What criteria should be present in order for a group to be considered a “hate” group or a terrorist organization? Is it proper to label a group as a “hate” group simply because its members advocate a political opinion? What if the group does not itself engage in violence but supports another that does through fund-raising or recruiting?
In your classroom reading this week, you learned that the FBI considers the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) to be a domestic terror organization. Do you agree with this assessment? Why or why not? In order to discuss this question, you will need to research the ALF’s activities as well as the FBI’s position.
Recent years have seen a rise in domestic terror incidents. Fortunately, many of them have been interrupted before any damage was done, such as the attempted bombing in New York’s Times Square. These incidents have brought attention to the difficulty of identifying potential individual terrorists. Most recently, a group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has been recruiting individuals from western countries, including the United States, to join their fight. Officials are concerned that in addition to recruiting people to travel to the Middle East to join their fight, ISIS might be persuading Americans to commit acts of terror at home.
For this final part of the week’s discussion, examine the methods that ISIS uses to gain new recruits. Are any particular people more vulnerable to being recruited? Why do people living comfortable, safe lives in America and other western countries volunteer to give up those comforts in order to travel to Syria to fight for this group? What can be done to prevent the ISIS and other radical groups from recruiting new members?