Chapter Eleven:
Nationalistic and Ethnic
Terrorism
The Logic of Ethnic
Terrorism
The Logic of Ethnic Terrorism

Daniel Byman and the logic of ethnic
terrorism
 Ethnic terrorism differs from terrorism
carried out in the name of ideology,
religion or economic gain
 Ethnic terrorists are usually more
nationalistic than their religious
counterparts
The Logic of Ethnic Terrorism

Ethnic terrorists and national identity
 Ethnic terrorist try to forge national
identity
 Their primary purpose is to mobilize a
community
 Terrorist activity is used to make a
statement about the group’s identity
 Terrorism polarizes other ethnic groups
and forces them to either ally with the
terrorists or oppose them
The Logic of Ethnic Terrorism

Ethnic terrorism and violence
 Violence keeps the idea alive
 Violence sustains the conflict, even
when political objectives are far out of
reach
 Violence also serves to undermine
moderates who seek peaceful solutions
The Logic of Ethnic Terrorism

Fear as a tool of ethnic terrorism
 Violent ethnic terrorists use fear to
polarize various constituencies
 Fear polarizes cultural differences,
forcing greater identification with one’s
own group
 Fear keeps a group from developing
alternative identities
The Logic of Ethnic Terrorism

The limited response of the government
 Governments can enter the game and
try to promote rival identities
 Governments can engage in group
punishment
 Governments can try to gain the
cooperation of moderates
 Governments can open the doors to
political participation
The Logic of Ethnic Terrorism

Lifeline of ethnic terrorism
 Ethnic terrorist organizations tend to be
long-lasting because they can build
logical structures and they can hide in a
ready-made population
The Logic of Ethnic Terrorism

Three methods for government policy
 Empowering the community
 Winning over moderates to the political
system
 Encouraging self-policing
The Basque Nation and
Liberty
The Basque Nation and Liberty

Euskadi ta Askatasuna (ETA or Basque
Nation and Liberty)
 The ETA has waged a campaign of
violence since 1959 that has killed more
than eight hundred people
 The ETA’a goal is to establish an
autonomous homeland in northern
Spain and southern France
The Basque Nation and Liberty

The Basque separatist movement and its relation
to terrorism
 Basque separatists believe they should be
allowed to develop a homeland in Spain, and
since the 1950s, Basque separatism has been
an important issue in Spanish politics
 Current problems are a result of gradual loss
of national identity that began in the
nineteenth century when Madrid assumed
greater control of the region, and accelerated
in the early twentieth century because of
industrialization
The Basque Nation and Liberty

The ETA and the nationalist movement
 The ETA formed as an offshoot of a
nationalist political party in 1959
 In 1966, the ETA voted to engage in
armed revolution
 In 1968, the group started a terrorist
campaign
The Basque Nation and Liberty

The ETA-M
 A more militant group, the ETA-M,
broke away from the ETA in 1974
 ETA-M described itself as the military
wing of the ETA and was responsible
for the worst atrocities of the 1970s
and 1980s
The Basque Nation and Liberty

Characteristics of the ETA
 Membership matches the composition of the
local population, although most terrorists are
male
 The ETA is primarily a working-class
movement
 Members of the ETA were either born in a
Basque family, or they were raised in Basque
enclaves and feel a strong ethnic identity
 The overwhelming majority feel they are
fighting for all the members of their
community
 Most interestingly, members of the ETA did
not view terrorism as a full time activity
The Basque Nation and Liberty

Similarities between the ETA and IRA
 The eventual goal of Basque terrorism
is regional independence
 The majority of Basques do not support
the terrorist campaign, even though
most support nationalism and some
form of independence
The Basque Nation and Liberty

Current State of the ETA
 As Spanish authorities opened
opportunities for democracy and
national expression, the ETA
transformed itself into a social
movement
 When the political system opened, the
desire for ethnic cultural identity was
not strong enough to support violence
 At this time, the ETA still engages in
terrorist violence
The PKK and Its Alter Egos
The PKK and Its Alter Egos

The Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK)

The PKK, founded in 1974, is a Marxist-Leninist
organization composed of Turkish Kurds

Officially changing its name to Kurdistan Freedom and
Democracy (KDEK) in 2002, it operates in Turkey and
Europe, targeting Europeans, Turks, rival Kurds, and
supporters of the Turkish government

Since 1990, it has employed the language of
nationalism, and since 1995, it has also used the
verbiage of religion

PKK could not generate enough support for the
Communists, so its leadership chose the path of
terrorism
The PKK and Its Alter Egos

Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley
 Efforts to build a terrorist organization
increased by moving into Lebanon’s
Bekaa Valley in September 1980
 Allies were quickly formed in the Syrian
camp, and by 1984, a number of
trainees had moved through the camps
in Lebanon
 PKK moved its bases of support for a
campaign against Turkey; Support
turned out to be the key factor
The PKK and Its Alter Egos

The negative effect of tactics
 Although the Kurds were ready to fight for
independence, they were not willing to
condone massacres and terrorist tactics
 The PKK responded in 1990 by redirecting
offensive operations by limiting its attacks to
security forces and economic targets
 The PKK also modified its Marist-Leninist
rhetoric and began to speak of nationalism
The PKK and Its Alter Egos

The PKK shifts its position
 In October 1995, the PKK was willing to
settle for a federation instead of
complete autonomy
 By December, the PKK was using the
rhetoric of Islam
 The PKK shifted its position to achieve
the greatest amount of support
The PKK and Its Alter Egos

The pejorative nature of terrorism
represented by the PKK
 When a terrorist label is applied to a
group like the PKK, the whole
movement is questioned
 The PKK is a terrorist organization, but
expressing Kurdish nationalism is not a
terrorist act
The PKK and Its Alter Egos

The PKK today
 Turkish authorities captured Abdullah
Ocalan, the leader of the PKK, in Kenya
in February 1999
 Today, the PKK has thousands of
supporters in Turkey and in Europe, but
the United States has agreed to crack
down on the organization in northern
Iraq in late 2003
The Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam

The LTTE
 The LTTE have been fighting for an
independent homeland for nearly 3
million Tamils in northern and eastern
Sri Lanka
 The basis of ethnic conflict is
exacerbated by struggles between
Hindus and Muslims
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam

The origins of LTTE

At the end of WWII, the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka was
concerned about maintaining its ethnic identity

Claiming that the Tamils dominated the Sri Lankan
government, the Sinhalese majority forced the
government to adopt a “Sinhalese-only” policy

A Tamil assassin killed the Sinhalese leader in 1959,
setting the stage for further violence

Buoyed by religious difference and ethnic support, Tamil
separatists could begin a guerrilla campaign by waging
a terrorist campaign

In 1975, Velupillai Pirabhakaran, a young Tamil militant,
took advantage of the situation and formed the LTTE
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam

Tactics of the LTTE
 In 1988 and 1992, the LTTE sought to
control geographic areas, and they
moved using standard guerrilla tactics,
forming uniformed units
 In weaker times, they relied on bank
robberies, bombings, and murder
 In the weakest times, they have also
employed suicide bombers
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam

Retreat of the LTTE
 By 1987, the LTTE retreated to the
jungle, and practiced terrorism from
jungle hideaways
 In 1990, the LTTE expanded its
operations by converting a fishing fleet
into a makeshift navy
 From 1994 to 1995, the Tamil Tigers
waged another bombing and
assassination campaign
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam

The LTTE’s unique position
 The LTTE is in a unique position
because it has such a large guerrilla
base
 The guerrillas are perfectly capable of
fighting a protracted war against
security forces, and if defeated, the
LTTE can revert to terrorism
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam

The LTTE today
 In December 2001 the LTTE agreed to
a cease-fire with the government of Sri
Lanka
 According to the Tamil Eelam Web
homepage, the LTTE is not a terrorist
organization; it is the army of the Tamil
people
The Origins and
Development of the
Anglo-Irish Conflict
The Origins and Development of
the Anglo-Irish Conflict

The Vikings in Ireland
 Irish culture originated with Celtic
invasions
 Viking raiders began to invade Ireland
around A.D. 800
 Viking rule of Ireland was challenged in
1014
The Origins and Development of
the Anglo-Irish Conflict

The Norman invasion
 The Normans were successful in Ireland
because they used new methods of
warfare
 By 1172, the Norman king of England
had assumed the rule of Ireland
 The Normans built castles to control
Irish cities, and Irish peasants generally
dominated rural areas
The Origins and Development of
the Anglo-Irish Conflict

The Protestant Reformation
 During the Protestant Reformation of the
1500s, King Henry the VIII of England created
an independent Church of England. He also
created a similar church in Ireland , but the
Irish Catholics rejected this move and began
to rebel against the English king
 Elizabeth I, Henry’s daughter, carved out the
most prosperous agrarian section, the
plantation of Ulster, and gave it to her
subjects to colonize. English and Scottish
Protestants eventually settled there. This
created an ethnic division in Ireland fueled by
religious differences and animosities
The Origins and Development of
the Anglo-Irish Conflict

Ireland in the 1600s
 The Plantation of Ulster was expanded,
and Irish peasants were systematically
displaced
 Oliver Cromwell came to Ireland to
quell a revolt and stop Catholic attacks
on Protestants
 From 1689 to 1691, James II, the
Catholic pretender to the British throne,
used Ireland as a base from which to
revolt against William of Orange, the
English king
The Origins and Development
of the Anglo-Irish Conflict

Thomas Wolfe Tone
 From 1796 to 1798, Wolfe Tone led a
revolt based on Irish nationalism
 Wolfe Tone argued that Irish
independence was more important than
religious differences
 He created a basis for appealing to
nationalism over religion
The Origins and Development
of the Anglo-Irish Conflict

The Orange Orders
 Taking their name from William of
Orange, these Protestant organizations
vowed to remain unified with Great
Britain
The Origins and Development
of the Anglo-Irish Conflict

The Act of Union
 In 1801, the British Parliament passed the Act
of Union, designed to incorporate Ireland into
the United Kingdom
 Unionists, primarily the Orange Protestants in
the north, supported the act, whereas
Republicans, who became known as Greens,
argued for a constitutional government and an
independent Ireland
 Daniel O’Connor led the Republican movement
 Charles Stewart Parnell, a Protestant, created
a democratic Irish party to support the cause
in the late 1800s
The Origins and Development
of the Anglo-Irish Conflict

The Potato Famine
 The 1845\-1848 potato famine
devastate Ireland
 Ireland’s census dropped by 25 percent
 In the years following the famine, some
members of the British Parliament
sought to free Ireland from British
control. They introduced a series of
Home Rule acts designed to give
Ireland independence
The Early History of the
Irish Republican Army
The Early History of the Irish
Republican Army

Republican military solution to the Irish
conflict
 The solution was born in New York City
in 1857
 Irish immigrants in New York City
created the Irish Republican
Brotherhood (IRB) as a financial relief
organization for relatives in Ireland
 The IRB gradually evolved into a
revolutionary organization
The Early History of the Irish
Republican Army

The Irish Republican Army (IRA)
 The IRA began with a campaign of
violence sponsored by the IRB in the
late 1800s
 The primary targets of the IRB were
Unionists and British forces supporting
the Unionist cause
The Early History of the Irish
Republican Army

The IRB trump over Unionists
 IRB leadership was dominated by men
who believed each generation had to
produce warriors who would fight for
independence
 The IRB had an organization
The Early History of the Irish
Republican Army

Patrick Pearse
 Pearse was an inspirational romantic
who could move crowds to patriotism
and inspire resistance to British policies
 He inspired young Irish boys and girls
to be militantly proud of being Irish
The 1916 Easter
Rebellion
The 1916 Easter Rebellion

The Rebellion
 At Easter in 1916, Patrick Pearse and
James Connolly led a revolt in Dublin
 The Rebellion enjoyed local success
because it surprised everyone
 The British also came to Dublin, and
the city was engulfed in a week of
heavy fighting
The 1916 Easter Rebellion

Pearse’s approach to the British
 Pearse sent a message to the general
in charge of British forces using a new
title: commanding general of the Irish
Republican Army
 Transformations continued in the
political arena
Independence and
Separation
Independence and Separation

Sinn Fein
 Eamon de Valera emerged as the leader
of Sinn Fein, the political party of
Republicanism, and Michael Collins
came to the forefront of the IRA
 Together, de Valera and Collins began
to fight for Irish independence in 1919
Independence and Separation

Conflict between the IRA and the British



After obtaining a list of British and loyalist
Irish police and intelligence officers, Collins
sent IRA terrorists to their homes and killed
them. He attacked police stations and symbols
of British authority.
The British responded by sending a hastily
recruited military force, called the Black and
Tans because of their mismatched uniforms,
and Ireland became the arena for a dreadful
war.
The conflict became popularly known as the
Tan War or the Black and Tan War
Independence and Separation

1921

In 1921, the situation was temporarily solved by a treaty
between Britain and Ireland. Under the terms of the
treaty, Ireland would be granted independence while the
northern section around Ulster would remain under
British protection until it could peacefully be integrated
into Ireland

The IRA did not accept the treaty

Michael Collins led the Irish Army, while de Valera took
the helm of the IRA

De Valera campaigned against his former colleagues and
eventually orchestrated the murder of Michael Collins

The British tightened their hold on Northern Ireland and
bolstered its strength with a new police force, the Royal
Ulster Constabulary

The Unionists used this power to gain control of Northern
Ireland and lock themselves into the British orbit. Ireland
became a divided country
Trends in the IRA:
1930\-1985
Trends in the IRA: 1930\-1985

Split in the IRA ranks
 By the 1930s, some members of the
IRA wanted to follow the lead of their
political party, Sinn Fein
 Another group of the IRA broke with
the de Valera government and formed a
provisional wing of the IRA during the
1930s
Trends in the IRA: 1930\-1985

The Officials and Provisionals
 Internally, the IRA split into a traditional
official branch, the Officials, and a more
militant provisional wing, the Provisionals
 Externally, the economic situation in Northern
Ireland consolidated in favor of the Protestant
Unionists
 The political and economic conditions in
Northern Ireland provided the rationale for a
major civil rights movement among the
Catholics
Trends in the IRA: 1930\-1985

Catholic civil rights movement
 The government in Northern Ireland reacted
with a heavy hand against the civil rights
workers and demonstrators, and this
repression was the answer to IRA prayers
 Issues intensified in the summer of 1969. Civil
rights demonstrators planned a long, peaceful
march from Londonderry to Belfast, but they
were gassed and beaten by the RUC and BSpecials
 Britain sent the British Army in as a
peacekeeping force
Trends in the IRA: 1930\-1985

Support for the British army
 The Unionists greeted the army with open
arms
 Republicans also welcomed the party because
they believed the British Army would protect
them from the Unionists and the police
 As the British Army made its presence felt in
Ulster, Republicans and Catholics were
subjected to the increasing oppression of
army measures, and as confrontations became
more deadly, Republican support for the
British Army vanished
Trends in the IRA: 1930\-1985

The new IRA policy
 The IRA pushed its internal squabbles aside,
and the Officials and Provisionals focused on
their new common enemy, the British Army
 The new IRA policy emphasized the
elimination of British soldiers from Irish soil
and brushed aside internal political differences
 Alienated nationalists offered support for the
growing ranks of the IRA
 As IRA ranks grew, Orange extremist
organizations also began to swell
 Unionist paramilitary organizations grew in
response
The Peace Accord and
Peace Process in Ireland
The Peace Accord and Peace
Process in Ireland

The Anglo-Irish Peace Accord
 In 1985, the United Kingdom and the
Republic of Ireland signed a peace
accord regarding the governance of
Northern Ireland
 The agreement seeks to bring an end
to terrorism by establishing a joint
system of government for the troubled
area
The Peace Accord and Peace
Process in Ireland


J. Bower Bell
 Bell is not optimistic about the ability of any
political entity--government or otherwise--to
bring peace to the island nation by avoiding
every avenue of conflict. Bell says there are
too many agendas and too many people
served by ethnic violence
Suggestions of recent research
 More recent research suggests that although
low-level violence may continue, the amount
of terrorism is decreasing
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Why Definitions are Important