Terrorism has not been a stranger to the America History. During the early days of the republic, hundreds of Americans were taken hostage of the high seas by the Barbary Pirates of North Africa. Their sufferings evoked great sympathy in the country and led to the first Arms-For-Hostages Deal and the first counter military operation in the US history. But although anti-US terrorism has been a frequent event overseas, relatively few spectacular incidents have occurred on the American soil. The bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 killed 6 people and left thousands injured when a car bomb exploded in an underground parking garage of one of the twin towers. Yet as shocking as that incident was, it had all but faded from public attention by spring 1995. The American people believed that the worst was behind them.
In the world of terrorism it takes only one well-placed bomb to create new fears and reactions. That is what happened on the morning of April 19th 1995 when a car bomb exploded in front of the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 169 people. It worst terrorist attack ever on US soil, and it struck a special nerve through out America. As millions of people watched on television the heart wrenching scene of dead children being pulled from the wreckage. The Oklahoma City tragedy brought public and media attention to the rise of the right ring militias. The US was still recovering from the shock of the Oklahoma City bombing when a new terrorist crisis erupted in June. This time a familiar individual was behind the trouble: the collusive “Unabomber”. Over a 17 year period he committed 16 attacks in which 3 innocent people were killed and 22 others injured.
All terrorist attacked are committed due to a special reason. The Unabomber’s goal was to destroy what he called the “Industrial-Technological System” of modern society. A common thread running through many acts of terrorism is the creation of fear in the general population. Terrorism is the psychological form of warfare, which terrorists often staging their violence to reach wider audience than their immediate target. By hijacking a plane with a few hundred passengers on bored, terrorists deliver a message to all people in a foreign country. By blowing up a building and killing scores of people, terrorists demonstrate that they can arbitrarily take the lives of innocent people.
On 11th September 2001, the most recent atrocity committed on the innocent people in New York took attention of all resulting the loss of 7000 lives by the destruction of a section of the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in Manhattan. American government investigated the matter and declared Osama Bin Ladin as the prime suspect and started “War against Terrorism” as they say it, in Afghanistan. Terrorism on American soil has had a much deeper psychological impact on the country than anti-US terrorism overseas.
The barbarians who wrecked havoc on the New York City and Washington D.C. bore Islamic names irrespective of whether they were practicing Muslims or not. Critics conveniently can argue that a religion is known by the acts and practice of its adherence. To counter such propaganda, Muslims have to prove through their deeds and actions that they do not support terrorism in any of its forms.
“As regards to terrorism every country will have to look within. None has a clean state. All nations must calm down on their extremists. It is a war of values institutions and human behavior and not against”, wrote Kulpid Nayyar recently. It has become obvious that terrorism is a complex matter. Terrorism is disease that should be stopped because if initiatives are not taken to halt the actions of terrorists, they will go on taking lives of innocent people. Governments have to make sacrifices and give the pursuit to end terrorism first priority.