Terrorism and Selective Violent Tactics Essay

Terrorism Jamie Butler 18 April 2013 Introduction to Terrorism: DSC 2002 In today’s news you tend to hear a lot about terrorists or terrorist threats - Terrorism and Selective Violent Tactics Essay introduction. But have you ever wondered what all this means? What first comes to mind for most people is that somewhere in the world there are people who are trying to put fear into people. But is that the only type of terrorism that that there is in this world. Within this paper I will define what the different types of terrorism there are, as well as giving give two examples of terrorist scenarios.

First, I will start by defining what terrorism is exactly. Terrorism is typically defined as synthesis of war and theater, a dramatization of the most proscribed kind of violence- that which is perpetuated on innocent victims- played before and audience in the hope of creating a mood of fear, for political purposes. Terrorism has two categories International terrorism which mostly occurs outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, and Domestic which mainly occurs within the United States (Combs, pg 5).

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Within those two categories of terrorism, it is broken down into five different typologies. Those typologies are; mass terror, dynastic assassination, random terror, focused random terror and lastly tactical terror. The first typology is mass terror which is terror by a state, where the regime coerces the opposition in the population, whether organized or unorganized, sometimes in an institutionalized manner (Combs, pg12). This form or terrorism is most commonly committed by political leaders and is targeted to the general population.

Dynastic assassination is an attack upon a head of state or a ruling elite. This is the kind of terrorism that the international community tried to criminalize in the mid-nineteenth century. This form uses very selective violent tactics (Combs, pg 13). Next, you have random terror; this involves the placing of explosives where people gather (such as offices, railroads and cafes) to destroy whoever happens to be there. An example of this terrorism that we can relate to would be the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.

With focused random terror restricts the placing of explosives, for example to where significant agents of oppression are likely to gather. The final typology of terrorism is called tactical terror. Tactical terror is directed solely against the ruling government as a part of a “broad revolutionary strategic plan” (Combs, pg 12). In this week’s reading about what terrorism really is it gave four examples for us to decipher which one(s) truly showed the signs of being terrorist attacks and why. One of the examples that they gave is the shooting at Columbine High School.

To me this is a reflection of tactical and focused random terrorism. Based on the fact that everything the two shooters did was completely planned out. They were prepared with pipe bombs that they placed in specific areas throughout the school. The focus of them doing what they did was fueled by their dislike of specific groups in the school that would treat them as though they were outcasts. Reference Combs, C. C. (2013). Terrorism in the twenty-first century, 7th edition. Boston, MA: Pearson

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