What are the benefits and drawback of thinking of terrorism in terms of waves?

Current Perspectives Readings from lnfoTrac® College Edition

Terrorism and

Homeland Security

DIPAK K. GUPTA San Diego State University

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Current Perspectives: Readings from lnfoTrac• College Edition: Terrorism and Homeland Security

Dipak K. Gupta

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Contents

Preface v1

1. In His Own Words: Excerpts from Osama bin Laden’s Messages 1

–7 2. The Four Waves of Modern Terrorism 9 DAVID C. RAPOPORT

-7 3. “Misunderestimating” Terrorism 38 ALAN B. KRUEGER and DAVID D. LAITIN

4. The Other Evil 45 STROBE TALBOTT

5. License to Kill 47 BERNARD LEWIS

6. Rational Fanatics 53 EHUD SPRINZAK

–=> 7. The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism 63 ROBERT A. PAPE

~

8. Beyond the Abu Sayyaf 105 STEVEN ROGERS

9. The Protean Enemy 111 JESSICA STERN

10. The Future of Political Islam GRAHAM E. FULLER

11. America’s Imperial Strategy G. JOHN IKENBERRY

12. History and the Hyperpower ELIOT A. COHEN

13. A Duty to Prevent 155

121

131

144

LEE FEINSTEIN and ANN-MARIE SLAUGHTER

14. The Hard Questions 166 DAVID CARR

15. Terrorism and Humanity 171 DIPAK K. GUPTA

lnfoMarks: Make Your Mark 174 Contributor Biographies 177

v

8 IN HIS OWN WORDS: EXCERPTS FROM OSAMA BIN LADEN’S MESSAGES

And the convergence of interests is not detrimental. The Muslims’ fighting against the Byzantine converged with the interests of the Persians.

And this was not detrimental to the companions of the prophet. Before concluding, we reiterate the importance of high morale and caution

against false rumours, defeatism, uncertainty, and discouragement. The prophet said: “Bring good omens and do not discourage people.” He also said: “The voice of Abu-Talhah [one of the prophet’s compan-

ions] in the army is better than 100 men.” During the Al-Yarmuk Battle, a man told Khalid bin-al-Walid [an Islamic

commander]: “The Byzantine soldiers are too many and the Muslims are few.” So, Khalid told him: “Shame on you. Armies do not triumph with large

numbers but are defeated if the spirit of defeatism prevails.” Keep this saying before your eyes: “It is not fitting for a Prophet that he

should have prisoners of war until he hath thoroughly subdued the land.” “Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks.” Your wish to the crusaders should be as came in this verse of poetry: “The

only language between you and us is the sword that will strike your necks.” In the end, I advise myself and you to fear God covertly and openly and to

be patient in the jihad. Victory will be achieved with patience. I also advise myself and you to say

more prayers. 0 ye who believe! When ye meet a force, be firm, and call Allah in re-

membrance much (and often); That ye may prosper. God, who sent the book unto the prophet, who drives the clouds, and

who defeated the enemy parties, defeat them and make us victorious over them.

Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter and save us from the torment of the Fire! [Koranic verse].

May God’s peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad and his household.

2

The Four Waves of

Modern Terrorism

David C. Rapoport

S eptember 11, 2001, is the most destructive day in the long, bloody his-tory of terrorism. The casualties, economic damage, and outrage were unprecedented. It could turn out to be the most important day too, be- cause it led President Bush to declare a “war (that) would not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.”‘

However unprecedented September 11 was, President Bush’s declaration was not altogether unique. Exactly 100 years ago, when an anarchist assassi- nated President William McKinley in September 1901, his successor Theodore Roosevelt called for a crusade to exterminate terrorism everywhere. 2

No one knows if the current campaign will be more successful than its predecessors, but we can more fully appreciate the difficulties ahead by exam- ining features of the history of rebel (nonstate) terror. That history shows how deeply implanted terrorism is in our culture, provides parallels worth ponder- ing, and offers a perspective for understanding the uniqueness of September 11 and its aftermath. 3 To this end, in this chapter 1 examine the course of modern terror from its initial appearance 125 years ago; I emphasize continu- ities and change, particularly with respect to international ingredients. 4

David Rapoport, “The Four Waves of Rebel Terror and September 11,” from Attacking Terrorism, Audrey Cronin and James Ludes, eds., Georgetown University Press, 2004. Reprinted by permission of the author.

9

10 DAVID C. RAPOPORT

THE WAVE PHENOMENA

Modern terror began in Russia in the 1880s and within a decade appeared in Western Europe, the Balkans, and Asia. A generation later the wave was com- pleted. Anarchists initiated the wave, and their primary strategy-assassination campaigns against prominent officials-was adopted by virtually all the other groups of the time, even those with nationalist aims in the Balkans and India.

Significant examples of secular rebel terror existed earlier, but they were specific to a particular time and country. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK), for ex- ample, made a striking contribution to the decision of the federal government to end Reconstruction, but the KKK had no contemporary parallels or emulators. 5

The “Anarchist wave” was the first global or truly international terrorist experience in history;6 three similar, consecutive, and overlapping expressions followed. The “anticolonial wave” began in the 1920s and lasted about forty years. Then came the “New Left wave,” which diminished greatly as the twen- tieth century closed, leaving only a few groups still active today in Nepal, Spain, the United Kingdom, Peru, and Colombia. In 1979 a “religious wave” emerged; if the pattern of its three predecessors is relevant it could disappear by 2025, at which time a new wave might emerge.7 The uniqueness and per- sistence of the wave experience indicates that terror is deeply rooted in mod- ern culture.

The wave concept-an unfamiliar notion-is worth more attention. Aca- demics focus on organizations, and there are good reasons for this orientation. Organizations launch terror campaigns, and governments are always primarily concerned to disable those organizations. 8 Students of terrorism also focus un- duly on contemporary events, which makes us less sensitive to waves because the life cycle of a wave lasts at least a generation.9

What is a wave? It is a cycle of activity in a given time period-a cycle characterized by expansion and contraction phases. A crucial feature is its in- ternational character; similar activities occur in several countries, driven by a common predominant energy that shapes the participating groups’ character- istics and mutual relationships. As their name-“Anarchist,” “anticolonial,” “New Left,” and “Religious”-suggest, a different energy drives each.

Each wave’s name reflects its dominant but not its only feature. Nationalist organizations in various numbers appear in all waves, for example, and each wave shaped its national elements differently. The Anarchists gave them tactics and often training. Third-wave nationalist groups displayed profoundly left- wing aspirations, and nationalism serves or reacts to religious purposes in the fourth wave. All groups in the second wave had nationalist aspirations, but the wave is termed anticolonial because the resisting states were powers that had become ambivalent about retaining their colonial status. That ambivalence ex- plains why the wave produced the first terrorist successes. In other waves, that ambivalence is absent or very weak, and no nationalist struggle has succeeded.

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