Domestic Terrorist Groups essay

Although the history of the modern terrorism starts in the eighties of the nineteenth century, the bloodiest act of terror in the human history occurred on September 11, 2001 (Rapoport, 2006, p. 46). Therefore, people have to think about dealing with this phenomenon. Two different explanations of the behavior of a terrorist organization exist. According to the instrumental approach, the terror is the substitution for an official military operation. It aims at changing “political and social conditions” through coercion or intimidation (Crenshaw, 1988, p. 13). However, in the framework of the organizational process theory, it is competitive forces that drive the group to commit the acts of terror. Therefore, sometimes these acts do not “reflect ideological values” (Crenshaw, 1988, p. 13). It explains why there are groups with only few “potential targets” and those with the multiple ones (Cadigan and Schmitt, 2010, p. 4). No wonder that there is inconsistency in how different “law enforcement groups” classify the acts of violence (Masters, 2011).

The history of modern terror has cycles of cognate activities occurring in a number of states all over the world. The tactic of the groups of the first wave of modern terror was top officials’ assassination (Rapoport, 2006, p. 47). Since shooting Archduke Franz Ferdinand gave rise to the First World War (Rapoport, 2006, p. 47), new generations of terrorists kept changing their tactics. The second wave terrorists used the tactics of “systematic assassinations of police officers and/or their families” followed by “a tactic of attack and rapid withdrawal” against “the military units replacing them” (Rapoport, 2006, p. 54; Marighella, 1969a). During the third wave the theatrical targets such as “international hijacking” replaced the "second wave’s military targets" (Rapoport, 2006, p. 56-57). There are terrorist organizations striving to turn the next generation to the one of new people. Their tactic is rape (Kaplan, 2008). The new feature of contemporary wave terrorists’ tactics is suicide bombing (Rapoport, 2006, p. 62). From 2002 to 2005 domestic terrorists committed 95% of the terrorist acts that occurred in the USA during this period (Masters, 2011). The FBI offers the determination of the domestic terrorism that is the following:

The unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives (Fletcher, 2008).

This law enforcement unit distinguishes different types of the domestic terrorist organizations. The left-wing groups are the “anticapitalist revolutionary” brigades (Fletcher, 2008). As for the right-wing ones, they “favor individual freedoms over governmental regulation” (Fletcher, 2008). The single issue groups oppose “environmental degradation, abortion, genetic engineering, or animal abuse” (Masters, 2011). In what follows, light is shed on the activities of the following three organizations: the Army of God, the Mountaineer Militia, and the Revolutionary Cells-Animal Liberation Brigade.

The Army of God

Why the Army of God Is a Terrorist Group and Where It Operates

Detectives who investigated the Atlanta Olympic bombing and blowing up an abortion clinic and a gay bar in Atlanta concluded that Army of God was responsible for these attacks (National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism [NCSRT], n.d.a). Besides, there were threats “to kill 42 individuals working at abortion clinics” on the website of this group. The group operates solely in the USA (NCSRT, n.d.a). Therefore, according to the above formulated definition, the Army of God is a domestic terrorist formation.

Funding of the Group. Its Links with Other Terrorist Organizations

It finances its activity through fundraising and accepting religious donations. There are no other terrorist organizations linked to this one (NCSRT, n.d.a).

Terrorist Theory Category under which the Army of God Falls. Its Objectives

 A book written by one of its members provides “biblical justification” of a violent fight for abortion abolishment (NCSRT, n.d.a). Therefore, Army of God created in 1982 is a typical example of the contemporary Rapoport’s wave of terror that sources its energy from religion. Army of God fights for abolishment of abortion in the USA. Besides, it reportedly increases “anti-gay rhetoric” (NCSRT, n.d.a). Thus, it is a single issue group. From the information presented in the first subsection of this paper, it follows that the violence this group commits corresponds to the goals it pursues. Therefore, one can explain its behavior in the framework of the instrumental approach.

The Organization of the Army of God

Single issue formations are sets of autonomous teams which are always ready to take initiative. Secrecy is their top priority (Masters, 2011).

Chances of FBI to Infiltrate into the Army of God. My Assessment of Its Future Viability

From the information presented to the previous subsection, it follows that chances for FBI to infiltrate this formation are extremely low (Masters, 2011). Hence, I consider the Army of God to be viable.

The Mountaineer Militia

Why the Mountaineer Militia Is a Terrorist Group and Where It Operates

FBI proved that the Mountaineer Militia “plotted to blow up federal buildings”. The latter operates only in the United States (NCSRT, n.d.b). Therefore, according to the definition presented above, it is a domestic terrorist group.

Funding of the Group. Its Links with Other Terrorist Organizations

The Mountaineer Militia raises its finances in the form of member fees and donations. As for the related terrorist formations, there are none of them (NCSRT, n.d.b).

Terrorist Theory Category under which the Mountaineer Militia Falls. Its Objectives

The Mountaineer Militia is the secular terrorist organization (NCSRT, n.d.b). The contemporary Rapoport’s wave created such groups as “a reaction to excessive religious zeal” (Rapoport, 2006, p. 61). The fact that it defends “the right to bear arms” and other constitutional rights proves that it is a right-wing organization (NCSRT, n.d.b; Fletcher, 2008). The violence this group commits corresponds to the goals it pursues because its leader suspected that in the building he planned to destroy the FBI was spying “on all Americans” (NCSRT, n.d.b). Therefore, one can explain the behavior of this organization in the framework of the instrumental approach.

FBI Infiltration into the Mountaineer Militia

FBI infiltrated this formation. Specifically, this federal agency had “an informant within the group”. Moreover, the Mountaineer Militia’s leader fell prey to a rich offer an FBI agent working undercover had made (NCSRT, n.d.b).

Organization of the Mountaineer Militia. Its Communications

The last fact suggests that "the old-type hierarchy, the style of the traditional revolutionaries," is present in the formation at hand (Marighella, 1969c). Hence, it is likely that the Mountaineer Militia’s organization and communication security is weak.

My Assessment of the Future Viability of the Organization at Hand

Based on the information presented in last subsection, I conclude that the Mountaineer Militia’s future viability is poor. 

The Revolutionary Cells-Animal Liberation Brigade

Why the Revolutionary Cells-Animal Liberation Brigade Is a Terrorist Group and Where It Operates

The group at hand asserted that, in 2003, it committed bombing “on the grounds of Chiron, an Emeryville-based biotechnology firm” and the company manufacturing “health foods, vitamins and cosmetics” (NCSRT, n.d.c). The formation is American and operates solely in the USA (NCSRT, n.d.c). Therefore, according to the above formulated definition, the Revolutionary Cells-Animal Liberation Brigade is a native terrorist organization.

Terrorist Theory Category under which the Revolutionary Cells-Animal Liberation Brigade Falls. Its Objectives

The Revolutionary Cells-Animal Liberation Brigade is the secular terrorist organization (NCSRT, n.d.c). The contemporary Rapoport’s wave created such groups as “a reaction to excessive religious zeal” (Rapoport, 2006, p. 61). The fact that it fights for abolishment of “animal abuse” in the USA proves that it is a single issue organization (NCSRT, n.d.c; Masters, 2011). The violence this group commits corresponds to the goals it pursues. Therefore, one can explain its behavior in the framework of the instrumental approach.

Organization of the Revolutionary Cells-Animal Liberation Brigade. Its Communications

Single issue formations are sets of autonomous teams which are always ready to take initiative. Secrecy is their top priority (Masters, 2011).

Chances of FBI to Infiltrate into the Revolutionary Cells-Animal Liberation Brigade. My Assessment of Its Future Viability

Chances for FBI to infiltrate into this formation are extremely low (Masters, 2011). However, I do not consider this group to be very viable because detectives investigating “the Emeryville bombings” have identified “the prime suspect” who is its member “currently hiding from law enforcement officials” (NCSRT, n.d.c).

Funding of the Group. Its Links with Other Terrorist Organizations

From the third subsection of this section, it follows that Revolutionary Cells-Animal Liberation Brigade's organizational structure resembles the one of urban guerrillas (Marighella, 1969c). Therefore, it is naturally to assume that it finances its activity through robbing banks and other businesses (Marighella, 1969b). As for the linked groups, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty is its alleged ally (NCSRT, n.d.c).

Conclusion

The fact that the cruelest terrorist assault in the longer than a century history of the modern terror has occurred fairly recently indicates that the humankind needs to pay more attention to this activity. The crimes terrorist groups commit do not necessarily point to the aims these organizations pursue. Therefore, various law enforcement units frequently have difficulty reaching a consensus on whether some act of violence is a terrorist one. Statistics indicate that the largest portion of the recent terrorist activity is the native one. To intimidate the U. S. government, the Army of God and the Revolutionary Cells-Animal Liberation Brigade committed several violent acts whereas the Mountaineer Militia planned to destroy a federal building. These formations operate only in the USA. Therefore, they are domestic terrorist groups. Since an undercover FBI agent was lucky enough to mislead the leader of the Mountaineer Militia, it is likely that the old-fashioned hierarchy is the organizational structure of this formation. As for the other groups, they are single issues because the Army of God and the Revolutionary Cells-Animal Liberation Brigade coerce the government to abolish abortions and animal abuse respectively. Hence, their probable organizational structure is a set of small teams eager to assume responsibility. Therefore, to my mind, they are more viable than the Mountaineer Militia.

Domestic Terrorist Groups essay

Related essays

  1. To What Extent Does Internet Shopping Affect The Sales Of High Street Shopping?
  2. Social Anxiety
  3. Filter Model of Attraction
Close