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Domestic Terrorism – The Oklahoma City Bombing

3650 words - 15 pages

Criminal Investigation CJ210-12Final ProjectDomestic TerrorismBy Shelly JustisProfessor James Schlicher, MSSeptember 1, 2008Domestic Terrorism - The Oklahoma City BombingThe first think people may think of when they think terrorism is the "9-11" attacks. But they fail to think of the attacks that can take place or have taken place here on our soil by our own people. Until the Oklahoma City bombing, Americans generally though of terrorism as a foreign problem that could not invade the walls of our nation. Militia and patriot groups were thought to be relatively harmless groups who enjoyed rousing people's emotions. The majority of Americans did not realize how serious or dangerous these ...view middle of the document...

Accordingly, extremist groups like the Weathermen and Students for a Democratic Society were responsible for a number of small bombings at the Pentagon, The United States Capitol, and several State Department buildings. Most of the people involved in these groups were young idealists who believed in the possibility of a peaceful world. When asked if today's extremist groups could be compared to those of the 1960s, Tom Hayden, once a member of the Weathermen, said: "To us, revolution was like birth: blood is inevitable, but the purpose of the act is to create life, not to glorify blood". Even though the Ku Klux Klan KKK) began as a joke, it became a dominant player when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was put in to effect. The Klan proudly claimed responsibility for twelve murders, seventy bombings, and thirty church fires from 1962 until 1974. Finally, extremist groups of the 1980s and 1990s have turned their anger on the United States Government and modern society. These extremists were trying to restore the society back to a previous era (Gallagher, Jones, and McFalls 317). According to James William Gibson, professor at California State University at Long Beach, "They're largely inadequate people who dream about bringing back a country that was never there to begin with" (Marks 144). These groups want freedom from government rules and regulations, yet they want to rule themselves and others with an iron-fisted grip. Moreover, extremists have turned away "cultural goals" and "institutionalized means" and rejected society in order to establish a new social order which compliments their own agenda (Gallagher, Jones, and McFalls 281). Modern day terrorists are no longer an internal enemy of the government who simply want to change the system; they have grown into independent agents who act autonomously to completely destroy the system. Not only have they rejected society as a whole, sociologists now argue that extremist groups have moved from being a mere counter culture to a deviant culture. No longer are they looked at as a group of middle class, white men who play war on the weekends. More and more they are being seen as a culture that continually breaks society's important beliefs for their own agenda (Gallagher, Jones, and McFalls 270-71). A characteristic of extremist groups that fit with being a deviant culture is the extremist's willingness to use war-like tactics against non-military populations. For example, only a small number of the victims of the Murrah bombing were connected with the military. The vast majority of those killed were, in fact, civilians. Another important characteristic of a deviant culture is the fact that they propagate the importance of "belief" over "knowledge," which often explains the outrageous and ridiculous ideas these extremists live by (George and Wilcox 9). Specifically, all political patriots, militia groups, and fundamental extremists share a common belief that there is a plot within the United States...

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