Terrorism

Task 1: Find and write down the definition of terrorism and extremism.

Task 2: Watch this video.

Task 3: Read the following profiles.

ISIS

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is a jihadist (holy war) militant group that follows a very strict version of Sharia law. They gained global prominence in early 2014 when it drove Iraqi government forces out of key cities in its Western Iraq offensive, followed by its capture of Mosul and the Sinjar massacre.

This group has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations the United Kingdom and many individual countries. ISIS is widely known for its videos of beheadings of both soldiers and civilians, including journalists and aid workers, and its terrorist attacks across the world. The United Nations holds ISIS responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes and Amnesty International have charged the group with ethnic cleansing on a massive “historic scale” in northern Iraq such as the mass killing and selling as slaves of the Yazidi people and selling as slaves of their women and girls.

Lord’s Resistance Army

The Lord’s Resistance Army is a terrorist group led by Joseph Kony, who proclaims himself the “spokesperson” of God and a spirit medium. It aims to overthrow the Ugandan government and establish a theocratic state based on the Ten Commandments.

This has resulted in a crisis of widespread human rights violations as they regularly conduct awful crimes including including mutilation, torture, slavery, rape, the abduction of civilians, the use of child soldiers, and a number of massacres. By 2004, the LRA had abducted more than 20,000 children, while 1.5 million civilians had been displaced and an estimated 100,000 civilians killed. 

SPEAR OF THE NATION

“The Spear of the Nation was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC) political group, co-founded by Nelson Mandela a Christian and a lawyer in the wake of the Sharpeville massacre (mass killing) where peaceful demonstrators against the racists South African government at the time were murdered. Its founding represented the conviction in the face of the massacre that the ANC could no longer limit itself to nonviolent protest; its mission was to fight against the South African government.

After warning the South African government in June 1961 of its intent to resist further acts of government instituted terror if the government did not take steps toward constitutional reform and increase political rights, MK launched its first attacks against government installations on 16 December 1961. They blew up train stations, power stations and telephone lines and tried to avoid innocent people although there were casualties. It was subsequently classified as a terrorist organisation by the South African government and the United States, and banned.

Al Qaeda

Al Qaeda started out as a military group backed by countries such as the USA to fight against the Soviet (Russian) invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Today however it is seen as a terrorist group as they  conduct attacks on civilian and military targets in various countries, including the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings, the September 11 attacks, and the 2002 Bali bombings. The U.S. government responded to the September 11 attacks by launching the “War on Terror” and Afghanistan.

Al-Qaeda’s leaders regard liberal Muslims, Shias, Sufis and other sects and types of Muslims as heretical and its members and sympathizers have attacked their mosques and gatherings. Examples of sectarian attacks include the Yazidi community bombings, the Sadr City bombings, the Ashoura massacre and the April 2007 Baghdad bombings.

Task 4: Research and write a similar profile for the IRA, which are another group who have used violence.

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