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Homegrown Terrorism

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There are individuals and groups within a particular country who engage in the acts of terrorizing members of their own society. This is a different kind of terrorism which is homegrown and is not influenced by any foreign organizations (Perl, 2003). The homegrown terrorists based in United States are those individuals who plan the actions of terrorist attacks within the country and do not come from another nation with the intention of perpetrating any terrorist attack (Krueger, 2008). In this research paper we examine the homegrown terrorists in the United States so as to understand their reasoning and available means of preventing, disrupting as well as interdicting terrorist attacks.

There has been little information that has been discussed in the academic and psychological cycles about how an individual can voluntary decide to become a terrorist and whether there can be any steps taken to prevent individuals with those radical thoughts from actualizing their thoughts by joining violent extremist groups (National Defense Industrial Association, 2010). There has been a lot of research on the root causes of terrorism but it has not led to a conclusion of particular motivation but rather suggestions of possible root causes.

One of the theories forwarded on the causes of homegrown terrorists is the poverty which breeds radicalization. This is where the poor individuals get annoyed by the society which does not meet their needs and turns to attacks in anger. They become radicals in their thoughts and as such would want to attack their own societies in retaliation of their poverty status which they believe to be caused by the failure of their own governments and organization systems. However, it is worth noting that poverty is not the only cause because there are individuals from well educated and middle-class backgrounds who engage in the extremist activities. Therefore it cannot be concluded that it is purely caused by poverty (National Defense Industrial Association, 2010).

There is also radicalization associated with the influence of groups. There are groups which are formed for the purpose of defending the society but turn to violent extremists in the camps. The few radicalized men in turn influence the entire group giving rise to a fully blown homegrown terrorism. For instance, the men of Minnesota Somali population which was recruited in 2006 for the purpose of defense against invaders were radicalized in Somalia camps. Although the idea of defending a homeland is not in itself a bad idea, it becomes a definite cause of homeland terrorism where they turn radical and deviate from their original purpose and engage in violent acts of terrorism (National Defense Industrial Association, 2010).

The economic deprivation and lack of education cause individuals to develop extreme views and turn to homegrown terrorism. This reason has been appealed to several leaders and prominent intellectuals. There is a very high connection of lack of education to the growth of homegrown terrorists as indicated by government officials (Krueger, 2008). When individuals lack education they end up lacking jobs as well making them live miserable lives. Out of the desperation they end up with radical thoughts against fellow citizens and their own governments which ultimately lead them to terrorism.

The other cause is the political extremism (Krueger, 2008). This is where the youth are involved in the cruel politics and hate to certain political alienation. As a result they engage in acts of violence against perceived political party as well as its members. The development of wrong attitude for political rewards by their own parties becomes evident and as a result lead to emergence of homegrown terrorism. Several political parties may have hired youths for political mileage and popularity purposes during election times. However, after elections there may be no more money to maintain their payment. Failure to be paid may make them to be violent. Therefore political extremism breeds homegrown terrorism if not well controlled.

Most homegrown terrorists are not motivated by any material gain because of the rate at which suicide volunteers are increasing. They are rather driven by political goals that they believe will be achieved with their terror actions. The target is usually against the democracy rather than the autocracy and especially on the influential regions of the United States. The terrorist are concerned about the political outcomes in their countries and would be interested in influencing their outcomes. The extremist individuals are not so desperately poor to live for nothing but are people who care intensely and passionately about a certain cause and are willing to die for its accomplishment (Krueger, 2008).

The racism is another cause of homegrown terrorism which is encouraged by culture differences. The racist crusade against the African Americans as well as their white sympathizers was not restricted leading to violent actions since 1865. The counterculture groups developed in the United States, staging robberies in banks and kidnapping as well as assassination of citizens and government officials for vague formulated political and social ideals (Perl, 2003).

The other cause of homegrown terrorism is attitude and beliefs. This reason saw the rise of homegrown terror attacks in the 1990s in the United States. The fierce antigovernment views created a bad attitude causing the motivation of terrorism in the country (Perl, 2003). With the rise of the weird beliefs that the government is not doing enough to support its citizens give rise to the extremist groups within the country. These groups perpetrate violence in protest to the governments. Continued violence against the government and the citizens is summed as terrorism activities even though they had no such intentions.

Moreover, homegrown terrorists grow out of mystical religious credos (Perl, 2003). The homegrown terrorists are associated to Muslim religion and their mystical beliefs. Most of the United States homegrown terrorists have links to Muslim faith. It is important to note that even the American counterintelligence focuses on the potential Islamic terrorist threats. Therefore, there is a high relationship between homegrown terrorists as well as their religious beliefs which may accelerate the extremist groups.

There are other homegrown terrorists which are recruited over the internet. They view the activities of other terrorists posted over the internet with detailed accounts of their activities and end up joining the homegrown groups over the internet. The local content of available terrorism opportunities enables a faster growing rate of homegrown terrorism (Nelson & Bodurian, 2010).

The technological advance in communication is another accelerator of homegrown terrorism. This is because a lot of extremists are communicating online via e-mail, Facebook, YouTube or several extremist chat rooms. This phenomenon of technology radicalization through the internet has been happening over considerable time. There have been several reports detailing the growth and the potential of internet radicalization (Nelson & Bodurian, 2010).

The majority of the United States homegrown terrorists are made up of right-wing conspirators, religious cults members, antigay  and antiabortion activists as well as individuals who are in disagreement with the federal government. Their actions are well calculated to injure or kill many citizens as possible so as to make a statement or rather pass certain messages. However, some of their intentions may not be clear in all circumstances but the terrorist effects can be as lethal as those with clear cut agendas.

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