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Explain and compare the political orientation and motive behind the usage of terrorist tactics by two of these groups: Al al-Qaeda, Hamas, and the release Tigers of Tamil Ealm.

Hamas, its existent rubric intending ‘Islamic Resistance Movement’ had originated as a spiritual and cultural motion in the Middle East giving societal aid to the needy. [ 1 ] The movement’s displacement towards one prepared to transport out terrorist activity stemmed from a radicalisation and politicisation in the late eightiess during which Hamas members began a reappraisal within the motion that concluded that it had been pretermiting jehad. By 1987, the Hamas Charter was proclaiming an political orientation declaring that the purpose of an Islamic motion should so be jihad. The charter stated that jehad against Christian and Jews was an single spiritual responsibility for every Muslim, that the Palestinian cause itself was a spiritual responsibility and that there was no room for a peaceable solution to the struggle. [ 2 ] Certainly though, this desire for jehad was mostly inspired by the local state of affairs and the business of Palestinian land by the Israeli province.

Hamas’ terrorist activities began around 1988-89, shortly after the eruption of the first Initifada. By 1993-94, the first self-destruction bombers had gone into action. Despite rhetoric about jehad, the motive for the new maneuver was mostly political. As Laquer concludes:

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“The timing of the operations was non random ; the more promising the peace dialogues, the greater were Hamas attempts to undermine them.” [ 3 ] A noticeable trait of those involved in early terrorist operations was that about all of the participants came from Gaza and its immediate locality. [ 4 ] Even more late, suicide bombers and activists from Hamas have remained mostly local, compared to the more international dimension to Al-Qaeda terrorists.

The motive for Hamas’s terrorist activities is by and large seen as more political and inextricably linked to the Palestinian cause. Surely anger towards and a desire for retaliation against the Israelis is a premier incentive – “The Israelis humiliate us. They occupy our land and deny our history.” [ 5 ] The thought of retaliation in peculiar is of import to Hamas militants, revenging the deceases of relations is a powerful incentive to the extent that the chase of the decease of the enemy can make an indifference to 1s ain decease. This can be on of the grounds that persons decide to set about suicide missions.

There are besides some spiritual motives behind Hamas terrorist tactics. The thought of martyrdom is of import to many Muslims, non least because of the prestigiousness that it can convey to one’s household within the community. A figure of suicide bombers besides hold the belief that they have been personally chosen by Allah for their missions, that there wickednesss will be absolved and that they will be able to mediate on behalf of relations in the hereafter.

The chief incentive for Hamas nevertheless is the local state of affairs of the Palestinians. Whilst there is a spiritual component to the group and some anti-Western feeling, Hamas chief purpose is to get the better of the province of Israel and reclaim Palestinian land. Its terrorist activities are about entirely confined to within the boundary lines of Israel and its members and voluntaries from within the Palestinian districts.

Al-Qaeda’s political orientations and motives are possibly more hard to specify. The perceptual experience that Al-Qaeda is a closely knit web of terrorists following the orders of a leading hierarchy led by Osama Bin Laden is wrong. Al-Qaeda today is more of an political orientation in itself that brings together those across the Earth who aspire to Islamic combativeness. It’s origins may good hold stemmed from the likes of Bin Laden who, at the terminal of the war with the Russian in Afghanistan, committed himself to a broad conflict against the West, yet it is clear today that many terrorist secret plans carried out by Muslim activists are non straight linked to Bin Laden.

Al-Qaeda’a motive is more by and large based than that of Hamas and is focussed more at planetary jehad than on the declaration of a more regional struggle such as the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Islamic combativeness and a battle against Western civilization is portion of the general Al-Qaeda political orientation, along with some more clearly defined grounds given at times. The presence of Western military personnels in Saudi Arabia for illustration has been given as a specific ground by Bin Laden to warrant terrorist onslaughts, whilst Western support for governments in the Middle East seen a s corrupt is besides a motive. Whilst those who would tie in themselves with an Al-Qaeda political orientation would doubtless back up the Palestinian cause, they have a wider worldview and greater aspirations. Burke writes that in the late 1990s Bin Laden and his associates received a figure of petitions from across the Earth for aid for terrorist operations. Burkes concludes “these petitions, like the recruits who carried them, originated in the immense wrapping of mostly immature work forces who are sufficiently motivated to desire to give significant proportions of their lives and energies to the most utmost terminal of Islamic militancy.” [ 6 ] Those behind what are termed Al-Qaeda onslaughts will subscribe to an Al-Qaeda universe position of planetary jehad. They may hold different readings of the Koran and what Islamic fundamentalism agencies and they may hold differing local political struggles to concentrate on, but there is a nucleus set of shared cardinal aims and thoughts. As Burke writes: “It is non about being portion of a group. It is a manner of believing about the universe, a manner of understanding events, of interpretation and behaving. It is the complex of all the assorted strands of the common elements of Islamic extremist thought…” [ 7 ]

The Palestinian issue does of class have some relevancy to Al-Qaeda. Israel, since its origin, has been one of the primary accelerators for Muslim choler, and whilst the likes of Bin Laden may see other issues as more of import, the Palestinian issue is on the Al-Qaeda docket and an active component in the motive for some of its operations.

Al Qeada terrorist operations have tended to be longer in the planning procedure than those of Hamas, with participants coming from really different backgrounds. The comparatively knowing Saudis involved in the 9/11 onslaughts for illustration contrast with the poorer Palestinians used by Hamas. Al-Qaeda operations such as 9/11 or the Madrid bombardment are besides on a much larger and more international graduated table than operations carried out by Hamas. Whilst Al-Qaeda is by and large seen to hold a more spiritual, fundamentalist mentality than more regionally focused terrorist groups, there is some grounds to the contrary. Laquer for illustration suggests that many of the 9/11 self-destruction bombers were non peculiarly well-versed in their ain faith and that in the tests against Egyptian Al-Qaeda linked groups it emerged that the leader did non cognize a individual poetry from the Koran. [ 8 ] There are besides differences between the Hamas voluntaries that have lived all their lives in the in-between East and under Israeli regulation and Al-Qaeda recruits that may hold lived in Europe and been recent converts to Islam. The more recent Al-Qaeda recruits may hold antecedently have been junior-grade felons or involved with drugs – for them transition to extremist Islam gives a antecedently missing intent in life.

Both Hamas and Al-Qaeda are both prepared to utilize terrorist maneuver to foster their purposes. The steady supply of voluntaries for self-destruction missions shows the high degree of motive amongst their followings. Both have their roots in an anti-Western, extremist Islamic political orientation, yet there are clear differences between the two. Hamas is focussed on the Israeli-Palestinian issue and can be seen as a group with a more definable political purpose. Al-Qaeda is a more slackly formed administration, international in its mentality that embraces a mixture of anti-Western and fundamentalist political orientations. Hamas is an identifiable group that should Israel wish to, it might be able to come in into dialogue with. The same can non be said of those who follow the Al-Qaeda worldview – there is no existent leading to speak to and the purpose of those involved appears to be an on-going run of panic against those who do non subscribe to their manner of thought.


Burke J,Al-Qaeda – Projecting a Shadow of Panic, IB Tauris and Co Ltd, London 2003

Gambetta D, ,Making Sense of Suicide Missions,Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005

Laquer W,Terrorism in the Twenty-first Century,Continuum, New York 2004


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