Session One: discussion of the big current cases (mentioned above) and any other big terrorism incidents that happen this spring and summer.
Session Two. A chronological history of domestic terrorism and radicals, starting in the U.S. around 1865, with the formation of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). We’ll look into a number of domestic leftwing and rightwing terrorism groups – e.g., Aryan Nations, Black Liberation Army, Earth Liberation Front, Jewish Defense League, Symbionese Liberation Army, Weather Underground. And we’ll talk about the so-called lone wolf, best exemplified by Unabomber Ted Kaczysnki, Oklahoma City bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols and the Boston Marathon bombers, brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Session Three. International terrorism. The rise of such groups as the Irish Republican Army, Japanese Red Army, German Red Army Faction, Italian Red Brigades, FARC, Palestine Liberation Organization, and, especially, al Qaeda (the New York attacks of Sept. 11, 2001) and ISIS (aka ISIL, Islamic State).
Session Four. What now? Where do we go from here? Many cops who study terrorism say that it is one of the most difficult crimes to prevent. Watch lists are dated and inaccurate. Terrorists’ communications methods with each other, and with the world, are sophisticated and difficult to crack. And there is no lack of recruits. Some even join up because of what they see as the inherent glamour of it all. It also raises another question, one that is ripe for discussion: government officials encourage us to tell them when we see or hear something suspicious. Translation: one view is to say we are developing a nation of snitches. Does a terrorist live next door? Do we call the local police or the FBI and tell them our suspicions? How do we know we are right? What if we don’t rat out our neighbor and he turns out to be the next bomber? What if we do rat him out and he turns out to be innocent?