Rise of Terrorism in the 1990’s
Terrorism can be defined as the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal. Both terrorists and terrorism's explainers are influenced by dominant trends in political and scholarly thought. Terrorists—people who threaten or use violence against civilians with the hope of changing the status quo—perceive the status quo in ways that accord with the era they live in. People who explain terrorism are also influenced by prominent trends in their professions. These trends change over time. In the 1980s and 1990s, terrorism began to appear in the range of right wing, neo-Nazi or neo-fascist, racist groups. Like the terrorist actors that preceded them, these violent groups reflected the extreme edge of a broader and not-necessarily violent backlash against developments during the civil rights era. White, Western European or American men, in particular, grew fearful of a world beginning to grant recognition, political rights, economic franchise and freedom of movement (in the form of immigration) to ethnic minorities and women, who might seem to be taking their jobs and position. In Europe and the United States, as well as elsewhere, the 1980s represented a time when the welfare state had expanded in the United States and Europe, the agitation of the civil rights movement had produced results, and globalization, in the form of multi-national corporations, had gotten underway, producing economic dislocation among many who depended on manufacturing for a living.
Hezbollah is a radical Shia group formed in 1982 in Lebanon that is strongly anti-Western and anti-Israeli. Closely allied with, and often directed by, Iran but may have conducted operations that were not approved by Tehran. Known or suspected to have been involved in numerous anti-U.S. terrorist attacks, including the suicide truck bombing of the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in October 1983 and the U.S. Embassy annex in Beirut in September 1984. Elements of the group were responsible for the kidnapping and detention of U.S. and other Western hostages in Lebanon. The group also attacked the Israeli Embassy in Argentina in 1992 and is a suspect in the 1994 bombing of the Israeli cultural center in Buenos Aires. Operates in the Bekaa Valley, the southern suburbs of Beirut, and southern Lebanon. Has established cells in Europe, Africa, South America, North America, and Asia. Receives substantial amounts of financial, training, weapons, explosives, political, diplomatic, and organizational aid from Iran and Syria.
The year 1979 was a turning point in international terrorism. Throughout the Arab world and the West, the Iranian Islamic revolution sparked fears of a wave of revolutionary Shia Islam. Meanwhile, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the subsequent anti-Soviet mujahedeen war, lasting from 1979 to 1989, stimulated the rise and expansion of terrorist groups. Indeed, the growth of a post-jihad pool of well-trained, battle-hardened militants is a key trend in contemporary international terrorism and insurgency-related violence. Volunteers from various parts of the Islamic world fought in Afghanistan, supported by conservative countries such as Saudi Arabia. In Yemen, for instance, the Riyadh-backed Islamic Front was established to provide financial, logistical, and training support for Yemeni volunteers. So called "Arab-Afghans" have and are using their experience to support local insurgencies in North Africa, Kashmir, Chechnya, China, Bosnia, and the Philippines. In the West, attention was focused on state sponsorship, specifically the Iranian-backed and Syrian-supported Hezbollah; state sponsors' use of secular Palestinian groups was also of concern. Hezbollah pioneered the use of suicide bombers in the Middle East,...
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