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Peer Responses Week 2

HSE 470: Modern Terrorism

Response #1 (Hudson): Islamic ideology has had a major impact within Africa. Islamic ideology influences many factors all that go together to make the problem in Africa greater. It is important when studying and discussing this to understand that Africa is a very large and diverse continent which means that different parts of Africa might be experiencing something different than another when it comes to Islamic ideology. Islamic ideology can influence everything from cultural so political norms and has an effect that shapes the area that it is in. Islamic ideology has worked to shape different practices and traditions within the area and the influence can be seen in everything from literature all the way to music in the regions that it is in. One of the important influences that can be seen is the conflicts that can come within the area for multiple different reasons, although some are obvious there are many factors that contribute to this. Funding is the main reason that terrorist can continue to operate and is the reason that a group can operate at a higher level. One big way that terrorist can find funding is by seizing aid that is meant for other purposes such as humanitarian purposes. There are also many other ways that terrorist can acquire funding within Africa. There have been examples of terrorists kidnapping and demanding ransom and there is even external support from other places for numerous different reasons. There is also a long legacy and history of Islam within Africa. The roots of Islam can be seen with the spread of political Islam throughout Africa’s history and Islamic movements all of which can be tr5aced back throughout history. There is a belief that the history of Islam within Africa was not peaceful, although it might not have been peaceful there are many examples in history of peaceful points.


Bushehri, F. (2021, July 8).  Countering the Financing of Terrorism in West Africa. Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). Retrieved October 26, 2021, from

Solomon, H. (2015). Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Africa. Springer Nature.

Response #2 (Timothy): Islam has a rich history in Africa, with its presence dating back to the 7th century (Department of the Arts of Africa). This religion spread through the continent through trade routes, military expansion, and migration (Department of the Arts of Africa). The spread of Islam in Africa was gradual and adaptive, following multiple paths and shaping the continent's societies in many ways (Department of the Arts of Africa). The presence of Islam in Africa has had a significant impact, with the continent being the first into which Islam spread from the Arabian Peninsula (Stanford). The Islamic State or (IS) has established a notable presence in Africa, with militant groups pledging allegiance to IS and forming official provinces. Islamic terrorism, particularly in West and East Africa, has been a major challenge, with groups pledging allegiance to the Islamic State (Stanford). The Islamic State's in Africa has led to worries and calls for an international plan to address this issue.

The funding sources of terrorism in Africa are complicated and comprehensive, involving several factors such as local dynamics, external support, and illegal activities. The Sahel region has been identified as a potential area where al-Qaeda could establish a haven and influence African Muslims, raising international concern (Filiu). Overall, the enduring legacy of Islamism and the funding sources of terrorism in Africa continue to be a major concern that I believe will require a comprehensive attack and global help to address.

Work Cited

Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. "Trade and the Spread of Islam in Africa."  The Met. n.d.

Filiu, Jean-Pierre. "Could Al-AQaeda turn African in the Sahel?"  Carnegie Papers. n.d.

Stanford. "The Spread of Islam in West Africa."  Spice Digest. 2009.


HSE 460: European Union

Response #1 (Hudson): Within the first half of the 20th century in Europe there was an insane number of deaths and violence causing around 60 million deaths in total. When studying the most significant historical incidents of violence that have impacted Europe you have to look at the World Wars that both started in Eastern Europe. In the wake of World War 1 there was great unrest in Western Europe due to weak democratic governments that ultimately led to the rise of fascism and Benito Mussolini coming to power. Another main cause for violence was Adolf Hitler and his rise to power and movements that resulted in the deaths of millions including 6 million European jews. Communism also had a great impact on Europe causing division as well as fighting, the communism was seen in Eastern Europe all the way until 1989. Both of the World Wars also had a very significant impact on the structures within Europe and caused very extensive destruction and turmoil. Another war that can be seen in history having a great impact on Europe was the Cold War. The Cold War divided Western Europe and Eastern Europe and because Europe was the major battleground for influence you can see it had a great and long-lasting effect on Europe. There are also many modern examples of terrorism in Europe that have joined in impacting Europe such as the London bombings and the Paris attacks. All of these incidents show the very complex and extensive history of Europe with many different points of conflict and change.


Kubicek, P. (2020).  European Politics (3rd ed.). Taylor & Francis.

Response #2 (Spencer): Europe's history is marked by significant incidents of violence, turmoil, and terrorism that have had a lasting impact on the continent. The major events of World War I and II, as well as the Russian Revolution, had a significant impact on the geopolitical landscape and brought about periods of profound transformation. The Spanish Civil War highlighted the clash of ideologies, while the division of Ireland during the Troubles and the subsequent peace process emphasized the enduring impact of internal conflicts. The Munich Olympics Massacre and subsequent terrorist attacks in London and Paris brought attention to the vulnerability of major events to acts of terror, which has greatly influenced the current discussions on security. The fall of the Berlin Wall marked a significant turning point in history, signifying the conclusion of the Cold War. Meanwhile, the Bosnian War and the breakup of Yugoslavia shed light on the complex task of navigating and resolving ethnic tensions. The complex history of Europe demonstrates the enduring resilience and continuous pursuit of peace and stability despite past challenges.


Kubicek, P. (2020). European Politics (3rd ed.). Taylor & Francis.

Munich Massacre - Olympics, 1972 & Definition | HISTORY. (2021, May 24). HISTORY.

HSE 450: Individual and Cultural Perspectives of Terrorism Radicalization

Response #1 (Andrew): In this week’s discussion, assess the concept of political terrorism. Provide an overview of how the United States policies have impacted terrorist ideology in the Middle East from a radicalization perspective.  Political Terrorism, like the term terrorism itself, has several definitions, both historic and new. Recently, political terrorism definitions tend to inject religious topics (Taylor, 2019. P. 39).  Modern political terrorism often has roots that date back to conflicts from the mid nineteenth century in Europe, where monarchies and colonial driven motives planted seeds of conflict. Movements like anarchism, and left wing extremism promoted violent political overthrow of authority.  As we evaluated in chapter 1 of our text, radicalization can occur from a variety of means, but one way members of the population of middle eastern territories can be radicalized is an us versus them thought process. As Western nations conduct operations in the middle east, it could impact citizens into an in-group / out- group bias, and lead to potential radicalization of those who feel foreigners are invading their territories. Martin Alperen states that the us versus them construct is a powerful drive. He says that people are less accepting of evidence presented by out- group members. He states that groups tend to exaggerate differences between groups in the us versus them mindset. This could make attempts to justify military presence or actions to locals more difficult (Alperen, 2017, p 21).  Looking at U.S. and allies attempts to thwart terrorists in their own homelands could lead to radicalization through this in group / out group bias.  Resources: Alperen, M. J. (2017). Foundations of Homeland Security: Law and Policy (2nd ed.). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  Taylor, R. W., & Swanson, C. R. (2019). Terrorism, Intelligence, and Homeland Security (2nd ed.). Pearson

Response #2 (William): The U.S. has had its history in the Middle East for nearly a century. This is because of the rich oil fields that the Middle East is home to. This has led to the U.S. developing policies designed to help them develop strong relationships with Middle Eastern countries. "This includes supporting the Shah in Iran in the 1950s, which led to Iran giving the U.S. 40% of the oil fields that the country has as a reward," (Taylor, p. 62). This has led many terrorist organizations to oppose the U.S. in the regions and call for them to be removed so as not to defame their holy lands for oil. "Evidence of this is clear when Osama Bin Laden led radical Islams to purge the U.S. out of the Middle East and led to many radical attacks against many U.S. including the 9/11 attacks," (Taylor, p. 63). These attacks not only fueled the U.S. to further have a foothold in the Middle East as they battled the radicals in the regions but also affected how the country of Iraq would come to be in their views of America in the future. "Once the U.S. captured and killed Saddam Hussein, it led to Iraq becoming more unstable leading to more people becoming susceptible to the radicalized Iran and its beliefs," (Taylor, p. 62). "This includes Iraq becoming not only a breeding ground for radical Islamic ideology, but also an anti-American sentiment for terrorist organizations to prove to Arabs that the U.S. is an enemy to Islam.," (Taylor, p. 62). So while the U.S. went to the Middle East to have access to oil and gained support through other countries like Israel, it also affected many people including terrorist organizations resulting in them launching radicalized attacks against the U.S. This effect is still felt to this day as both the U.S. and terrorist organizations are trying to fight back against the other and what they believe in. 


Taylor, Robert. W., & Swanson, Charles. R. (2018).  Terrorism, Intelligence and Homeland Security (2nd ed.). Pearson Education (US).