Homegrown Terrorism: The Threat Within
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR TECHNOLOGY AND NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY
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The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2002 orchestrated from Afghanistan and carried out by foreign nationals startled and frightened people the world over. Events since have produced a disquieting fear of quite another stripe that of the homegrown terrorist. More than 200 died, and some 1,500 were wounded as a result of terrorist attacks in Spain on March 11, 2004, just days before the nations general elections. In the Netherlands, the November 2, 2004, murder of the cinematographer Theo Van Gogh by an Islamic fundamentalist prompted a wholesale re-look at Dutch laws and policies regarding terrorism. England was rocked, July 7, 2005, by attacks on the London transportation system that killed 37 and injured some 200 others. The attackers in each of these cases were not emissaries of al Qaeda they were citizens and residents who were sending a message to their own governments. This paper attempts to illustrate how difficult, if not impossible, it is to find root causes of domestic terrorism that are of general applicability. There may be similarities from one nation to another, but focusing on such similarities may well lead the analyst astray. The fact that each terrorist sought to cause fear in their fellow countrymen may well be the only common denominator. It is likely to be more important to focus on the unique cultural stamp of the individual nation to assess the reason for violence-prone disquietude among its citizens and residents.
- Unconventional Warfare