Assignment Task - Part A
“Unlike criminals, terrorists study the past. Is it possible to gain an understanding of current terrorist operations and motivations by studying history?”
Terrorism over time has evolved and mutated into a form of warfare utilised by individuals and organisations as a means to an end. That end could have many facets including, political turmoil, the furthering of religious ideas, the subjugation of communities, and the fight against oppression, the stabilisation of political strength and many other motivators. Most terrorist organisations or movements are constructed on religious ideals or anti-government sentiments. These ideas or sentiments are then manifested in extreme violent acts to achieve their aims of political or religious change.
But to understand terrorism and the people that perpetrate it we must first try and understand its evolution and to achieve this we must explore the past. Many current terrorist organisations are inspired by historical events and they often justify their actions in terms of theoretical arguments hundreds, even thousands, of years old. Studying the history of terrorist organisations could give investigators of current terrorist trends an insight into how to stem the flow of terrorist operations in the 21st century. As they say, history repeats itself and because of this it is prudent to examine the past in an attempt to predict the future (Griset & Mahan, 2003).
The history of terrorism is as old as the willingness of individuals or organisations to use violence to achieve political change. The early centuries introduced us to a number of groups that could, under today’s interpretations be classified as terrorist organisations. The Sicarii were a Jewish group who murdered enemies and collaborators in their campaign to oust their Roman rulers from Judea. The Hashhashin whose name gave us the English word "assassins," were a covert Islamic group who actively committed...