[Post information was updated in December, 2020]
Terrorism is a way to achieve, either by one person or a group of individuals, the intended goal, by using force to frighten civilians, or creating danger that causes the death of a person or damage to property, both personal and state. Terrorism topics are rather popular and many students are assigned to write different types of papers related to this issue. That’s why we have created this guide with topics that you can choose from.
You can also use them to come up with your own topic.
Terrorism Topics for Debate
- Given the large number of non-state armed groups that operate within states, across regions, or even with global reach, what does recent research say about the likelihood of designated terrorist groups, or those affiliated with them, getting access to and deploying WMDs today?
- Can it be argued that a new form of terrorism has emerged post 9/11?
- Terrorism and its effects on children.
- How can you map terrorist activities in countries like Syria or Russia and correlate them with possible threats to the US interests around the world?
- Is threat of terrorism in America overblown?
- After watching the VICE news segment on suicide bombings, what else could be done to reduce children’s involvement in bombing campaigns? What could the US realistically do to deter it?
- How does technology affect terrorism? How has technology been used in terrorists’ tactics of the past and today?
- What role did terrorism play in the creation of Israel?
- Critically assess how the EU has implemented Security Council resolutions requiring states to combat terrorism, paying particular attention to human rights concerns under the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
- What is the future of religious or faith-based terrorism? Do you believe religion will continue to be a driving force in other parts of the world resulting in terrorist attacks against the West? What other factors are at play with these terrorist groups who claim religion as their cause?
- With international terrorist groups such as ISIS, al-Shabaab, and Boko Haram gaining momentum and their capability to reach people around the world increasing, is the United States at greater risk of a terrorist attack? Which groups do you believe have the greatest capability of carrying out a major attack upon the United States and why? What time frame do you think it could happen?
- Why would terrorist organizations and illicit actors work together? What is the risk to US security of a nexus between crime and terrorism?
- In light of various disclosures about the US Intelligence Agency’s involvement in a number of eavesdropping activities around the world, what can be done to improve our image and ensure smooth cooperation?
- Describe the structure of terrorist cells after World War II. Also, discuss factors responsible for changes in terrorism at the end of the Cold War. Do those factors exist today? How do these factors impact the homeland security enterprise (HSE) today?
- Explain the origins and evolution of long-term separatists, and ethnic and nationalistic terrorism. Also provide group names and their respective parts of the world.
Terrorism Topics for Presentation
- Explain why domestic terrorism is difficult to define. What steps have law enforcement and the department of homeland security (DHS) taken to understand and combat domestic terrorism?
- Describe the intelligence process. What is the difference between national security and criminal intelligence? How does this difference relate to the efforts of those who combat terrorism and violent extremism?
- What are the advantages of cyberterrorism?
- How far should the government go to reduce the likelihood of terrorism on American soil?
- What are causes and effects of terrorism?
- The history of terrorism could be traced back to ancient times. Explain how terrorism changed after the events of September 11, 2001.
- Explain the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter. Provide specific examples of both.
- The US has experienced both right-wing and left-wing violence in its history. Compare and contrast the general goals and beliefs of right-wing and left-wing domestic terrorist groups. Provide specific examples of each.
- Global threats and trends of terrorism in the region.
- How does your definition of terrorism differ or how is it similar to the ones offered by various agencies and individual scholars?
- How effective is US government policy in countering terrorism?
- How is torture justified when using it to fight terrorism?
- Is the GWOT (Global War on Terrorism) winnable?
- Has the United States contributed in some way to terrorism by supporting Israel in its military dominance of the Middle East and our airbases across the Middle East?
Terrorism Topics for Discussion
- How is the form of twenty-first century terrorism different from its previous manifestations? How is it similar?
- In his article, “What Is Wrong with Terrorism?” Thomas Nagel argues that the atomic bombing of Hiroshima is an example of a morally prohibited “terror-bombing” rather than an attack on a legitimate military target. What reasons does Nagel give for this view?
- Discuss the relationship between terrorist groups in different areas of the world and the possible acts of terrorism on the US soil.
- The film “Control Room” insinuates bias exists within media organizations. Is this true? Explain your answer thoroughly by drawing upon examples from the film and the textbook.
- Terrorism in the name of religion has become the predominant model in the modern world. Discuss the symbolism and political and psychological significance of the targets selected by international religious terrorist groups.
- Discuss the legality of terrorism and combating internet extremism.
- Discuss what potential impacts and effects terrorism has on tourism.
- Discuss how we can secure intelligence exchange and cooperation from foreign countries in our fight against the global threat.
- Why has it been so difficult to define the concept of terrorism?
- Discuss why law enforcement and domestic security agencies search for defined roles in their battle against terrorism.
- Discuss the different consequences of victimization likely suffered by survivors of 9/11. Would the survivors be more likely to obtain restitution or compensation for their losses?
- Discuss why it is necessary for law enforcement at all levels to be cognizant of and concerned about transnational terrorism threats.
- Discuss the value of internet propaganda and explain why the internet is a potential weapon for terrorism.
- Discuss how we can secure intelligence exchange and cooperation from foreign countries in light of the most recent disclosures about the US Intelligence Agency’s involvement in various eavesdropping activities around the globe.
- Discuss the radicalization process of individuals into extremist groups.
Terrorism Thesis Topics
- Motivation of terrorist group activities against Americans.
- The future of digital crimes and digital terrorism.
- Islamic State and Al Qaeda.
- Similarities and differences between organized crime and terrorism.
- Jihadist movement.
- The framing of international media on Islam and terrorism.
- Structure, strategies, and goals of international terrorist groups.
- Philosophical concepts associated with the will to harm individuals in large numbers.
- International threats as they apply in today’s world.
- International terrorist threats focusing on the Middle East and Africa.
- International terrorist events concerning Central and East Asia.
- Is the defeat of terrorism inevitable?
- Critically evaluate the issue of terrorism as a political tool using relevant literature and data.
- New strategies to counter terrorism.
- Saudi Arabia and terrorism.
- The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.
Terrorism Dissertation Topics
- “Terrorism is a religious ideology.”
- The common structural and organizational components of terrorist groups.
- Ethnic and nationalist separatist movements of the twentieth century.
- Terrorism and the role the internet plays.
- The effect of Boko Haram terrorism on telecommunication project managers in northern Nigeria.
- Urban terrorism in the United States.
- Three models of terrorism.
- The effects of growing international media and the internet on terrorism.
- Terrorism is a social process.
- Sageman’s model.
- Historic terrorist acts and modern types of terrorism.
- The difference between old terroristic behavior priori to 1848 and the new modes of terrorism in the modern era following World War II.
- Religious sources of Islamic terrorism.
- The process of radicalization.
- The influence of fusion centers on the war on terrorism.
Terrorism Speech Topics
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- Given that the level of domestic terrorism has increased in recent years, should American law enforcement view terrorism and criminal behavior as being related in any manner? Give examples in support of your point of view.
- Is the threat of terrorism worth all the money being spent currently by the United States or is the threat posed by Al Qaeda and ISIS/ISIL and other terrorist organizations overblown and over hyped?
- What does jihad mean (and lesser and greater jihad), why is it often tied to terrorism, and can it have a peaceful connotation?
- Who was Jacques Derrida? How does Derrida look at the connection of history and philosophy to terrorism? Also, analyze how he sees the connection of history and philosophy to terrorism.
- What is the meaning of “selective terrorism” and how was it implemented by Michael Collins?
- Racial profiling in the war on terrorism.
- Waterboarding and other coercive tactics of interrogation on detained terrorist suspects.
- The PATRIOT Act in regards to its authorization of surveillance and search and seizure.
- The invasion of Iraq in regards to the use of preventive/preemptive war.
- The use of military tribunals in adjudicating the guilt or innocence of known or suspected terrorists.
- What does jihad mean, why is it often tied to terrorism, and can it have a peaceful connotation?
- The definition of terrorism and how it has changed over the course of time for the United States, leading to new terrorism.
- Is terrorism an effective political tactic? Do you understand the issues motivating Arab and Muslim militants and jihadists?
- Is terrorism justified?
- How are dissident, anti-state, and communal terrorism similar and different?
Global Terrorism Topics
- How is terrorism and its perception shaped by the mass media?
- What is official state terrorism, why does it exist, how is it used, and what abuses have resulted from it?
- Is terrorism always wrong, by definition?
- Michael Burleigh’s “Blood & Rage: A Cultural History of Terrorism.”
- Is it possible under certain circumstances that terrorism is justified?
- How the media affects society’s thoughts of HIV. For example, how would you talk about terrorism after how the media talked about 9/11?
- How and why did various anti-colonial, nationalist wars of liberation use terrorism (and other methods) to fight imperialism, Zionism, neocolonialism, multinational corporations, etc.?
- WMD and terrorism: the need for a better strategy.
- The emergence of terrorism as a threat to Western society.
- The impact of classifying terrorists as criminals or combatants.
- The relationship between criminals, criminal activities, and terrorist operations.
- Actions that security organizations should take in order to better prepare to confront current and future terrorist threats.
- The basis of religious beliefs and cultural differences in terrorist operations and its influence on terrorism today.
- Predict how the terrorist threat is expected to change over the next 10 years.
- How does terrorism and extremism affect global emerging markets?
Terrorism Topics for Research Papers
- Terrorism as a social phenomenon.
- Extremism and terrorism in the modern world.
- Modern international terrorism as a threat to the national security of the USA.
- Terrorism as a threat to stability in the world, and the relevance of the fight against terrorism.
- Anti-terrorist school security.
- Organizational measures to ensure the safety of entrepreneurship from terrorism.
- Terrorism in the USA at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries.
- The system of countering terrorism in the USA.
- Technical means of combating terrorism.
- Sources of terrorism financing.
- Political and economic aspects of the fight against terrorism.
- Non-state terrorism as a form of political struggle.
- Social and psychological characteristics of the terrorist personality.
- Social and psychological assistance to victims of terror.
- Methods for preventing terrorism.
Terrorism Arguments Topics
- Do national political systems still influence Arab media?
- What perspectives/theories are deemed most relevant to the War on Terrorism as a way for understanding the topic?
- Explain which steps of intelligence collection and counterterrorism are more human dependent and which are more technology dependent.
- Terrorist organizations have spread their base of operations and training to all parts of the world. Identify at least two specific regions of the world where terrorist groups are operating successfully, and discuss why these regions serve as breeding grounds for terrorist organizations.
- Overall, should the US continue its hard-line approach to terrorism (covert ops, military acts, etc.), or take a more soft-line approach (diplomacy, negotiations, etc.)?
- What sorts of responses to terrorism are morally permissible?
- How does the understanding of radicalization assist law enforcement?
- Tactics and force multipliers of modern terrorism.
- Is Hezbollah more legitimate than other terrorist organizations? Explain your answer. Explain how you used the concept of legitimacy to answer the question.
- Immigration issue in EU, and issues with terrorism due to the schengen agreement’s lack of borders.
- What IC agencies were involved to include key takeaways and lessons learned in preventing, protecting against, and responding to a terrorist threat?
- Should governments censor information from the public if it is in the best interests of the public at large?
- Explain the seven forms of transnational criminality in the wheel of terrorism and explain their relationship to terrorism.
- What do you see as the future of terrorism and the war on terrorism?
- How terrorism attack 9/11 affected tourism in America.
Other Terrorism Related Topics
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- What group will conduct the next terror attack in the US homeland, and how will they attack?
- Ethical and moral issues of domestic terrorism.
- Homegrown terrorism in Senegal as an emerging threat to global peace and security.
- Are the dynamics involved with female engagement in and with violent extremism different to those of male engagement?
- Suicide comparison between a Japanese solider (kamikaze), Islamic terrorism, and normal suicide.
- Does religion play a role in terrorism?
- Explain whether you think deterrence or military retaliation is a more effective means of combating terrorism and why.
- What kinds of elements and methods might be effective in terms of making risk information of climate change becoming more socially accepted and responded to like those of terrorism?
- Describe the events of September 11, 2001, review the legislation prompted by those acts of terrorism, and state the main purpose(s) of those statutes.
- Is terrorism still a useful analytical term or should it be abandoned?
- Ethical and equitable methods of reducing white collar crime, terrorism, and drug offenses.
- Describe the five levels of cyber threat and vulnerability.
- Describe the differences among detecting, defending, dismantling, and defeating terrorism.
- How would people’s lives benefit from solving the War on Terrorism and which groups would benefit the most?
- Role of UN Security Council in the fight against terrorism.
- “Vantage Point” and the deception of terrorism in American films.
- What are the vulnerabilities of terrorist groups?
- What is the relationship between regime type and terrorism?
- “US Immigration Laws Under the Threat of Terrorism” by Julie Farnam.
- Identify and summarize controversial Israeli counterterrorist policies and separately explain whether retribution and intensive security measures are effective means for stopping terrorism.
- Causes of international terrorism, responses to international terrorism.
- What would “victory” look like in the global struggle against jihadist terrorism? And what role, if any, should military power play in advancing this goal?
- What has contributed to the rise of political extremist groups in the United States?
- Should anthropologists study terrorism?
- How does 21st century technology tools such as social media effect and impact domestic extremism recruitment, membership, and its sustained impact?
- Regulatory compliance of banks especially to the new anti terrorism and money laundering regulations and its effect on corporate governance in general and top management positions especially in the process of recruitment and promotion.
- How have the views on Muslim Americans and Muslims in general changed in the media after the attacks on 9/11, and how were they before 9/11?
- What is the current threat level to the United States from either a biological or chemical weapon and why?
- Impact of international terrorism on Indonesia.
- Can global terrorism be addressed effectively by institutions of global governance?
- Does the threat of terrorism justify the banning of immigrants from designated Muslim countries?
- Describe the psychological and behavioral factors of terrorism.
- Compare and contrast radicalization models that explain terrorist motivations.
- How do terrorist organizations use organized crime, legitimate businesses, and charitable organizations to fund their activities?
- Does the United States take the threat of cyberterrorism seriously enough?
- How did the Russian and American interventions in Afghanistan lead to the terrorism problems we have today?
- What has caused terrorism to increased so much?
- Explain the definitions of terrorism and the criminological and sociological explanations for terrorist behavior.
- Identify and explain the reasons behind the rise of transnational terrorism.
- Describe the overall impact of utilizing information technologies in combating digital crime and digital terrorism.
- Impact of terrorism and political regime on the stock exchange market in Pakistan.
- Terrorism in France in comparison to the United States.
- How have international terrorism events, such as 9/11 and the Paris bombings, affected Canadian domestic and foreign policy?
- The role of children in global terrorism.
- Congress’ decision to override President Obama’s veto of the terrorism bill, allowing individuals to sue Saudi Arabia.
- The effects of recent violence and terrorism on tourism in Egypt.
- How do businesses cope with terrorism?
We hope that our terrorism topics helped you to understand what to write about. However, if it is hard for you to find required sources and write a high-quality paper, then EssayShark can help you. The main purpose of our service is to help students with different types of papers no matter how difficult they may seem to them.
We offer you this opportunity to read our essay sample about terrorism below. The writer investigates how our society should and should not react to terrorist attacks. You are welcome to use our example as a template for your own writing. However, we kindly ask you to avoid plagiarism.
Terrorism Essay Example: How Should Society Not Respond to Terrorism?
Preventing and fighting terrorism is a challenging task for civilians. However, the population should know how to respond to terrorist attacks adequately to avoid the spread of hatred, panic, and horror. Aggressive, emotional, and biased reactions exaggerate the problem and make us involuntary allies of terrorist organizations.
It is common and understandable to feel sorrow and anger when we hear the news about massive shootings, bombings, and hijackings. Unfortunately, strong emotions hinder the ability to think rationally and look for the root of the problem, focusing only on its consequences. According to the Washington Post, “most people have a strong tendency to evaluate political events in a highly biased manner. Instead of acting as truth-seekers and weighing new evidence objectively, we often react to events as ‘political fans,’ overvaluing any new information that seems to reinforce our preexisting views” (Somin). Thus, the first thing our society should focus on is the truthful and objective assessment of each terrorist act. We have to dig deeper in order to understand why extremists act this way and what makes them choose this way to spread their beliefs and convictions.
Along with politically and emotionally biased judgments, terrorist attacks often provoke aggressive social attitude toward representatives of potentially dangerous groups of people. Tragic events cause the spreading of prejudice and negative stereotypes about immigrants, Middle Eastern cultures, Arabic language and culture, Muslims, etc. Such a tendency is beneficial for terrorist organizations as they are perceived by the population as more influential and numerous than they actually are. According to Statista.com, about 18 million Muslim immigrants arrived in Europe. The same website states that there were 704 attacks with 355 fatalities in both Europe and Eurasia that year. Even if we suggest that different individuals from the Middle East alone are responsible for each act, it is clear that the number of terrorists among immigrants is much less then 0.005%.
Loren Thompson, former Deputy Director of the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University, indicates five responses that are “likely to encourage further terrorist attacks: overreacting, blaming immigrants, adopting repressive measures, attacking the threat and its source, and turning to a strong leader.” As seen, the author claims the terrorist attacks to be the factor that also changes the political behavior of society. Thus, the population helps terrorists to achieve their goal and to cause global changes with the least effort.
Inadequate responses to terrorist attacks are one of the goals that aggressors try to achieve. Emotional and biased reactions destabilize the social balance and bring a wide range of negative consequences, such as the spreading of stereotypes, aggressive attitudes, and irrational political behavior. Thus, society has to maintain dignity, help the victims and their families, seek objectiveness, and show no fear in the face of a threat.
“Regional Destinations of Muslim Migrants as of 2010.” Statista, www.statista.com/statistics/221417/regional-destinations-of-muslim-migrants/.
Somin, Ilya. “Why Our Emotional Reactions to Terrorist Attacks and Other Tragedies Are a Poor Guide to Policy.” The Washington Post, 12 June 2016, www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/06/12/why-our-emotional-reactions-to-terrorist-attacks-and-other-tragedies-are-a-poor-guide-to-policy/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b7fa31a9e2b1.
“Terrorism: Number of Deaths by Region 2010.” Statista, www.statista.com/statistics/263275/number-of-deaths-due-to-terrorism-worldwide-by-region/.
Thompson, Loren. “Brussels Attacks: How the Terrorists Want You to React.” Forbes, 22 Mar. 2016, www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2016/03/22/brussels-attacks-how-the-terrorists-want-you-to-react/#cb2dac35f173.
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