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terrorism


            With headlines reading "Signs of Terror Said to Increase", it is clear that the "image" of the American public is fear of more terrorist attacks (1). Americans within the continental United States have been, for the most part, sheltered to terrorist attacks prior to September 11, 2001. Terrorist groups are groups of men, mostly from Middle Eastern countries, who gather together and train to attack innocent people around the world. Their only reason for attack is to make others pay for not being like them and believing in the same things that they do. Terrorists use weapons that they purchase, are given by governments that support them, or take from their enemies. Over the past decades terrorists have committed many attacks on the world. Some of their attacks are the hijacking and killing of hostages on ships and airplanes, using airplanes as bombs, and using car bombs to blow up large buildings. At all times the goal of terrorists is to kill as many people as they can at one time (2).
             The State Department defines terrorism as "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience." In another useful attempt to produce a definition, Paul Pillar, a former deputy chief of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center, argues that there are four key elements of terrorism: .
             1. It is premeditated-planned in advance, rather than an impulsive act of rage. .
             2. It is political-not criminal, like the violence that groups such as the mafia use to get money, but designed to change the existing political order. .
             3. It is aimed at civilians-not at military targets or combat-ready troops (3).
             I do not agree with third statement. The U.S. military is assigned around the world, making them a viable target for any terrorist organization trying to make a point. There have been numerous instances where military personnel, simply carrying out their assigned duties, have become victims of terrorism.


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