Hostage Taking by Terrorists: Aggravation of Internal Conflicts Instead of Unity
It is assumed that a terrorist action is a physical expression of a conflict between terrorists and people who confront them. However if this obvious collision of interests is considered in such way another, no less important aspect is lost. Besides the fact that terrorist action is an expression of a conflict between terrorists and a target of their attack it reveals and exasperates conflicts existing within the community which resists terrorists. Any major terrorist action is essentially and simultaneously is a litmus test and a generator of such ‘internal’ collisions. The report will present results of a research of the most impressive terrorist actions that involved hostage taking and occurred in Russia, i.e. operations in Budennovsk (1995), Moscow (2002) and Beslan (2004). The research is based on analysis of 70 in-depth interviews taken from representatives of groups of people who survived terrorist attacks (hostages and their relatives, negotiators, rescuers, members of law enforcement structures, journalists). In addition, such literary sources as reports of governmental and non-governmental organizations on investigation of these terrorist operations, recollections of the event participants, law acts on terrorism were studied. By virtue of reconstruction and analysis of practices used by groups of participants and perceived by other participant groups as erroneous the author attempts to answer the question why any major terrorist action provokes so severe conflicts at ‘this side’.
Keywords: Terrorism, Violence, Conflits, Social Practices
Post Graduate Student, Department of Xenophobia and Extremism Studies