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Violent crime and Insurgency - Essay Example

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Many people believe that terrorism is similar to all other types of criminal violence, insurgency or at least possesses some substantial commonalities. However, there are basic criteria and components which distinguish the violent crimes and insurgency from terrorism. According…
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Violent crime and Insurgency
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21st June, DQ) How is terrorism different from violent crime and insurgency?  Many people believe that terrorism is similar to all other types of criminal violence, insurgency or at least possesses some substantial commonalities. However, there are basic criteria and components which distinguish the violent crimes and insurgency from terrorism. According to Dr. David Goldstein (2007), there are certain factors which differentiates the two terms; terrorism and criminal violence. The basic definition which differentiates the two, is:
Difference between Terrorism and Criminal Violence
The basic notion behind terrorism is that terrorists are often state-supported and well trained. They possess a particular goal to achieve and are representative of their group rather than opportunistic. In contrast to that, a common criminal is one who looks for opportunistic target, lacks discipline and is selfish and can be discouraged comparatively easily.
Generally, terrorists are well trained as compared to ordinary criminals. Due to the fact that terrorists are well trained, skilled and possess a specific goal in mind, the propensity of destruction and level of violence can be much higher than that which is created by criminals. Terrorists are so much determined to their cause that they don’t get afraid of putting even their own life in danger (Goldstein, 2007).
Another important differentiation between criminals and terrorists is that when they are caught doing some illegal act, criminals usually escape from the criminal zone and take shelters in order to hide from police whereas terrorist usually call upon huge media propaganda and take credits of their acts.
Another criteria which provides differentiation between terrorism and criminals violence is the frequency and span of attacks. Criminals usually operate within the span of their hide outs whereas terrorists operate within the boundary of an entire country. Many terrorists also operate internationally in geographic regions (White, 2006).
Differences between Terrorism and Insurgency
Insurgency is often called as political effort or movement established for a specific aim. This sets it apart from terrorism where individuals establish goals and do every possible effort to achieve them.
Another major difference between insurgency and terrorism is the intent of activities and operations. The ultimate objective of insurgency is to challenge the prevailing government through political concessions in order to share political power. Insurgency requires various kinds of supports including from external support, approval and recognition from other political parties etc. whereas a group of terrorist doesn’t require support from any side (terrorism RESEARCH, n.d).
Insurgents usually describe themselves as “guerillas” or “insurgents” etc whereas terrorists describe themselves as “soldiers”, “activities”, “freedom fighters” etc. The reason is that terrorists usually avoid the negative connotations which can be associated with their identification. Terrorists avoid direct confrontation with government. Insurgents may have some objections which make them clash with the governments (terrorism RESEARCH, n.d).
Ultimately, the differentiation from terrorism and insurgency comes down from the intention of the individual. Insurgents usually forces to adhere the norms pertaining to law and war for achieving their goal whereas terrorists conduct crimes under both military and civilian legal codes. Since the nature of the mind set of terrorist is absolutist, their objectives are of substantial importance and without considering any limitations, the terrorists pursue for those objectives.
Works Cited
Goldstein, D. The Criminology of Terrorism. 22 April 2007. Web. 21 June 2012. < HYPERLINK "" > terrorism RESEARCH. Differences between Terrorism and Insurgency. n.d. Web. 21 June 2012. < HYPERLINK "" > White, J.R. Terrorism and Homeland Security. Belmont, CA: Thomson-Wadsworth., 2006. Print. Read More
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