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Lecture 7

POL114H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Irgun, Blood Diamond, Assassins

Political Science
Course Code
Jurgensen, A

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POL114 Lecture#7: Terrorism and International Organized Crime
Terrorism: the Weapon of the Weak
Long History:- Zealots (6BCE) assassinations to drive Romans out of Palestine
-Hashashin (1275AD)
-“gun powder plot” Guy Fawkes, Catholics attempting to overthrow ---
James I
-assasination of Pres. McKinley by “anarchist”
-Irgun Tsvai-Leumi, (1946) bombing of King David Hotel
-Black September (1972) attack on Munich Olympics
-IRA (1972) Black Friday 22 bombs around Belfast
-Assasination of Archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador (1980)
-Air India Flight 182 (1985) Sikh extremists
-1993 World Trade Center bomb
-Aum Shinrikyo (1995) sarin gas in Tokyo subway
-Oklahoma City (1995) Timothy McVeigh…
-9/11 (2001)
definition: “one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter”?
William R Polk, Violent Politics: All revolutionary and anti-colonial struggles begin with
a phase of terrorism (asymmetrical warfare?)
State terrorism:
-first modern use of term described the “reign of terror” during the French
-J. Stalin’s purges and forced collectivization of agriculture
-H. Assad, suppression of rebellions
State sponsored terrorism:
-Pakistan support for groups opposing Indian rule in Kashmir
-U.S. support of counter-revolutionary Cuban groups as well as “Contras”
in Nicaragua
-U.S. support of Mujahedeen in Afghanistan (1980’s)
A Definition that works: “the intentional use of, or threat to use violence against civilians
or against civilian targets in order to achieve political aims” Boaz Ganor
-includes: acts of governments and their agents
-excludes: non violent political protest, civil disobediance, strikes…
many acts of guerilla warfare and urban insurrection
Was 9/11 an act of terrorism?
Targets: legitimate in warfare or civilian?
Author: Al Queda (Osama bin Laden) a non state actor (not legitimate war)
Causes of Terrorism
-individual psychosis : T. McVeigh?
-ideology: left wing extremists (Bader Meinhof, Red Army Faction…) right wing
extremists (neo-fascist groups…) racism (KKK)
-religion: Islam, Christianity, Sikh, Hindu, Budhist, Judeism …
-grievance- cycle of violence
-nationalism/separatism: PKK, Basque, Quebec, Puerto Rico,
-activist fanaticism: anti abortion, animal rights? Environmentalist?
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