Terrorism and International Security

Introduction to Terrorism and International Security

Terrorism and global security issues has become a significant factors of various debates for establishment, implementation and monitoring of foreign policies among different nations throughout the globe (Rath, 2015). Terrorism has become a major hindrance to good relationships among nations and has various negative impacts on economic, political, socio-cultural and political development among nations globally. advancement in technology has led to widespread occurrence of terrorism in the world today. Terrorism is therefore a major concerning issue which has invaded, disrupts and dominates daily activities and so it has. it has therefore become a centre of discussion and has attracted unprecedented significance and dimension.

Terrorism has no specific definition because it a complex, fragile, dreadful and sensible subject and therefore security experts, politicians, academic experts and journalists all have adopted various definitions of terrorism. These definitions differ based on various factors such as characteristics and motivation of the terrorism, terrorist’s organization mode of operation and ‘modus operandi’ of specific terrorist group. However, terrorism can be broadly understood as coercion technique that threatens to utilize or utilizes violence so as to spread fear in order to attain ideological or political gain. terrorism attacks spread fear since the violence is unexpectedly targeted to the innocent. contemporary terrorism is different from ordinary terrorism since it utilizes various forms of violence to attack civilians, state officials or military facilities (Arqualla & Ronfeldt, 2001).

This essay focuses on comparative analysis on two complex terrorist attacks:

in September 2001, members of Al Qaeda conducted complex and coordinated attack against united states in which over 2,900 people were killed.

In November 2008, members of the Pakistan-based Islamic terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba(LET) conducted a series of complex attacks and coordinated attacks across Mumbai, India. 174 people were killed in the attack which lasted for four days.

Comparative Analysis Approach

The report will compare the two complex attacks based on the following approach:

  • ideology of the attack
  • who or what were targeted in the attacks
  • tactics used in the attacks
  • if the incidences should be considered acts of terrorism
  • local, regional and international reactions to the attacks
  • impacts of the incidents.

New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania (11 September 2001)

Militants associated with the Islamic extremists group al Qaeda, on September 11, 2001 hijacked four airplanes and carried out complex and suicidal attacks against various targets in united states. Two of the planes were flown to twin towers centre in New York, third plane crashed in a field in Shanks Ville in Pennsylvania and the other plane hit the pentagon just outside of Washington, D.C. in the attack, around 2900 people were killed (Jordan & Boix, 2004.

Mumbai (26-29 November 2008)

Complex series of attacks were carried out by ten gunmen linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan based terrorist organization. The terrorists targeted civilians at various places in the southern part of the Mumbai including Leopold café, two hospitals and a theatre and Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station. During the attack which lasted for nearly four days, around 174 people were killed (Rath, 2015).

Ideology for Conducting Attacks

New York, Washington D.C and Pennsylvania (2001)

Several statements given by the Al Qaeda leadership have addressed the motives of the terrorism operation carried out by this group. Osama Bin Laden and other leaders of the Al Qaeda group gave several statements to confirm Al Qaeda’s responsibility for New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C attacks of September, 2001. According to Bin Laden statement and support on the attacks, he claimed that those attacks on the American targets are due to defensive response to American aggression in Islamic states (Holmes, 2005). He and other leaders argue that American should be held in accountable for influences and policies in Middle East governance which are morally corrupt, insincere human rights and democratic reforms initiatives and therefore they consider them unjust and objectionable. Al Qaeda’s strategic plans and goals for conducting the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania are attributed to the following objectives including, retaliation of American perceived aggression in the Islamic states. They perceive western societies as immoral and their influence in the Middle East governance, democracy, policies formulation and leadership initiatives are unjust (Anderson, 2001).

Moreover, Al Qaeda ideology in conducting such complex attack was to provoke United States so that they can stop the series of attacks on Islamic states and their affiliates associated with the Al Qaeda. Finally, Al Qaeda attacks and strike on Washington DC, Pennsylvania and New York in September 11, 2001 was to signal and show support to the new leadership which opposes the “Zionist-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant coalition” which according to Al Qaeda group it’s a coalition that which fuels political and social ills in the Islamic world. Al Qaeda leaders credit themselves as the forefronts of a broader global Islamic states and their interests to change politics and governance as well as bring change in the Islamic world (Farall, 2011).

Mumbai (26-29 November 2008)

The complex and series of attacks in Mumbai on 26-29 November, 2008 was carried out by Lashkar-e- Taiba (LET). There is no specific clear cause of Mumbai attacks. From historical attacks, there have been series of violence by group of extremists who wants to liberate Kashmir so that they through Islamic group could conduct jihad. This attack could have been motivated by periodic accusations of cross border terrorism between Pakistan and India (Rath, 2010). The following causes can be attributed to the Mumbai attack of 26-29 November 2008. First, actual conflict between Pakistan and India due to border and regional chaos could motivate interested terrorist group by enhancing chances of jihadi to take over the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Secondly, LeT may have device the Pakistan-India tension as approach to reduce pressure brought to them by U.S led war on terrorism which was supported by Pakistan. Thirdly, the attacks could have been motivated to revenge for the large number of Muslims who were killed in India in state of Gujarat (Azad & Gupta, 2011). And Fourth, the TeL terrorist group were motivated by the interest and ideological desire to expand the entire Jihadi cause. From the way the attack was coordinated using mobile phones it is supports the ideology the Jihadi wanted to advance their cause.

The ideological motivation behind the two cases are almost similar. Both involved a retaliation and revenge mission by the Islamist groups.

Who or What Were Targeted in The Attacks

New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania (2001)

The September 11 attacks were a series four complex coordinated attacks by Al Qaeda, an Islamic terrorist group. The four complex attacks were targeted includes, the Tower of the World Trade Centre in New York, Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania and Western façade of pentagon in washignton DC. The initial target plan includes United States capitol and nuclear installations (Marion & Uhl, 2013).

Mumbai (November 11, 2008)

Unlike New York terrorist attack, the Mumbai 2008 attacks involved a series of twelve complex attacks by the Lashkar-e-Taiba which is extremist Islamist terrorist group based in Pakistan. These series of attacks were targeted in twelve different sites including Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus, The Oberoi Trident, Leopold Café, The Taj Palace & Tower, The Metro Cinema, Mumbai Chabad House, The Nariman House, St. Xaviers college, Magazon, Vile Parle, Cama Hospital and Lane behind Times of India Building. The attackers target high population areas, at the terminus they were targeting the passengers, pedestrians and police officers at cama hospital the attackers intended to kill patients (Esposito et al., 2008).

In both cases the targets of the attacks were public facilities where there is high population and therefore for successful mass killings.

Tactics Used

New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania (2001)

The method employed in attack operation was hijacking of aircrafts. The method provided a unique way of carrying out the operation defensively while at the same time facilitates Al Qaeda’s desire of inflicting mass casualties. The hijacked planes were four passenger airliners including two American airline flight 11 and two United Airlines Flight 175. It involved crashing hijacked flights on the prominent buildings of United States (Bergen, 2008).

Mumbai (November 11, 2008)

The success of the attack in twelve different sites of Mumbai by Tel Islamist terrorist group was coordinated from Pakistan by the group’s leaders through use of cell phones and google earth imagery. A total number of ten Terrorists were chosen and grouped in 5 buddy pairs. Each group with two terrorists. Terrorists used explosives, live ammunitions, fire arms such as AK 47, pistol, Hand grenades, pistol magazine, Khanjir, Nokia mobile handset, G.P.S and satellite phone (Rath, 2010). The terrorists used sophisticated communication devices for continuous contact and relay of information with the co-conspirators in Pakistan. This is different from the New York 2001 attack because unlike the New York attack where it involved use of Hijacked planes, Mumbai 2008 attack, terrorists use fire arms and explosives. It involved killing by shooting, bombing and opening fires while the New York attacked involved crashing hijacked planes on prominent buildings to ensure mass destruction and killings (Rath 2010).

Acts of Terrorism

The Mumbai 2008 attacks and the New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania 2001 attack are acts of terrorism. In both incidents, the attacks lead to death of large number of people. In the New York case almost 3000 people were killed while in the Mumbai incidence around 200 people were killed. Furthermore, in both attacks there was huge destruction of property. The four crashes in New York attack led to the 110-floor Twin towers was destroyed including many other buildings near the area. The North tower, South Tower, 3WTC, 7WTC and The marriot Hotel were destroyed. In addition, the Pentagon was severely damaged upon crashed by the airline (Rath 2015).

Local, Regional and International Reactions

After the 9/11 attacks there was immediate establishment of relief funds to assist victims and casualties of the attack as well as the survivors of the attacks in financial assistance.

To monitor terrorism and other crimes, the U.S government enacted the Homeland security act of 2002, and USA PATRIOT Act as policies of terrorism prosecution.

Many Muslims were being harassed and faced various hate crimes following the attacks. They were being attacked at the mosque and others were even evacuated out of the country. Muslim affiliated business owners were harassed, their facilities vandalized, assaulted and even threaten.

Internationally, most governments denounced the attack 9/11 attack. Most of the nations showed solidarity and pro-American support except few countries like Iran which showed favor for the attacks. United Nations Security Council Resolution expressed support and promised to combat terrorism acts according to the charter (Al-Hamarneh & Stepner, 2004).

On the other hand, Mumbai 2008 attacks attracted local, regional and international reactions. Indians criticized their political leaders that they are politicking while innocent lives are lost to terrorists. There were various resignations by leaders from relevant departments such as ministry of home affairs. The Muslims group in India show solidarity by refusing to bury the attackers (Chumber, 2014.

Many countries across the globe condemned the attacks and expressed their support and condolences to the families’ victims. There are several movement groups that were formed after that attack such as War Against Terror campaign which advocates against terrorism acts.

Impacts of The Incidents

The collapse of twin towers caused exposure to tons’ toxic debris which are alleged to have contributed debilitating or fatal illnesses among people who lived near the scene. Health effects due to those attacks extended to the residents of lower Manhattan including students and office workers.

The attacks caused a significant economic effect in United States and the global market. For around two weeks, the stock exchanges did not open from the day after the attack. A lot of money were lost in terms of exports and the city’s Gross Domestic Product performed poorly for nearly three months after the attacks.

Large population who lived near the Twin Towers and lower Manhattan were displaced resulting in job lose and consequently their income and wages. Air travel sector experience low business performance and caused financial problems to the struggling American Airline.

On the other hand, similar effects were experienced in India after the Mumbai attack. Various hotels were closed and many people lost jobs and wages. The attacks fueled the enmity between Pakistan and India. India considered indulging in military strikes in Pakistan terror camps so as way of protecting their territories (Rath, 2015).

Conclusion on Terrorism and International Security

Both the New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania 2001 and Mumbai 2008 attacks were carried as retaliation and revenge mission by the Islamic terrorist group. In both incidences the attacks resulted in loss of lives and damage of property which affected global business. The New York attacks were executed by use of hijacked airlines and around 3000 people were killed while the Mumbai incidence was executed by a group of terrorists by use of firearms and explosives. The attack lasted for four days and resulted in death of nearly 200 people. Terrorists in both incidents targeted prominent public places and facilities to cause mass killings and damage.

References for Terrorism and International Security

Al-Hamarneh, A., & Steiner, C. (2004). Islamic tourism: Rethinking the strategies of tourism development in the Arab world after September 11, 2001. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 24(1), 173-182.

Anderson, K. (2001). What to do with Bin Laden and Al Qaeda terrorists: a qualified defense of military commissions and United States policy on detainees at Guantanamo Bay Naval base. Harv. JL & Pub. Pol'y, 25, 591.

Arquilla, J., & Ronfeldt, D. (2001). Afterword (September 2001): The sharpening fight for the future. Networks and netwars: The future of terror, crime, and militancy, 1382, 363.

Azad, S., & Gupta, A. (2011). A quantitative assessment on 26/11 Mumbai attack using social network analysis. Journal of Terrorism Research.

Bergen, P. (2008). Al Qaeda, the organization: A five-year forecast. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 618(1), 14-30.

Chhibber, B. (2014). Fragile Frontiers: The Secret History of Mumbai Terror Attacks.

Esposito, R., Ross, B., & Thomas, P. (2008). US Warned India in October of Potential Terror Attack. ABC News: December, 1.

Farrall, L. (2011). How Al Qaeda Works-What the Organization's Subsidiaries Say about Its Strength. Foreign Aff., 90, 128.

Holmes, S. (2005). Al-Qaeda, September 11, 2001. Making sense of suicide missions, 164.

Jordan, J., & Boix, L. (2004). Al-Qaeda and western Islam1. Terrorism and Political Violence, 16(1), 1-17.

Marion, R., & Uhl-Bien, M. (2003). Complexity theory and Al-Qaeda: Examining complex leadership. Emergence, 5(1), 54-76.

Metzger, L. (2010). The Image of the Islamic Terrorist in Literature. IUP Journal of International Relations, 4(3).

Rath, S. K. (2010). 26/11 Mumbai Attacks. World Affairs: The Journal of International Issues, 14(4), 36-71.

Rath, S. K. (2014). New terrorist threat to India's internal security: the danger from Pakistan's “Karachi Project”. Defense & Security Analysis, 30(3), 196-208.

Rath, S. K. (2015). Fragile frontiers: The secret history of Mumbai terror attacks. Routledge.

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Security Analysis Assignment Help

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