According to Vohryzek-Bolden, Olson-Raymer & Whamond, domestic terrorism defines its presence in today’s society in correlation with the current trend of violence or unrest that plagues the international law system. Terrorism, as a concept, is heightened by a constant drive of fear and discontent.Throughout history, acts of terror were seen as trivial happenings that mattered only amongst power-hungry groups till recently, when the September 11th attack in 2001 changed the course of local and foreign politics (Vohryzek-Bolden, Olson-Raymer & Whamond, 2001).
The beginning of terrorism is a difficult argument to engage in as it may stem from different facets of known threats and oppositions but Burgess had an interesting speculation that links early strategies of piracy with contemporary terrorism. In his article, Burgess had indicated that the forbearers of terrorism were most likely pirates who had both served the local authorities and those who have turned their backs against them. This certainly is congruent with contemporary situations involving terrorists that are supported by a faction of the government to create chaos and instill fear in the people, and those who oppose the powers that be and make demands for the injustices that they see (Burgess, 2005).
The development of domestic terrorism may be attributed to such humble beginnings as piracy but in essence, it’s an extensive practice that only escalated into a worldwide phenomenon today when powerful weapons of mass destruction and imbalanced power struggles are involved.
There are two types of domestic terrorism discussed in class. These are terrorism from the left and terrorism from the right. Both of these imply the different notions or tactics that exist within an observable viewpoint but they differ in terms of its degree and the actors who employ such attacks.
Terrorism from the left was said to have originated from the French parliamentary seating conventions, which was set to be in opposition with the status quo. Those who subscribe to this view seek out wealth redistribution in order to attain social and political equality. The Russian group Narodnaya Volya was said to be the first recorded left-wing terrorist group that opposed the rule of the Tsars through targeted assassinations that cried out for a revolution, which broke the cycle of peasantry in serfdom (Chase, 2004).
However, during the 1980’s, terrorism from the left withered away together with the Soviet Union and the Cold War although its initial effects went on through different countries such as Iran. This also had a bearing on the geopolitics of international insurgency. Marxist groups were said to have had a difficult time in mobilizing the military and garnering support from its constituents since its legitimacy and urgency has been disregarded, contributing to its seclusion and abandonment for most capitalist countries (Chase, 2004).
Terrorism from the right entails groups that are unified by a political ideology or ethnic principle that is used to enforce power on their targeted victims. Members of these groups usually train to go into battle for their causes, wreaking havoc in their midst in order to demonstrate their aversion to their labeled enemies. Their ways, which are essentially fundamental, recruit gullible individuals to enlarge their network and instigate a purification method of those whom they feel are a threat to their existence or the immediate society (Vohryzek-Bolden, Olson-Raymer & Whamond, 2001).
Examples of these groups are Neo-fascists and Neo-Nazi groups that can be found in countries such as Canada, the United States, South Africa, Central and South America, parts of Europe and in Russia. For instance, the extremist group Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) in South Africa have eagerly expressed their dissatisfaction with the current government, launching political assassinations and targets that aimed to destabilize the government (Vohryzek-Bolden, Olson-Raymer & Whamond, 2001).
In Europe the problem of the resurgence of extreme right-wing violence has become a far more serious threat. Case in point, Germany under went over 2,000 attacks in 1992 by extreme right-wing terrorists who were disgruntled with the disillusionment of mainstream political parties, the strains in the economy, high unemployment rates and the influx thousands of immigrants. This unfortunate event caused about 17 deaths, with over 2,000 injured. Between 1991 and 1993, extreme right-wing groups in Germany have killed at least 30 people (Vohryzek-Bolden, Olson-Raymer & Whamond, 2001).
Extreme right-wing violence from racist groups to isolationists and religious ones have also increased in other parts of Europe, Russia and the U.S., with political parties supporting or coalescing with these groups, most especially during the elections.
Although violent attacks motivated by such fundamental ideologies from right-wing terrorists have swelled over the past few years, it is likely to remain in its place and would not be carried over in the international scene.
Burgess, D. R. (2005, July-Aug.) .The Dread Pirate Bin Laden: How thinking of terrorists as pirates can help win the war on terror. Legal Affairs Magazine. Retrieved Dec. 13, 2008 from Legal Affairs website.
Chase, A. (2004). A Mind for Murder: The Education of the Unabomber and the Origins of Modern Terrorism. New York: W. W. Norton and Company.
Muraskin, R. & Roberts, A. R. (2004). Visions for Change: Crime and Justice in the Twenty-First Century. (4th ed). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Vohryzek-Bolden, M., Olson-Raymer, G., & Whamond, J.O. (2001). Domestic Terrorism and Incident Management: Issues and Tactics. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.