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Terrorism: the Issue at a Glance

Part 1

Terrorism is not new to America, but now it has struck at the soul of the American people as never before. The Sept. 11 attack - aimed at symbols of U.S. military and financial might - was the worst act of terrorism in modern history, and it left Americans feeling stunned and vulnerable. The damage seemed unimaginable, even after repeated watchings of news videotapes: hijacked airliners were crashed into the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon, leaving more than 5,500 dead or missing. The outpouring of grief eclipses even the deeply felt response to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 - itself an unimaginable act, until it happened.

Almost overnight, the “war on terrorism” became the nation's № 1 priority. President Bush targeted terrorist groups with a “global reach”. He mobilized the military for possible retaliation, called up the reserves, froze assets of terrorist groups and began assembling an international coalition for a campaign that could span years.

But it's a war unlike any other in America's history: The enemy is not so easily defined. While the State Department identifies some countries as sponsors of terrorism, many of the rogue organizations that commit violence against the U.S. operate without respect to international boundaries.

The United States has struggled with the different manifestations of terrorism for years. This was not the first attack on the nation's capital. In 1954, four armed pro-independence Puerto Rican terrorists opened fire from the House of Representatives visitors' gallery, wounding five members of Congress. Even Wall Street was a terrorist target as far back as 1920, when a massive bombing killed 30 people. Some of the older buildings in the financial district still bear the shrapnel scars, more than 80 years later. While the investigation centered on known Sicilian, Romanian and Russian terrorist groups, the case was never solved. America also experienced a spate of plane hijackings in the late 1960s and 1970s that led to the placement of armed undercover guards known as “sky marshals” on the nation's airliners, an idea that's been revived in the nation's current war on terrorism.

The deadly bombing of the American embassy in Beirut in 1983 marked the beginning of a sustained attack of violence against U.S. targets by various terrorist organizations based in the Mideast. And the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, in which 168 people died, raised the frightening specter of homespun terrorism.

The world has seen terrorism become a weapon of war in domestic, regional and international disputes, sometimes linked to a specific conflict, as in Northern Ireland or the Basque separatist movement in Spain, or sometimes aimed at a broader target, as in Osama Ben Laden's campaign against the United States and western influence in the Middle East.

Задания к тексту 8

1. Ответьте на следующие вопросы:

a) What happened on the 11 of September 2000 in America? Why is it considered to be the worst terrorist attack ever before?

b) What has become the nation's № 1 priority and why?

c) Were there any other attacks on the nation's capital before? When did it happen?

d) Explain the meaning of the phrase from the text “The enemy is not so easily defined.”

e) Give some more examples of world terrorism.

2. Найдите в тексте информацию, касающуюся мирового терроризма.

3. Озаглавьте первый параграф.

4. Составьте перечень проблем, затронутых в тексте.

5. Составьте план всего текста.

6. Переведите текст.

7. Напишите аннотацию.


Текст 8

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