Essay About Terrorism. Is It in Our Nature?
Terrorism is not new to human experience as it has been a major problem for centuries. There is no universal definition to describe what this word means, but we can all agree that it means horror, violence, and injustice for people indirectly or directly effected. Innocent people are harmed and killed just for the benefit of the terrorist which changes the way a community or group of people view life. Although today we can see that the United States has been trying to control this and is implementing more security around us, there is no way these malicious people can all be stopped. That means at any point and time, an act of terrorism can occur. In developing countries, terrorism is even more of a concern because they do not have as much security and safety as we have in the U.S. All it takes is for one person to make a deliberate choice and select outrageous violence as their option to turn so many people’s worlds upside down. Women and children are a big target because they are seen as being a more vulnerable population which can make an easier plan for the terrorist since they are easier to control in many situations.
In Nigeria, there is a Jihadist terrorist organization known as the Boko Haram. This group is known for using women and children as suicide bombers where they violently attack a group of people in which they also accept their own death as a direct result from destroying the target (Maclean, 2018). Because terrorism is such a massive problem in the United States alone, it is important to learn about how it affects people in developing countries, like Nigeria, especially on how the Boko Haram group contributes to this issue.
Human bombs have become a threat all over the world just since the 1980s when suicide bombers began attacking American, French, and Italian Marines in Lebanon. Then later on in the 1990’s, acts of rebellion came about against Israel and the problem started to spread around. Sometimes the bombers are individuals who are willing to die for a political cause, or they believe dying is prefered for various reasons like believing that they will go right to heaven and no longer have to live the life they are currently living (Sawicki, 2016). When a terrorist act is done with a group of people, there can be a variety of reasons why they would consider suicide bombing.
The first reason could be a dramatic factor that they do not feel like there is any other option to express how they feel but to murder people. Instead of thinking before their actions, they just do it without giving it any thought with what the consequences or outcomes may be. Another reason is that they want to end result to be deadly and they want a large number to be effected or they would feel as though the job was not successful. This is concerning because that means that terrorist groups are going to target areas with a large population like a shopping area, community of homes, workplace, etc. With the media being such a big part of the world today, many terrorist groups want to be recognized for their attacks.
This would be done by the news broadcasting what is going on along with videos and stories being posted online, having them be played over and over again by both the international media and the terror group themselves. As stated by John Sawicki in his article on why terrorists use women and children as suicide bombers, he explains that “Using women as suicide bombers offers extremists significant advantages. Media attention is about four times greater for attacks by women (and children) than by men. (Sawicki, 2016). One of the biggest reasons suicide bombers plan to work together as a group rather than alone is due to strength in numbers. If they have enough people on their side, they will have an easier time being successful and will have a greater advantage over the innocent people being targeted.
Since women and children are seen as being more vulnerable, the terror groups are going to use them as a secret weapon because people would not suspect them to be killers. They are more easily controllable and sometime’s, they may not have the choice to decide whether they want to be apart of the group or not. Almost every society feels disgusted in harming these two classes of human beings. Most of the times when we hear of a terrorist act, it usually is done by a male figure. That is why women and children are used as the attackers because people do not expect them to be the ones committing the crime.
According to Sawicki, he states that “Compared to a man wired with explosives, women and children are likely to be able to approach a target more easily, evade scrutiny and, in general, catch the target with its guard lowered.” (Sawicki, 2016). The Boko Haram group wants people all over the world to watch women and children die is a public relation and can be used in propaganda efforts to try to prove that they can be just as dangerous as males. Security forces are less likely to kill a women and child for commiting a crime than they would of a male because they may feel more sensitive towards it. They may even become so sensitive that they will not even kill them which leads to a big debate. Hearing that there are more and more examples of female and child suicide bombers is scary, but in most instances, they are literally forced to join the group. Their recruitment can differ anywhere from being kidnapped, to rape, to being threatened.
When specifically looking at women suicide bombers, there are generally some specific reasons for why they would want to be apart of the terrorist group. For example, they may feel like they want to stand up for themselves and battle against people who have upset or destroyed their communities. Most women are seen as weak, shy, and sensitive in a certain culture or community as the male is the more dominant figure. If a women was to be apart of such a group, it would be an act of commitment and show the males that women can have power and authority as well. Another reason is one of the biggest reasons that most terrorists share in common is getting their name exposed to the world as their name is recorded, remembered, and posted all over the internet. Some women are looking for a way out of their lives and they decide to do so in a cruel and disturbing manner.
One example of women who were apart of a terrorist group was the Black Widows. These Chechen women had husbands who were killed fighting Russian security forces during the second Chechen war and the women chose to form a suicide bombing group in order to get revenge on the group of people that killed them. There was a Chechen terrorist attack in 2002 in Moscow, in 2004 there was one in a school in Russia, and in 2012 one women from the group set up an attack in Dagestan, Russia which killed 7 people. (Sawicki, 2016). Rapping women to make them apart of the Boko Haram group is extremely common. They usually are kidnapped, either taken away from their children or they bring the children with them to be apart of the group as well or to torture the women to make her cooperate. If the women is put in this position, she probably has the mind set that she is not getting out of the situation alive and she mine as well be apart of the group since she is going to die anyways.
When looking specifically at children suicide bombers, we can come to the conclusion that it was never really a choice of theirs whether they wanted to be apart of a group like the Boko Haram’s or not. Children are the most vulnerable population because they are easy to persuade and to control in any given situation. Sometimes children are exposed to violence at a young age and it makes them believe that it is okay. Then as they grow up, they may become more likely to be influenced by danger and decide to join in on it. Children suicide bombers became a huge issue in the 2000s when terrorist groups started kidnapping children from their schools and forced them to be apart of the team. In 2014, Boko Haram started kidnapping over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls in Sub-Saharan Africa which has continued to go up in number since then. (Sawicki, 2016). Children are very inferior when it comes to what their role is in their culture or community. They have no power, no rights, and can be easily manipulated, especially by these threatening groups.
Children also have almost the same advantage as women do as they are not suspected to be carrying explosives so they are able to approach their target easier. Anyone can agree that when you are a child, it can be extremely hard to fit in with a group of people and to feel like you belong. Some kids will do anything they can to be accepted into a group and sometimes that means making the wrong decisions. Groups like the Boko Haram have an easier time persuading children to join their group by making them believe that they will be apart of something great. Peer pressure is also another problem that children face when it comes to joining a group. Someone who is superior is going to have more power over the inferior, such as a child, because they are not going to understand the difference between what is right or wrong and they are not going to want to say no to the superior person.
A news article written in The Irish Times of February 2018 discusses a major terrorist event led by the Boko Haram that was led by three women suicide bombers. This tragedy killed 19 people and harmed at least 20 people at a fish market in a Nigerian city. In 2017, Boko Haram sent lots of suicide bombers to Maiduguri, Nigeria and set up numerous attacks in many rural areas. The attackers were all female and the victims were mostly women and children. This is disgusting that women would want to harm other women, especially harm children when they should be on the same team.
The article states that “Boko Haram has been known to use young women and children as suicide bombers, in addition to sending men to attack mosques, markets and other places where crowds gather.” (The Irish Times, 2018). The Boko Haram is now going on their 10th year of brutally terrorizing hundreds and thousands of people, and no one has yet to stop them. One of the reasons why this group wants to hurt so many people is because they want to try to make a point and express their feelings in the worst way possible. If they want to fight against the government and the possible inequality of certain situations, they are going to go above and beyond to hurt innocent people just to try and get their point across. In the past, the Boko Haram has burned villages, slaughtered men who refused to join their group, raped and enslaved women and young girls to force them to be apart of the group, and even strapped people who were suicide bombers to hostages so they had no way of escaping which made everything more hostile. (The Irish Times, 2018).
Within the past couple of years, the Nigerian military has been making it a point to hunt this group down and try to put an end to their wicked games. Last year, they were able to release hostages which were a group of women police officers and several professors who had been held captive by these terrible people. Over a dozen young girls were kidnapped from a school in Chibok, Nigeria by the Boko Haram and were able to escape and be released. The Nigerian military knows who the leader is and is trying to hunt him down to put an end to his group. His name is Abubakar Shekau and he has made his name known around the world as he just recently posted a ten minute video of himself speaking about the military. He also releases propaganda videos and launches attacks so everyone else can hear what his plans are which seems odd for someone who should probably remain anonymous. He wears all black with a black mask in his videos along with a rifle in his hand. He threatens the Nigerian military and government threatening them to watch out.
In a news article posted by CNN of August 2017, Robyn Kriel discusses her findings for why the Boko Haram do what they do and how they do it. She stated that, “Researchers at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point and Yale University analyzed the 434 suicide bombings carried out by Nigeria-based militants Boko Haram since 2011, and found that at least 244 of the 338 attacks in which the bomber's gender could be identified were carried out by women.” (Kriel, 2017). In April 2014, 276 female students between the ages of sixteen and eighteen were abducted from their school dorms.
This increased the amount of women that were apart of the group which increased the number of female suicide bombers. Boko Haram is also known for using young children as their suicidal bombers. One statement made in the article that is striking to think about is that, “Boko Haram has shattered demographic stereotypes as to what a suicide bomber looks like." (Kriel, 2017). This is one hundred percent true considering when we think of a terrorist, the first thing that comes to our minds is a male when in this given situation, the terrorists are usually almost females or children. The Boko Haram are the first terrorist group in history to use more women than men as the attackers. The youngest suicide bomber this group had was only 7 years old and the group has used four times as many young girls than they have boys according to research. The most horrifying statistic from this article was that over the last six years, the Boko Haram group has killed about 35,000 people. The fact that this group is still killing people to this day without hesitation is unacceptable.
The Boko Haram terrorist group need to be shut down, immediately. It is not fair for women and children to be such a dangerous target in their own country. They should not be forced to live in fear everyday of their lives that they may be kidnapped tomorrow or may be raped by this group just so they can be killed while killing other innocent people. How is it right that the Nigerian military know who the leader of the group is and after all of these years, have yet to stop him and kill off these terrorists. People around the world need to be more educated about this problem because something needs to be done before more innocent lives are killed for the sole benefit of cruel and sick people trying to prove a point. The Boko Haram group is an extreme threat to all women and children living in Nigeria, and someone needs to save those remaining before it is too late.