Crime and Terrorism

Al-Qaida is, of course, a security risk around the world. Said to be involved in all major terrorist attacks in the modern world, the organization claims to attack victim governments and their peoples in the name of God. The “Terrorist Training Manual” (2000) calls female supporters of Al-Qaida to help avenge the wrongs that have been committed against them by “the enemy.

” Even though women are called upon to support the struggle of the terrorists toward the beginning of the manual, the remaining parts of the document refer to “the brother” or the male terrorist supporter of Al-Qaida who must deal with the circumstances he confronts according to the instructions of the trainer (“Terrorist Training Manual”). ” The document teaches “the brother” how to comport himself if he is caught by the government of “the enemy,” for example (“Terrorist Training Manual”).

” Moreover, all sections of the “Terrorist Training Manual” begin with the words: “In the name of Allah, the merciful and compassionate (“Terrorist Training Manual”). ” In other words, Al-Qaida seems to believe that it is acting on behalf of God. The only counterterrorist strategy to be applied in this condition – apart from security measures – is to educate poor people of the Muslim countries that may join Al-Qaida if not provided for. The manual discusses killing foreign tourists, for example. In recent years, terrorists have been known to bomb a number of foreign embassies.

The bombing of foreign embassies is mentioned in the “Terrorist Training Manual. ” Hence, the details of the manual are a useful way to understand current events. More importantly, perusing the training manual is a useful way for anti-terrorist wings around the world to find out more about the motivations of terrorists. By knowing that they would like foreign embassies closed down (in the name of God), for example, law enforcement agencies must take special care to guard such bureaus and track down terrorists on their way to foreign embassies.

In fact, the document calls for vigilance in all areas that call terrorist attention. Terrorism and Crime According to the United States government, terrorism is defined as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience (Whitaker, 2001). ” In this definition, “noncombatant targets” include both civilians and combatants that are unprepared to fight terrorism at the time of a terrorist act (Whitaker).

Moreover, the definition mentions “subnational groups or clandestine agents” as the only perpetrators, whereas the first time that the term “terrorism” was recorded was in the year 1795 during the French Reign of Terror which was actually instituted by the government (Whitaker). The Jacobins, who headed the government, were known as revolutionaries. Thus, the term “terrorism” started being applied to “violent revolutionary activity in general (Whitaker). ” The term changed its meaning later to apply solely to violent “anti-government” acts (Whitaker).

In 1866 the term was applied in this sense to anti-government activities in Ireland, and in Russia in the year 1883 (Whitaker, 2001). The term, terrorism, therefore refers to violent movements (of groups of people) leading to terribly violent crime against a large number of people. Other crimes, for example, sexual assault, murder, and domestic assault are not referred to as terrorist acts even though they induce terror in their victims. Such crimes are not as noticeable as terrorist acts.

They are often committed against sole individuals by sole individuals. But, if a criminal activity is planned to kill a great number of people, for example, the Oklahoma bombing – it is referred to as terrorism. Motivations for Criminal Behavior There is no dearth of theories to explain criminal and/or terrorist behavior. As an example, conflict theory is based on the idea that the main causes of crime and deviance are the economic and social differences among members of a society, prompting the have-nots to act out, if not to rob (and/or kill) the haves.

According to this theory, criminal law and the entire criminal justice system tend to be favorable especially for the wealthy and the powerful elites, while governmental policies are aimed at stringently controlling the behavior of only the needy and poor members of society. Moreover, the theory assumes that the entire criminal justice structure is aimed at compelling all members of society to accept the standards of good behavior and morality that are created by the rich and the powerful.

There is a focus on separation between the haves and the have-nots, so as to protect the haves from physical attacks by the have-nots, and also to protect them from being robbed. In the process, however, the rights of the poor and needy people could be ignored. The middle class, on the other hand, enjoys the legal rights of the elites by siding with them. These people believe that they might be able to rise in rank by backing up the status quo (“Conflict,” 2005).

It is commonly believed by economists, journalists and scholars of various disciplines that terrorist acts are wake up calls for the rich world; that, in fact, terrorism is a civil war waged by the poor people of the world if the entire world is considered a global village. This is part of the political side of the debate at prestigious organizations such as WTO. Of course, economic incentives must be one of the most exciting part of criminal and/or terrorist acts.

Many attempts have been made to understand the sociological basis of terrorism. According to a new study on the causes of terrorism, ordinary people can be easily “influenced into violence (“New Research Into Causes Of Terrorism Reveals People Turn To Suicide Bombing To Preserve Identity,” 2007). ” Furthermore, interactions with comrades who provide “an emotional haven” in addition to a “clear focus for turbulent energies” may very well serve as a cause of suicide bombing (“New Research Into Causes”).

In order to root out this cause of suicide bombing, the new study suggests that it is essential for a group that believes in suicide bombing to have interactions with people who do not consider violence as a way to achieve immortality or the kingdom of God – such as the people of the West and other parts of the world where suicide bombing is not considered martyrdom, including the moderate Muslims (“New Research Into Causes”). Then again, there are numerous theories to explain both crime and terrorism.

Perhaps it is zealous faith in radical Islam that leads Al-Qaida to kill countless innocent people. It is a known fact that terrorists and other criminals belong to lower socioeconomic groups more often than not. If poverty is leading people to commit crime and acts of insanity, governments around the world must also be shaking hands to fight poverty and illiteracy around the globe. There is no dearth of ideas in the field of crime fighting. References Conflict. (2005, Nov. 22). Florida State University. Retrieved Nov 11, 2008, from http://www. criminology. fsu.

edu/crimtheory/conflict. htm. New Research Into Causes Of Terrorism Reveals People Turn To Suicide Bombing To Preserve Identity. (2007, May 12). Medical News Today. Retrieved Nov 11, 2008, from http://www. medicalnewstoday. com/articles/70717. php. Terrorist Training Manual. (2000, May). Behavioral Analysis Program, Operational Training Unit, Counterintelligence Division, FBI Headquarters. Whitaker, B. (2001, May 7). The Definition of Terrorism. Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved Nov 11, 2008, from http://www. guardian. co. uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,487098,00. html.