Dr. Ali S. Awadh Asseri
(Former Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon)
DIVERSITY OF REASONS
The reason behind terrorism are as diverse as the types of people who commit terrorist attacks. Terrorists often believe that they have exhausted all attempts for legitimate religious or political change and have no other options to bring recognition for their cause and change in the society they live in. However, terrorists intentionally target civilians in order to gain publicity. Political oppression, religious intolernce and divine revelation are a few of the most common reasons cited by terrorists as justification for their attacks. Political injustice and resistance to military occupation are, perhaps, the most often cited causes behind terrorism. Terrorists often agree that the opposing government has not responded to legitimate demands for political change and, consequently, they must take up arms. The terrorists will often justify their criminal attacks on unarmed civilians by arguing that bthe opposing military forces are too strong to oppose openly.
Political and military action against governments that no longer respond to the needs of their population is often justified. However, legitimate opposition to a government or military forces does not include attacks on unarmed civilians. Sometimes, citizens can achieve self-rule only by the use of revolutionary forces. Self-illusions of grandeur are common in the mentally disturbed, criminally insane and fanatical or religious terrorists. When illusions of grandeur and religious fanaticism affect small groups of people in leadership positions, it becomes easier to understand how heinous terrorist crimes are conceived and executed.
(To be Continued)