Terrorism and the Mass Media after Al Qaeda: A Change of Course? Reviewed by Jessica Baran Abstract Manuel R. Torres Soriano. Terrorism and the Mass Media after Al Qaeda: A Change of Course? Athena Intelligence Journal Vol. 3, No 1, (2008), pp. 1-20.
Soriano begins his exploration of the relationship between media and terrorism with the words of Marshall McLuham, whose statement that “without communication, terrorism would not exist” is taken by Soriano to be “relatively precocious”, but essentially correct. Though terrorism existed prior to mass media, Soriano argues that it was always about making a public statement, and that new technologies have simply allowed the dissemination of terrorist messages to reach a broader audience with a more concise message. It seems fair to say that there exists a mutually beneficial relationship between terrorists and the media of today. According to Brigitte Nacos, one of the scholars that has most studied this issue, terrorists commit violent acts looking for three universal objectives: to get attention; to gain recognition; and to obtain a certain degree of respect and legitimacy. These objectives are attainable for those individuals who are capable of receiving the most media coverage. However these universal objectives seem too simplistic in regards to the complexity of terrorism and the media. These objectives can be achieved outside of violent acts, thus there must be reference to violence and the symbiotic relationship between media and terrorists. Modern terrorism and TV logic This article first focuses on the TV media. It argues that this media relies heavily on the visuals it can collect for a story and the less sensational the visuals for the story the less important the story becomes to the television news media. Terrorists carefully select the places in which they carry out their attacks in order to provide the best media coverage. The obvious example of this is the 9/11 attacks in New York, where media of all sorts were able to cover the story immediately. Not only were the media able to capture this incredibly visual attack, but the people who were in New York, residents and tourists alike, were also able to document this event with sensational pictures, videos and personal stories. An important thing to keep in mind here, that Soriano does not mention, is that Al Qaeda has never officially taken responsibility for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, though it is the common belief that this organization is behind the attacks. The simple action of not taking responsibility may indeed go against an argument that television coverage of this event was an important motive. The article goes on to explain that terrorists also recognize that media is a fast paced industry where interest in stories is lost quickly. There needs to be a certain novelty behind stories that are covered, so it is argued that this influences what the next terrorist act may be. There is trust in what one can see, so the television media automatically receive a level of trust that other media do not. However, being that the story is visual, a story that is occurring in the world with no visuals to go along with it could receive little to no coverage by the television news media, even if it is a story that could potentially have an influence on other important regions. Soriano goes on to examine the television media’s strong tendency to “personify” the stories they cover.
Peace and Conflict Review · Volume 3 Issue 1 · Year 2008 · Page 1
Soriano goes on to examine the television media’s strong tendency to “personify” the stories they cover. Making their stories more relatable to the general public by humanizing the people involved within the news story creates the ability for the watcher to become more personally involved, even if they are buying into a cliché. It can be ascertained, then, that the better the terrorist organization understands...
...Terrorism can be defined as threatening use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons. It is the act of terrorizing or the state of being terrorized. Most acts of terrorism are committed by terrorist organizations. Terrorist organizations use terror to accomplish their mission or objective. One of the most infamous terrorist organizations is Al-Qaeda.
Established in 1988 by militant Islamist, Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda traces all the way back to the Soviet War in Afghanistan. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational and stateless army. It has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and various other countries. The overall mission of Al-Qaeda is to attempt to overthrow godless regimes and replace them with Islamic regimes. Furthermore, the terrorist organization desires to convert al-Qaeda into an ideology and set of operating principles that can be loosely franchised in other countries without requiring direct command and control.
Al-Qaeda also states several other missions which include gathering information about the enemy,...
Al-Qaeda Terrorist Network
Have you ever wonder what is the biggest terrorist network?? I bet you haven’t, but
wait.... there is not just one there is more than just one network. As one of the biggest terrorist
network, Al-Qaeda takes the number one spot globally. It’s a network that’s led by Muslims and
Islamist people. In examining problems caused by ignorance and hate, I will focus specifically on
how this concepts have contributed to terrorism globally and the frightening of its people and I
will discuss what is being done about it by our country and its allies.
Terrorism has caused a problem all around the globe. There has been myths that currently
exist about this problem. Its been said that terrorism is a global problem and its being lead by Al-
Qaeda the biggest terrorist network known about. “Terrorism lead by Al-Qaeda has been has been
compromising both a multinational stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling
for global Jinab”(Al-Qaeda.) This is important in different ways, Al-Qaeda has many networks
which add up to just one big network. This is important because all this networks are adding up
not to just one big link but different ones that are terrorizing...
...Terrorism and MassMedia
What makes someone so powerful that if they were murdered, they would be labeled as assassinated? A similar question can be asked to that of terrorism--when can an act of violence properly be called "terrorism"? In the wake of 9/11, then President Bush declared war against terrorism but just who specifically he was referring to is still being debated today. However, one piece of the puzzle in making that determination is the use of massmedia to combat terrorism. Definitions of terrorism is abound but the general consensus is that terrorism is a criminal act that puts people in a state of terror and/or uses force or violence. The observation that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter frequently can be applied to statements about terrorist actions made by both governments and massmedia. The media is becoming increasingly competitive and commercial pressures are complicated by the fact that many top executives come from the corporate world and no longer from the ranks of journalists.
Television has become the leading news medium, with newspapers only supplementary to TVs instant, live, emotional coverage. Events produce strong pictures that consequently go to the top of the news hierarchy. The emotional shocks of...
Al-Qaeda around the World
By: Kenneth Higgins
AlQaedaTerrorism that has affected the world on a large scale for centuries by many different people groups; over the past century there has been an increase in the frequency and devastation of terrorism attacks. There has also been a concentration in both the target of terrorist attacks and the groups committing these attacks involve innocent peoples. When most people think “terrorism” the first thing that comes to mind for an American is 9/11. With that forethought comes the thoughts of Muslims, Islam, and the often negatively stigmatized Middle Eastern part of the world. Not all Muslims are “terrorists” but they are out there. There are many organizations in the world committing terrorist acts in the world on one of the largest, complex, and most sophisticated Islamic terrorist groups in the world is Al-Qaeda. Created only 25 years ago, they have grown into one of the largest, most spread out terrorist organizations, and are responsible for some of the most tragic terrorist attacks to have ever taken place in the world. In this paper I will give an overview of Al-Qaeda, including their history, motives, and other topics related to the organization
The history of AlQaeda is somewhat short but very complicated....
In 1988, one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in the world was formed. They call themselves al-Qaeda, which translates from Arabic to “The Base”, and originated in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda is an international terrorist organization and are considered the top threat to the United States of America. The biggest attack that the group has planted was the events of September 11, 2001. When the U.S. responded with the War on Terror in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda relocated to Pakistan. Intelligence agencies have found that the organization is slowly regrouping and regaining strength of Afghanistan borders.
History of Al-Qaeda
There is no exact date to which al-Qaeda was formed, but researchers say it was sometime around August of 1988 by Osama Bin Laden. It is formed by Islamic “Holy Warriors” and its main purpose in 1988 was to help fight off the Soviets in Afghanistan. According to GlobalSecurity.org, “al-Qaeda helped finance, recruit, transport and train thousands of fighters from dozens of countries to be part of an Afghan resistance to defeat the Soviet Union.” The groups current goal is a “global jihad”: to rid all Muslim countries, which is what they see as an influence of the West, and replace them with Islamic regimes....
...AlQaeda Terrorist Group
University of Phoenix
December 8, 2005
AlQaeda is arguably the most well-known and most dangerous Islamic terrorist organization in the world. It was established around 1990 by a Saudi millionaire, Osama Bin Laden, to bring together Arabs who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet invasion. The goal of the organization is to reestablish the Muslim state throughout the world. AlQaeda works with allied Islamic extremist groups to overthrow regimes it deems "non-Islamic" and remove Westerners from Muslin countries. Groups affiliated with AlQaeda have conducted numerous bombings and other violent attacks throughout the world that have resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians. In 1996, Osama Bin Laden declared war on the United States, and two years later, he vowed to attack Americans and their allies, wherever they are.
AlQaeda is the leading multi-national Islamic terrorist network. It was founded and is still led by Osama Bin Laden, a multimillionaire from Saudi Arabia who became an active Islamist in 1979, when he went to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union. Though AlQaeda financially and operationally supports Islamist terror groups around the globe, its core remains Bin Laden and the Arabs who...
...terrorist organization Al-Qaeda and the North American based Christian terrorist group the Army of God obviously sympathize with that statement. Each organization has set personal vendettas against the United States and the policies the US has established regarding their stray from the conservative, traditional practices within each of their faith traditions. Through that warring, essentially extremist ideology, Al-Qaeda and the Army of God have set themselves apart from their religious affiliates, outside the mainstream philosophies of Islam and Christianity. However, as erratic and irrational as these groups’ principles seem, their backgrounds and ideologies lend some sort of practical insight into the minds of these organizations, who have seemingly defied the very foundations of their faiths. From the warring mountain regions of Afghanistan to an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida, these two organizations, hundreds of miles apart and centered around two different religions, are eerily linked in the violence and terror they instill upon the unsuspecting public.
In order to fully understand the Muslim jihadist group Al-Qaeda and their position outside of mainstream Islam, one must understand where they began and who helped bring them to such prominence. This is where Osama Bin Laden, America’s most wanted man following the September 11th...
...Paper 1 – Al-Qaeda
It would not at all be surprising if this decade comes to be known as the decade of terrorism in years to come. Since the turn of the millennium, terrorism, maybe more than any other global issue or topic, has plagued the world stage with constant news and horror. It can be argued that terrorism is a problem with no solution and no end in sight. The Islamic militant group,Al-Qaeda, is the most well known terrorist organization in the world. Al-Qaeda has been held accountable for some of the most tragic and horrifying acts of terror in history. Still, many people do not fully understand what Al-Qaeda is, who is behind it, and why it exists. A fluid, agreed-upon definition does not exist for the extremist organization, run by Osama bin Laden and responsible for the September 11th terrorist attacks, but rather a multitude of beliefs on the number, strength, and whereabouts of Al-Qaeda.
Most researchers and historians point to August 11th, 1988 as the origin of Al-Qaeda as an organized group. However, it was the events leading up to this meeting that caused Osama bin Laden and a small group of extremist leaders to officially organize what had grown into a large, strong Islamic following. From December 1979 through February 1989,...