Answer Key: Terrorist Attacks

Lesson Plan: Trying to Make Sense of Terrorist Attacks

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

  1. terrorism |ˈterəˌrizəm|  noun-the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
  2. explanation|ˌekspləˈnāSHən| noun-a statement or account that makes something clear: the birth rate is central to any explanation of population trends.
  3. mental |ˈmentl| adjective-of, relating to, or suffering from disorders or illnesses of the mind: a mental hospital.
  4. typical |ˈtipikəl| adjective-having the distinctive qualities of a particular type of person or thing: a typical day | a typical example of 1930s art deco | typical symptoms.
  5. perpetrate |ˈpərpəˌtrāt| verb [ with obj. ] carry out or commit (a harmful, illegal, or immoral action): a crime has been perpetrated against a sovereign state.
  6. motivations |ˌmōtəˈvāSHən| noun-the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way: escape can be a strong motivation for travel.
  7. fundamentalism|ˌfəndəˈmentlˌizəm| nouna form of a religion, especially Islam or Protestant Christianity, that upholds belief in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture.
  8. opposition |ˌäpəˈziSHən| noun-resistance or dissent, expressed in action or argument: there was considerable opposition to the proposal.
  9. massacre |ˈmasikər| noun-an indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of people: the attack was described as a cold-blooded massacre | she says he is an accomplice to massacre.
  10. observant |əbˈzərvənt| adjective-quick to notice things: her observant eye took in every detail.

Source: New Oxford American Dictionary

Word -Recognition

Nidal Hasan, the Army major who killed 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., in 2009, seemed to be a more classic jihadist. He was a highly observant Muslim who objected to American foreign policy. But according to Nader Hasan, a first cousin who had grown up with him, the massacre at Fort Hood was also motivated by Nidal Hasan’s personal problems. He was unmarried, both his parents were dead, he had no real friends and a dreaded deployment to Afghanistan loomed. He went postal, Nader Hasan told me, and he called it Islam.

 Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage


These stories underline how hard it is to answer the question.


This approach is agnostic.


No doubt we will learn more in coming days.