The author of this text, Walter Laqueur, has produced written accounts of the history of terrorism, the origins of terrorism, modern terrorism, and the future of terrorism. Also included in this text among the smaller sections is the use of weapons of mass destruction, terrorist motives, and how terrorism is related to other outside influences.
The origins of terrorism were provided in early history through the acts of the sicari, a Jewish extremist faction. These were the first terrorist of history to use guerilla tactics that attacked other Jews. There were many groups to follow these pioneers of terrorism. Another group, the Order of the Assassins who spanned over the eleventh century. There were other groups around that time but they were considered secret societies.
The first to adopt the philosophy to use weapons of mass destruction were Karl Heinzen and Johann Most. These two men believed that killing was politically necessary. The odd thing is that they only wrote this and did not practice what they preached. Both these men were German radicals who moved to the U.S. to be able to publish their thoughts.
On to the early 1960’s terrorism was not limited to Europe. America and Japan experienced internal terrorism. Other countries that dealt with terrorism were Turkey and Palestine. Several other smaller Middle Eastern became involved with terrorist activities.
The U.S. terrorist problems came from the Black Panthers, a militant group comprised of young African-Americans, and the Weathermen, young middle-class whites. These two groups had very different motives behind their actions; The Black Panthers dealt with the struggles of the minority equality and advocated e...
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I think Laqueur’s thesis was that Terrorism can come from anywhere and that any type of motive can drive a person, group, or country into committing terrorist acts. This thesis statement is well supported throughout each chapter. Speaking of which I felt that each chapter could have been its own little book on terrorism because there was no fluidity in the text. By this I mean that the chapters were independent from one another and that the whole text did not flow like a novel would. I guess that was the purpose Laqueur had in mind while writing this book.
Once again I don’t feel that the text was terrible but I do feel that it is limited to being informative. This text has to be read and analyzed after each chapter in order to get the full comprehension of terrorism. Laqueur is a good author and he knows what terrorism is and how it functions.
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