JD: Week3: Discussion Question

Terrorist-State Relationships

States that support terrorist groups are known as “state sponsors of terrorism.” In 2008, the U.S. Department of State indicated that Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria were state sponsors of terrorism. A state can be any sovereign political entity, such as a country, or coincide within a larger state or nation. States have their own sets of laws and courts and therefore can dictate their own policies and regulations. This means they can choose to provide financial and political support to terrorist groups. When states support terrorist groups, they often receive support from the groups in return. Terrorist groups might provide states with protection, access to weapons, or intelligence information.

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Relationships between states and terrorist groups often have a negative impact on the social, political, and economic systems of those states. Despite such negative influences on the government and its people, many states do not cease relationships with terrorist groups. Therefore one has to ask, why do some states support terrorist groups? In some cases, the support that terrorist groups provide ensures resources that the State is otherwise unable to access. In others, the terrorist groups provide military support against rival enemies to the state.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the assigned pages in Chapter 4 in the course text Terrorism in Perspective. Reflect on the financial relationships between states and terrorist groups.
  • Review the Chapter 4 article “The Ultimate Organization” in the course text Terrorism in Perspective. Consider Khalfan Mohamed’s story and reflect on the relations that terrorist groups have with states.
  • Review the article “Passive Sponsors of Terrorism.” Reflect on the impact of state sponsored terrorism.
  • Review the PBS video segment A Strengthening Taliban. Consider the relationship between the Taliban and the Afghanistan government.
  • Review the PBS video segment The Challenge Just Over the Border. Think about the Pakistan Army’s support for the Taliban.
  • Review the article “Weak State and Global Threats: Fact or Fiction?” Think about the role that weak and impoverished states have in promoting terrorism.
  • Select one terrorist group that is state-supported to use for this assignment.
  • Consider the nature of the relationship between the terrorist group and the state.
  • Think about how the relationship impacts the terrorist group and the state.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a brief description of the terrorist group you selected and the state that supports the group. Then, explain the nature of the relationship between them. Finally, explain the impact of the relationship on both the terrorist group and the state. Be specific.

Name of state and terrorist group: Libya support to a variety of Palestinian terrorist groups
Required Reading Please see attachment and video link

Video Link:  


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