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How One Violent Extremist Decided to Change Course/PBS NewsHour

  Classroom Resource Information  

Title:

How One Violent Extremist Decided to Change Course/PBS NewsHour

URL:

https://aptv.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/8c2d5d71-b3e3-4ecc-9366-6825297c02ea/how-one-violent-extremist-decide-to-change-course/

Content Source:

PBS
Type: Audio/Video

Overview:

Learn how one man is helping experts understand extremism with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from August 29, 2016.

In 2012, American-born Jesse Morton was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for his role in running a pro-jihadist website that inspired a number of terrorist plots, according to the FBI. Now, just four years later, Morton is free and has been hired as a terrorism analyst at a George Washington University think tank. At around the time of his arrest and while he was in prison, Morton began to have serious doubts about the path of violent extremism he had taken. While he says it is not an excuse, Morton’s childhood was tumultuous and wrought with abuse, which caused Morton to reject American culture and search for a new identity. Morton became radicalized and converted to an extremist form of Islam. He became extremely political and lived a dual life while attending Columbia University’s prestigious School of International and Public Affairs. Morton’s decision to go undercover and assist in counterterrorism efforts while in prison changed his path profoundly. “If I am willing to sacrifice in the past so much to promote such a disgusting ideology, then I think that, if I’m sincere in my reform, I should be as equally dedicated and equally passionate about trying to repair some of the damage that I have done,” Morton said. Top counterterrorism analysts in Washington soon sought him out for advice on how to identify suspected terrorists.

Content Standard(s):
Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 7
Civics
3 ) Compare the government of the United States with other governmental systems, including monarchy, limited monarchy, oligarchy, dictatorship, theocracy, and pure democracy.

Unpacked Content
Strand: History, Civics and Government
Course Title: Civics
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Compare and Contrast other forms of government with the U.S. government focusing on who has the power and how power is acquired/achieved.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • power
  • federalism
  • republic
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The characteristics of the various forms of government found around the world including Federal Republic (representative democracy), Monarchy (absolute monarchy), Limited monarchy (constitutional monarchy), Oligarchy, Dictatorship, Theocracy, and Pure democracy (direct democracy).
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Interpret primary source documents.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • The system of government of the United States can be compared to other forms of government in the world.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.7.3- Describe the basic ideals of American democracy, including natural rights, basic freedoms, and democratic representation; identify characteristics of other government systems including, monarchy, dictatorship, and democracy.


Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 9
World History: 1500 to the Present
16 ) Describe the role of nationalism, militarism, and civil war in today's world, including the use of terrorism and modern weapons at the close of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first centuries.

•  Describing the collapse of the Soviet Empire and Russia's struggle for democracy, free markets, and economic recovery and the roles of Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, and Boris Yeltsin
Examples: economic failures, demands for national and human rights, resistance from Eastern Europe, reunification of Germany

•  Describing effects of internal conflict, nationalism, and enmity in South Africa, Northern Ireland, Chile, the Middle East, Somalia and Rwanda, Cambodia, and the Balkans
•  Characterizing the War on Terrorism, including the significance of the Iran Hostage Crisis; the Gulf Wars; the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
•  Depicting geographic locations of major world events from 1945 to the present
Unpacked Content
Strand: Economics, Geography, History, Civics and Government
Course Title: World History: 1500 to the Present
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Explain the relationship of economics, political and social ideologies, and geography to key events in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries.
  • Describe the collapse of the Soviet Empire and Russia's struggle for democracy, capitalism, and recovery.
  • Describe the effects of internal conflict in South Africa, Northern Ireland, Chile, the Middle East, Somalia, Rwanda, Cambodia, and the Balkans.
  • Characterize the War on Terrorism.
  • Map the geographic locations of major world events from 1945-the present.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • nationalism
  • militarism
  • terrorism
  • Iran Hostage Crisis
  • Gulf Wars
  • terrorist attacks
  • Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The role of nationalism, militarism, civil war, and terrorism in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Develop an understanding of key historical events, using a variety of primary and secondary resources.
  • Explain relationship among key historical events and economics, political and social ideologies, and geography.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Nationalism, militarism, civil war, and terrorism all played a role in world events in the close of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first centuries.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.9.16- List some changes in world conditions that led to globalization from 1945—present; recall the definition of globalization; define terrorism and recognize its impact on the world.


Tags: communism, fascism, governmental systems, militarism, nationalism, Nazism
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Author: Ginger Boyd