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Homegrown Terrorism Cells in the West

Rhoda Unger (2002, pg. 44) wrote that "covert worldviews exist within Western society that differ in degree rather than kind from the worldview of the radical fundamentalists who bombed the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. These worldviews share certain features, including abdication of moral responsibility to a source outside oneself, maintenance of attitudes and behaviors that value one's own group at the expense of other 'deviant' groups, and closing oneself off from experiences and viewpoints that might influence the worldview one possesses. These ideology-maintaining mechanisms make it easy for people to believe that there is no true worldview other than their own and to demonize others who do not recognize this 'truth'."

For this week's discussion, I want us to consider Unger's statement above related to the possibility of the emergence of an American terrorist group. By this I don't mean Islamic or other types of "sleeper cells", the kind we most often see in movies and hear about, as possible threats, in the news. This discussion question is about homegrown terrorism. Per our readings so far, we know that terrorism groups comprised solely of U.S. citizens have existed in the past, so this is not at all an impossible thing.

What conditions currently exist that could foment terrorist ideologies among members of our own society?
Identify and concretely link to your ideas at least one concept from your assigned readings to date(supplementary readings from the Course Materials folder may also be used).

This one asks you to stretch beyond a "not in my country" orientation to concerns of today's world. In spite of recent 9/11 anniversary lamentations, a substantial amount of patriotism and nationalism exists in the U.S. today, a fair amount of it fueled about anger and fear following 9/11. Not in my country represents a set of beliefs that serve a psychological purpose--they keep those fearful of new attacks able to leave their homes and function in the world that scares them--but they are also dangerous if they blind us to geo-social realities that can intersect with the human condition to create conditions we'd rather not think about.


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Dear Student,
Hi and thank you for using Brainmass. The solution below should get you started. Your post/assignment asks 'one concept from the readings' in relation to homegrown terrorism. The solution below does that. Additionally, think of your own observations of homegrown terrorism - like the KKK for example - what motivates them, how, despite their seeming full assimilation, they still take on the terrorist mantle. You can use the listed references together with the reading you have attached for further research. Good luck!

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

In Relation to 'Not in my country' View

American Patriotism and belief plus complacency in the US Law enforcement capacity to protect the country and its people from any threat, foreign or domestic are admirable and inspiring - but it blinds many to social realities. And when the flaws are realised too late, we have 9-11, Oklahoma bombings, the Austin IRS suicide attack and the recent Times Square car-bomb attempt as results. Scenarios by Homeland Security and other related law enforcement and intelligence agencies have taken account of homegrown-terrorism scenarios but to many ordinary citizens, their awareness of these possibilities are not heightened primarily because they depend on the system and the specialization of branches of government to protect them and their way of life. They have a right to expect this - after all, protection of the homeland and the lives and interests of its people is a primary government function. Throughout American history, this had always been the case unless during times of revolution especially in the days when the country was new. This complacency is dangerous in that it blinds people to seeing the possibilities and the social realities before them as basis for doubts about what is going on, ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a 1,039-word tutorial narrative that discusses terrorist ideologies and homegrown terrorism in relation to the 'not in my country' view & contrasting world views. Key US homegrown terrorists are included in the discussion. References are listed for the purpose of expansion. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing.