1. Defining Terrorism & Terrorist

The FBI defines terrorism as“the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”,the Department of State defines it as “only sub-national groups, not states themselves, can commit acts of terrorism. It states the violence must be politically motivated, but does not mention instilling or spreading fear”and the Federal Emergency Management Agency defines it as, “the use of illegal force or violence “for purposes of intimidation, coercion or ransom,” but does not require it to be politically motivated”. Three similarities in how each of the organizations define terrorism is that violence is always involved, coercion, and attacking property or persons.Three differences are that not all of the definitions include instilling fear, political motivation, and whether or not groups or states commit terrorism. These definitions relate to the definition we created in class because we believed that terrorism brings fear, and senseless in victims (violence against persons). It is a huge problem that there are 3 different definitions  because one may think and act is an act of terrorism while the other may not and that will cause a lot of problems. When there are many definitions for one term, it will always cause confusion.

2.Public Opinion Polls and Terrorism

The Gallup poll on terrorism asked questions like, “How worried are you that you or someone in your family will become a victim of terrorism–very worried? somewhat worried? not to worried? not worried at all? The results show majority of the respondents were very worried or somewhat worried mostly around the occurrence of 9/11. Trend: How Worried Are You That You or Someone in Your Family Will Become a Victim of Terrorism?

I am not confident in these results because it is very hard to find the background of this study. I cannot find how many people were surveyed, was it random, was it a specific group of people (age, males, females, etc), and how did they interview them. Because this information was hard to find it makes this source less accurate.

For Polling Report asked the question,”How concerned are you about losing some of your privacy as a result of steps taken by the federal government to fight terrorism — are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not very concerned, or not at all concerned?” The results show that most people believe that they went to far. Results shown below.

    Too far Not far
about right
No answer
    % % % %  


26 26 40 8  


45 10 42 2  


41 12 43 4  


43 10 42 5  


36 13 46 5

I am slightly confident in this poll because they posted how many people they surveyed at the very beginning unlike the previous poll. However, that was about all the background information giving about the poll; therefore, it was hard to find the other information.

For the Pew Research poll, one question asked was, “How well is the government doing reducing threat of terrorist”?  For the first time, it dropped and now they feel like they are not doing that well of a job. Results are shown in the graph below.For first time since 9/11, government’s job rating on terrorism turns negative

This poll is somewhat reliable because they stated the dates they asked questions as well as how many people were involved in the survey at the beginning and it was not hard to find. I think the wording out the question is fine. I simply believe that the ISIS is one of the most talked about topic today and this is why people have lost faith in the government.

It is very hard to get a good understanding of how people in America feel about terrorism because some polls may phrase the question in a way to make it seem more than it really is or different people may take a question another way than what was truly asked.

TWO VIDEO LINKS: “How Do You Define Terrorism”?  and, “What Is The Definition Of Terrorism”?

3. Early Terrorist Leader/Group

My group decided to choose Leila Khalid, she was a part of the terrorist group Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine(PFLP). Khalid was born in Haifa, Mandatory Palestine. Her parents were Lebanese and her family was forced to flee Lebanon due to the 1948 Palestinian Exodus. On April 13th 1948 her and the rest of the family had to leave her father behind. At age 15 she followed her brother’s path and joined the Pan-Arab Arab Nationalist Movement that was started in the late 1940’s by George Habash (medical student at the American University of Beirut). She became involved with the PFLP because it became the Palestinian branch of the  Pan- Arab Arab Nationalist Movement after the 1967 Six-Day War. Leila Khalid is credited for being the first female to hijack an airplane in 1969. The theory of terrorism that best fits her is frustration-aggression because of the fact that her family was affected by the Palestinian Exodus, she lost her father, and then decided to follow her brother’s footsteps.

4. Profile of a Current Terrorist Group & Public Reaction

The terrorist group that we selected is the Kurdistan Workers Party(PKK). The PKK is a militant organization based in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan. This group was founded in 1978 in the village of Fis by a group of Kurdish students led by Abdullah Öcalan. Their ideology was originally a mix of revolutionary socialism and Kurdish nationalism, seeking foundation of an independent, Marxist-Leninist state in the region, know as Kurdistan. Since 1984 the PKK has waged an armed struggle against the Turkish state for cultural and political rights and self-determination for the Kurds in Turkey, who comprise between 18% and 25% of the population and have been subjected to repression for decades.

However, since his capture and imprisonment in 1999, the leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, has completely abandoned Marxism–Leninism, leading the party to adopt his new political platform of “Democratic Confederalism” (influenced strongly by the libertarian socialist philosophy of communalism) while ceasing its official calls for the establishment of a fully independent country. In May 2007, former members of the PKK helped form the KCK, an umbrella organisation of Kurds from Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

Some of the PKK’s most notable leaders are Abdullah Öcalan which is still the current leader even though he is imprisoned. Daily affairs are handled by Murat Karayilan. Other key leaders are Nurrettin Halef al-Muhammad, Cemil Bayak, Duran Kalkan, Remzi Kartal, Sabri Ok and Adem Uzun.

Three prominent actions or attacks that involved the PKK were:

  • June 29th, 2015: The PKK attacked Daglica military base in Hakkari province with mortar shells and machine guns.
  • June 25th,2015: The PKK fired on a military base in Eruh district in Turkey’s southeastern Siirt province.
  • June 19th, 2015: The PKK fired on a military base in Siirt in southeastern Turkey.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by several states and organizations, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union.The United Nations and countries such as India, China, Russia, Switzerland and Egypt have not designated the PKK as a terrorist organization.

5. Reflection

  • It is difficult to retrieve accurate information on this particular terrorist group because many of the things that we know are always from outside sources. Those involved in the PKK pledge their loyalty, if they prove otherwise the they are killed or tortured.
  • The PKK’s actions are known across the world. The media does not usually use the name PKK but it is known that people with affiliation to them are suicide bombers and terrorist. such as the suicide car bomb that went off on March 13th in the capital of turkey.The group does gather a good bit of attention but not by specific name. this could cause a bigger issue because some groups want to be known for causing havoc.
  • due to the large amount of damage the PKK has done we were unable to find any jokes. it is considered a sensitive subject.

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