Terrorism from above

On the other hand, “terrorism from above” involves terrorism practiced by “those outside dominant groups and institutions, intended to produce fear and anxiety in established groups, institutions, and their stakeholders” (Nyomi, 24 September 2004). “Terrorism from below occurs when persons use, or threaten to use, political violence either to undermine or overthrow existing governmental policies or structures, or to intimidate individuals and groups they perceive as threatening to the social, political, economic, or ideological status quo” (Vohryzek-Bolden et al 2001, p.

12). Example of terrorism from below is the socialist and anarchist influences that sparked Haymarket Square Riot in nineteenth-century Europe. 2. Summarize the approaches to political violence Mao, Guevara, Marighella, and Fanon. Which domestic terror groups from the past or present would you identify with these different approaches? Explain your position. Mao Tse Tung, Che Guevara, and Carlos Marighella had good intentions about using political violence.

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These people had adapted guerrilla warfare to distinctly rural and urban locales; proposed that terror was to be used as a way to change existing political structures and transform them into Marxist governmental systems; and determined that terror was a tool to be used only to overthrow the abusers of power, never against innocent civilians. On the other hand, Franz Fanon revised their tactics by claiming that terror was a useful, justifiable means for achieving freedom and, in some cases, for acting as a cleansing force necessary to survival.

Thereafter, some terrorists had devised a version of their concepts that terror was not merely to be used as a means to gain an end, but rather as an end unto itself (Vohryzek et al 2001, p. 69-70). Like Mao, Guevara and Marighella, the protracted conflicts Irish Republican Army (IRA) and, more recently, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) of Northern Ireland have similar ways to deal with political violence.

The “troubles” between England and Ireland are centuries old; the independent Irish Free State, however, was not established until 1920, after years of struggle by the illegal Irish Republican Army, which combined terrorism and guerilla warfare in its battle with England. At that time, England retained the largely Protestant northern counties of Ireland, called Ulster, and gave them special status as an entity within Great Britain.

Although this partition of Ireland was vehemently opposed by the newly independent Irish Free State, it continued and developed a certain legitimacy over the years. The IRA tactics, but not its goals, were immensely criticized by the Republic of Ireland during the post-independence era. Choice of tactics also led to the rupture between the PIRA and the OIRA (Official Irish Republican Army) in the early 1970s. The OIRA now tries to work for peaceful reform, while the PIRA remains a terrorist organization (Maxon-Browne, 1981).

The PIRA’s aim is to dislodge the British troops from Ulster and unite this area with the Republic. Through bombings in England and attacks on British soldiers in England and Northern Ireland, it hopes to wear down British resistance to unification. Each year there are tragic cases of the murder of civilians and soldiers. In 1990 a terrorist attack against the residence of the British prime minister was narrowly averted, and in 1992 the IRA stepped up its campaign of terror, with frequent bombings and bomb threats.