Terrorism is a Growing Form of Political Influence Terrorism, use of violence, or the threat of violence, to create a climate of fear in a given population. Terrorist violence targets ethnic or religious groups, governments, political parties, corporations, and media enterprises. Organizations that engage in acts of terror are almost always small in size and limited in resources compared to the populations and institutions they oppose. Through publicity and fear generated by their violence, they seek to magnify their influence and power to effect political change on either a local or an international scale. 2In their struggle to bring an end to British rule over Palestine and to reclaim it for the Jewish people, radical
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Hostility to the support of the United States for Israel led to numerous acts of terrorism against American citizens by Palestinian radicals or their sympathizers. In 1983 attacks by Shiite Moslem suicide bombers on the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, and on the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut killed nearly 300 people, most of whom were Americans. In 1988 a bomb destroyed Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 people on board, including 189 United States citizens. In 1991 the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency charged two Libyan terrorists with the crime. In 1996 a truck bomb exploded outside an apartment building housing U.S. military personnel in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 19 American servicemen.
3One of the most spectacular terrorist episodes in U.S. history was the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City in 1993 by Islamic radicals. This incident aroused anxiety about the threat posed by foreign residents from nations hostile to the United States. Six people died in the blast, which caused an estimated $600 million in property and other economic damage. Trials that followed convicted six people of carrying out the attack.
4 In addition to concerns about foreign-sponsored terrorism, the United States has an ample history of domestic terrorism. Early in the 20th century, labor leaders such