Terrorism: An Explosive Answer?

Essay by Amiga_AVUniversity, Bachelor'sA, December 1996

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After browsing through Stephen E. Atkins book Terrorism, I soon learned many

interesting things regarding the history of terrorism. It seems this form of protest has been

around since Biblical times. Also, the main goal of a terrorist is not to do damage to

one peticular person or place, but to gain publicity for an idea they support. (page 1)

Evidence of this can be found by looking at the recent past of the United States. The

Oklahoma bombing was one man's way of expressing his dislike of the government.

The exact definition of terrorism is not a solid line, it is a very wide line that isn't

defined. The general definition of terrorism is an attack of some sort against a person or

place that involves violence and/or destruction of property and is usually politically

motivated. (Terrorism 3)

Our fight against terrorism became something the terrorists might fear in 1970, at

the Hague Convention.

This United Nations convention basically defined ...hijacking as a

crime and required contracting states either to allow the extradition of hijackers to their

country of origin, or to prosecute them in the state where they were arrested. (The Terrorists

146) Atkins states that one of the reasons it took so long to do anything about terrorism is

that it is so hard to define, and therefore just as hard to enforce. He also says

Declarations and conventions from the UN have lacked effective enforcement

mechanisms, so they have been ignored by member states and have been characterized as

'largely cosmetic. Basically, the UN is doing this to satisfy the public and little else.

This lack of understanding of the meaning of terrorism has also been a hindrance when law

8:56 PM 12/14/96enforcement was actually implemented. Police aren't trained to handle terrorist type

attacks, instead...