Terrorism

Terrorism

Overview
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion
Coercion
Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to behave in an involuntary manner by use of threats or intimidation or some other form of pressure or force. In law, coercion is codified as the duress crime. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way...

. In the international community
International community
The international community is a term used in international relations to refer to all peoples, cultures and governments of the world or to a group of them. The term is used to imply the existence of common duties and obligations between them...

, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for a religious, political or, ideological goal; and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatant
Non-combatant
Non-combatant is a term in the law of war describing civilians not taking a direct part in hostilities, as well as persons such as medical personnel and military chaplains who are regular soldiers but are protected because of their function as well as soldiers who are hors de combat ; that is, sick,...

s (civilians).
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Quotations

“I Define a “terrorist” as a non-state actor who attacks civilian targets in order to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy community.. A “state terrorist” is a state doing the same thing.

Michael Mann, Professor of Sociology, UCLA in ‘Incoherent Empire’, p 159

[R]efusing to accept a life of submission, the suicide bomber turns life itself into a horrible weapon.

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Multitude
Encyclopedia
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion
Coercion
Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to behave in an involuntary manner by use of threats or intimidation or some other form of pressure or force. In law, coercion is codified as the duress crime. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way...

. In the international community
International community
The international community is a term used in international relations to refer to all peoples, cultures and governments of the world or to a group of them. The term is used to imply the existence of common duties and obligations between them...

, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for a religious, political or, ideological goal; and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatant
Non-combatant
Non-combatant is a term in the law of war describing civilians not taking a direct part in hostilities, as well as persons such as medical personnel and military chaplains who are regular soldiers but are protected because of their function as well as soldiers who are hors de combat ; that is, sick,...

s (civilians). Some definitions now include acts of unlawful
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 violence and war. The use of similar tactics by criminal organizations for protection racket
Protection racket
A protection racket is an extortion scheme whereby a criminal group or individual coerces a victim to pay money, supposedly for protection services against violence or property damage. Racketeers coerce reticent potential victims into buying "protection" by demonstrating what will happen if they...

s or to enforce a code of silence
Code of silence
A code of silence is a condition in effect when a person opts to withhold what is believed to be vital or important information voluntarily or involuntarily....

 is usually not labeled terrorism though these same actions may be labeled terrorism when done by a politically motivated group.

The word "terrorism" is politically and emotionally charged, and this greatly compounds the difficulty of providing a precise definition. Studies have found over 100 definitions of “terrorism”. The concept of terrorism may itself be controversial as it is often used by state authorities (and individuals with access to state support) to delegitimize political or other opponents, and potentially legitimize the state's own use of armed force against opponents (such use of force may itself be described as "terror" by opponents of the state).

Terrorism has been practiced by a broad array of political organizations for furthering their objectives. It has been practiced by both right-wing and left-wing political parties, nationalistic
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 groups, religious groups, revolutionaries, and ruling governments. An abiding characteristic is the indiscriminate use of violence against noncombatants for the purpose of gaining publicity for a group, cause, or individual.

Origin of term



"Terrorism" comes from the French word terrorisme, and originally referred specifically to state terrorism
State terrorism
State terrorism may refer to acts of terrorism conducted by a state against a foreign state or people. It can also refer to acts of violence by a state against its own people.-Definition:...

 as practiced by the French government during the Reign of terror
Reign of Terror
The Reign of Terror , also known simply as The Terror , was a period of violence that occurred after the onset of the French Revolution, incited by conflict between rival political factions, the Girondins and the Jacobins, and marked by mass executions of "enemies of...

. The French word terrorisme in turn derives from the Latin verb terreō meaning “I frighten”. The terror cimbricus was a panic and state of emergency in Rome in response to the approach of warriors of the Cimbri
Cimbri
The Cimbri were a tribe from Northern Europe, who, together with the Teutones and the Ambrones threatened the Roman Republic in the late 2nd century BC. The Cimbri were probably Germanic, though some believe them to be of Celtic origin...

 tribe in 105 BC. The Jacobins
Jacobin Club
The Jacobin Club was the most famous and influential political club in the development of the French Revolution, so-named because of the Dominican convent where they met, located in the Rue St. Jacques , Paris. The club originated as the Club Benthorn, formed at Versailles from a group of Breton...

 cited this precedent when imposing a Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
The Reign of Terror , also known simply as The Terror , was a period of violence that occurred after the onset of the French Revolution, incited by conflict between rival political factions, the Girondins and the Jacobins, and marked by mass executions of "enemies of...

 during the French Revolution. After the Jacobins lost power, the word "terrorist" became a term of abuse. Although "terrorism" originally referred acts committed by a government, currently it usually refers to the killing of innocent people by a non-government group in such a way as to create a media spectacle. This meaning can be traced back to Sergey Nechayev
Sergey Nechayev
Sergey Gennadiyevich Nyechayev was a Russian revolutionary associated with the Nihilist movement and known for his single-minded pursuit of revolution by any means necessary, including political violence.-Early life in Russia:...

, who described himself as a "terrorist". Nechayev founded the Russian terrorist group "People's Retribution" (Народная расправа) in 1869.

In November 2004, a United Nations Secretary General report described terrorism as any act "intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act".

Definition



The definition of terrorism
Definition of terrorism
There is neither an academic nor an international legal consensus regarding the proper definition of the word "terrorism". Various legal systems and government agencies use different definitions of "terrorism". Moreover, the international community has been slow to formulate a universally agreed...

 has proved controversial. Various legal systems and government agencies use different definitions of terrorism in their national legislation
Anti-terrorism legislation
Anti-terrorism legislation designs various types of laws passed in the aim of fighting terrorism. They usually, if not always, follow specific bombings or assassinations...

. Moreover, the international community
International community
The international community is a term used in international relations to refer to all peoples, cultures and governments of the world or to a group of them. The term is used to imply the existence of common duties and obligations between them...

 has been slow to formulate a universally agreed, legally binding definition of this crime. These difficulties arise from the fact that the term "terrorism" is politically and emotionally charged. In this regard, Angus Martyn, briefing the Australian Parliament, stated that "The international community has never succeeded in developing an accepted comprehensive definition of terrorism. During the 1970s and 1980s, the United Nations attempts to define the term foundered mainly due to differences of opinion between various members about the use of violence in the context of conflicts over national liberation and self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

."

These divergences have made it impossible for the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 to conclude a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that incorporates a single, all-encompassing, legally binding, criminal law definition terrorism. Nonetheless, the international community has adopted a series of sectoral conventions that define and criminalize various types of terrorist activities. Moreover, since 1994, the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 has repeatedly condemned terrorist acts using the following political description of terrorism: "Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them."

Bruce Hoffman
Bruce Hoffman
Bruce Hoffman is the Director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service and a specialist in the study of terrorism and counter-insurgency...

, a well-known scholar, has noted that:
Nonetheless, Hoffman himself believes it is possible to identify some key characteristics of terrorism. He proposes that:



A definition proposed by Carsten Bockstette at the George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies, underlines the psychological and tactical aspects of terrorism:
Walter Laqueur, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies
Center for Strategic and International Studies
The Center for Strategic and International Studies is a bipartisan Washington, D.C., foreign policy think tank. The center was founded in 1962 by Admiral Arleigh Burke and Ambassador David Manker Abshire, originally as part of Georgetown University...

, noted that "the only general characteristic of terrorism generally agreed upon is that terrorism involves violence and the threat of violence". This criterion alone does not produce, however, a useful definition, since it includes many violent acts not usually considered terrorism: war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

, riot
Riot
A riot is a form of civil disorder characterized often by what is thought of as disorganized groups lashing out in a sudden and intense rash of violence against authority, property or people. While individuals may attempt to lead or control a riot, riots are thought to be typically chaotic and...

, organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

, or even a simple assault
Assault
In law, assault is a crime causing a victim to fear violence. The term is often confused with battery, which involves physical contact. The specific meaning of assault varies between countries, but can refer to an act that causes another to apprehend immediate and personal violence, or in the more...

. Property destruction that does not endanger life is not usually considered a violent crime
Violent crime
A violent crime or crime of violence is a crime in which the offender uses or threatens to use violent force upon the victim. This entails both crimes in which the violent act is the objective, such as murder, as well as crimes in which violence is the means to an end, such as robbery. Violent...

, but some have described property destruction by the Earth Liberation Front
Earth Liberation Front
The Earth Liberation Front , also known as "Elves" or "The Elves", is the collective name for autonomous individuals or covert cells who, according to the ELF Press Office, use "economic sabotage and guerrilla warfare to stop the exploitation and destruction of the environment".The ELF was founded...

 and Animal Liberation Front
Animal Liberation Front
The Animal Liberation Front is an international, underground leaderless resistance that engages in illegal direct action in pursuit of animal liberation...

 as violence and terrorism; see eco-terrorism
Eco-terrorism
Eco-terrorism usually refers to acts of violence or sabotage committed in support of ecological, environmental, or animal rights causes against persons or their property....

.

Terrorist attacks are usually carried out in such a way as to maximize the severity and length of the psychological impact. Each act of terrorism is a “performance” devised to have an impact on many large audiences. Terrorists also attack national symbols, to show power and to attempt to shake the foundation of the country or society they are opposed to. This may negatively affect a government, while increasing the prestige of the given terrorist organization and/or ideology
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

 behind a terrorist act.

Terrorist acts frequently have a political purpose. Terrorism is a political tactic, like letter-writing or protesting, which is used by activists when they believe that no other means will effect the kind of change they desire. The change is desired so badly that failure to achieve change is seen as a worse outcome than the deaths of civilians. This is often where the inter-relationship between terrorism and religion
Religious terrorism
Religious terrorism is terrorism by those whose motivations and aims have a predominant religious character or influence.In the modern age, after the decline of ideas such as the divine right of kings and with the rise of nationalism, terrorism more often involved anarchism, nihilism and...

 occurs. When a political struggle is integrated into the framework of a religious or "cosmic" struggle, such as over the control of an ancestral homeland or holy site such as Israel and Jerusalem, failing in the political goal (nationalism) becomes equated with spiritual failure, which, for the highly committed, is worse than their own death or the deaths of innocent civilians.

Very often, the victims of terrorism are targeted not because they are threats, but because they are specific "symbols, tools, animals or corrupt beings" that tie into a specific view of the world that the terrorists possess. Their suffering accomplishes the terrorists' goals of instilling fear, getting their message out to an audience or otherwise satisfying the demands of their often radical religious and political agendas.

Some official, governmental definitions of terrorism use the criterion of the illegitimacy or unlawfulness of the act. to distinguish between actions authorized by a government (and thus "lawful") and those of other actors, including individuals and small groups. Using this criterion, actions that would otherwise qualify as terrorism would not be considered terrorism if they were government sanctioned. For example, firebombing a city, which is designed to affect civilian support for a cause, would not be considered terrorism if it were authorized by a government. This criterion is inherently problematic and is not universally accepted, because: it denies the existence of state terrorism
State terrorism
State terrorism may refer to acts of terrorism conducted by a state against a foreign state or people. It can also refer to acts of violence by a state against its own people.-Definition:...

; the same act may or may not be classed as terrorism depending on whether its sponsorship is traced to a "legitimate" government; "legitimacy" and "lawfulness" are subjective, depending on the perspective of one government or another; and it diverges from the historically accepted meaning and origin of the term.

Among the various definitions there are several that do not recognize the possibility of legitimate use of violence by civilians against an invader in an occupied country. Other definitions would label as terrorist groups only the resistance movement
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

s that oppose an invader with violent acts that undiscriminately kill or harm civilians and non-combatants, thus making a distinction between lawful and unlawful use of violence. According to Ali Khan, the distinction lies ultimatedly in a political
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

 judgment.

An associated, and arguably more easily definable, but not equivalent term is violent non-state actor. The semantic scope of this term includes not only "terrorists", but while excluding some individuals or groups who have previously been described as "terrorists", and also explicitly excludes state terrorism
State terrorism
State terrorism may refer to acts of terrorism conducted by a state against a foreign state or people. It can also refer to acts of violence by a state against its own people.-Definition:...

.
According to the FBI terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

Pejorative use


The terms "terrorism" and "terrorist" (someone who engages in terrorism) carry strong negative connotations. These terms are often used as political labels, to condemn violence or the threat of violence by certain actors as immoral, indiscriminate, unjustified or to condemn an entire segment of a population. Those labeled "terrorists" by their opponents rarely identify themselves as such, and typically use other terms or terms specific to their situation, such as separatist, freedom fighter, liberator, revolutionary
Revolutionary
A revolutionary is a person who either actively participates in, or advocates revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.-Definition:...

, vigilante
Vigilante
A vigilante is a private individual who legally or illegally punishes an alleged lawbreaker, or participates in a group which metes out extralegal punishment to an alleged lawbreaker....

, militant
Militant
The word militant, which is both an adjective and a noun, usually is used to mean vigorously active, combative and aggressive, especially in support of a cause, as in 'militant reformers'. It comes from the 15th century Latin "militare" meaning "to serve as a soldier"...

, paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

, guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

, rebel
Rebellion
Rebellion, uprising or insurrection, is a refusal of obedience or order. It may, therefore, be seen as encompassing a range of behaviors aimed at destroying or replacing an established authority such as a government or a head of state...

, patriot, or any similar-meaning word in other languages and cultures. Jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

i, mujaheddin, and fedayeen
Fedayeen
Fedayeen is a term used to describe several distinct militant groups and individuals in West Asia at different times in history. It is sometimes used colloquially to refer to suicide squads, especially those who are not bombers.-Overview:...

 are similar Arabic words which have entered the English lexicon. It is common for both parties in a conflict to describe each other as terrorists.

On the question of whether particular terrorist acts, such as killing civilians, can be justified as the lesser evil in a particular circumstance, philosophers have expressed different views: while, according to David Rodin, utilitarian philosophers can (in theory) conceive of cases in which the evil of terrorism is outweighed by the good which could not be achieved in a less morally costly way, in practice the "harmful effects of undermining the convention of non-combatant immunity is thought to outweigh the goods that may be achieved by particular acts of terrorism". Among the non-utilitarian philosophers, Michael Walzer
Michael Walzer
Michael Walzer is a prominent American political philosopher and public intellectual. A professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, he is co-editor of Dissent, an intellectual magazine that he has been affiliated with since his years as an undergraduate at...

 argued that terrorism can be morally justified in only one specific case: when "a nation or community faces the extreme threat of complete destruction and the only way it can preserve itself is by intentionally targeting non-combatants, then it is morally entitled to do so".

In his book Inside Terrorism Bruce Hoffman
Bruce Hoffman
Bruce Hoffman is the Director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service and a specialist in the study of terrorism and counter-insurgency...

 offered an explanation of why the term terrorism becomes distorted:
The pejorative connotations of the word can be summed up in the aphorism
Aphorism
An aphorism is an original thought, spoken or written in a laconic and memorable form.The term was first used in the Aphorisms of Hippocrates...

, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". This is exemplified when a group using irregular military
Irregular military
Irregular military refers to any non-standard military. Being defined by exclusion, there is significant variance in what comes under the term. It can refer to the type of military organization, or to the type of tactics used....

 methods is an ally of a state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 against a mutual enemy, but later falls out with the state and starts to use those methods against its former ally. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army was allied with the British, but during the Malayan Emergency
Malayan Emergency
The Malayan Emergency was a guerrilla war fought between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army , the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party, from 1948 to 1960....

, members of its successor (the Malayan Races Liberation Army
Malayan Races Liberation Army
The Malayan Races Liberation Army was the name given by British security forces to a combatant in the Malayan Emergency, an insurrection and guerrilla war against the British and Malayan administration from 1948-1960 in what is now Malaysia....

), were branded "terrorists" by the British. More recently, Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 and others in the American administration frequently called the Afghan Mujahideen "freedom fighters" during their war against the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, yet twenty years later, when a new generation of Afghan men are fighting against what they perceive to be a regime installed by foreign powers, their attacks are labelled "terrorism" by George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

. Groups accused of terrorism understandably prefer terms reflecting legitimate military or ideological action. Leading terrorism researcher Professor Martin Rudner, director of the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies at Ottawa's Carleton University
Carleton University
Carleton University is a comprehensive university located in the capital of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. The enabling legislation is The Carleton University Act, 1952, S.O. 1952. Founded as a small college in 1942, Carleton now offers over 65 programs in a diverse range of disciplines. Carleton has...

, defines "terrorist acts" as attacks against civilians for political or other ideological goals, and said:
Some groups, when involved in a "liberation" struggle, have been called "terrorists" by the Western governments or media. Later, these same persons, as leaders of the liberated nations, are called "statesmen" by similar organizations. Two examples of this phenomenon are the Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

 laureates Menachem Begin
Menachem Begin
' was a politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Before independence, he was the leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, the Revisionist breakaway from the larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. He proclaimed a revolt, on 1 February 1944,...

 and Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

. WikiLeaks
Wikileaks
WikiLeaks is an international self-described not-for-profit organisation that publishes submissions of private, secret, and classified media from anonymous news sources, news leaks, and whistleblowers. Its website, launched in 2006 under The Sunshine Press organisation, claimed a database of more...

 whistleblower
Whistleblower
A whistleblower is a person who tells the public or someone in authority about alleged dishonest or illegal activities occurring in a government department, a public or private organization, or a company...

 Julian Assange
Julian Assange
Julian Paul Assange is an Australian publisher, journalist, writer, computer programmer and Internet activist. He is the editor in chief of WikiLeaks, a whistleblower website and conduit for worldwide news leaks with the stated purpose of creating open governments.WikiLeaks has published material...

 has been called a "terrorist" by Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin
Sarah Louise Palin is an American politician, commentator and author. As the Republican Party nominee for Vice President in the 2008 presidential election, she was the first Alaskan on the national ticket of a major party and first Republican woman nominated for the vice-presidency.She was...

 and Joe Biden
Joe Biden
Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. is the 47th and current Vice President of the United States, serving under President Barack Obama...

.

Sometimes states which are close allies, for reasons of history, culture and politics, can disagree over whether or not members of a certain organization are terrorists. For instance, for many years, some branches of the United States government refused to label members of the Irish Republican Army
Provisional Irish Republican Army
The Provisional Irish Republican Army is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion...

 (IRA) as terrorists while the IRA was using methods against one of the United States' closest allies (Britain) which Britain branded as terrorism. This was highlighted by the Quinn v. Robinson case.

For these and other reasons, media outlets wishing to preserve a reputation for impartiality try to be careful in their use of the term.

Types of terrorism


In early 1975, the Law Enforcement Assistant Administration
National Institute of Justice
The National Institute of Justice is the research, development and evaluation agency of the United States Department of Justice. NIJ, along with the Bureau of Justice Statistics , Bureau of Justice Assistance , Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention , Office for Victims of Crime ,...

 in the United States formed the National Advisory Committee on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals. One of the five volumes that the committee wrote was entitled Disorders and Terrorism, produced by the Task Force on Disorders and Terrorism under the direction of H.H.A. Cooper, Director of the Task Force staff.
The Task Force classified terrorism into six categories.
  • Civil disorder – A form of collective violence interfering with the peace
    Peace
    Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent conflict. Commonly understood as the absence of hostility, peace also suggests the existence of healthy or newly healed interpersonal or international relationships, prosperity in matters of social or economic welfare, the...

    , security
    Security
    Security is the degree of protection against danger, damage, loss, and crime. Security as a form of protection are structures and processes that provide or improve security as a condition. The Institute for Security and Open Methodologies in the OSSTMM 3 defines security as "a form of protection...

    , and normal functioning of the community.
  • Political terrorismViolent
    Violence
    Violence is the use of physical force to apply a state to others contrary to their wishes. violence, while often a stand-alone issue, is often the culmination of other kinds of conflict, e.g...

     criminal behaviour designed primarily to generate fear
    Fear
    Fear is a distressing negative sensation induced by a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger...

     in the community, or substantial segment of it, for political purposes.
  • Non-Political terrorism – Terrorism that is not aimed at political
    Politics
    Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

     purposes but which exhibits “conscious design to create and maintain a high degree of fear for coercive
    Coercion
    Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to behave in an involuntary manner by use of threats or intimidation or some other form of pressure or force. In law, coercion is codified as the duress crime. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way...

     purposes, but the end is individual or collective gain rather than the achievement of a political objective.”
  • Quasi-terrorism – The activities incidental to the commission of crime
    Crime
    Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction...

    s of violence
    Violence
    Violence is the use of physical force to apply a state to others contrary to their wishes. violence, while often a stand-alone issue, is often the culmination of other kinds of conflict, e.g...

     that are similar in form and method to genuine terrorism but which nevertheless lack its essential ingredient. It is not the main purpose of the quasi-terrorists to induce terror in the immediate victim as in the case of genuine terrorism, but the quasi-terrorist uses the modalities and techniques of the genuine terrorist and produces similar consequences and reaction. For example, the fleeing felon
    Felony
    A felony is a serious crime in the common law countries. The term originates from English common law where felonies were originally crimes which involved the confiscation of a convicted person's land and goods; other crimes were called misdemeanors...

     who takes hostage
    Hostage
    A hostage is a person or entity which is held by a captor. The original definition meant that this was handed over by one of two belligerent parties to the other or seized as security for the carrying out of an agreement, or as a preventive measure against certain acts of war...

    s is a quasi-terrorist, whose methods are similar to those of the genuine terrorist but whose purposes are quite different.
  • Limited political terrorism – Genuine political terrorism is characterized by a revolutionary
    Revolutionary
    A revolutionary is a person who either actively participates in, or advocates revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.-Definition:...

     approach; limited political terrorism refers to “acts of terrorism which are committed for ideological
    Ideology
    An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

     or political
    Politics
    Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

     motives but which are not part of a concerted campaign to capture control of the state
    Sovereign state
    A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

    .
  • Official or state terrorism –"referring to nations whose rule is based upon fear
    Fear
    Fear is a distressing negative sensation induced by a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger...

     and oppression
    Oppression
    Oppression is the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner. It can also be defined as an act or instance of oppressing, the state of being oppressed, and the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles, adverse conditions, and...

     that reach similar to terrorism or such proportions.” It may also be referred to as Structural Terrorism defined broadly as terrorist acts carried out by governments in pursuit of political objectives, often as part of their foreign policy.

Several sources have further defined the typology of terrorism:
  • Political terrorism
    • Sub-state terrorism
      • Social revolutionary terrorism
      • Nationalist-separatist terrorism
      • Religious extremist terrorism
        • Religious fundamentalist Terrorism
        • New religions terrorism
      • Right-wing terrorism
        Right-wing terrorism
        Right-wing terrorism draws its inspiration from a variety of ideologies and beliefs, including neo-fascism, neo-Nazism, racism, opposition to foreigners and immigration, and religion. Incidents of this type of terrorism have been widespread, but often lack international cooperation...

      • Left-wing terrorism
        Left-wing terrorism
        Left-wing terrorism, sometimes called Marxist-Leninist terrorism or revolutionary/left-wing terrorism is a tactic used to overthrow capitalism and replace it with Marxist-Leninist or socialist government.-Ideology:...

      • Single-issue terrorism
        Special interest terrorism
        Special interest terrorism, also called single-issue terrorism, is a category of terrorism. It differs from traditional right-wing terrorism and left-wing terrorism in that extremist special interest groups seek to resolve specific issues, rather than effect widespread political change.Special...

    • State-sponsored terrorism
      State-sponsored terrorism
      State-sponsored terrorism is a term used to describe terrorism sponsored by nation-states. As with terrorism, the precise definition, and the identification of particular examples, are subjects of heated political dispute...

    • Regime or state terrorism
  • Criminal terrorism
  • Pathological terrorism

Motivation of terrorists


Attacks on 'collaborators' are used to intimidate people from cooperating with the state in order to undermine state control. This strategy was used in the USA in its War of Independence
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 and in Ireland, in Kenya, in Algeria and in Cyprus in their independence struggles.

Attacks on high profile symbolic targets are used to incite counter-terrorism by the state to polarise the population. This strategy is used by Al Qaeda in its attacks on the USA in September 2001. These attacks are also used to draw international attention to struggles which are otherwise unreported such as the Palestininian airplane hijackings in 1970
Dawson's Field hijackings
In the Dawson's Field hijackings five jet aircraft bound for New York City were hijacked by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine...

 and the South Moluccan hostage crises in the Netherlands in 1975.

Abrahm suggests that terrorist organizations do not select terrorism for its political effectiveness. Individual terrorists tend to be motivated more by a desire for social solidarity with other members of their organization than by political platforms or strategic objectives, which are often murky and undefined.

Democracy and domestic terrorism



The relationship between domestic terrorism and democracy is very complex. Terrorism is most common in nations with intermediate political freedom, and is least common in the most democratic nations.
However, one study suggests that suicide terrorism may be an exception to this general rule. Evidence regarding this particular method of terrorism reveals that every modern suicide campaign has targeted a democracy–a state with a considerable degree of political freedom. The study suggests that concessions awarded to terrorists during the 1980s and 1990s for suicide attacks increased their frequency.

Some examples of "terrorism" in non-democracies include ETA
ETA
ETA , an acronym for Euskadi Ta Askatasuna is an armed Basque nationalist and separatist organization. The group was founded in 1959 and has since evolved from a group promoting traditional Basque culture to a paramilitary group with the goal of gaining independence for the Greater Basque Country...

 in Spain under Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

 (although the group's terrorist activities increased sharply after Franco's death), the Shining Path
Shining Path
Shining Path is a Maoist guerrilla terrorist organization in Peru. The group never refers to itself as "Shining Path", and as several other Peruvian groups, prefers to be called the "Communist Party of Peru" or "PCP-SL" in short...

 in Peru under Alberto Fujimori
Alberto Fujimori
Alberto Fujimori Fujimori served as President of Peru from 28 July 1990 to 17 November 2000. A controversial figure, Fujimori has been credited with the creation of Fujimorism, uprooting terrorism in Peru and restoring its macroeconomic stability, though his methods have drawn charges of...

, the Kurdistan Workers Party
Kurdistan Workers Party
The Kurdistan Workers' Party , commonly known as PKK, also known as KGK and formerly known as KADEK or KONGRA-GEL , is a Kurdish organization which has since 1984 been fighting an armed struggle against the Turkish state for an autonomous Kurdistan and greater cultural and political rights...

 when Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 was ruled by military leaders and the ANC
African National Congress
The African National Congress is South Africa's governing Africanist political party, supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party , since the establishment of non-racial democracy in April 1994. It defines itself as a...

 in South Africa. Democracies, such as the United Kingdom, United States, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, India, Spain and the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, have also experienced domestic terrorism.

While a democratic nation espousing civil liberties may claim a sense of higher moral ground than other regimes, an act of terrorism within such a state may cause a dilemma: whether to maintain its civil liberties and thus risk being perceived as ineffective in dealing with the problem; or alternatively to restrict its civil liberties and thus risk delegitimizing its claim of supporting civil liberties. For this reason, homegrown terrorism
Homegrown terrorism
Homegrown terrorism is commonly associated with an international organization rather than being a ‘lone wolf’ act committed by isolated and disturbed individuals. It constitutes terrorist attacks from within the target nation, often Western...

 has started to be seen as a greater threat, as stated by former CIA Director Michael Hayden. This dilemma, some social theorists would conclude, may very well play into the initial plans of the acting terrorist(s); namely, to delegitimize the state.

Religious terrorism




Religious terrorism is terrorism performed by groups or individuals, the motivation of which is typically rooted in faith
Faith
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing, or a belief that is not based on proof. In religion, faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition,...

-based tenets. Terrorist acts throughout the centuries have been performed on religious grounds with the hope to either spread or enforce a system of belief, viewpoint or opinion. Religious terrorism does not in itself necessarily define a specific religious standpoint or view, but instead usually defines an individual or a group view or interpretation of that belief system's teachings.

Perpetrators


The perpetrators of acts of terrorism can be individuals, groups, or states. According to some definitions, clandestine or semi-clandestine state actors may also carry out terrorist acts outside the framework of a state of war. However, the most common image of terrorism is that it is carried out by small and secretive cells, highly motivated to serve a particular cause and many of the most deadly operations in recent times, such as the September 11 attacks, the London underground bombing
7 July 2005 London bombings
The 7 July 2005 London bombings were a series of co-ordinated suicide attacks in the United Kingdom, targeting civilians using London's public transport system during the morning rush hour....

, and the 2002 Bali bombing
2002 Bali bombing
The 2002 Bali bombings occurred on 12 October 2002 in the tourist district of Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali. The attack was claimed as the deadliest act of terrorism in the history of Indonesia according to the current police general, killing 202 people,...

 were planned and carried out by a close clique, composed of close friends, family members and other strong social networks. These groups benefited from the free flow of information and efficient telecommunications to succeed where others had failed.

Over the years, many people have attempted to come up with a terrorist profile to attempt to explain these individuals' actions through their psychology and social circumstances. Others, like Roderick Hindery, have sought to discern profiles in the propaganda tactics used by terrorists. Some security organizations designate these groups as violent non-state actors. A 2007 study by economist Alan B. Krueger
Alan B. Krueger
Alan Bennett Krueger is an American economist, Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. On March 7, 2009, he was nominated by President Barack Obama to be United States Assistant Secretary of the...

 found that terrorists were less likely to come from an impoverished background (28% vs. 33%) and more likely to have at least a high-school education (47% vs. 38%). Another analysis found only 16% of terrorists came from impoverished families, vs. 30% of male Palestinians, and over 60% had gone beyond high school, vs. 15% of the populace.

To avoid detection, a terrorist will look, dress, and behave normally until executing the assigned mission. Some claim that attempts to profile terrorists based on personality, physical, or sociological traits are not useful. The physical and behavioral description of the terrorist could describe almost any normal person. However, the majority of terrorist attacks are carried out by military age men, aged 16–40.

Terrorist groups


State sponsors



A state can sponsor terrorism by funding or harboring a terrorist organization. Opinions as to which acts of violence by states consist of state-sponsored terrorism vary widely. When states provide funding for groups considered by some to be terrorist, they rarely acknowledge them as such.

State terrorism


As with "terrorism" the concept of "state terrorism" is controversial. The Chairman of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee has stated that the Committee was conscious of 12 international Conventions on the subject, and none of them referred to State terrorism, which was not an international legal concept. If States abused their power, they should be judged against international conventions dealing with war crimes, international human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 and international humanitarian law
International humanitarian law
International humanitarian law , often referred to as the laws of war, the laws and customs of war or the law of armed conflict, is the legal corpus that comprises "the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Conventions, as well as subsequent treaties, case law, and customary international law." It...

. Former United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 Secretary-General
Secretary-General
-International intergovernmental organizations:-International nongovernmental organizations:-Sports governing bodies:...

 Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006...

 has said that it is "time to set aside debates on so-called 'state terrorism'. The use of force by states
Use of force by states
The use of force by states is controlled by both customary international law and by treaty law. The UN Charter reads in article 2:All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or...

 is already thoroughly regulated under international law" However, he also made clear that, "regardless of the differences between governments on the question of definition of terrorism, what is clear and what we can all agree on is any deliberate attack on innocent civilians, regardless of one's cause, is unacceptable and fits into the definition of terrorism."

State terrorism has been used to refer to terrorist acts by governmental agents or forces. This involves the use of state resources employed by a state's foreign policies, such as using its military to directly perform acts of terrorism. Professor of Political Science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 Michael Stohl cites the examples that include Germany’s bombing of London and the U.S. atomic destruction of Hiroshima
Hiroshima
is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan. It became best known as the first city in history to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon when the United States Army Air Forces dropped an atomic bomb on it at 8:15 A.M...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. He argues that “the use of terror tactics is common in international relations and the state has been and remains a more likely employer of terrorism within the international system than insurgents." They also cite the First strike
First strike
In nuclear strategy, a first strike is a preemptive surprise attack employing overwhelming force. First strike capability is a country's ability to defeat another nuclear power by destroying its arsenal to the point where the attacking country can survive the weakened retaliation while the opposing...

 option as an example of the "terror of coercive diplomacy" as a form of this, which holds the world hostage with the implied threat of using nuclear weapons in "crisis management." They argue that the institutionalized form of terrorism has occurred as a result of changes that took place following World War II. In this analysis, state terrorism exhibited as a form of foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

 was shaped by the presence and use of weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

, and that the legitimizing of such violent behavior led to an increasingly accepted form of this state behavior.
State terrorism has also been used to describe peacetime actions by governmental agents such as the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103
Pan Am Flight 103
Pan Am Flight 103 was Pan American World Airways' third daily scheduled transatlantic flight from London Heathrow Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport...

. Charles Stewart Parnell
Charles Stewart Parnell
Charles Stewart Parnell was an Irish landowner, nationalist political leader, land reform agitator, and the founder and leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party...

 described William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone FRS FSS was a British Liberal statesman. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as Prime Minister four separate times , more than any other person. Gladstone was also Britain's oldest Prime Minister, 84 years old when he resigned for the last time...

's Irish Coercion Act
Irish Coercion Act
The Protection of Person and Property Act 1881 was one of more than 100 Coercion Acts passed by the Parliament of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland between 1801 and 1922, in an attempt to establish law and order in Ireland. The 1881 Act was passed by parliament and introduced by...

 as terrorism in his "no-Rent manifesto" in 1881, during the Irish Land War. The concept is also used to describe political repression
Political repression
Political repression is the persecution of an individual or group for political reasons, particularly for the purpose of restricting or preventing their ability to take political life of society....

s by governments against their own civilian population with the purpose to incite fear. For example, taking and executing civilian hostage
Hostage
A hostage is a person or entity which is held by a captor. The original definition meant that this was handed over by one of two belligerent parties to the other or seized as security for the carrying out of an agreement, or as a preventive measure against certain acts of war...

s or extrajudicial elimination campaigns are commonly considered "terror" or terrorism, for example during the Red Terror
Red Terror
The Red Terror in Soviet Russia was the campaign of mass arrests and executions conducted by the Bolshevik government. In Soviet historiography, the Red Terror is described as having been officially announced on September 2, 1918 by Yakov Sverdlov and ended about October 1918...

 or Great Terror
Great Purge
The Great Purge was a series of campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin from 1936 to 1938...

. Such actions are often also described as democide
Democide
Democide is a term revived and redefined by the political scientist R. J. Rummel as "the murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder." Rummel created the term as an extended concept to include forms of government murder that are not covered by the...

 or genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 which has been argued to be equivalent to state terrorism. Empirical studies on this have found that democracies have little democide.

Funding



State sponsors
State-sponsored terrorism
State-sponsored terrorism is a term used to describe terrorism sponsored by nation-states. As with terrorism, the precise definition, and the identification of particular examples, are subjects of heated political dispute...

 have constituted a major form of funding; for example, Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine is a Palestinian Marxist-Leninist, secular political and military organization. It is also frequently referred to as the Democratic Front, or al-Jabha al-Dimuqratiyah...

 and some other terrorist groups were funded by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. The Stern Gang received funding from Italian Fascist
Italian Fascism
Italian Fascism also known as Fascism with a capital "F" refers to the original fascist ideology in Italy. This ideology is associated with the National Fascist Party which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943, the Republican Fascist Party which ruled the Italian...

 officers in Beirut to undermine the British Mandate for Palestine.

"Revolutionary tax
Revolutionary tax
Revolutionary tax is a major form of funding for violent non-state actors such as guerrilla and terrorist organizations. Those outside the organization may consider it to be a euphemism for "protection money"....

" is another major form of funding, and essentially a euphemism for "protection money". Revolutionary taxes are typically extorted from businesses, and they also "play a secondary role as one other means of intimidating the target population".

Other major sources of funding include kidnapping
Kidnapping
In criminal law, kidnapping is the taking away or transportation of a person against that person's will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority...

 for ransoms, smuggling
Smuggling
Smuggling is the clandestine transportation of goods or persons, such as out of a building, into a prison, or across an international border, in violation of applicable laws or other regulations.There are various motivations to smuggle...

, fraud
Fraud
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation...

 and robbery
Robbery
Robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force or by putting the victim in fear. At common law, robbery is defined as taking the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property, by means of force or fear....

.

The Financial Action Task Force is an inter-governmental body whose mandate, since October 2001, has included combatting terrorist financing
Terrorist Financing
Terrorist financing came into limelight after the events of terrorism on 9/11. The US passed the USA PATRIOT Act to, among other reasons, attempt thwarting the financing of terrorism and anti-money laundering making sure these were given some sort of adequate focus by US financial institutions...

.

Tactics


Terrorism is a form of asymmetric warfare
Asymmetric warfare
Asymmetric warfare is war between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly....

, and is more common when direct conventional warfare
Conventional warfare
Conventional warfare is a form of warfare conducted byusing conventional military weapons and battlefield tactics between two or more states in open confrontation. The forces on each side are well-defined, and fight using weapons that primarily target the opposing army...

 will not be effective because forces vary greatly in power.

The context in which terrorist tactics are used is often a large-scale, unresolved political conflict. The type of conflict varies widely; historical examples include:
  • Secession
    Secession
    Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

     of a territory to form a new sovereign state or become part of a different state
  • Dominance of territory or resources by various ethnic groups
  • Imposition of a particular form of government
  • Economic deprivation of a population
  • Opposition to a domestic government or occupying army
  • Religious fanaticism


Terrorist attacks are often targeted to maximize fear and publicity, usually using explosives or poison
Poison
In the context of biology, poisons are substances that can cause disturbances to organisms, usually by chemical reaction or other activity on the molecular scale, when a sufficient quantity is absorbed by an organism....

. There is concern about terrorist attacks employing weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

. Terrorist organizations usually methodically plan attacks in advance, and may train participants, plant undercover agents, and raise money from supporters or through organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

. Communications occur through modern telecommunications, or through old-fashioned methods such as courier
Courier
A courier is a person or a company who delivers messages, packages, and mail. Couriers are distinguished from ordinary mail services by features such as speed, security, tracking, signature, specialization and individualization of express services, and swift delivery times, which are optional for...

s.

Responses



Responses to terrorism are broad in scope. They can include re-alignments of the political spectrum
Political spectrum
A political spectrum is a way of modeling different political positions by placing them upon one or more geometric axes symbolizing independent political dimensions....

 and reassessments of fundamental values
Value system
A value system is a set of consistent ethic values and measures used for the purpose of ethical or ideological integrity. A well defined value system is a moral code.-Personal and communal:...

.

Specific types of responses include:
  • Targeted laws, criminal procedures, deportations, and enhanced police powers
  • Target hardening, such as locking doors or adding traffic barriers
  • Preemptive or reactive military action
  • Increased intelligence and surveillance activities
  • Preemptive humanitarian activities
  • More permissive interrogation and detention policies


The term counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt to prevent or in response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.The tactic of terrorism is available to insurgents and governments...

has a narrower connotation, implying that it is directed at terrorist actors.

According to a report by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin in the Washington Post, "Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States."

Mass media


Media exposure may be a primary goal of those carrying out terrorism, to expose issues that would otherwise be ignored by the media. Some consider this to be manipulation and exploitation of the media.

The internet has created a new channel for groups to spread their messages. This has created a cycle of measures and counter measures by groups in support of and in opposition to terrorist movements. The United Nations has created its own online counter-terrorism resource.

The mass media will, on occasion, censor organizations involved in terrorism (through self-restraint or regulation) to discourage further terrorism. However, this may encourage organizations to perform more extreme acts of terrorism to be shown in the mass media. Conversely James F. Pastor
James F. Pastor
Dr. James F. Pastor, Ph.D., J.D is an expert in terrorism, security, public safety and police matters. Dr. Pastor is an Associate Professor of Public Safety at Calumet College of St...

 explains the significant relationship between terrorism and the media, and the underlying benefit each receives from the other.


History


The history of terrorism goes back to Sicarii Zealots — Jewish extremist group active in Iudaea Province
Iudaea Province
Judaea or Iudaea are terms used by historians to refer to the Roman province that extended over parts of the former regions of the Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms of Israel...

 at the beginning of the first century AD. After Zealotry
Zealotry
Zealotry was originally a political movement in 1st century Second Temple Judaism which sought to incite the people of Iudaea Province to rebel against the Roman Empire and expel it from the Holy land by force of arms, most notably during the Great Jewish Revolt...

 rebellion in the 1st century AD, when some prominent collaborators with Roman rule were killed, according to contemporary historian Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

, in 6 AD Judas of Galilee
Judas of Galilee
Judas of Galilee or Judas of Gamala led a violent resistance to the census imposed for Roman tax purposes by Quirinius in Iudaea Province around AD 6. The revolt was crushed brutally by the Romans...

 formed a small and more extreme offshoot of the Zealots, the Sicarii
Sicarii
Sicarii is a term applied, in the decades immediately preceding the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, to an extremist splinter group of the Jewish Zealots, who attempted to expel the Romans and their partisans from Judea using concealed daggers .-History:The Sicarii used...

. Their terror also was directed against Jewish "collaborators", including temple priests, Sadducees, Herodians, and other wealthy elites.

The term "terrorism" itself was originally used to describe the actions of the Jacobin Club
Jacobin Club
The Jacobin Club was the most famous and influential political club in the development of the French Revolution, so-named because of the Dominican convent where they met, located in the Rue St. Jacques , Paris. The club originated as the Club Benthorn, formed at Versailles from a group of Breton...

 during the "Reign of Terror
Reign of Terror
The Reign of Terror , also known simply as The Terror , was a period of violence that occurred after the onset of the French Revolution, incited by conflict between rival political factions, the Girondins and the Jacobins, and marked by mass executions of "enemies of...

" in the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

. "Terror is nothing other than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible," said Jacobin leader Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre is one of the best-known and most influential figures of the French Revolution. He largely dominated the Committee of Public Safety and was instrumental in the period of the Revolution commonly known as the Reign of Terror, which ended with his...

. In 1795, Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke PC was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party....

 denounced the Jacobins for letting "thousands of those hell-hounds called Terrorists...loose on the people" of France.

In January 1858, Italian patriot Felice Orsini
Felice Orsini
Felice Orsini was an Italian revolutionary and leader of the Carbonari who tried to assassinate Napoleon III, Emperor of the French.-Early:Felice Orsini was born at Meldola in Romagna, then part of the Papal States....

 threw three bombs in an attempt to assassinate French Emperor Napoleon III. Eight bystanders were killed and 142 injured. The incident played a crucial role as an inspiration for the development of the early Russian terrorist groups. Russian
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 Sergey Nechayev
Sergey Nechayev
Sergey Gennadiyevich Nyechayev was a Russian revolutionary associated with the Nihilist movement and known for his single-minded pursuit of revolution by any means necessary, including political violence.-Early life in Russia:...

, who founded People's Retribution in 1869, described himself as a "terrorist", an early example of the term being employed in its modern meaning. Nechayev's story is told in fictionalized form by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky was a Russian writer of novels, short stories and essays. He is best known for his novels Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov....

 in the novel The Possessed. German anarchist writer Johann Most
Johann Most
Johann Joseph Most was a German-American politician, newspaper editor, and orator. He is credited with popularizing the concept of "Propaganda of the deed". His grandson was Boston Celtics radio play-by-play man Johnny Most...

 dispensed "advice for terrorists" in the 1880s.

Terrorism databases


The following terrorism databases are or were made publicly available for research purposes, and track specific acts of terrorism:
  • MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base
    MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base
    The MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base was an online portal containing information on terrorist incidents, leaders, groups, and related court cases. The TKB ceased operations on 31 March 2008. TKB was sponsored by the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism , a non-profit...

  • Global Terrorism Database
    Global Terrorism Database
    The Global Terrorism Database is an open-source database including information on terrorist events around the world from 1970 through 2008 . The GTD includes systematically collected data on domestic as well as international terrorist attacks and now includes more than 87,000 cases...

  • Worldwide Incidents Tracking System
    Worldwide Incidents Tracking System
    The Worldwide Incidents Tracking System is a publicly-accessible terrorism database operated by the National Counterterrorism Center.-Content:As of September, 2010, had over 68,939 records.The database is organized in the following dimensions:* City...

  • Tocsearch
    Tocsearch
    The TOC search is a dynamic data base which offers comprehensive information on global terrorist network and help researchers, analysts, students and others working to prevent terrorism...

     (dynamic database)


The following publicly available resource indexes electronic and bibliographic resources on the subject of terrorism:
  • Human Security Gateway
    Human Security Gateway
    The Human Security Gateway is a database of research and information related to Human Security. Additions to the database are made daily - it contains over 27,000 English and French-language resources related to conflict and human security...



The following terrorism databases are maintained in secrecy by the United State Government for intelligence and counter-terrorism purposes:
  • Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment
    Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment
    The Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, is the U.S. Government's central database on known or suspected international terrorists, and contains highly classified information provided by members of the Intelligence Community such as CIA, DIA, FBI, NSA, and many others.There are about 550,000...

  • Terrorist Screening Database
    Terrorist Screening Database
    The Terrorist Screening Database or TSDB is the central terrorist watchlist consolidated by the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center and used by multiple agencies to compile their specific watchlists and for screening. The list consists of 400,000 unique names and over 1,000,000 records as of...


See also


  • Aircraft hijacking
    Aircraft hijacking
    Aircraft hijacking is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group. In most cases, the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers. Occasionally, however, the hijackers have flown the aircraft themselves, such as the September 11 attacks of 2001...

  • Airport security
    Airport security
    Airport security refers to the techniques and methods used in protecting airports and aircraft from crime.Large numbers of people pass through airports. This presents potential targets for terrorism and other forms of crime due to the number of people located in a particular location...

  • Christian Terrorism
  • Civilian casualty ratio
    Civilian casualty ratio
    In armed conflicts, the civilian casualty ratio is the ratio of civilian casualties to combatant casualties, or total casualties...

  • Crimes against humanity
  • Cyber-terrorism
    Cyber-terrorism
    Cyberterrorism is the use of Internet based attacks in terrorist activities, including acts of deliberate, large-scale disruption of computer networks, especially of personal computers attached to the Internet, by the means of tools such as computer viruses....

  • Domestic terrorism in the United States
    Domestic terrorism in the United States
    Domestic terrorism in the United States between 1980 and 2000 consisted of 250 of the 335 incidents confirmed as or suspected to be terrorist acts by the FBI. These 250 attacks are considered domestic by the FBI because they were carried out by U.S...

  • Extremism
    Extremism
    Extremism is any ideology or political act far outside the perceived political center of a society; or otherwise claimed to violate common moral standards...

  • Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism
    Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism
    The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism is an international partnership of 82 nations and 4 official observers working to improve capacity on a national and international level for prevention, detection, and response to a nuclear terrorist event. Partners join the GICNT by endorsing the...

  • House of Terror
    House of Terror
    House of Terror is a museum located at Andrássy út 60 in Budapest, Hungary. It contains exhibits related to the fascist and communist dictatorial regimes in 20th century Hungary and is also a memorial to the victims of these regimes, including those detained, interrogated, tortured or killed in the...

  • Insurgency
    Insurgency
    An insurgency is an armed rebellion against a constituted authority when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents...

  • International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol)
  • Intimidation
    Intimidation
    Intimidation is intentional behavior "which would cause a person of ordinary sensibilities" fear of injury or harm. It's not necessary to prove that the behavior was so violent as to cause terror or that the victim was actually frightened.Criminal threatening is the crime of intentionally or...

  • Islamic Terrorism

  • Jewish Terrorism
    Jewish terrorism
    Jewish religious terrorism is a type of religious terrorism committed by extremists of Judaism.- Terminology :Some researches on ethnic terrorism distinguish between ethnic terrorism and religious terrorism, but admit that the distinction between these forms of terrorism is often blurred in practice...

  • Jihadi tourism
    Jihadi tourism
    Jihadi tourism, also referred to as jihad tourism or jihadist tourism, is a term sometimes used to describe travel to foreign destinations with the object of scouting for terrorist training. US diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks in 2010 have raised concerns about this form of travel...

  • List of designated terrorist organizations
  • List of terrorist incidents
  • Narcoterrorism
    Narcoterrorism
    Narcoterrorism is a term coined by former President Fernando Belaúnde Terry of Peru in 1983 when describing terrorist-type attacks against his nation's anti-narcotics police...

  • Palestinian political violence
    Palestinian political violence
    Palestinian political violence refers to acts of violence undertaken to further the Palestinian cause. These political objectives include self-determination in and sovereignty over Palestine, the liberation of Palestine and establishment of a Palestinian state, either in place of both Israel and...

  • Power Projection
    Power projection
    Power projection is a term used in military and political science to refer to the capacity of a state to conduct expeditionary warfare, i.e. to intimidate other nations and implement policy by means of force, or the threat thereof, in an area distant from its own territory.This ability is a...

     (legitimized method of intimidation)
  • Propaganda by deed
  • Special forces
    Special forces
    Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

  • Strategy of tension
    Strategy of tension
    The strategy of tension is a theory that describes how to divide, manipulate, and control public opinion using fear, propaganda, disinformation, psychological warfare, agents provocateurs, and false flag terrorist actions....

  • Suicide attack
    Suicide attack
    A suicide attack is a type of attack in which the attacker expects or intends to die in the process.- Historical :...

  • Unconventional warfare
    Unconventional warfare
    Unconventional warfare is the opposite of conventional warfare. Where conventional warfare is used to reduce an opponent's military capability, unconventional warfare is an attempt to achieve military victory through acquiescence, capitulation, or clandestine support for one side of an existing...

  • War on Terrorism
    War on Terrorism
    The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

  • Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial
    Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial
    The Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial is a central monument on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem to all Victims of Terror in pre-state Israel and Israel from 1851 until the present. The central memorial to victims of terror was established in 1998, and the Remembrance day for fallen soldiers was...


State terrorism
State terrorism
State terrorism may refer to acts of terrorism conducted by a state against a foreign state or people. It can also refer to acts of violence by a state against its own people.-Definition:...

:
  • Pakistani state terrorism
  • State terrorism and Russia
  • State terrorism and the United States
  • State terrorism by Iran

External links


UN conventions
  • United Nations
    United Nations
    The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

    :Conventions on Terrorism
  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
    United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
    The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is a United Nations agency that was established in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Program and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations...

    : "There are 12 major multilateral conventions and protocols related to states' responsibilities for combating terrorism. But many states are not yet party to these legal instruments, or are not yet implementing them."
  • UNODC – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime – Terrorism Prevention


Terrorism and international humanitarian law

News monitoring websites specializing on articles on terrorism