The Lure and the Law of Homicide

Report
Murderous Terror
Higgins O’Brien
Spring 2012
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The FBI defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of
force or violence against persons or property to
intimidate or coerce a government, civilian
population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of
political or social objective”.
Hate homicide and acts of terror are closely related,
with the line between them not always clear
Often random and symbolic
International Terrorism
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The al Qaeda attack on the World Trade Center
towers resulted in some 3,000 deaths, with victims
from 78 different nations
Following the attacks of Sept. 11th, the United States
initiated Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan
and expanded federal powers under the Patriot Act
80% of Americans expressed willingness to forfeit
certain freedoms for the sake of security
Currently U.S. forces are still in the region, and a
modified version of the Patriot Act remains in force
Homegrown Terrorism
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2/3 of all terrorist attacks in the United States are
perpetrated by citizens inside the country
Offenders have a grudge against the government,
a group of people, or all of humankind
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Feel frustrated and powerless to change society
Have utopian beliefs about the world
Socially isolated, and willing to kill
The Unabomber
Derrick Shareef
Timothy Mcveigh
Prison as a Terrorist Recruiting
Center and American Muslims
As of 2010, there are more than 300 terrorists in U.S.
federal prisons
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Some are concerned about a growing terrorist inmate
population, and the prevalence of Islam in prisons
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Inmates can receive training/guidance from others
* However it is a mistake to assume American Muslims
will side with radical religious fringe groups
* In contrast to Europe, many Muslims have integrated
with high salary jobs and higher education in the U.S
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Left Wing vs. Right Wing Terrorists
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In the 1960's-1980's most domestic terrorism
came from political extremists on the left
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Marxist-communists
Socialists
Puerto Rican Nationalists
These individuals tended to be young, well
educated, upper-middle class, and from urban
areas
Many were African and Latino Americans, and
about 1/3 were women
Left Wing vs. Right Wing Terrorists
Continued
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Since the mid-1980's most cases of domestic
terrorism have been for right wing extremist causes
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White Supremacy
Against a communist controlled government
These individuals tend to be middle aged white
males, lacking a college degree, and likely to be
unemployed
Against minority rights
Survivalists who withdraw from conventional society
“Christian Identity”, a theological basis that believes
white Christians are superior to others
Left Wing vs. Right Wing Terrorists
Continued
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Reasons for why the extremist right was
invigorated in recent years
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Federal Gun Control Legislation
ATF agents accidently kill a white supremacists' pregnant wife and
young son (Randy Weaver)
FBI siege on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX
Militia's feel threatened by government, and
there tends to be overlap between these groups
and hate groups
Single Issue Terrorism
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Do not have a broad ideological position, but are
against a particular “evil” they see in society
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Environmental Pollution
Animal Abuse
Genetic Engineering
Abortion
Company Policies
Often cause millions of dollars in property
damage, but have also been responsible for murder
The Impact of Murderous
Terror
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Terror attacks are complex, it is difficult to
address all of the problems involved
Offenders are motivated for a variety of issues
The fighting between Palestine and Israel is
evidence that certain groups do not want peace
The 9/11 attacks have had a profound impact on
the United States
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Emotionally
Financially
Culturally
Determining Future Policy

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