Islamic terrorist organizations have developed in recent years, but the biggest organizations are the Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Al-Gama’a ai-Islamiyyah, and the Hizballah. These organizations all seek the elimination of western and Jewish influence, and will not hesitate to do anything to prevent this. The Islamic Jihad Group , in Egypt, has been active since the late 70’s, and currently includes two factions. The goal of these factions is to overthrow the Egyptian government and replace it with an Islamic state. To accomplish this, the Jihad operates in small underground cells and attacks high level government officials.

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Their most notorious acts of terrorism have been the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat, the 1993 attempted assassination of Prime Minister Atef Sedky and the 1993 car bombing of the World Trade Center(19). Al-Gama’a ai-Islamiyyah (The Islamic Group, IG) evolved from a phenomenon of Islamic prisoners in Egypt. After being released from prison in 1971, they began forming militant groups that operated separately but were loosely organized. These groups target police officers, liberal intellectuals, Coptic Christians, and tourism in order to hurt the economy and rid Egypt of Western influence. The IG’s most recent attack was November 17, 1997, when 58 tourists were killed; this severely impacted Egyptian tourism for several months.(4) Hamas is the Arab acronym for, “The Islamic Resistance Movement,” and means courage and bravery(3).

This organization has evolved from the Muslim Brotherhood and was active in the early stages of Intifada, operating in the Gaza strip and the West bank. The main objective of the Hamas is a “Holly War” for the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of an Islamic Palestine. A variety of non-governmental charitable organizations in the Gulf States, four central charity funds throughout the world, and Iran have enabled Hamas to become the second most powerful terrorist organization(3). During Intifada, Hamas claimed responsibility for 43 attacks that killed 46 Palestinians, and is believed to be responsible for another 40 deaths.(3) Hizballah (Party of God) is an extremist political-religious movement based in Lebanon. The movement was created and sponsored by Iran in July 1982, initially as a form of resistance to the Israeli presence in Southern Lebanon.

Hizballah followers are radical Shi’ite which adhere to Khomeinistic ideology.(5) The principle goals established by Khomeinism are the equality of all Lebanon’s citizens, complete American and French withdrawal from Lebanon, the complete destruction of Israel, and the establishment of Islamic rule over Jerusalem(5). The Hizballah has tried to accomplish these goals through the use of terrorism, of which 704 attacks were committed from 1991 – 1995.(5) The scope and nature of Hizballah’s terrorist campaign reflect its close dependency on Iranian support for both the ideological and financial levers. Iran donates fast amounts of money to Hizballah, which among other things funds the movement’s health and education services(22). The funds received from Iran in the 1980’s totaled $60-$80 million a year. Because of the recent terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and foreign embassies in Africa, the United States is aware of the danger that terrorism presents. Being a politically correct country, no United States official has specifically named the radical Islamic groups as our primary enemy. However, the Islamic groups are the only terrorists that specifically target Americans.

The United States now has an official three part counter terrorism policy that has so far proven to be effective. First, the US will make no concession to terrorists and strike no deals. If the US were to give in to terrorists’ demands, it would inspire every other terrorist to commit violent crimes. An example of this plan is the hostage situation in Peru, where 72 hostages were taken and four months later a successful rescue took place. The second US policy is that all terrorist will be held accountable for their crimes in a court of law.

In recent years many international terrorists have been convicted and sent to prison. The third, and most important policy is to isolate and apply pressure on states that sponsor and support terrorism and force them to change their behavior. UN sanctions and the use of military force are now actively used to force host countries to change their views on terrorism. Radical Islamic terrorist organizations have the ability and desire to threaten the United states. Sanctions and diplomatic bargaining will not solve the problem of Islamic terrorism, yet military force will only make the problem worse. There will be no resolution to this problem in the near future, meanwhile the gap between the Western world and the Arab nations will continue to grow. Without constant monitoring a careful planning, this could soon turn into WW III. Bibliography 1. al-Thawriyyah, Fatah al-Qiyadah.

Fatah – Revolutionary Council. Available: ter/orgdet.ctm?orgid=2. March 22, 1999 2. Coordinator for Counterterrorism of the State department. Fact Sheet: Usama bin Ladin. Http:// March 22, 1999 3.

Al-Islamiyya, Harakat. HAMAS(Islamic Resistance Movement). Http:// ter/orgdet.ctm?ogid=13 March 22, 1999 4. Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya( The Islamic Group, IG). International Counterterrorism website. Available: Http:// ter/orgdet.ctm?ogid=12 March 22, 1999 5.

Information division. Israel foreign Ministry – Jerusalem. Hizballah . Available: Http:// ter/orgdet.ctm?ogid=15 March 22, 1999 6. US State Department. “Armed Islamic Group.” Patterns of Global Terrorism.

Available: Http:// ter/orgdet.ctm?ogid=7 March 22, 1999 7. Erlich, Dr. Reuven. The Beginning of an Internal Dispute in Iran and Lebanon over the fate of Hizballah in the wake of the implementation of Resolution 425. ICT Research Fellow.

Available: cleid=20 March 22, 1999 8. State Department. Anti-US Attacks, 1997. Available: rt/ March 22, 1999 9. State Department. Casualties of Anti-US Attacks 1992-1997.

Available: rt/ March 22, 1999 10. Albright, Madeleine K. “Interview on ABC-TV This Week’with Cokie Roberts and George Will.” State Department. August 23, 1998. Available: 823.htm March 22, 1999 11. Wilcox Jr., Philip C. “International Terrorism” September 12, 1996. Available: 12. “State-Sponsored Terrorism.” Available: Http:// ter/st terror/State t.htm.

March 22, 1999 13. State Department. “Over of State-Sponsored Terrorism” Available: rt/ . March 22, 1999. 14.

Paz, Reuven. “Is There an Islamic Terrorism.'” September 7, 1998. Available: Http:// terr.htm. March 22, 1999. 15. Schweitzer, Yoram. “Resonding to Terrorismthe American Dilemma.” September 2, 1998.

Available: Http:// cleid=44. March 22, 1999. 16. “1997 Global Terrorism.” Available: rt/. March 22, 1999.

17. “Electronic Sources: MLA Style of Citation.” Available: March 22, 1999. 18. “1997 Global Terrorism-definitions.” Available: rt/.

March 22, 1999. 19. “Jihad Group.” Available: Http:// ter/orgdet.ctm?ogid=18. March 22, 1999 20. Sinha, P.B.

“PakistanThe Chief Patron-Promoter of Islamic Militancy and Terrorism.” Available: March 22, 1999. 21. Sinha, P.B. “Threat of Islamic Terrorism Egypt.” Available:

March 22, 1999. 22. Rajeswari, P.R. “U.S. Policy on Terrorism.” Available:

March 22, 1999.


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