Sample Political Science Research Paper Summary on State Sponsored Terrorism

State Sponsored Terrorism

Terrorism refers to frequent violent attacks committed against passive participants. Terrorism activities are mainly committed by terror organizations. State sponsored terrorism occurs when a country shows tolerance to terror groups, which frequently use the country as a safe haven for its activities. State terrorism on the other hand is where state agents commit violent crimes against its citizens. Despite the resistance to terrorist actions, many terrorist organizations still take place under the view of state leadership. However, there are instances where some states can offer support to terrorist activities knowingly through the support of their goals and objectives.

On the other hand, a state may be incapacitated when the state has no control over parts of its territory. Lack of territorial control gives terrorists an opportunity to take advantage of territorial boundaries for planning and execution of their activities Sponsorship of terrorist attacks is best explained through countries such as Pakistan and Lashkar –e-Tayyiba. In the relationship between these two groups, Pakistan did not prevent the terror group from setting up camps, residing or planning their activities within the territories of the country (Davis, 1990).

Through provision of tangible help and tolerance to terrorist activities, states can offer support to terrorist groups. The support can be through provision of help such as weapons of war and depends on the affiliation between the state offering support and the terror group it supports. Provision of financial help, militia and other forms of supplies constitute support to a terror group and should be prevented at all costs (Adams, 2006). Support and sponsorship are two different aspects since sponsorship is not limited to some aspects of terrorist actions while support is. To exemplify the concept of direct control in terrorism, the story of Hezbolla and Iran is used. Through instruction of the terror group to construct and run various social amenities, the country had direct control of the group.

A country supports terrorism through four main ways. These include provision of government services, financial support, logistics and the provision of a safe haven for the terrorists. A safe haven is provided when a country allows terrorists to live and thrive within its borders. Government services can be provided through diplomatic relations and provision of various other services required of a government. Logistics support is provided through availing weaponry and transportation services to terrorist groups.

The nature of a relationship between a state and a terrorist group is determined by the level of depth of the assistance offered by the states. The reduction in support can be due to the lack of desire to engage more deeply in the actions of terrorists due to differences in ideologies among other things. Due to the escalation of terrorist activities in the world, states offer security measures such as reduction of support for countries considered supportive to the terrorist groups.

States that have long standing relationships with terror groups are often viewed with great suspicion and even subjected to ridicule by other countries. The nature of relationship between such countries and terror groups can only be defined as deadly since it is governed by the selfish needs of the terror groups. The support that states give to terror groups bring about deadly repercussions in case there is a fall out.

While many arguments have arisen as to what the states gain from the terror groups, it has been found that states allied to terror groups get the groups’ support in waging war and in silencing external dissidents (Hoffman, 2006). Although other states may want to quell state sponsored terrorism, this often results in more harm than good especially if measures of war are taken. It is thus important for states themselves to give room to collaborative war against terrorism.


Adams, James, The Financing of Terror: How the Groups That Are Terrorizing the World Get the Money to Do It. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2006.

Hoffman, Bruce, Inside terrorism, New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 258, 2006.

Davis, Brian, Qaddafi, Terrorism, and the Origins of the U.S. Attack on Libya. New York: Praeger, 1990

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