Terrorism and the Problem of Identity

Terrorism is phenomenon of modern society, which became expressive especially in second half of twentieth century. There is real danger that it could increase in growing number of terrorist groups, their aims, arms and ways of work, and that it could effect also in twentieth first century. Terrorism endangers the most important product of modern times: democracy, freedom, and human rights. There are different causes and reasons for existing of terrorist organizations and their cruel terrorist actions. This text analyzed question of identity as possible reason for existing of different terrorist groups and organizations and for their actions. Search for identity and question how to defend it create different problems and difficulties for individuals and groups. That identity is one-sided, disported, based on false faith and so called salvation, but, to defend it somebody is prepared to sacrifice everything, his own life if that is necessary (but frequently somebody else’s). That way, terrorism can be understood as way of defending that identity.

Key words: terrorism, identity, ethnic group, nation, religion, ideology, freedom, tolerance.


Terrorism is a great (maybe the greatest) problem of the modern society. Maybe it is better to say that terrorism is an obstacle on the way to development of the modern world as a global society. It became an occurrence, concept, thought and term which has entered the everyday life of the modern man. Parallel with development and improvement of the human kind in the technical, material and cultural respect, terrorism is also developing, only at a faster pace. Terrorism is constantly changing in form, contents, type and shape of organizing, way of activity, technical equipment and similar. A question is posed (justified and with fear): have we entered the era of terrorism? [1]

By standard definition terrorism is such the kind of violence or threatening of violence which aspires to cause fear with an aspiration to send a specific message (most often political) and draw attention to a specific group, occurrence or situation in society.[2] Numerous authors are trying to uncover causes, shapes and the essence of terrorism, as well as the “profile” of modern terrorism. This text points to a social vision in which one of the main causes of terrorism is the question of identity. Searching for identity, whether it is about searching for an individual or a group identity, aspiring to conquer or preserve that identity, to identify with someone or something, makes people in certain circumstances do things which are by shape and form inconsiderate, violent, and often also irrational.

The obtaining of an identity for an individual assumes the question: “Who am I?” “Where do I come from?” “Who do I belong to?” and similar questions. At the same time these are also the ontological, semantic and semiotic questions which are related to finding out about own identity (self identity) related to and leaned on the integrity, but also a part of the conscious in a man’s being. An individual strives to find out what makes one self unique, special, different from others, what are advantages of one self, what are disadvantages and weaknesses of one self. Finding out about own identity is one of the most important, psychological and social drives of a man’s activity and existence. Identity is related to feeling secure, reliable, belonging and trust.[3] Trusting other people is always related to a doze of distrust, followed by closure and non-inclusiveness, and that creates conditions for an unstable identity. In search of a new identity people sometimes live without an “identity”[4], disown what is given to them, what is available to them, daily, “usually”, discard the “small” identity, run into loneliness, isolation from the outside world, convinced that they are chosen for a “special mission”, that they are acquiring a “great” identity which is unavailable to many others. In that way the identity manifests itself as an “aspect of emotional and psychological part of an individual; therefore it is logically an integral part of preserving own integrity and security and can be exceptionally resistant to change.” [5] Acquiring of individual identity is a two way process: a product of internal strength, possibility, ambition of the personality (“I” or “ego”) and interaction with the external world (with “another” or “others”). The identity is the striving of an individual to impose oneself, to “show”, gradually uncovering aspects of one’s own self, but also striving of others to accept it, confirm it, believe to one self, participate together with one self, or to reject one self. The acquiring of an identity is a long process. That assumes a certain selection, the need for an individual to prove one self, to acquire certain trust, to direct one’s aspirations and wishes towards expectations of another or others. In that case the individual is identified by others which already have a confirmed strength and power, proved and conquered authority, “weight” in a group or community. In the process of acquiring identity the individual identifies with a certain group, its essence and strength, with personal qualities and actions of its leader. One accepts values, attitudes views and position of the certain group as one’s own. One does everything to show that one deserves trust and to show that one will fulfill all expectations of the group, the leader or the community. The identity is established through the process of identifying of an individual with a leader, group or community. The individual, in some way, gives up the unsure personal identity to the benefit of the leader or the group in order to later “get” a much stronger and doubtless identity.[6]

Therefore, man can acquire conscious about own identity through knowledge, education, creative and producible force, by showing one’s talent and capabilities, rational relation towards tradition, inheritance and belonging. Such an individual is free, self-conscious, has a strong personality, is mostly tolerant, finds own identity with ease, feels, controls it, it is not one’s burden. However, today it often happens that individuals acquire their identity through the process of imitation and copying (leaders or groups), serving others or serving a purpose. It is hard for them to acquire identity (they have a feeling that they never acquired enough of it or that it was never strong enough) and it easily slips away from them and they panic and with strong frustrations and emotional outbursts search for it. That is why they are very sensitive to every inquiry or expressed doubt in their identity.

In the same way that an individual does, so does a smaller or bigger group of people, a certain movement, some social group or community go through the process of identifying with an idea, value attitudes, or acts. That is how the process of acquiring and preserving collective identity begins. The process of acquiring collective identity (collective formation of identity) begins through attitudes, “we” and “they” and questions such as: “Who are we”? “Who do we belong to?” “Where is our place?” “Which is our space?” “What do we need to do? “Who are they”? “Who do they belong to?” “Do they endanger us?” “Are they our enemies?” etc. The central place is taken by the relationship “we”- “they”. Approval, trust, justification, and devotion to the one (or the ones) that represent the word “we”, and mistrust, doubt, rejection and repulsion towards everything that is related to “they”. Here, the identity is confirmed through differentiating “us” from “them”, its an identity “in itself”. The values of “our” side as the doubtless and proved are always enlarged; by that instigated is the homogenization of the group and respect of the authority of the leader, strengthens the fighting spirit and readiness for action. The collective identity includes individual identities by giving them a common direction, a common conscious about the certain situation, actors and intentions of “them” in relation to “us”. The external situation (“they” is used for the process of “taking roots” of the collective identity in an individual; he is partly a product of good will (searching for protection and a safe heaven) , and partly a product of imposing rules and shapes of collective protection. The individual gets a “collectivism” syndrome: he looks at an individual of a different collective as “one of them” which in himself carries all common characteristics of that collective, and himself or some other member of his collective as the one that sublimates all characteristics of that collective. There, to the expressiveness comes that “other”, someone else: a stranger, enemy, faraway, dangerous, of bad intentions, in one word always different from “us”. There the collective identity starts to make sense only if it is clearly different from “others”, if it is “unique”, if it can not integrate into the wider whole and therefore “lose” it particularity. That particularly becomes expressive when the collective is located in an environment where the observers from the side are not forced upon clear differences among collectives and collective actors in an environment. In such conditions vanity and intolerance develops and readiness to repress a similar collective so that only “we” would stay. That is significant room for spreading terrorism.

Man creates identity in more than one collective simultaneously, through creating of different roles in society. He belongs to family, an ethnic group, a country, a party, an ideology, religion, a certain culture. The establishing of balance and articulation of different forms of identity represents a temptation and shows the ability and strength of every individual to cope, to stay “his self”. If he does not succeed in doing that, man comes into a situation to put an accent on belonging to a collective, to separate it, to put it above all others, and by doing the room for acquiring identity closes in, becomes one sided, man feels anxiety, fear and uncertainty instead of width, freedom, trust and tolerance.

Just like acquiring and preserving of individual and collective identity can represent a source of misunderstanding and conflict in society, the same can be said for identity crisis. When an individual starts to lose certainty in his fulfilled ambitions and possibilities, when current activity becomes uncertain, and the future uncertain, when he starts to lose the achieved harmony of material and spiritual needs, then we are talking about identity crisis. Collective identity crisis is reflected through losing power and influence in certain circles, mobilization and the controlling role on individuals. In moments of losing of identity individuals and collectives often resort to radical means, militarism, violence, in the present status act with instruments of the past. Then to them only one question is posed, they subordinate everything to them: “how to preserve their identity?” That makes new room for irrational activity, and that includes terrorism.

Ethnic identity

In search for an answer to the question about belonging an individual or a group firstly relate to their ethnic background. In cases when the process of socialization and emancipation does not go further than ethnos and that relationship is “umbilical”. Individuals or their groups do not see the sense and possibility of existing outside of their ethnos. Their work, ambition, wishes, aspirations as well as their whole life is put in the service of ethnic community. They offer more than ethnos is asking of them. Everything that they do is directed at the real or imaginary improvement of the state of ethnos which they idealize. Obsessive and possessive connection for the ethnos produces such engagement of individuals which uses all means to achieve “happiness” and to promote its ethnic groups or nations, and among them violence, which is the seed terrorism.

Ethnic identity is the product of socialization maybe more than any other collective identity. Since earliest childhood individuals are told that they must notice the difference[7] between “us” and “them”, to be careful and with reserve accept everything that comes from “others”, to show and preserve those differences, to notice new, in order for the process of taking roots of differences in their own culture, consciousness and daily lives.[8] That is ongoing interaction between personal, internal experience and external requests, imposing (by “our” and “their”) which can be spontaneous and peaceful, but also through tensions and conflicts, especially when “to us” those “others” impose an identity. Through ethnical identity such a kind of loyalty is looked for to a group which does not care about, and often represses, all other collective identities. National identity is considered as given to man by birth, there is no freedom of choice even when the individual is far away from the main ethnic group (mother country, community). Through national identity, it is constantly asked of individuals to uncover their culture, to find out and remember “who we were” in the past and in the present environment, to find themselves and their place in that, to find out about themselves and to determine themselves. That is sometimes a long process, is not always without difficulties, for the individual and for the nation,[9] which causes inpatient reactions in “self known” and “self conscious” keepers of national identity.

The mentioned attitudes cause national homogenizations where individuals give up own individuality, specificity, self importance, freedom and spirituality in the name of collective, national identity. They are ready to repress all other shapes of collective identification for the benefit of the nation, but that is asked for by other members of their nation, and when internal homogenization is achieved and identification and get a majority support for the proclaimed national identity, then they start to show intentions to limit the freedom and independence of “the rest” of people in their nation which did not accept “the one dimensional identity”, then the aspiration is being spread to narrowing of freedom and room in other ethnic groups within the same political community or in the narrower and wider environment. The process keeps widening to the occurrence of nationalism as the “doctrine which sets the nation for a goal of every political exertion and the national identity for a measure of every human value” [10], and nationalism becomes a power which attracts individuals and groups which that “doctrine”, which is enriched with ethnic myths, heroes, and common destinies, take with them as a fighting gesture: “the nation is more important than own life”. So, national identity can exist without nationalism, it is then a tradition which does not pressure and restrict the individual, and nationalism is a distorted, one sided, instrumented (a means of manipulation and misuse), estranged identity.

The instrumentation of ethnic identity has created numerous terrorist groups and individuals world wide, which in the name of the nation take other people’s lives and “give” theirs. It all began with terrorist actions of groups and movements in the 50′s of the 20th century which strived, on the elements of terrorism, to achieve a wide mass mobilization in an anti-colonial fight (Cyprus, Algeria, a little earlier a fight of the Jewish groups against the English Administration in Palestine). There, into the national identity is introduced the paradigm of the forever front, a permanent battle against “them”, to be fighting, striving to repress “them”, eliminate them, so that event when the colonizer has left (has been kicked out), the need for the nation to be in one place, homogenize, and instrument through a call “to be on the front”, to “defend” stays. The stencil stays the same, only the actors change: Israelis against Palestinians, Greeks against Turks, Hindus against Muslims.

Through terrorism, the ethnic identity develops as an identity in absurd because “used are” innocent people as victims for acquiring and preserving of own identity. The target of terrorist attacks become all members of the “other” side (ethnic group) no matter the fact that they are neutral, uninterested, non-included in the fight, tolerant, and often suffer members of the “third” side which happen to be there. Sometimes chosen are even the most significant representatives of the other side in order to achieve as big an effect as possible.[11] No matter the effect or failure of terrorist actions (a frustrated try, followed by revenge), their planners count on messages which via them send to the “other” side and world public. Important is the conscious on the effect which is achieved at “us” and the fear which overcomes “them”. It is important to put your problems in the center of attention of the world public and to repress other events. Here, fear comes as a lever of instrumentation and homogenization, as a means of distribution of ethnic power.

Ideological identity

During the 60′s and the 70′s of the 20th century ideological terrorism dominated, especially in the countries of Western Europe. It had its roots in ideological identity. That was a time of the “revolutionary left wing movement” in Western Europe and the USA which was fighting against inequality in society, war in Vietnam, exploitation and domination over countries “of the third world”. Its own and collective identity, individuals (usually young people) use to find in “anti-imperialism”, in the request for more social justice, in pointing out economical exploitation and social inequality, in the request for reform in politics, culture, and education. The accumulated revolutionary, left wing, energy was directed in two directions. One lead to creating of numerous contra-cultural movements (hip, punk rock, pop, bit) and later new social movements (student, feminist, peace), and the other direction has lead to creating of various ideological, “revolutionary” and “left wing” terrorist groups and movements.[12] While ones looked for identity through alternative cultural circles, in a non violent way requested to be understood, and included into society, others have started to by way of violence, to destroy and kill to find their “left wing” and “revolutionary” identity and, inspired by ideas of “Marxism”, and other revolutionary and communist ideas and movements,[13] through creating fear and chaos demand in the society and in that find the sense of life and acting.

This shows that a different answer to the anxiety of everyday life is possible, made by economic, social and spiritual crisis. So, ones had looked for identity and had been finding it in “new” music, clothing, nonconformist behavior, defying traditionalism and cultural taboos, and others through terrorism.

Ideological terrorism is not inspired by only left wing and revolutionary ideas but also “left wing” ideology which is marked by the inequality of sexes, intolerance towards new cultural trends, opposing abortion, ignoring of poverty and social inequality, increase of weapons, a hard position of immigrants etc. “The new right wing”, “the moral majority” and terrorism mutually instigate each other, act by laws of “connected dishes”: right wing on one side, with its ideas inspires terrorist actions, like in the case of immigrants,[14] and on the other side prevents pluralism, tolerance, and multiculturalism, doubts certain ideologies and religious movements which causes terrorist actions for the purpose of defending identity. Then, “the right wing” starts a campaign for the fight against terrorism and their followers and terrorists respond to that and that is how the circle of fear, uncertainty, and frustrations begins.

In late 80′s and at the beginning of 90′s of the 20th century a crises arises and after that an economical and political crash of the socialist countries and the communist ideologies, as well as the end of the “cold war”, which brings to the crisis of the ideological (“left wing”and “revolutionary”) identity. That showed that ideological identity does not last long and the power of adopting such as ethnic of religious identity. Because they were without support of the ideological terrorist group they start to fall.[15] However, an event in Italy in the March of 2002[16] shows that ideological terrorism still exists and that it can be revitalized in “suitable” social conditions.

Just like “anti-imperialism” earlier instigated the occurrence of ideological terrorism, there is the possibility for that role to belong to very strong and numerous “anti-global” movements. These movements mobilize a big number of various social, cultural, political and ideological groups and individuals among which there are those who use violence as a means to direct attention to themselves and the problem of global poverty. From that, there is only one step to the moment when the individual or a group will reach out for terrorist actions in order to show their new identity – “fighter” against globalism and mondialism.

Religious Identity and Terrorism

Religious identity is stronger than any other identity because it is important for Godly “justice” and grace. God is some kind of last (final) resort, of a man’s, asylum after temptation and failure. An individual does everything in the name of God and at God’s order. Because of that religious terrorism is also strongly rooted in individual and collective identity, inconsiderate and cruel by choice of aims and execution of actions and very wide spread. Also, it is at the same time the oldest form of terrorism[17], and it is often related to ethnic terrorism (they mutually instigate each other).

The rise of modern religious terrorism is related to the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979. Since then the number of groups and organizations which spread the ideas of Islamic fundamentalism, instigate the fight against “non-believers” is increasing, and they show endless fanaticism in the defense of cleanliness of the Islamic identity. That is how religious terrorism repressed (replaced) ideological terrorism and in the ethnical and national terrorism took a central place and became the main mobilizing factor. As the spreading of religion and defense of religious identity “is the Godly task and aim”, that violence and terrorism in the conscious of religious fundamentalists occurs as a means of “a Godly aim” and on the way towards “a Godly aim” there are no obstacles, nor those that innocently die. There is no forgiving for the one who is encouraged to “insult” or dispute religious identity.[18]

The roots of religious terrorism are located in various kinds of frustrations, feeling of sub ordinance, persecution and endangerment, in the presence of different conspiracy theoriesand enemy intentions of “those others”, in a mystical and irrational comprehension of “God’s orders”,[19] in motives of preserving of “holy places”, in an ideology of “blood and ground”, wishing to eliminate the imagined enemy.

Aureole of a “sufferer”[20] is a metaphor which indicates the depth of roots of religious terrorism and its moving and mobilizing strength in one religious community. It lives an illusion of the only means which is left to the weaker, smaller, meaningless, retarded and hated. But in fact, if we look closer, the “sufferer” is the one which does not want to improve, but strives to eliminate the better, more capable ones, stronger, advanced. The “sufferer” has become the main element of religious identity and a wanted strength in the part of the modern Islam. Death as a virtue[21] opposes life as the highest value which the human civilization has confirmed and which is stated in all aspects of life, including religion. Here we need to remind ourselves of the opinion of Karl Poper which states that the probability that life will be found on other planets is one in a million and that is exactly the reason why life is a big secret and at the same time very precious. From the point of human rights, the right to life is a basic human right, it is above all else, above every idea, action, program, intension and aspiration. Respecting of life (equally your own and someone else’s) is an indicator of the cultural improvement and the emancipation of man, a social community and society in general. Life has through the whole human kind symbolized a source, enthusiasm, inspiration, and death has meant ceasing, finality, cruelty.

Why is death lifted by the act of “suffering” as a central part of religious identity? There can be many reasons, but two of them are emphasized. The first, time and space, a total social milieu in which the “sufferer” is located creates a feeling of life anxiety, promotes fatalism and hurtfulness from which there is need to run into “eternity” as an abstract and metaphysic category which negates the idea of time, present, creativeness, and possibility, which negates man as a creator and promotes God as the only creator. Second, religious education and religious institutions, as a dominant (somewhere also exclusive) form of socialization enlarge the suicidal act as the biggest range in religious devotion (devotion to God) and way which provides the “sufferer” a direct way to heaven and to his family respect. Manipulation has achieved such a strong identity with death that the “sufferer” leaves anxiety, senseless and empty life with a smile[22] convinced that a real life and sense awaits him (marked with a well known word- heaven ) and that he could deserve it only by the act of sacrifice. Such rooted terrorism is becoming more and more stronger, senseless, mobilizing and longer lasting.

“small” identity and terrorism

Until now we have been talking about identities which assume belonging to great social groups and collectives, but there are also those less rooted identities, which mobilize smaller groups, take less space even though they can be a strong mover and motivate individuals and groups to by violence and terrorist actions acquire, maintain, strengthen and defend such an identity. Here I will point out some of those “small” identities and their connection with terrorism.

Often directly related to religious identity and by it produced terrorism is racial identity and with it racial terrorism which is related to it.[23] Just like with religious terrorism here the the imperative of “cleanliness” and separation from those “others” is being imposed, creating of a “pure” white (or maybe some other) race, a white nation, and that is, often, being related with God’s orders and expectations. Members of another race are considered “dirty”, “evil”, “Children of Satan”, someone who unnecessarily occupies “our” area and endangers “our” peace and prosperity and its removal and “cleansing” justifies by terrorist actions and destroying.

Today there are more and more groups and individuals whose “identity” is found in mystic, occult, transcended and irrational inspiration. They don’t always distinguish that “other”, they consider enemies everyone outside of their group, their battle for space and affirmation is convulsive and cruel, the choice of targets and groups as victims of their actions for the purpose of confirming of own identity it is often irrational and randomly chosen, just to cause an effect.[24] Various cults and sects lead by prophets, mysticisms, magus’s, Messiahs, and gurus manage to win over followers which completely and unquestioningly identify themselves with them and are ready to confirm their trust and identity by terrorist actions. These groups are often of a limited time length and area range because the great psychological charge, non-selectiveness of fighting targets, isolation, and the finding out that all that is usually related to the intent of the leader to arrive to great material wealth expressed in real estate and a “fat” financial account in world known banks bring to the dispersal of the group and sometimes even self-destruction.

There are also individuals which use terrorism as a means to get into the media, to shock the general public. Choice of targets for action can be very different, specific, unexpected, and sometimes very usual which can be replaced by normal citizen initiative or a social movement.[25] Sometimes even the obsession with the media, the magic attraction of publicity, as well as imitating of heroes from criminal or horror movies, is enough of a motive to carry out terrorist actions. This kind of terrorism can be marked as terrorism because of confirming or searching for identity in exhibitionism and adventurism.

There are examples which indicate that terrorist actions are carried out, mainly, in order to acquire money and because of types of illegal wealth.[26] The real power of money (hidden and open) which has for a long time been a subject of social and psychological analysis attracts people to stay as much as possible “close by”, to do everything to acquire that power. Money is a strong (sometimes even the only) motivational and moving means. By its multi meaning and close to unlimited possibilities it “forces” people to “believe” it without a doubt, to devote themselves and surrender. That way money becomes a sense, objective and aim of acting and of the existence of some personality. Personality identifies with it and represses other identities, money stays the only identity. Such “one-dimensional personality” terrorism sees as the only means of acquiring and preserving of identity.

Terrorism itself becomes an identity when anyone who feels endangered, unhappy, in the state of anxiety and confusion, personal experience with injustice can reach for terrorist actions and in that way “find” its areas of acting, make itself “significant”, draw attention, cause reaction in the public, “take justice into your own hands”. This type of terrorism (and the same goes for terrorism because of money) does not leave a direct political message as ethical, religious or ideological terrorism, but makes a person think about the different, new causes and motives for terrorism, its roots in the conscious of groups and individuals, about fear, terror and uncertainty of the modern man.


Even though we can find the roots of terrorism in the past, terrorism is a product of the modern times, especially the second half of the 20th century. Its motives and causes are different. The aim of terrorism is to draw attention of the general public to the state, position and problems of a social group and its positioning in the center of attention in relation to all other problems in the country, region, and even in the world, the sending of a message (usually political) about the aspirations and intentions of that group. If we look closer, we will see that the basis of every terrorist motive is the acquiring, preserving and defending of individual and/or collective identity. Terrorism endangers all significant resources of the modern society: the economy, democracy, freedom and human rights.

Terrorism opens numerous questions of the future life and development of society. Does terrorism “favor” the fast pace of development which increases and deepens inequalities in the world, exhaustion of natural resources, puts into a “neocolonial” position countries of “classical” colonies and those that were not that earlier, turns their markets into a polygon for its goods of “suspicious” quality and closes its market for their goods. Does the request of developed economies and their governments (first of all USA) for free access to all significant world markets, sources of energy and other resources irritates certain groups (first of all religious and ideological) and encourages them to “protect” their area without taking into account the attitudes of their governments and the reaction of the neighboring countries. Economic globalization and liberalization also open doors for terrorist reactions of those who see that as an unfair “world order”, a new kind of “imperialism” (in that sense irresistibly is imposed the symbolism of the destruction of the two towers of the World Trade Center on the 11th of September of 2001). Second great symbolism can be seen in the name of the terrorist organization which clearly defines itself as international – Al Kaida (which means “network”). Namely, paradigm of globalization is the “network” (everything is networked). Difficulties can additionally be increased if terrorist groups “uncover” various anti-global movements as a “resource” for their acting.

The problem of modern terrorism becomes even more difficult by spreading of means and possibilities for mass destruction (nuclear, biological, chemical, and bacterial substance). At the same time that the economy and technology globalize, terrorism also globalizes, crosses borders and possibilities of some countries controlling it or preventing, it becomes “international” considering the area and dynamic of spreading and activity. There are chances that terrorism will, considering the number of terrorist groups, their targets, means and ways of acting, even quicker spread in the 21st century. Terrorism has today become the new form of power, or to be more precise: terrorism is a form of global distribution of power whose lever is fear. It is turn for establishing global “solidarity from fear” (Ulrih Bek) in order to withstand the spread of terrorism. Unfortunately, terrorism as an occurrence can be manipulated for political purposes by non-prompt and non-selective (or directed by selective) access to the “international fight” against terrorism.

[1] The first year of the new century and millennium has started in the sign of such indication. What happened on the 11th of September of 2001 in the terrorist attack on New York and Washington, judging by the number of victims and the degree of destruction, warns us about the unimaginable power and diversity of modern terrorism. If we add to that, the fact that according to some analysis done by FBI, there are over 3000 terrorist groups and organizations in the world today and 200 000 terrorists that are related to those groups, then the picture of the modern world becomes even more morbid.
[2] A precise and very analytical definition of terrorism is given by Brus Hofman: “….. terrorism is: unavoidably political by aims and impulses; violent or, what is equally important, threatens by violence; its aim is to cause far-reaching psychological consequences that are not directly aimed at the victim or target; it is lead by some organizations with a recognizable line of command or structure of conspiracy cells.” (Brus Hofman, Internal Terrorism, Belgrade, 2000, page 38)
[3] “Philosophers have shown us that on a cognitive level there is no aspect of our personal existence in which we can be sure”. ( Anthony Giddens, The Consequences of Modernism, by “Filip Visnjic”, Belgrade, 1998, pg. 95)
[4] People with bad, hidden intentions travel with fake passports and other documents, other people’s names, hidden backgrounds etc. A question is posed are they personalities, or are they just human beings which in an absurd way keep human traits as of the human kind.
[5] Richard Jennkins, Ethnicity in the New Key, “The Library of the XX Century”, Belgrade, 2001, pg. 84
[6] We find an interesting opinion of Raul Zirarde who states that “an individual looses his identity by giving himself to to the leader; however this kind of gift of own identity will finally bring to the finding of one self. Because, such enlargement of the famous double is actually searching for own identity, instinct need for conquering of the real ‘self’ ” ( Raul Zirarde, Political myths and mythologies, “The Library of the XX Century” Belgrade, 2000, pg. 106)
[7] Or how nicely Jennkins notices it, “….children know who they are mostly because others tell them…..” (Richard Jennkins, Ethnicity in the new key, op. cit. pg. 85).
[8] A good example of how an ethnic identity originates on the basis of pointing out differences is the one in Ireland. “Common protestant ethnic identity has originated when differences between the Anglicans and non-conformists, the English and Scots, were pushed aside by their greater differences in relation to Irish-Catholics” (Richard Jennkins, ibid. pg. 161)

[9] Smith warns us about that too: “The search for the national I and the relationship of the individual towards himself stay one of the most mysterious elements in the nationalistic project” (Anthony D. Smith, The National Identity, “The Library of the 20th century” Belgrade, 1998 pg. 34).

[10] Anthony D. Smith, Ibid., pg. 35

[11] “We must kill their most prominent and well known people. As we are not able to get close to their country officials, we must kill their artists and athletes” – a statement made by one of the Palestinian terrorists which organized the killing of Israeli athletes at the Olympic games in Munich in the year of 1972.

[12] The most well known such movements are: RAF (Fraction of the Red Army) in Germany; RB (Red Brigades) in Italy; AD (Direct Action); JRA (Japanese Red Army); BTAF (Bureau for the Fight against alcoholism, smoking and lethal weapons) in USA; CCC (Communist Fight Administration) in Belgium; SL (Light Path) in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Certainly the media among those 3000 modern terrorist groups and organizations (see footnote No. 1) has a representative of ideological terrorism.

[13] About the difference of the two mentioned sensibilities also witness the words of the RAF Astrid Prol activist: “You need to understand that at the time the most fantastic thing was to be a revolutionist and not a rock star.” (Quoted according to: Bruce Hoffman, Internal Terrorism, op. cit. pg. 72).

[14] The murdering of immigrants, the burning of their homes and flats indicates that terrorism finds inspiration in the right wing movements and ideas on the endangerment of the domestic population from immigrants.

[15] The RAF group has split up in 1992 after numerous difficulties around coordinating of activity and sense of action in the new situation of Germany and Europe. Other movements have ceased their actions too.

[16] Members of “Red Brigades” have admitted that they have killed Mark Badjij who is the Executive Adviser in the Ministry of Work in Italy as the answer to the amendments of Law on Work which the Government has adopted, taking over the right to arbitrate in the name of workers of Italy and “defend” their interests.

[17] A Jewish sect known under the name Zeloti (or Ziloti) which means “fanatic warrior”, “excessive fighter”, has fought in the 60′s of the first century after Christ against the Roman Empire killing in front of a bewildered mass of people in public places (usually the market) a member of a non-Jewish, but also any Jew that that group pronounces a traitor. In India in the 7th century n.e. there was a cult called “bully” which conducted terror by ritually killing people in the name of honor of Hindu goddess of fear named Kali. In XI and XII century in Syria and Iran there was a religious terrorist movement called “asasin”.

[18] The famous fatva which was issued by ajatolah Homeini (with which the Author Salman Ruzdi is sentenced to death) obliges every Muslim to conduct it as soon there is a chance. The killer of the Israeli Premier Jicaka Rabina has stated that he is not sorry because he has acted “per God’s orders”.

[19] The metaphor “God’s order” becomes an excuse for different actions and plans whose subjects are individuals and groups. Such a mystic show about secrecy and orders opens different possibilities of choice of time, place and aims of terrorist actions, it further means that an “order” can be applied and understood in different ways so that everyone has a right to take over the obligation to execute “orders” and choose the instruments for its execution, that anyone has an alibi for consequences of such actions because they originate from someone in whose “validity” there is no doubt or question.

[20] “Sufferer” is the one who sacrifices their life to execute a terrorist action which needs to result with as many victims, often this refers to suicide bombers which belted with explosives go to places where there are a lot of people from the “enemy” side and by activating explosives destroy themselves and those that happen to be close by. According to Islamic beliefs for that act they are awarded from God because they go straight to heaven and his family celebrates him as a hero. Some researchers think that belief is rooted in Koran where in one paragraph it states that “those that die for Allah should not be considered dead, they live alongside their God”.

[21] “…They love Jihad, they fight for Islam, they are people which like to die”, a military instructor from Pakistan tells his thoughts about Afghanistan’s fanatics to a journalist. “…my destiny is to become a human bomb because I am Palestinian” a suicide bomber states in a goodbye letter before going to execute his task. “… A Muslim likes death and suffering just like a Jew likes life” states one Palestinian mufti.

[22] There are numerous examples which show that suicide-bombers have left to execute their horrific and irrational act with a smile on their face, or they have a moment before pulling the handle which activates the explosive shouted with joy. A well known example is where killers of the ambassador Rolovic after being caught sang hugged and showing signs of triumph.

[23] The most well known example of racial terrorism which leans on religious is “American Christian white Lord”, “Christian patriots”, “Finiev’s clergy”.

[24] The best example of terrorism in the name of the transcendental and irrational identity represents the act of the Aum Sinrikjo sect (sect of “top truth”) which has in the Tokyo metro in the March of 1995 released poisonous gas called saran wanting to kill as many people as possible to “accelerate” the destruction of this “dirty” world, which is imminent in the opinion of millennium prophets of mystique and apocalypse.

[25] The motive of terrorist actions sometimes is a protection of some animal, the fight against nuclear weapons, ban of abortion, unhappiness with the local administration, the fight against immigrants and foreigners etc.

[26] A terrorist group known as the Japanese Red Army (JRA) has carried out terrorist actions in Lebanon in the 80′s exclusively for money. Terrorist actions which are carried out by mafia groups and drug dealers in Columbia have for a purpose to acquire a huge amount of money and wealth from drug dealing. The same motive is also present in those terrorist actions which has as a consequence the liquidation of a person which has supported the prevention of criminal, the black market and other illegal money flows.

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