Terrorism refers to the act of inducing fear in people with the intention of forcing them into doing something. Terrorists end up compromising the safety of civilians as they seek to achieve religious, political and ideological goals (White 2).
Leadership makes a difference in the effectiveness of terrorism organizations. Jonathan gives arguments which support this proposition in his book on terrorism and homeland security. He uses leaders of various groups to support his sentiments. For instance, in 1997, Arafat permitted Hamas and Islamic Jihad attacks through coming up with an umbrella group in collaboration with the Islamists organizations named “the Nationalist and Islamic Forces. This group executed attacks against the Israelis and this amounts to terrorism (White 20). He would also finance suicide bombings , pay the operatives, as well as fund explosive materials to be used by terrorists. Arafat also commanded the AL-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades which would terrorize and kill Israelis. His Ramallah compound would also give orders for terrorist attacks (White 26). Supposing Palestine had a leader who would not support all these activities, then terrorism organizations in the country would not be this successful.
Al Banna, a local imam(prayer leader) as well as a teacher of the Hanbali rite on the other hand started the society of the Muslim brothers which is an association which would send volunteers to fight in Palestine (White 70). This clearly shows that leadership plays a very pivotal role in the effectiveness of terrorist activities. Yassin founded an organization with the aim of fighting non-religious groups. His group executed several terrorist activities targeting the Israelis. The fact that the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades are still executing terrorist attacks long after Arafat’s death clearly shows that they can operate without strong leaders (White 72).