The phenomenon of domestic terrorism as the scenario in which residents of a specific state target their fellow citizens in acts of terror is one of the major threats to the population’s security and safety. Typically, being common in the environments with high levels of political or social tensions, domestic terrorism has been represented by multiple groups, yet the Weather Underground Organization (WUO), or Weathermen, remains by far the most notorious of all. Originally created based on the fraction of students opposing the Vietnam War, the Weathermen evolved into the organization willing to overthrow what it envisioned as American imperialism. Having lost its initial intent of abolishing the class inequality in the measures that were extraordinarily radical and viewing the communist repressive measures as an example, the organization targeted civilians, thus transforming into a terrorist group.
Weathermen’s vision was largely inspired by the era in which it was formed and the political tensions developed at the time. Although WUO’s initial message resembled that one of social inclusion, it gradually transformed into using “revolutionary violence” as the method of erasing the boundaries between social classes. According to WUO’s manifesto, their main intention was “to disrupt the empire … to incapacitate it, to put pressure on the cracks”. Thus, WUO’s vision involved primarily radicalizing its target audience in order to destroy the framework of American capitalism and the class system.
Unfortunately, WUO did not receive the status of a terrorist organization for nothing; to support its cause, it performed the acts of terror on American citizens. Underground bombings represent the most infamous instances of terrorism performed by WUO as documented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). According to the FBI data, WUO claimed the bombing of the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. in 1975 (Federal Bureau of Investigation, n.d.). While the latter case involved no human victims, the next massive terrorist attacks performed by the Weathermen did claim numerous people’s lives (Federal Bureau of Investigation, n.d.). However, despite the intimidation tactic used by the organization, it never achieved the desired effects, failing to overthrow the capitalist principles of American society.