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Terrorism can be defined as political violence in an asymmetrical conflict planned to bring about psychic fear and terror by the destruction of civilian targets and violent victimization. These acts are done with the main purpose of sending a message from an illicit underground organization. Terrorism is meant to exploit media so that to accomplish maximum attainable publicity which act as a magnifying force multiplier so as to influence the targeted audience with the purpose of attaining short-term and midterm political goals as well as preferred long-term end states (Cooper, 2001). A terrorist is someone who takes part in terrorism and they usually bear strong negative intensions. There are different types of terrorists and each type may have differing targets, goals, and motivating factors (Borum, 2004). There are many types of terrorism among which religiously-motivated terrorism, cyber terrorism, and suicide terrorism are the most common and each of which have got distinguishing factors such as psychological aspects, planned to induce emotional responses, including panic, helplessness, or fear in the intended victims. In the United States a number of terrorist incidents have occurred and in this paper, a discussion concerning one of the incidents in made.
One of the terrorist incidents in the United States is the Oklahoma City Bombing which was done by Timothy McVeigh on April 19, 1995 at 9.02 a.m. According to Giordano (2003), Oklahoma City Bombing the worst terrorist incident in the United States until September 11, 2001 when another terrorist attack called World Trade Center occurred. Timothy James McVeigh was born on April 23, 1968 in Lockport, New York. He was brought up by his father William in Pendleton, New York. McVeigh was a target of bullying at his school for which he retaliated against. The United State government was the ultimate bully to McVeigh for which he retaliated by bombing the Oklahoma City. McVeigh was characterized as displaying a withdrawn behavior which can even be ascertained from his biography as he showed stronger desire to die due to unsatisfied sex drive. During his time in high school, he became interested in computer technology and hacked into the computer systems of the United States government. He was seen as highly skilled in computer programming, though he graduated with comparatively low grades. McVeigh started to know more about firearms after his grandfather introduced him to the military devices. He joined the United Sates Army while he was twenty years old, and this was the time McVeigh spent most of his time reading about explosives, firearms, and sniper tactics. In 1991, McVeigh made a decision of leaving the army and he was discharged (Brownell, 2007).
After he had left the army McVeigh started to learn on how to make explosives by using the readily available materials. He specifically put together the household chemicals in jugs made out of plastic. McVeigh was against the United States government because of many reasons, one of them being, the government informing him to pay back $1,058 which he had been overpaid. McVeigh planned to blow up a federal building since he decided to strike against the federal agents who had become soldiers while at their command centerfields. Together with his co-conspirator Nichols, McVeigh constructed an explosive device out of nitromethane and ammonium nitrate and therefore was named ANNM bomb. The bomb was mounted in a Ryder truck and weighed 2,300kg. McVeigh drove the Ryder truck to the front side of a federal building called Alfred P. Murrah. It was early in the morning when offices and day care center were opened. The ANNM bomb exploded at 9.02 a.m. as it destroyed the federal building’s north half, killed 168 human beings and 450 people were injured. Of the victims, small children and babies were nineteen in number. He was later sentenced to death when investigations were made concerning the terrorist incident (Brownell, 2007).
According to Borum (2004), in any given society, different individuals display varied personalities and characters. Terrorists usually display similar personalities such as showing a withdrawn behavior, being high tempered, being revengeful, and showing aggressive behavior. But this does not mean that any person who displays the related behaviors should be accused or victimized by being associated with a terrorist incident. It is very important for thorough investigation to done in the case of any crime so that the right perpetrator is found. Forensic investigation is necessary for determining the perpetrator as well as the cause of a terrorist incident. Law enforcement bodies should consider severe punishment for perpetrators to diminish the tendencies of people from becoming terrorists.
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