Terrorism can be defined as the use of terror, especially including violence  with an aim to coerce the public or the government into doing something. There are several features which distinguish terrorism from other crimes Terrorism has political motives or objectives and performs violence; the organization of a group is based on hierarchy and a chain of commands. Reasons for terrorism vary from group to group. There are political terrorists, religious terrorists as well as social terrorists. Each of these groups has unique causes and motivations.

Domestic Terrorism – Alpha 66

Domestic terrorism refers to acts of terrorism carried out by the citizens of a country. In the U.S., for example, FBI figures show that 250 out of 335 terrorism acts between 1980 and 2000 were carried out by local terrorists. There is a number of domestic terrorist organizations in the US which include Army of God, Alpha 66, Omega 7, Animal liberation front, Aryan nations, and others.

There are four common motivations for domestic terrorism: 1) religion, 2) racial issues and supremacism, 3) political or anarchistic purposes or 4) social interests which in many cases are unique.

Alpha 66 was formed in 1961 by Cuban exiles. Their primary goal was to overthrow Fidel Castro’s communist government. Alpha 66 stood against communism in Cuba. Nazario Sargen was the first leader of Alpha 66.  Ferdinand de Montejo is the current leader of Alpha 66. He lives in Florida.

Alpha 66 has been linked to a number of bombing incidences and assassinations in the 1970s. These acts were directed at Pro-Castro speakers inside the United States of America.

In 1962 Alpha 66 staged its first attack on Cuba. They attacked the port of Isabella and Juan Francisco beach. Many other assaults followed those two attacks. Alpha 66 set upon militia camps three times and also did other infiltrations up to 1964. Since 1964 they have started dealing with guerrilla style tactics.

International Terrorism – Al Qaeda

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International terrorism refers to terrorism acts performed by people who are not the citizens of the United States. A well-known case of international terrorism is the one committed on September 11th commonly called 9/11.  Most international terrorism acts are motivated by politics and religion. There are numerous international terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab, Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Aum Shinrikyo, and  many others. Al Shabaab is linked to al-Qaeda. Most of their activities are carried out in Eastern Africa with their base in Somalia.

Al Qaeda is an example of an international terrorist group. This word  means the base. It was founded in 1989 by Osama Bin Laden.  It derives most of its ideologies from Wahhabism. Wahhabism was a Sunni movement that advocated the Sunni religion ideologies.

It calls for global Jihad and interpretation of Sharia law globally. Their main goal is to see the establishment of ‘true Islamic states’. They oppose concepts such as nationalism and socialism. This organization attacks non-Muslims and targets the ones they consider Kafir.

Jihad is an Arabic word that is loosely translated as struggle. Often referred by the Muslim as the ‘holy war’, jihad is a war staged with the aim of converting Kafirs into Muslims. Islamist extremists refer to non-Muslims as Kafirs. Through Jihad, they struggle to bring ‘light’ to the world by showing people the right religion. Al Qaeda is considered to be a religious terrorist group with political implications. This militant group is responsible for many attacks all over the world that has led to damage and took many lives.

On September 11, 2001, al-Qaida attacked the United States of America. Hijacked airliners were crashed deliberately killing more than two thousand people.  On February 26, 1993 they attacked the World Trade Centre. In August 1998 they bombed the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Al Qaeda has been linked to many other attacks worldwide. Other international terrorist groups have caused deaths and injuries to many people. We should all say no to terrorism.


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