Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Yemen Bomb

It has been a while since anyone has posted here. Late breaking news reports that there has been a suicide bombing, but more like a coordinated assualt of the US embassy in Yemen. For more information visit this cite.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

New Title - Take 2

Well, I think that I will check the blog more often now that I know I am not writing to myself. But I agree with you all that a new title would be sweet. I'm down but I don't want to dictate what it should be; I think it should be a group decision. Let me know what you think and then I'll talk to Prof. Payne about what we have come up with. Also, I think we should start adding new posts. I would love to stay informed and you all had some great insights and some awesome posts. So, please, continue blogging!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Title

I also wanted to propose a new title for our blog since we are all "graduates" of the winter 379R terrorism class. I'm open to suggestions. I personally think Terrorism and Counter-terrorism would be cool. Anyways, let me know what you all think.

The PKK and Germany

In recent news over the course of this week, it seems that several German mountain climbers from the state of Bavaria were seized and taken hostage by the PKK. According to Der Spiegel and Deutsche Welle, the PKK, which has claimed responsibility for taking the three men hostage in eastern Turkey, has been actively stepping up their terrorist activities against Germany and its citizens for their " increasingly negative polic[ies] towards the Kurd[ish]. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization in the European Union and the United States and it has been fighting for Kurdish autonomy since 1984. Lars Holger Renne, 33, Martin Georg, 47, and Helmut Johann, 65, all from the southern German state of Bavaria, were taken hostage late Tuesday when a group of five PKK guerrillas raided a 3,200-meter camp on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey. Their 10 fellow climbers were unharmed and returned to Germany late Friday.

For more on this story see article in DW-World.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Al Qaeda and Weapons of Mass Destruction

I read an article today concerning an increase in the number of video and audio instructions released by Al Quaeda. The article discussed a new video tape that urges supporters to use WMD technology to attack the West. Many different scholars do not feel that use of a WMD is likely. There are too many incentives for terrorists groups to avoid this action, and generally not enough resources to materialize the threat. The new video has been identified as a conglomeration of different clips taken from multiple previous Al Quaeda releases. Most of the community that keeps up on this stuff feels these are the words and views of the political base of the movement and not leaders or direct participants in the organization.
Terrorist organizations are flattening. The hierarchical structure is disseminating into autonomous cells. In this atmosphere I feel that this kind of propaganda is more dangerous than if an intact hierarchical organization had published the message. Leaders of a terrorist group do not want the consequences associated with using a WMD. They want to be noticed, but they also want to exist. Even though the actual Al Quaeda organization continues to follow this kind of reasoning, the ideology they preach to produce support induces in the public a mentality of finality and an apocalyptic present. In these conditions members of the movement who are not responsible to any leader may act according their own intentions.
As has been previously outlined, most terrorist organizations do not have the assets necessary to be a realistic WMD threat. Even fewer individual terrorists have this ability. However, the incentives that keep the best developed and funded terrorist groups at bay, do not manifest themselves in the soul individual, the member of the movement without a leader. Here is where a threat could surface, even if the possibility was incredibly low.
Well this class is definitely over, and for myself, my class room days in an undergraduate Political Science course have come to a close. I am working for the local government now and working towards law school. I posted a couple of weeks ago; wondering if anyone would still contribute. I think this forum is a good way to express our views on different issues surrounding terrorism and other its role in US foreign policy. Being involved in as many ways as possible keeps me on my toes. I feel at times like an embodiment of Plato's political animal. Perhaps no one will ever read what is posted here again, but I highly doubt that. We are in Google's search base now.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Terrorism in India

It seems that India is among the most recent nations to be struck by a terrorist attack, the first in India a a while. though no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, India has presumed it to be a "foreign group" which usually means Pakistan the article hints towards this being a way to disturb the peace process between India and Pakistan, which makes sense at least to me. what is interesting to me is the assumed continued use of terrorism by groups associated with Islam, regardless of what their motives could be.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


I was just curious if anyone was going to continue to contribute here just for fun.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Suicide bombing by Hamas

Here is an article about a suicide bombing in Gaza acted out by Hamas. Hamas said that it was a step forward for those who are awaiting freedom. Hamas is attacking entry points in an attempt to start a humanitarian crisis that will force international actors to put pressure on Israel.
From what I understand, Hamas is claiming that their purpose is to help the Palestinian people regain their land. If this is their goal, then why are they killing those that bring aid into areas that contain Palestinian people? Even if it forces international actors to step in, is the cost in lives equal to the benefit? Will this have any effect on how much support Hamas later gains?

Jemaah Islamiah!

I recently came across this article which announces that the Indonesian government has endorsed a court decision to outlaw JI. One thing I found interesting with this article is that it mentions that JI was not previously outlawed because the government did not recognize it as an official organization. I think that this parallels our discussion about terrorism and "war." Personally, I don't think that the ban will have any substantive effect on the JI network, and that the ruling won't be enforced or binding. Does this move simply give JI more legitimacy and power? Singapore-based terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna, who we read the other week, called the verdict "a huge victory against terrorist," but it is hard for me to see how this will affect JI.