Global Terrorism

Global Terrorism




Terrorists use different methods to achieve their objectives. The major strategies that they employ include: attrition, spoiling, provocation, intimidation, and outbidding. Indeed, all the plans used are aimed at gaining control of a targeted group of people or region. However, an analysis of the trends in terrorist activities over the years reveal that a majority of extremist groups prefer to use intimidation. They often use intimidation in areas where it is easier to instill fear and panic among the population. Notably, every strategy is applicable in some particular conditions and they may backfire in other circumstances. In as much as intimidation is one of the methods that largely used because of its effectiveness, it also has significant drawbacks. For instance, the strategy may fail because it is done openly, thus, making it easier for security agents to identify the terrorists. Also, it involves the use of brutal force to win over followers. One of the terrorist groups that is known for using this strategy is Boko haram. The group exists in Northeastern Nigeria and has caused a lot of terror among the residents of that region. The militants have used the intimidation strategy through abduction of women and girls as well as mass-murder; thus, causing confusion, fear and discord among the residents. The paper intends to discuss the phenomenon of intimidation as a strategy used by Boko Haram and other terrorist groups to achieve their objective.

Key words: terrorism, intimidation, strategy

Global Terrorism
            Terrorism is arguably one of the phenomena that a majority of countries have had to contend with for last many decades. Given that the terrorist organizations have persisted in causing a significant amount of loses and destruction, it is vital to understand their operational structures and establish ways of countering their activities. To achieve effective counter-terrorism measures, it is essential to understand the strategies that the terrorists use to carry out their activities. The paper seeks to explore intimidation as one of the primary strategies that terrorists use to achieve their objective. Also, it focusses on Boko Haram Jihadist group in Northern Nigeria, which has used this plan in the past to spread terror. An analysis of the terror activities since the 1950s to date indicate that Boko Haram has been using intimidation as a strategy to conduct terrorist activities while cooperating with other terror groups such as the Al-Qaida, thus posing a threat to the security of the United States because of the effectiveness of the approach.

Terrorism entails the use deliberate and random methods to perpetrate violence with the sole aim of instilling fear or terror in people. The terrorists' ultimate intention is to achieve ideological, political and religious supremacy. Terrorism has existed since the 18th century. It has been known as the unconventional war because the people behind it use unconventional means to wage war against their target groups. Arguably, the war against groups that use such strategies to perpetuate terror can only be won if there is enough intelligence gathering. Besides, there is a need for serious security preparation to respond to the intelligence gathered regarding any impending attack or group that plans to cause any kind of discord in the community (Tumlin, 2004).

Boko Haram is hell bent on pushing a particular ideological and political agenda. Boko Haram are Hausa words which translate to "Western education is forbidden". Although the proponents of the group have tried very hard to conceal that meaning and at the same time promote it to mean that group is spreading the teachings of their prophet (Alozieuwa, 2012). Nonetheless, it is one of the many terrorist groups that have used intimidation to instill fear and spread terror amongst their target groups.

The History of Intimidation as a Terrorist Strategy

As mentioned before, terrorists often use intimidation to instill injury or harm on a targeted group. Just like the advent of terrorism, the use of this strategy dates back to the late 1790s during the French Revolution. History has it that sub-national entities and non-state entities instilled fear on individuals in a bid to establish order during the transition of the anarchical system that allegedly marred with turmoil and uprisings. The entities are also reported to have used intimidation to counter the government's attempt to counter revolutionary movements against the regime. Afterward, terrorist groups that have sprung up in different parts of the world over the years have sort to use the strategy because of its effectiveness. Many renowned terrorist groups such as the Al-Qaida have used intimidation over the years up to date to accomplish their mission. An indication of the same is the war and terror activities on innocent individuals that are associated with the terrori 

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