Rethinking the Roots of Terrorism by Jason Franks (auth.)

By Jason Franks (auth.)

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67 24 Rethinking the Roots of Terrorism However, the use or indeed misuse of terrorism has been recognised and scepticism has been voiced. 68 Moreover, Chomsky identifies the existence of ‘image’ and ‘reality’ concepts of terrorism. ‘Reality’ he argues, is ‘literal terrorism’, which is an identifiable and real threat to the state. 69 These ideas relating to internal state terrorism can also be seen as counter or anti-terrorism, as both advantages and disadvantages. 70 This argument is particularly relevant in the approach of many post-September 11 states that have introduced national emergency anti-terrorism laws that blatantly contravene individual human rights.

85 Individuals and nations, he continues, developed an understanding and belief in ‘natural rights’ especially for the creation of a representative state. These beliefs, enshrined in the concept of the state, have been instrumental in the cause of terrorism since the French Revolution. 86 These types of asymmetric power challenges from non-state actors are widely regarded as some of the main causes of terrorism, especially in orthodox terrorism theory. The irony is however, that these expressions of violence are enshrined in the western value systems of freedom and liberty that helped establish the state in the first instance.

165 Internal group dynamics can also produce an increasingly intractable situation where the only action is violence. Groups can become exclusively orientated towards violence, as it becomes their sole mode of communication. Crenshaw suggests that indoctrination of group members is such that they are forced to commit acts of violence. This is a prerequisite for acceptance into the group and also ensures group cohesion, as members can no longer return to wider orthodox society. 167 This can also be accompanied by ‘organisational violence’ within the group to ensure discipline and loyalty.

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