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Who is Shakh Abdul Rahman?

Those who carried it out received a certain amount of derision due to the errors that led to their early apprehension (e.g., one plotter had rented a van for the bomb, and was arrested when he returned to the rental office to demand the return of his deposit). Likewise, judged by conventional operational terms, the subsequent plot to bomb the United Nations and the highway tunnels into New York City was a total failure, since the operation was forestalled and the alleged plotters were arrested.

Nevertheless, as acts of communication, both operations, even the "failed" second one, were outstandingly successful. It is this communicative function, this study will suggest, that is the true function of terrorism, and the sources of its successes.

In spite of the relatively slight effect of the World Trade Center bombing, and the failure of the United Nations Building and tunnel bombings to be carried out, they brought vast publicity to Shaikh Rahman and his cause. They demonstrated that militant Islamic fundamentalists, though they could not strike material blows at Western power or influence, could nevertheless make themselves known to the West, and could create some measure of anxiety and alarm among large numbers of Westerners.

The longterm political impact of communication through terrorism can perhaps be demonstrated through the experience of the Palestinians (Stohl, 1983, p. 16). A generation ago, the Palestinian cause was unknown to most Americans; they were one more among many obscure national, ethnic, or religious groups whose grievances attracted little sympathy and less interest. Indeed, the American public as a whole perhaps scarcely knew that "Palestinians" existed. Israel was widely popular, its existence seen as a sort of compensation for the Nazi Holocaust, while its people had the heroic cowboy image popularized in the movie "Exodus." Palestinians were subsumed under "Arabs," and known only fo...

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Who is Shakh Abdul Rahman?. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 12:57, July 28, 2017, from
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