Introduction Terrorism has many faces, causes, and impacts. It isa premeditated international or homegrown attack on a group of people throughthe use of force, thus resulting in causalities both civilian and combatants.The motive behind terrorism can be ideological or religious, but it isinherently political. The goal of terrorism is to incite fear, anxiety or theconcern that the violence of the attack will return at any given time.
Theterrorist will use violence in order to draw attention to themselves, or theircause, which will generate publicity to their cause. The hope of the group isto be able to manipulate, intimidate or coerce governments into granting theterrorist group’s demands. Terrorismand its attacks have a social, psychological and economic impact on therecipient of the attack. The attack is deliberated,specific, and is directed against symbolic targets.
For example, the symbolictarget in the attacks on 9/11 was the World Trade Center and the pentagon. Bothstructures are symbolic of America’s economic and military strength. Strikingdown those two structures shows the world that America is not as strong in itseconomics or military capabilities. This leaves the country having the”illusion of vulnerability and powerlessness” (). Propagandaof the deed is used by many groups and remains an inherent part of terrorism asa form of communication. It is a way to inspire combatants while furtheringtheir cause. This is an important technique for acquiring home grown terroristsand lone wolf terrorists. Propaganda of the deed is used by groups to inspire aperson to commit attacks on their own people.
This is called lone wolfterrorism and is defined as an individual who acts alone on behalf of theorganization without the organization being actively involved. Another theme ofterrorism is ethno-nationalism is an attack that has a symbolic character witha message meant to communicate the existence and essence of ethnic identity(Law, 2016). When a political leader goes after their own people, it is calledState Terrorism. A state terrorist can be anyone who is seen as a politicalleader. Drug cartels in Latin America are teaming up with Islamic Extremists inthe Middle East. This lethal combination allows both groups to mutually benefitoff the other for each group’s survival. Part 1: Drug Cartels and Gang Violence The United States and Mexico aretrying to find ways to decrease heroin consumption, thus dismantling the powerof drug cartels in the region.
The drugcartels have control over political leaders in Mexico through fear andcoercion. Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNH) has become a powerful drugcartel in Mexico and is blamed for violence throughout the country. They wereaccused of leaving coolers with severed human heads and threatening messages tojudges and politicians. MS-13 is an extremely violent gang withties in El Salvador and the United States. The MS-13 gang was started in LosAngeles, California after the ending of the El Salvador civil war in 1992.
Deportation of gang members from the United States expanded the gang into partsof Central America. The gang’s calling card is its “propensity for ruthlessnessand violence” (Cuthbertson, 2017). Thepresident of the United States has called for a sweep of the gang in order toend their brutal campaign.
In the past, there was a gang sweep called OperationRaging Bull, created by the Department of Homeland Security and the JusticeDepartment. The operation had two phases, one in El Salvador and the other inthe United States. The first phased produced 53 arrests of gang members andleaders in El Salvador and the second phase resulted in 215 arrests of gangmembers operating within the United States. “90% of the MS-13 members arrestedby immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) were living in the United Statesillegally” (Fox News, 2017).
This gang is especially problematic because it targetsyouth and is linked with racketeering, drug trafficking, and human trafficking.MS-13 uses extortion and prostitution as it main sources of income. Americancitizens are being targeted by the gang, especially middle and high school agedyouth. The gang is known for recruiting youth and have violent and brutal ganginitiations.
The punishment for not joining the gang or being an opponent ofthe gang is even more violent often resulting in dismemberments by machete anddeath. Reports indicatethat groups such as Hezbollah, ISIS and Boko Haram are now teaming up with drugcartels in Latin America. United States Sentor, Robert Pittenger (R-NC) is thechairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and UnconventionalWarfare. He believes that the organizations are teaming up with violent drugcartels in order to get funding and higher recruitment numbers. The financingcomes from drug trafficking, human trafficking, gun smuggling, and moneylaundering. The senator has also led a forum to explore the connection betweenthe groups and find ways to intervene.
GeneralJohn Kelly, who was the Commander of the U.S. Southern Command, warned congressabout these Islamic extremist groups moving into Latin America. He believesthat the groups plan on infiltrating the United States through its southernborder with the help of smuggling and drug trafficking networks. The General isespecially concerned since he believes that Latin American countries cannottrack these extremists, meaning that the groups can operate withoutinterruption.
“Although theIslamic State has lost most of its territory, the group can still providetraining for would-be jihadis” (). There is speculation that groups like ISIS are havingcitizens in Latin American countries travel to the Middle East in order to betrained by the group.A faction of the Los Zetas cartel, Cartel DelNoreste (CDN) has moved into the city of Mante in Mexico.
The cartel usesintimidation efforts to influence local people in the area. There was a recentshootout with police officers and CDN, where seven cartel shooters were killed.Los Zetas is a drug cartel located in Mexico and has madetheir name as one of the most sadistic criminal organizations for theirgruesome executions involving beheading, dismemberment, and other tactics (). ThePresident of the United States plans to aggressively push back against the IranThreat Network (ITN), which is a subgroup of Hezbollah located in LatinAmerica. In October, there was an arrestof two individuals who were suspected of acting on behalf of Hezbollah’sIslamic Jihad Organization (IJO).
Once of the suspects, supposedly conductedsurveillance of military and law enforcement facilities in New York City. TheNational Counterterrorism Center acknowledges that Hezbollah is “determined togive itself a potential homeland option as a critical component of itsterrorism playbook and that is something that those of us in thecounterterrorism community take very seriously” (). TheTrump administration has taken action against Hezbollah through indictments,extraditions, public statements, and rewards for more information on wantedHezbollah leaders. Venezuela, Colombia, and Panama are all places in LatinAmerica with established Hezbollah networks. The President seeks to accomplishtwo things concerning Hezbollah. For one, he wants to disrupt the group’saccess to money, its operations, and its logistics.
The second is he wants todisrupt the group’s attempt to legitimize itself as a political party. Part 2: State Terrorism Honduras is one of the united statesclosest military and ideological allies in central America (Reuters, 2017). It iscurrently undergoing a presidential election, which could end up problematicfor the United States. The U.
S. State Department is urging Honduras to have aquick conclusion to the recounting of votes from the election. One of thecandidates, current President Juan Orlando Hernandez is a United Statesfavorite because of his help in tackling the flow of immigrants to the northand extraditing drug cartel leaders to the united states. Even though thePresident denies it, there are accusations of his ties to illicit, drug relatedfinancing. At present times, President Hernandez leads the vote recount, buthis challenger, Salvador Nasralla is alleging fraud in the vote. As thevotes are recounted from the presidential election in Honduras, the currentpresident is leading, which is the same results as the original account.
Theopposition has presented a formal request to annul the election. The electoraltribunal has until December 26 to declare a presidential winner, until thenopposition groups are going to protest the current results. Theadministration of President Donald Trump has certified Honduras’ progress inprotecting human rights and attacking corruption. The United States has trainedtroops and police in Honduras to be able to combat this. But, the police andtroops are being accused of killing and wounding demonstrators.
The Presidentof Honduras is also being accused of abusing the rights of his people. Hedeclared a dusk to dawn curfew and suspended constitutional rights to dismantleprotestors of the current president. TheUnited States has a lot of stakes and power in Honduras. Secretary of State RexTillerson is trying to give Honduras millions of dollars from United Statesfunds to help the country’s fight of the War on Drugs. It goes to help trainsecurity forces so that they can be more influential in the war. The money isconditional and will not be sent if Honduras does not make progress in itsfight against corruption and protection of human rights.
This is importantbecause it shows that the United States will not help a country economically ifthere is corruption and if there is an abuse of its people. There isspeculation if the government of Honduras is doing enough to satisfy theconditions held by the United States. TheUnited States and Colombia’s relationship is being strained by the actions ofdrug cartels within Colombia. JeffSessions, the United States Attorney General, met with Chief Prosecutor NestorMartinez of Colombia to discuss President Trump’s recent declaration todecertify Colombia as a partner in the war against drugs. They will lose thiscertification if they do not reduce the amount of coca cultivation, moneylaundering and human trafficking within Colombia. The United States spent tenbillion dollars in counter narcotics work within Colombia since the 1990s.
Since the declaration, Colombian officials have met half of their goal oferadicating 50,000 hectares through the use of force. They hope to eradicatethe other 50,000 hectares of their goal through voluntary destruction of theplants. Venezuelais part of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Stateterrorism is prevalent in Venezuela, its current president Nicolas Maduro isaccused of a breach of rights against his own people. The President’s way ofsilencing his opposition through imprisonment and other means that are considereda breach of rights. This led to American President Donald Trump to placesanctions against President Maduro and other officials in the Venezuelangovernment to end the silencing. Hebelieves Maduro is “a bad leader who dreams of becoming a dictator” ().
Opposition leaders in Venezuela are callingon the international community to end the sanctions in Venezuela so that foodand medicine can get to the country. The country is in desperate need of food,water, and medicine. Opposition leader AntonioLedezma, fled to Colombia and then Spain as a result of his imprisonment byMaduro. He was welcomed into Colombia,which could increase tensions between Venezuela and Colombia. Both countrieshave policies with America in order to end drug cartel violence, drugtrafficking, human trafficking, and to limit abuses of power resulting in abuseof the countries citizens. This will likely result in increased tension betweenthe United States, Venezuela, and Colombia. Because of this, there wasmediation talks held on December 1st and 2nd betweenPresident Maduro and his opposition to find peace.
There were 20 oppositionleaders, foreign ministers from Paraguay, Nicaragua, Mexico, Bolivia, Chile,the Dominican Republic, and representatives from the business and human rightssectors of Venezuela. The mediation failed, resulting in a second round onbeing held later on in the month of December. Maduro is not likely to give into mediation unless both sides agree to include joint pressure on the UnitedStates to back off and lift the sanctions, but it is believed that the UnitedStates will continue to put pressure on Venezuela and President Maduro unlesshe enacts democratic changes within the country. Mexicanopposition Senators have proposed a constitutional reform. The reform wouldallow a sitting president to face trial for corruption up to three years afterleaving office.
It would allow a current president to be impeached and facetrial for crimes committed in office. In its constitution, there is no groundsfor impeachment of a sitting president. The strongest party in congress,Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) does not support the reform, whichmakes the reform unlikely to pass leaving the president of Mexico free tocommit crimes without punishment. Part 3: Lone Wolf Terrorism Manhattan terror bombing was carried out through the help of an onlineISIS playbook on vehicular assault. The attack was connected to ISIS through anote left in the rented Home Depot truck with the slogan of ISIS written on it.This note showed the suspect’s allegiance to the Islamic State. There was anindictment by the Grand Jury on November 21 stating that the suspect “acted forthe purpose of gaining entrance to ISIS” (Wang, 2017).
He was heard shouting “allahu akbar” as he exitedthe vehicle and carried out a secondary attack only to be stopped by policegunfire. Within the indictment was evidence found on the suspect’s cellphone.The contents included videos and images of Islamic State fighters along withinstructions for making an explosive device.
Even though the final decision restswith the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, President Trump has called for Mr.Saipov to receive the death penalty. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, hasbeen tweeting about the trial of the suspected terrorist in the ManhattanTerrorist attack that occurred on October 31st of this year.Tweeting and voicing his opinion on an ongoing criminal case can lead to amistrial of the suspected terrorist of the attack. Defense lawyers can use thePresident’s words from twitter on grounds of breach of rights or “trial ofinfluence”.
This occurs because the president’s words can influence a jury togive a verdict based on the opinion of the president and not on the basis ofthe evidence. A mistrial can hinder the grieving process for families ofvictims and the country. The United States’ President has also tweeted anti-Islamic videos on twitterfrom a far-right group in England in December of 2017. It is problematic withinthe United States because it is helping to spread fear of the Islamic peoplewhich make up 3 million of the United States Population of 323 million people.The tweets spread paranoia and fear of the group as a whole, instead of fear ofIslamic extremists. As the President, there is a power of influence over theircountries people and needs to be using this power to spread cohesion notseparation. During his campaign, President Donald Trump promised torefill Guantanamo Bay with newly captured terrorists.
The Republican party inthe United States has also spoken out about their desire to try terrorists inmilitary courts and detainee the suspects at Guantanamo Bay. This isproblematic for many reasons. The military court system has been found to notbe as effective as civilian courts. Attorney General Jeff Sessions who used tooppose trying a suspected terrorist in civilian courts is now an advocate ofdoing so and believes that military courts are not effective.
Civiliancourts have been known to be more effective in bringing terrorists to justicecompared to military courts. Even so, civilian courts present a risk ofspilling classified information. The trial is also a risk for a secondterrorist attack. Nicholas J.
Lewin, a former counterterrorism federalprosecutor said, “Time and timeagain, federal courts have proven to be more efficient and more effective thanmilitary tribunals” (Savage, 2017). Millions of taxpayer dollarsare spent detaining each suspected terrorist in military prison, which is 100times the cost of detaining the suspect in a civilian prison. Once a detaineeis brought to Guantanamo Bay, there is a law stating that they cannot bebrought back to domestic soil.
The opposition to trying suspected terrorists infederal civilian courts is based on politics and the fear of losing informationif interrogators had to read a suspect their Miranda rights. Some United States Senators are calling for the Presidentto declare the suspect an enemy combatant so that he can be interrogated foruseful intelligence. This interrogation would be held in Guantanamo Bay andwould have less restrictions than interrogators have in the United States.Methods used by interrogators in Guantanamo Bay could lead to further problemsin the future for the United States.
The methods, some linked to torture, canlead to the rise of terrorist groups as seen in the rise of Al-Qaeda. Muslimmen were imprisoned in Afghanistan and were tortured until information wasgiven up on other suspects. After their release, their anger towards the UnitedStates worsened since the country was blamed for the torture. Out of this angercame the creation of Al-Qaeda and the belief that the United States was theenemy. (Wright, 2011). Terrorism is being used as apolitical tool to gain support in elections. Recently President Donald Trumphas proposed a cut to domestic terrorism programs that fund research andtraining to combat terrorist groups. The programs also prepare localgovernments to respond and prevent domestic terrorism.
The Diversity Visa Program was establishedin 1990 by United State Senators, but some United States senators tried todismantle the program in the early 2000s believing that it was not appropriate.More than 55,000 immigrants can enter the United States each year fromcountries who have low rates of immigration to the United States. PresidentDonald Trump believes this is not a good program and wants it dismantled. Hehas been tweeting about his anger towards the program and feels that terroristattacks would decrease if the program was not in existence. This has sparkedoutrage for the program from American citizens and furthering the separation ofthe political parties.
In the United States, there is a separation and lack ofunity between the political parties, Democrat and Republican. It is causing arift in their politics and is hindering progress. On December 11, anexplosion went off in the subway station connecting the Port Authority busterminal and Times Square in New York City.
The suspect was identified asAkayed Ullah who is an immigrant from Bangladesh living in Brooklyn. There wereno deaths from the explosion but five people were injured including thesuspect. (add info up to dec 18) AtAztec High School in New Mexico, there was a school shooting during which twostudents and the suspected shooter were killed.
The shooter, William Atchison,disguised himself as a student and entered the school in the morning. He hid ina bathroom to prepare for the shooting when the first victim walked into thebathroom and subsequently was killed. The shooter then exited the bathroom and shotthe second victim and then entered a computer lab where he continued shootingtrying to kill. He ended his own life shortly after police had entered thebuilding. The school has been shut down indefinitely following the shooting. Protestshave been occurring in New Mexico since the shooting and include individualsholding signs demanding that teachers be allowed to carry guns in the schools.The idea behind it is that if a teacher is carrying a gun, they would be ableto stop the shooter before any students or faculty are injured.
In 2015, therewere 372 mass shootings, 64 were school shootings, in the United States thatkilled 475 people and wounded 1,870 (BBC, 2016). The FBI released informationstating that the suspect had been on their radar and had asked on an onlinevideo game about buying weapons for a mass shooting. The FBI interviewed himand after determining no crime was committed he was released. He was then freeto buy a gun legally a few weeks before the shooting. After the attack, policefound a thumb drive on his body containing a message that he had was unhappywith his life and had planned on attacking a school. (Reuters, 2017).
Schoolshootings are becoming a reoccurring terrorist attack within the United States. States are beginning to createlegislation designed at stricter gun control. Virginia Democrats are trying toimplement universal background checks, ban assault weapons, and restricthandgun purchases in their state (The Associated Press, 2017). The DefenseLeague, a pro-gun group, are urging individuals to boost ownership so that thenew legislation will not pass. With theincrease in attacks many politicians in the United States are calling for newgun control and safety policies to be passed in order to make the country saferfor families and children. Conclusion how America is impacted by terrorism discussed inpaper (summed up)