Origins and Dangers of the Different Types of Terrorism

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Terrorism is an issue is places all around the world. Terrorism is violence demonstrated by people who stress specific socio or political beliefs and use the violence as a threat to their targeted audience in the hopes of creating a sense of submissive conformity. There are different terrorist groups/organizations that fall under different categories or types of terrorism – not methods.

One type of terrorism is call state sponsored terrorism. This category of terrorism is best described as terrorism caused by a higher power, such as the government. State sponsored terrorism targets people, whether it be their own or not, who are deemed as enemies (Casserleigh & Merrick, 2013). In state sponsored terrorism, the government does not care if the enemy is part of their community or country. State sponsored terrorism can be open making everyone be aware the government will target their own people or closed, and the government denies supporting terrorist methods (Casserleigh & Merrick, 2013).

In addition to being opened or closed, state sponsored terrorism can be classified as internal or external. Internal state sponsored terrorism is exactly how it sounds, inside the specific country or area and only targets enemies inside the country. When internal state sponsored terrorism is needed, it is completed by a secret group of people either on the police force or working for the state. The external state sponsored terrorism is when the targeted group is located outside of the country and the government is supporting a specific terrorist group to fulfill their attack. North Korea, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is an example of a state sponsored terrorist country.

On January 20, 1988, the United States Government classified the Government of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism due to the bombing of South Korean Air Flight 858 (Ted, 2017). The bombing was an act of violence towards a neighboring country, so this would be classified as an external state sponsored terrorist attack. The bombing of Korean Air Flight 858 would have never happened if the two North Korean agents on board did not plant a bomb inside the passenger cabin of the flight. In 2008, North Korea was taken off the United States state sponsored terrorism list in an agreement for North Korea to disable their nuclear program. On November 20, 2017, President Trump announced North Korea to be put back on the state sponsored terrorism list due to North Korea being tied to Kim Jong-nam’s assassination and North Korea’s completion of a nuclear test involving a hydrogen bomb (Kelemen, 2017).

These terrorist acts are classified as closed external state sponsored terrorism because North Korea’s intent is to harm others outside of their country and put others at risk with nuclear testing that was intended for another country without anyone knowing they are involved. North Korea’s goals are to remain in control and have power (Kelemen, 2017). North Korea’s leaders are nervous when there is a threat for their place/position, or someone poses a threat to the government, hence why North Korea has gone after Kim Jong-nam and their neighboring country, South Korea.

Dissident terrorism is another type of terrorism, but it is formed from groups under governments. In a way, dissident terrorism is similar to people who rebel under their countries order because they are not in agreeance with the way their country is being ran (Casserleigh & Merrick, 2013). An example of dissident terrorism is the National Liberation Army (ELN) that was formed in 1964 Columbia and is still active today. The National Liberation Army has carried out at least thirteen (13) attacks spanning from 1964 to 2019 (Mapping Militant Organizations, 2019). The terrorist group was founded by two brothers, Fabio and Manuel Vasquéz Castaño, and started as a group of students and Catholics who got their motivation from the Cuban Revolution. The National Liberation Army felt as if they were excluded by the state and began illegal activities such as kidnappings, robberies, extortion, and drug trade to make money for those who needed it and a point to the state for making them feel excluded.

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The National Liberation Army used violence as a way to be heard and not feel excluded from the state/country. The number of members in the National Liberation Army grew from two brothers to upper four thousand (4,000) members in 1999 with an additional fifteen thousand (15,000) supporters (Mapping Militant Organizations, 2019).

Over time, the National Liberation Army has weakened due to internal conflicts and threats coming in from outside sources. In January 2019, the National Liberation Army bombed a police academy after gaining trust from President Duque during their formal peace talks (Mapping Militant Organizations, 2019). The National Liberation Army’s current goal is to end its conflict with the Columbian government in exchange for the poor to be taken care of in Columbia. The National Liberation Army seem to be getting a bit tired of the games, and just want the poor and lower class of Columbia to be taken care of properly.

Another type of terrorism is international terrorism. In international terrorism, terrorist acts are accomplished by groups who are outside of a national border. People who are carrying out terrorist activities in a country other than their own are considered international terrorists (Casserleigh & Merrick, 2013). An example of international terrorism is the Hizballah, or “Party of God” (Mapping Militant Organizations, 2019). The Hizballah is a terrorist group from Lebanon that has carried most of their attacks on United States citizens and territories. Beirut is where the Hizballah plan most of their attacks, more specifically the US Embassy (April 1983) and US Marine barracks (October 1983), to name a few (Mapping Militant Organizations, 2019). These locations are controlled by the United States, and when a Lebanon terrorist group perform terrorist acts on these United States territories it is considered international terrorism.

Although the original goals of the Hizballah included destroying Israel and Western influences, mainly Western military, Hizballah’s goals now are to protect Assad and obtain control of Syria (Mapping Militant Organizations, 2019). The reason Hizballah is classified as an international terrorist group is the suicide bombings on United States territories and the killing the Americans as a result of these suicide bombings. Not to mention, the Hizballah has also been responsible for hijacking a couple of airplanes. The Hizballah’s main focus and goal has been on Syria, and the process of gaining control over Syria. The Hizballah had to kill Americans along the way because of our military being in the way, we were considered the Western influences. The Hizballah is a terrorist group that has killed more Americans than any other terrorist group other than al-Qaeda.

The last type of terrorism is called religious terrorism, and the Buddhists in Sri Lanka are a great example of this type of terrorism. Religious terrorism is heavily motivated by the thought and belief of a God for the greater good (Casserleigh & Merrick, 2013). Terrorists who use religious terrorism use violence as a way of showing their God they will do anything for them. Some religious terrorists’ groups are convinced their God has put them on the Earth to spread their religion, and if there are people who do not agree then violence is the only answer. Terrorists who use religious terrorism sacrifice themselves to their God, and suicide bombings are the primary go-tos (Casserleigh & Merrick, 2013). One example of a terrorist group that put their religion over everything is the Buddhists in Sri Lanka, and more specific the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) (Frydenlund, 2016). There has been tension between Buddhists and Muslims due to conflicting religious beliefs. A story of a Buddhist man being beat by four (4) Muslims started the tension (Gindin, 2018).

Ever since that story, there has been Buddhists attacking, burning, destroying, and using other forms of violence on Muslims, their homes, and belongings. The major violence has started happening after businesses run by Muslims were attacked after Buddhists accused a Muslim restaurant of mixing sterilization pills into their food to slow down the reproduction of Buddhists (Gindin, 2018). People are dying, and the Buddhists do not seem to be stopping any time soon. In Sri Lanka, Buddhists make up the majority while Muslims make up the minority. Buddhists goals are to wipe out the Muslims, work towards an increased Buddhist birth rate, abolish legal pluralism, and a few more goals (Frydenlund, 2016). Buddhists only care about their religion and want to make Sri Lanka home to Buddhists only, and they will sacrifice themselves if need be.

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