Why do Terrorists use Terror Tactics

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Last updated: November 10, 2019

Terrorists aim to cause panic and fear to get what they want, whatever it may be. Such as, the IRA who wanted freedom for Ireland, Al Qaeda who wants British and American troupes and influence out of Arab lands and Black September who wanted the release of Arabic prisoners, they all want to get their own way by terrorising people into giving them it.Terror tactics are what the terrorists use to achieve their motives and terrorists use the tactics in different ways to gain maximum impact and provoke a reaction from the public which will help them in their struggle.

One major reason why terrorists use terror tactics is the huge global publicity which can be gained when they attack a well known landmark or specific people.Nearly all terrorists attacks try to achieve publicity such as 9/11 and the London bombings which are both horrific attacks which cost hundreds of lives and therefore it is know world wide and in great detail however, the incident in Tiananmen where the government of China attack a group of protestors which had been peacefully campaigning for democracy and killed huge amounts, the exact numbers are still unknown because the Chinese government don’t want to publicise that they attacked their own people which is the complete opposite in this respect compared to the Al Qaeda bombings.Another major reason why terrorists use terror tactics is to undermine the will and morale of a country or community causing fear in the public and making people afraid that something else is going to happen, in Tiananmen square the government did not want the people protesting against them so they thought that to set an example and get rid of the pest they would use brutal killing to get their point across which will terrify other protestors and therefore appear strong to their own country.

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Many terrorist groups want to appear big and strong although they may not always be such as the Munich massacre where a small and relatively unknown terrorists group, Black September, held 9 Israeli athletes hostage and caused the morale of Israelis to sink down a lot knowing that some of their favourite athletes were in a life or death situation. A lot of the time countries are at war and the terrorists use terror tactics to influence the outcome of the war, so just another weapon to win a war.An example of this is the extreme and unforgettable bombings of the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki by American air force.

The horrific event occurred on at 8. 15, on 6th August 1945, the B-29 bomber ‘Enola Gay’ dropped the first atomic bomb (nicknamed ‘Little Boy’) on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later another A-Bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. The effects were horrific the exact numbers of casualties were never discovered but they were estimated at around 70,000 to 100,000 deaths straight away and another 200,000 from radiation poisoning over the next 5 years.The purpose of this attack was to end the WW2 once and for all, it worked but at a huge cost for Japan.

Americans had also been considering a full scale invasion on Japan to force them to surrender but the estimated casualties for Americans had been over a million so it was rejected and another method of ending the war had to be found. America also wanted revenge for the Japanese attack on Pearl harbour.If terrorists have an aim or motive and need a government to submit to their demands they can put pressure on the government making the public think “why isn’t the government doing something? and causing outrage and making them turn against their own government and questioning if they really should be in power such as during the Hiroshima bombing. People expected the Japanese government to react and retaliate because they could not accept the fact that their country had been so brutally attacked and so many innocent civilians had died just to end a war that had nothing to do with the civilians who were murdered.The government knew that the attack was revenge from the Japanese attack on pearl harbour so if they retaliated they would just cause more harm to themselves so they never reacted back which may have annoyed many civilians in Japan. Terror tactics are used to achieve some immediate (short-term) aims e.

g. release of terrorists from their group being held as prisoners, perhaps by taking hostages such as the Munich Massacre where the Arabs demanded the release of 234 prisoners in Israeli jails and the release of two terrorist leaders held in Germany.They also demanded a safe passage out of Germany. The German authorities eventually agreed to the demands but ordered a rescue plan intended to kill all the terrorists. The plan went horribly wrong resulting in the deaths of all the Israelis and five of the 8 terrorists and one policeman.

They didn’t achieve their aims but it was their intent to achieve a direct goal which was not out of their grasp and would affect things right at that moment in time.A lot of these tactics have similarities between them and often when one aim is wanted to be achieved another is usually also achieved which may not be wanted such as the Chinese government in Tiananmen square when they wanted to show the Chinese public that they were in control but they strictly did not want other countries to know so they restricted all information about what happened but in the process of doing this they attract publicity because people want to know what happened so they gained publicity as a consequence of their actions even though they tried to avoid it.In conclusion to the question why do terrorists use terror tactics? I believe that terrorists use terror tactics to intimidate different groups of people or in some cases individuals into giving in to their demands but it is not their first course of action they would try to negotiate a way around so that they do not have to use violence but if it fails then some sort of action needs to be taken.Depending on their motive they will use different tactics in order to achieve their aim in the quickest and most successful way which will also have the largest impact on a nation or a particular group of people and often they use more than one different tactic to scare and cause more chaos which will aid their cause further.

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