The politics of terrorism: gradation of ignorance between instigator and perpetrator

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Politics of terrorism

Pete Edochie died leaving a vast plantation for his sons, Tony Umez and Saint Obi. Their uncle, Chinwetalu Agu, wanted to control and be benefitting from the plantation, so he began sowing distrust among the brothers by secretly supplying each of them provocative information and weapons against each other. As the fighting brothers are distracted from managing their plantation, their uncle, Chinwetalu Agu, feigns peacemaker while exploiting their plantation. The politics of terrorism is often controlled by third parties who gain from both sides of the fight, or at least join the winner in sharing booty.


After being arrested for attacking his country with biological weapons, Jonas Hodges highlights a dimension of several motives and methods in the politics of terrorism.[1]

Jack Bauer:         Why did you attack your country with a biological weapon?

Jonas Hodges:   “the plan was to launch simultaneous attacks early next year, multiple cities, so the public will finally see that government cannot protect them, they demand drastic measures, and WE STEP IN.”

Jack Bauer:         “How would you justify that to the American People?”

Jonas Hodges:   “Simple! Offload the blame, we gonna supply to the enemies who wanna destroy this country: Mohammed this, Ahmed that from sleeper cells and parties you don’t even know they exist.”


Terrorism is “violence or the threat of violence, especially bombing, kidnapping, and assassination, carried out for political purposes.”[2] It is the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.[3] Apart from seeking vengeance or protesting injustice, terrorist activities are often instigated and controlled by people who wish to benefit from the chaos it creates. Politics of terrorism is therefore a systematic manipulation of people to fight one another in order to create opportunities for some gains. Factors influencing politics of terrorism and its manipulation include:


  • Lack of enlightenment: “No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes (perceives) it for happiness, the good he seeks.”[4] Everybody seeks happiness, especially through means they have been directly or indirectly taught by environment, religion, schools or media. A child who grew in a cannibalistic society searches for happiness through killing and eating other people. Hence, social/moral education influences human perception in their search for happiness, either through violence or dialectic demands.

Moral ignorance, different from intellectual ignorance of scientific facts and methods, contributes to the sustenance of politics of terrorism. While the political instigators seek happiness in accumulating wealth and power at human expense, the perpetrators seek happiness in the fulfilment of twisted religious doctrine or social philosophy. In many countries, instigators of terrorism seek to distract the people or their government from undertaking policies that may reduce the instigators’ gain or access.

  • Desire for revenge over previous or ongoing injustice, or for emancipation from perceived forms of diplomatic and political bondage. Some developing countries feel constantly exploited by the developed countries through indigenous political puppets of foreigners. Hence, they rebel against (real or fabricated) foreign exploitation through terrorist activities.
  • Greedy arms dealers and brokers: the financial cost of performing terrorist activities or fighting terrorism are high. It requires purchasing lots of arms, ammunition and war machines from arms dealers, who are eager to make profits from more crisis.
  • Greedy marketers: some marketers of life-sustaining commodities like water and food insist that war is good for business. During war, local production stops, importers are scared of war-zones, and desperation rises among the people. In this desperate period, marketers make double/triple profits from people who are willing to buy sustaining supplies for any amount quoted by marketers. Marketers may not be directly guilty of instigating terror, yet it may not be out of place for them to desire a situation that triples their profit.
  • International beneficiaries of mineral resources: in this era of globalization, developing countries, especially in Africa, continue supplying mineral resources to developed nations and buying finished products. Any attempt to begin utilizing these resources for local production may be seen by the industrialist nations as a threat to their access to mineral resources. Hence, industrialised nations who depend on mineral resources from developing nations could distract the resource-owners through politics of terrorism. Presently, there are allegations that resource-rich countries are distracted from utilizing their resources by externally armed rebels/terrorists.


“Permanent UN members have been shipping weapons to Terrorist’s cells, for at least three years. Those so-called “moderates”. They use diplomatic planes to carry weapons to war zones.”[5]


Politics of terrorism requires moral and factual ignorance, especially of the perpetrator, to grow. Thus, peaceful societies take certain measures to protect their citizens from manipulations.

  • They organize and educate people both morally and intellectually.
  • They make proper agreements on the modes of collaboration for productivity and friendship.
  • They engage all their people in productive activities, to avoid idle and exploitable people.
  • They resolve conflicts without involving outsiders who may take advantage of the situation.
  • They portray a very good image of themselves and their society to the world.

However, in places where it has began already, the society could take some steps to manage its effect and spread:

  • Apply required force to fight off the perpetrators.
  • Trace and arrest internal instigators of terrorism.
  • When safer, trace and notify/sanction external instigators of suspicions about their involvement.
  • Ensure enlightenment of citizens through the media, churches, schools and other gatherings.
  • Engage the citizens productively, gainfully and morally, so they are not idle for manipulation.
  • Discuss and deduct some percentage of citizens’ salaries to purchase shares in government industries, so they can be getting dividends from government-owned business profits. With shares in government industries, citizens will likely protect the society and government property, instead of bombing them.


There may not be an easy cure for moral ignorance, which leads to politics of terrorism as we do not know everything. Yet, governments and societies will continue to make SINCERE EFFORTS to achieve social justice as a good guarantee for security in human society.


Enlightenment becomes most important in terror-prone areas, especially in Nigeria and other African nations. Young, naive, morally and intellectually ignorant boys and girls are being instigated to blow themselves up in the name of religion or social ideas. Others are allegedly convinced of 72 heavenly virgins to be inherited for dying in a holy war of indiscriminately bombing innocent people. Yet, a sincere government will arise to enlighten, organize, empower and gainfully engage Nigerians in collaboration for productivity.


Note: The introductory story was only used for illustration, it never happened.


[1] Joel Surnow, 24, Season 7, Episode 20

[2] Microsoft® Encarta® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

[3] Terrorism. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved February 7, 2018 from website

[4] Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Vindication of rights of men, 1790. Extracted from on 11-09-2017