To even begin to understand terrorism, therefore, the first question that must be asked – and answered – is “What is terrorism?” What makes some action an act of terrorism as opposed to a pedestrian level crime of the same behavior? If I kill someone, what makes it a terrorist assassination as opposed to a mere homicide? What makes the taking of another person a terrorist abduction as opposed to a kidnapping? Many definitions of terrorism, especially international terrorism, exist. The U.S. government alone has been credited with having at least a dozen different definitions espoused by various laws and government departments and agencies. From the definition of terrorism contained in the reading (Giduck) develop your own definition and explain why it is superior to that of the U.S. government. Your definition, while complete, must be as succinct as possible.
Today, looking at the threat of terrorism throughout the world, the question must be asked for both America and the world whether jihadist Islamist terrorism is the predominant concern, or even if it is the only concern. If not, what other terror threats might still exist and what level of resources should be committed to understanding them and preventing their attacks? In relation to this, what is domestic terrorism? What have been the historic differences in definitions between domestic and international terrorism and are those lines beginning to blur? Do you think that with the increasing presence of “foreign” terror groups on U.S. soil, the increasing recruitment of U.S. citizens to join “the jihad,” and the increasing incentivizing of Muslims living in the U.S. to join “the cause” and develop and execute their own “homegrown terror” attack plots, that they should still be considered international terrorists, or are they now domestic terrorists, or are the two classifications now irrelevant? Give me your opinion and support it with your best argument.
What types of terror attacks have been seen by each of the three groups? Your discussion can include both executed operations (successful) and planned but prevented ones. Have such operations (i.e., terror attacks) from all three categories been seen in the United States? If so, can you identify at least one from each category?
Can you present a viable model for predicting the types of attack methodologies that would be used by each of the three groups in future attacks? For example, how likely is it that homegrown terrorists would obtain and detonate a nuclear device? How about a dirty bomb? On the other hand, would AQ launch an Active Shooter Decimation Assault as we allegedly saw with Dr. and Major Nidal Hasan at Ft. Hood or the planned attack on Ft. Dix, New Jersey?
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