Terrorism is a problem that is of great concern to all people in every part of the world. Even though the attacks do not happen quite often, each attack leaves a trail of damage in terms of the number of casualties and the economic destabilization of the given nation. Unfortunately, terrorism, unlike petty crime or narcotics, cannot be eliminated. Rather, it can only be reduced and managed to a point where people can go on with their lives in relative peace. Terrorist groups are often categorized by their motivation, and they could include revolutionary groups driven by the need to overthrow the existing structure of government and replace it with their perceived social or political order. At the same time, nationalistic groups are motivated by the need to put their needs and their interests above those of other nations, while ethnocentric groups are driven by the view that race is the basis of cohesion, and it should define society. This paper seeks insight on terrorist groups as well as their ideologies and motivations.
The types of terrorists that are considered the most dangerous ones are religious terrorists who are motivated by religious grievances and ideologies. This type of terrorists is particularly dangerous since they are fanatics who are always willing to sacrifice themselves for the cause to the extent where they can achieve their goals through suicide bomb attacks. These people often base their arguments on religious teachings and even encourage other people to appreciate the act of self-sacrifice. The terrorists see their acts as holy; therefore, they are non-negotiable or infallible. The most prominent group of religious terrorists is the Al-Qaeda group. Furthermore, the terrorists of revolutionary type are also dangerous since they achieve their goals by disrupting the social or political order in a given place in a bid to replace it with their own type of rule. This may bring unending wars among people and nations. Moreover, it generally disrupts the lives and the economy of a nation, and it often takes time to stabilize the situation in a country that suffers from such terrorists.
The Al-Qaeda group is an international religious terrorist organization based in different countries, and it carries out its attacks across borders. The religious terrorist group was founded by Osama bin Laden. In February 1998, Osama bin Laden issued a religious ruling calling for a holy war throughout the world in a bid to eradicate Jews and Christians. The leader was not happy with the presence of the US military in Saudi Arabia and the manner, in which their culture influence the Islamic nations. The main objectives of this group are their quest to drive Americans and their influence out of all the Muslim nations, the most important of which is Saudi Arabia. Their other objective is to destroy Israel and to overturn the pro-Western dictatorships throughout the Middle East. In addition, the group aims to unite all Muslims by any means possible and to establish an Islamic nation that adheres to the rules of the first Caliph. The ideology of this group, which is referred to as jihadism, is signified by their readiness to kill Muslims who defect from religion and their emphasis on jihad. This ideology has a strong connection to the increasing numbers of suicide bombers in many parts of the world.
Boko Haram is another religious terrorist group that has caused great harm in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, through abductions, bombings, and assassinations. This terror group is considered domestic, and it promotes a version of Muslim termed as ‘haram’ that bans Muslims from taking part in social or political activities associated with the Western nations. Some of these activities include getting secular education, taking part in elections, and even wearing trousers and shirts. According to the group, Nigeria has always been run by non-believers. The group has always held on to this notion, and even the Muslim president they once had could not change this view. The official name of the group is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna, which means people who are committed to spreading the teachings of the prophet and the propagation of jihad. Thus, the group strives to propagate their agenda of establishing a Muslim nation made of believers.
The main objective of the Boko Haram terrorist group is to establish a strict Sharia rule in Northern Nigeria that has a high population of Muslims. A number of states have already implemented this type of governance, but the terrorist group still feels that they violate Islam since they are too lenient. Their ultimate objective is to ensure that all humankind is brought under the Sharia governance not only in Nigeria but also all over the world. The group pledges its allegiance to Osama bin Laden, the former Al-Qaeda leader, who encouraged the barring of any practice that was not in line with the Sharia law. The ideology of this group is a deeply rooted anti-western ideology that strives to ignore all forms of Western civilization. The ideology was formed by their leader, the late Mohamed Yusuf, who was against the evolution theory and the scientific explanations for natural phenomena such as rainfall. The anti-western acts have led to the ruthless treatment of people who accept the western culture by embracing their language, culture, and way of life.
The Haqqani Network is an ethnocentric terrorist group mainly based in Afghanistan. The group is domestic since most of the people in it are locals. The group also receives funding from a number of local wealthy Arabs. Even though the US State Department only recognized it as a terrorist group in the late 20th century, the network has always been and still is the most lethal strain of the anti-US insurgency in Afghanistan. This group is always blamed for any terror attacks that hit Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. One of the most feared concepts of this group is their deep tribal relations in eastern Afghanistan and the fact that they are always willing to host other terrorist groups that instill fear in the heart of Afghanistan and Pakistan. This makes it hard to fight this wave of terrorism since they can fit and hide anywhere.
The main objective of the Haqqani Network is to dominate the southern and eastern boarders of Afghanistan to establish a firewall against the national, northern Indian, and US influence. The other objective of the group is to serve the interest of Pakistan by being the main influencers of Afghanistan’s Ghilzai Pashtun lands and organizing the tribes in these areas in a manner consistent with Pakistan’s interests. The ideologists of this group are committed insurgents who are always on the lookout to increase their territorial reach. The attitude to conquer and rule based on racial divisions is arguably the backbone of the group.
Terrorism has been on the rise due to the strength and dominance the groups have acquired over the years of their activity. There are various types of terrorists, but the most dangerous of these are the religious terror groups whose activities have thrived and caused great harm to many people all over the world. Terrorists often strive to achieve unrealistic objectives in the most unconventional ways, and most of them are not afraid to lose their lives in the process. Thus, all nations have a great responsibility in their fight against terrorism and the quest to bring relative peace in most places in the world.