This is a word that generally strikes fear into people when mentioned. There are numerous definitions when it comes to terrorism. Terrorism is a charged term, it is often used with the idea of something which is generally seen as “morally wrong”.
Terrorism in a broad sense is the use of intentional violence to achieve ones political or religious purposes. It is used in this sense to generally refer to acts of violence during peacetime or in the context of war against non-military personnel.
CAUSES AND MOTIVATIONS OF TERRORISM
There are numerous reasons why individuals or groups decide to undertake terrorist activities or tactics, some of which include;
1. Terrorism intimidates people to gradually capitulate to the demands of the group in order to avoid future injury or deaths to themselves or loved ones.
2. IT acts as a form of asymmetric warfare in order to pressure the government to accept their demands.
3. Draw attention to themselves and their cause in order to get political support.
4. Directly cajole people to join their cause through revolutionary acts.
Terrorists mostly intimidate the populace in order to prevent them from collaborating with the government to make life difficult for the government as in the case of Taliban in Afghanistan, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Niger, and Chad etc.
WHAT MOTIVATES TERRORISM
Some political or cultural causes have generally motivated the adoption of terrorism and include:
1. Groups fighting for independence or separatists movements.
2. Stopping perceived government oppression of a particular group especially minority.
3. Spread of a particular religion.
4. Subjugation of a particular populace.
FUNDING OF TERRORISTS
State sponsorship of terrorist groups has generally been the main way terrorist groups survive and carry out their activities. For example Houthi rebels, Hamas and Hezbollah are widely known to be sponsored by Iran; the mujahedeen of Afghanistan fighting the Soviets were sponsored by Saudi Arabia and the Americans through the CIA.
Groups like the Taliban also take protection money from the areas they govern in Afghanistan.
Other sources include; money laundering, kidnapping high ranking officials for ransom, smuggling, fraud and robbery.
TACTICS USED BY TERRORISTS
Terrorists generally target the civilian populace mostly to maximize fear and instability by mostly using explosives or chemicals. Attacks are generally planned in advance and participants undergo intensive training.
Communication mostly occurs through modern means of communicating or the old ways of doing so. Terrorists can target an important utility service which the populace mostly depend on for their daily life which puts pressure on the government to act.