Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror among masses of people; or fear to achieve a religious or political aim. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence during peacetime or in war against non-combatants (mostly civilians and neutral military personnel). The terms "terrorist" and "terrorism" originated during the French Revolution of the late 18th century but gained mainstream popularity in the 1970s in news reports and books covering the conflicts in Northern Ireland, the Basque Country and Palestine. The increased use of suicide attacks from the 1980s onwards was typified by the September 11 attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. in 2001.
There are different definitions of terrorism. Terrorism is a charged term. It is often used with the connotation of something that is "morally wrong". Governments and non-state groups use the term to abuse or denounce opposing groups. Varied political organizations have been accused of using terrorism to achieve their objectives. These organizations include right-wing and left-wing political organizations, nationalist groups, religious groups, revolutionaries and ruling governments. Legislation declaring terrorism a crime has been adopted in many states. There is no consensus as to whether or not terrorism should be regarded as a war crime.
The Global Terrorism Database, maintained by the University of Maryland, College Park, has recorded more than 61,000 incidents of non-state terrorism, resulting in at least 140,000 deaths between 2000 and 2014.
Etmologically, the word terror is derived from the Latin verb Tersere, which later becomes Terrere. The latter form appears in European languages as early as the 12th century; its first known use in French is the word terrible in 1160. By 1356 the word terreur is in use. Terreur is the origin of the Middle English term terrour, which later becomes the modern word "terror".
The term terroriste, meaning "terrorist", is first used in 1794 by the French philosopher François-Noël Babeuf, who denounces Maximilien Robespierre's Jacobin regime as a dictatorship. In the years leading up to the Reign of Terror, the Brunswick Manifesto threatened Paris with an "exemplary, never to be forgotten vengeance: the city would be subjected to military punishment and total destruction" if the royal family was harmed, but this only increased the Revolution's will to abolish the monarchy. Some writers attitudes about French Revolution grew less favorable after the French monarchy was abolished in 1792. During the Reign of Terror, which began in July 1793 and lasted thirteen months, Paris was governed by the Committee of Public safety who oversaw a regime of mass executions and public purges.
Prior to the French Revolution, ancient philosophers wrote about tyrannicide, as tyranny was seen as the greatest political threat to Greco-Roman civilization. Medieval philosophers were similarly occupied with the concept of tyranny, though the analysis of some theologians like Thomas Aquinas drew a distinction between usurpers, who could be killed by anyone, and legitimate rulers who abused their power – the latter, in Aquinas' view, could only be punished by a public authority. John of Salisbury was the first medieval Christian scholar to defend tyrannicide.
Most scholars today trace the origins of the modern tactic of terrorism to the Jewish Sicarii Zealots who attacked Romans and Jews in 1st century Palestine. They follow its development from the Persian Order of Assassins through to 19th-century anarchists. The "Reign of Terror" is usually regarded as an issue of etymology. The term terrorism has generally been used to describe violence by non-state actors rather than government violence since the 19th-century Anarchist Movement.
At length, after a terrible struggle, the [Directory] Troops prevailed over the Citizens (…) To secure them further, they have a strong corps of irregulars, ready armed. Thousands of those Hell-hounds called Terrorists, whom they had shut up in Prison on their last Revolution, as the Satellites of Tyranny, are let loose on the people.(emphasis added)
The terms "terrorism" and "terrorist" gained renewed currency in the 1970s as a result of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the Northern Ireland conflict, the Basque conflict, and the operations of groups such as the Red Army Faction. Leila Khaled was described as a terrorist in a 1970 number of Life magazine. A number of books on terrorism were published in the 1970s. The topic came further to the fore after the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings and again after the 2001 September 11 attacks and the 2002 Bali bombings.
There are over 109 different definitions of terrorism. American political philosopher Michael Walzer in 2002 wrote: "Terrorism is the deliberate killing of innocent people, at random, to spread fear through a whole population and force the hand of its political leaders". Bruce Hoffman, an American scholar, has noted that
It is not only individual agencies within the same governmental apparatus that cannot agree on a single definition of terrorism. Experts and other long-established scholars in the field are equally incapable of reaching a consensus.
French historian Sophie Wahnich distinguishes between the revolutionary terror of the French Revolution and the terrorists of the September 11 attacks:
Revolutionary terror is not terrorism. To make a moral equivalence between the Revolution's year II and September 2001 is historical and philosophical nonsense ... The violence exercised on 11 September 2001 aimed neither at equality nor liberty. Nor did the preventive war announced by the president of the United States.
Experts disagree about "whether terrorism is wrong by definition or just wrong as a matter of fact; they disagree about whether terrorism should be defined in terms of its aims, or its methods, or both, or neither; they disagree about whether or not states can perpetrate terrorism; they even disagree about the importance or otherwise of terror for a definition of terrorism."
Alternatively, responding to developments in modern warfare, Paul James and Jonathan Friedman distinguish between state terrorism against non-combatants and state terrorism against combatants, including 'Shock and Awe' tactics:
Shock and Awe" as a subcategory of "rapid dominance" is the name given to massive intervention designed to strike terror into the minds of the enemy. It is a form of state-terrorism. The concept was however developed long before the Second Gulf War by Harlan Ullman as chair of a forum of retired military personnel.
In November 2004, a Secretary-General of the United Nations 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". The international community 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,
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 floundered 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.
These divergences have made it impossible for the United Nations to conclude a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that incorporates a single, all-encompassing, legally binding, criminal law definition of terrorism. The international community has adopted a series of sectoral conventions that define and criminalize various types of terrorist activities.
Since 1994, the United Nations General Assembly 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 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.
Various legal systems and government agencies use different definitions of terrorism in their national legislation.
U.S. Code Title 22 Chapter 38, Section 2656f(d) defines terrorism as: "Premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience".
18 U.S.C. § 2331 defines "international terrorism" and "domestic terrorism" for purposes of Chapter 113B of the Code, entitled "Terrorism":
"International terrorism" means activities with the following three characteristics:
Involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law; Appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S., or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.
A definition proposed by Carsten Bockstette at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, underlines the psychological and tactical aspects of terrorism:
Terrorism is defined as political violence in an asymmetrical conflict that is designed to induce terror and psychic fear (sometimes indiscriminate) through the violent victimization and destruction of noncombatant targets (sometimes iconic symbols). Such acts are meant to send a message from an illicit clandestine organization. The purpose of terrorism is to exploit the media in order to achieve maximum attainable publicity as an amplifying force multiplier in order to influence the targeted audience(s) in order to reach short- and midterm political goals and/or desired long-term end states.
Terrorist acts frequently have a political purpose. 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. For example, carrying out a strategic bombing on an enemy 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. An associated term is violent non-state actor.
According to Ali Khan, the distinction lies ultimately in a political judgment.
Having the moral charge in our vocabulary of 'something morally wrong', the term 'terrorism' is often used to abuse or denounce opposite parties, either governments or non-state-groups.
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, vigilante, militant, paramilitary, guerrilla, rebel, patriot, or any similar-meaning word in other languages and cultures. Jihadi, mujaheddin, and fedayeen are similar Arabic words that have entered the English lexicon. It is common for both parties in a conflict to describe each other as terrorists.
On whether particular terrorist acts, such as killing non-combatants, 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 that 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 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 offered an explanation of why the term terrorism becomes distorted:
On one point, at least, everyone agrees: terrorism is a pejorative term. It is a word with intrinsically negative connotations that is generally applied to one's enemies and opponents, or to those with whom one disagrees and would otherwise prefer to ignore. 'What is called terrorism,' Brian Jenkins has written, 'thus seems to depend on one's point of view. Use of the term implies a moral judgment; and if one party can successfully attach the label terrorist to its opponent, then it has indirectly persuaded others to adopt its moral viewpoint.' Hence the decision to call someone or label some organization terrorist becomes almost unavoidably subjective, depending largely on whether one sympathizes with or opposes the person/group/cause concerned. If one identifies with the victim of the violence, for example, then the act is terrorism. If, however, one identifies with the perpetrator, the violent act is regarded in a more sympathetic, if not positive (or, at the worst, an ambivalent) light; and it is not terrorism.
The pejorative connotations of the word can be summed up in the aphorism, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". This is exemplified when a group using irregular military methods is an ally of a state 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, the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army was allied with the British, but during the Malayan Emergency, members of its successor (the Malayan Races Liberation Army), were branded "terrorists" by the British. More recently, Ronald Reagan and others in the American administration frequently called the mujaheddin "freedom fighters" during the Soviet–Afghan War yet twenty years later, when a new generation of Afghan men were fighting against what they perceive to be a regime installed by foreign powers, their attacks were labelled "terrorism" by George W. Bush. 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, defines "terrorist acts" as unlawful attacks for political or other ideological goals, and said:
There is the famous statement: 'One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.' But that is grossly misleading. It assesses the validity of the cause when terrorism is an act. One can have a perfectly beautiful cause and yet if one commits terrorist acts, it is terrorism regardless.
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 laureates Menachem Begin and Nelson Mandela. WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange has been called a "terrorist" by Sarah Palin and Joe Biden.
Sometimes, states that 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 Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) as terrorists while the IRA was using methods against one of the United States' closest allies (the United Kingdom) that the UK branded as terrorism. This was highlighted by the Quinn v. Robinson case.
Depending on how broadly the term is defined, the roots and practice of terrorism can be traced at least to the 1st-century AD. Sicarii Zealots, though some dispute whether the group, a radical offshoot of the Zealots which was active in Judaea Province at the beginning of the 1st century AD, was in fact terrorist. According to the contemporary Jewish-Roman historian Josephus, after the Zealotry rebellion against Roman rule in Judea, when some prominent Jewish collaborators with Roman rule were killed, Judas of Galilee formed a small and more extreme offshoot of the Zealots, the Sicarii, in 6 AD. Their terror 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 during the "Reign of Terror" in the French Revolution. "Terror is nothing other than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible", said Jacobin leader Maximilien Robespierre. In 1795, Edmund Burke 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 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 terrorist groups.
Arguably the first organization to utilize modern terrorist techniques was the Irish Republican Brotherhood, founded in 1858 as a revolutionary Irish nationalist group that carried out attacks in England. The group initiated the Fenian dynamite campaign in 1881, one of the first modern terror campaigns. Instead of earlier forms of terrorism based on political assassination, this campaign used modern, timed explosives with the express aim of sowing fear in the very heart of metropolitan Britain, in order to achieve political gains.
Another early terrorist group was Narodnaya Volya, founded in Russia in 1878 as a revolutionary anarchist group inspired by Sergei Nechayev and "propaganda by the deed" theorist Carlo Pisacane. The group developed ideas – such as targeted killing of the 'leaders of oppression' – that were to become the hallmark of subsequent violence by small non-state groups, and they were convinced that the developing technologies of the age – such as the invention of dynamite, which they were the first anarchist group to make widespread use of – enabled them to strike directly and with discrimination.
Scholars of terrorism refer to four major waves of global terrorism: "the Anarchist, the Anti-Colonial, the New Left, and the Religious. The first three have been completed and lasted around 40 years; the fourth is now in its third decade."
Depending on the country, the political system, and the time in history, the types of terrorism are varying.
In early 1975, the Law Enforcement Assistant Administration 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 titled 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 defines terrorism as "a tactic or technique by means of which a violent act or the threat thereof is used for the prime purpose of creating overwhelming fear for coercive purposes". It classified disorders and terrorism into six categories:
Other sources have defined the typology of terrorism in different ways, for example, broadly classifying it into domestic terrorism and international terrorism, or using categories such as vigilante terrorism or insurgent terrorism. One way the typology of terrorism may be defined:
As well as there being no one agreed definition of terrorism, there is a similar lack of consensus regarding the causes – or motivations behind – terrorism. Numerous studies have identified certain behavioural and situational characteristics that are common, and perhaps causal, to the consequence of terrorism, specific analysis of case studies have led to suggested motivations to individual historical acts.
A report conducted by Paul Gill, John Horgan and Paige Deckert on behalf of The Department of security of UK highlights the vast discrepencies between individual cases of terrorism recorded. To begin with, 43 percent of lone wolf terrorism is motivated by religious beliefs. The same report indicates that just less than a third (32 percent) have pre-existing mental health disorders, while many more are found to have these problems upon arrest. At least 37 percent lived alone at the time of their event planning and/or execution, a further 26 percent lived with others, and no data were available for the remaining cases. 40 percent were unemployed at the time of their arrest or terrorist event. 19 percent subjectively experienced being disrespected by others, while 14 percent experienced being the victim of verbal or physical assault.
Attacks on 'collaborators' are used to intimidate people from cooperating with the state in order to undermine state control. This strategy was used in Ireland, in Kenya, in Algeria and in Cyprus during their independence struggles. 
This strategy was used by Al-Qaeda in its attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the United States on September 11, 2001. These attacks are used to draw international attention to struggles that are otherwise unreported, such as the Palestinian airplane hijackings in 1970 and the 1975 Dutch train hostage crisis.
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.
Additionally, Michael Mousseau shows possible relationships between the type of economy within a country and ideology associated with terrorism. Many terrorists have a history of domestic violence.
Some terrorists like Timothy McVeigh were motivated by revenge against a state for its actions against its citizens.
According to Paul Gill, John Horgan and Paige Deckert on behalf of The Department of security of UK, 43 percent of lone wolf terrorism is motivated by religious beliefs. The same report indicates that just less than a third (32 percent) have pre-existing mental health disorders, while many are found to have these problems upon arrest. At least 37 percent lived alone at the time of their event planning and/or execution, a further 26 percent lived with others, and no data were available for the remaining cases. 40 percent were unemployed at the time of their arrest or terrorist event. Many were chronically unemployed and consistently struggled to hold any form of employment for a significant amount of time. 19 percent subjectively experienced being disrespected by others, while 14.3 percent experienced being the victim of verbal or physical assault.
Ariel Merari, a psychologist who has studied the psychological profiles of suicide terrorists since 1983 through media reports that contained biographical details, interviews with the suicides’ families, and interviews with jailed would-be suicide attackers, concluded that they were unlikely to be psychologically abnormal.
In comparison to economic theories of criminal behaviour, Scott Atran found that suicide terrorists exhibit none of the socially dysfunctional attributes – such as fatherless, friendless, jobless situations – or suicidal symptoms. By which he means, they do not kill themselves simply out of hopelessness or a sense of 'having nothing to lose'.
Although a common factor in terrorism is a strong religious belief there are other factors such as cultural, social and political that wholly preclude religion. For example, the drive behind these Chechen terrorists are quite distinct and unique from others. Many of the Chechens considered themselves secular freedom fighters, nationalist insurgents seeking to establish an independent secular state of Chechnya. Although a distinction should be made between national Chechen terrorists and non-Chechen fighters who have adopted the idea from abroad. Few Chechen fighters fought for the jihads whereas most of the non-Chechen fighters did (Janeczko, 2014).
Another factor are perceived assurances of financial stability for the actor's families, that they are given when they join a terrorist organization or complete an attempt of terror. An extra grant is provided for the families of suicide bombers.
Terrorism is most common in nations with intermediate political freedom, and it is least common in the most democratic nations. one study suggests that suicide attacks 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. There is a connection between the existence of civil liberties, democratic participation and terrorism. According to Young and Dugan, these things encourage terrorist groups to organize and generate terror.
Some examples of "terrorism" in non-democratic nations include ETA in Spain under Francisco Franco (although the group's terrorist activities increased sharply after Franco's death), the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists in pre-war Poland, the Shining Path in Peru under Alberto Fujimori, the Kurdistan Workers Party when Turkey was ruled by military leaders and the ANC in South Africa. Democracies, such as Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel, Indonesia, India, Spain, Germany, Italy and the Philippines, have 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 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 and cause a systematic shift towards anarchy via the accumulation of negative sentiments towards the state system.
Terrorist acts throughout history have been performed on religious grounds with the goal to either spread or enforce a system of belief, viewpoint or opinion. The validity and scope of religious terrorism is limited to an individual's view or a group's view or interpretation of that belief system's teachings.
According to the Global Terrorism Index by the University of Maryland, College Park, religious extremism has overtaken national separatism and become the main driver of terrorist attacks around the world. Since 9/11 there has been a five-fold increase in deaths from terrorist attacks. The majority of incidents over the past several years can be tied to groups with a religious agenda. Before 2000, it was nationalist separatist terrorist organizations such as the IRA and Chechen rebels who were behind the most attacks. The number of incidents from nationalist separatist groups has remained relatively stable in the years since while religious extremism has grown. The prevalence of Islamist groups in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria is the main driver behind these trends.
Four of the terrorist groups that have been most active since 2001 are Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIL. These groups have been most active in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria. 80 percent of all deaths from terrorism occurred in one of these five countries.
Terrorism in Pakistan has become a great problem. From the summer of 2007 until late 2009, more than 1,500 people were killed in suicide and other attacks on civilians for reasons attributed to a number of causes – sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia Muslims; easy availability of guns and explosives; the existence of a "Kalashnikov culture"; an influx of ideologically driven Muslims based in or near Pakistan, who originated from various nations around the world and the subsequent war against the pro-Soviet Afghans in the 1980s which blew back into Pakistan; the presence of Islamist insurgent groups and forces such as the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Pakistan is the 10th most dangerous country by criminality index. On July 2, 2013 in Lahore, 50 Muslim scholars of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) issued a collective fatwa against suicide bombings, the killing of innocent people, bomb attacks, and targeted killings declaring them as Haraam or forbidden.
In 2015, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report on terrorism in the United States. The report (titled The Age of the Wolf) found that during that period, "more people have been killed in America by non-Islamic domestic terrorists than jihadists." The "virulent racist and anti-semitic" ideology of the ultra-right wing Christian Identity movement is usually accompanied by anti-government sentiments. Adherents of Christian Identity believe that whites of European descent can be traced back to the "Lost Tribes of Israel" and many consider Jews to be the Satanic offspring of Eve and the Serpent. This group has committed hate crimes, bombings and other acts of terrorism. Its influence ranges from the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups to the anti-government militia and sovereign citizen movements. Christian Identity's origins can be traced back to Anglo-Israelism. Anglo-Israelism held the view that Jews were descendants of ancient Israelites who had never been lost. By the 1930s, the movement had been infected with anti-Semitism, and eventually Christian Identity theology diverged from traditional Anglo-Israelism, and developed what is known as the "two seed" theory. According to the two-seed theory, the Jewish people are descended from Cain and the serpent (not from Shem). The white European seedline is descended from the "lost tribes" of Israel. They hold themselves to "God's laws", not to "man's laws", and they do not feel bound to a government that they consider run by Jews and the New World Order.
Israel has had problems with Jewish religious terrorism. Yigal Amir assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. For Amir, killing Rabin was an exemplary act that symbolized the fight against an illegitimate government that was prepared to cede Jewish Holy Land to the Palestinians. 
The perpetrators of acts of terrorism can be individuals, groups, or states. According to some definitions, clandestine or semi-clandestine state actors may carry out terrorist acts outside the framework of a state of war. 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, 2008 Mumbai attacks and the 2002 Bali bombing 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, much research has been conducted to distill a terrorist profile to explain these individuals' actions through their psychology and socio-economic 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 found that terrorists were less likely to come from an impoverished background (28 percent vs. 33 percent) and more likely to have at least a high-school education (47 percent vs. 38 percent). Another analysis found only 16 percent of terrorists came from impoverished families, vs. 30 percent of male Palestinians, and over 60 percent had gone beyond high school, vs. 15 percent of the populace.A study into the poverty-stricken conditions and whether or not,terrorists are more likely to come from here,show that people who grew up in these situations tend to show aggression and frustration towards others. This theory is largely debated for the simple fact that just because one is frustrated,does not make them a potential terrorist.
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. the majority of terrorist attacks are carried out by military age men, aged 16–40.
Groups not part of the state apparatus of in opposition to the state are most commonly referred to as a "terrorist" in the media.
According to the Global Terrorism Database, the most active terrorist group in the period 1970 to 2010 was Shining Path (with 4,517 attacks), followed by Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), Irish Republican Army (IRA), Basque Fatherland and Freedom (ETA), Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Taliban, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, New People's Army, National Liberation Army of Colombia (ELN), and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
A state can sponsor terrorism by funding or harboring a terrorist group. 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.
Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur it is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims.
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 law, and international humanitarian law. Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that it is "time to set aside debates on so-called 'state terrorism'. The use of force by states is already thoroughly regulated under international law". he made clear that, "regardless of the differences between governments on the question of the definition of terrorism, what is clear and what we can all agree on is that any deliberate attack on innocent civilians [or non-combatants], regardless of one's cause, is unacceptable and fits into the definition of terrorism."
State terrorism has been used to refer to terrorist acts committed 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 Michael Stohl cites the examples that include the German bombing of London, the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the British and American firebombing of Dresden, and the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. 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." He cites the first strike 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" and he argues 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 was shaped by the presence and use of weapons of mass destruction, and the legitimizing of such violent behavior led to an increasingly accepted form of this behavior by the state.
Charles Stewart Parnell described William Ewart Gladstone's Irish Coercion Act as terrorism in his "no-Rent manifesto" in 1881, during the Irish Land War. The concept is used to describe political repressions by governments against their own civilian populations with the purpose of inciting fear. For example, taking and executing civilian hostages or extrajudicial elimination campaigns are commonly considered "terror" or terrorism, for example during the Red Terror or the Great Terror. Such actions are often described as democide or genocide, which have been argued to be equivalent to state terrorism. Empirical studies on this have found that democracies have little democide. Western democracies, including the United States, have supported state terrorism and mass killings, with some examples being the Indonesian mass killings of 1965–66 and Operation Condor.
The connection between terrorism and tourism has been widely studied since the Luxor massacre in Egypt. In the 1970s, the targets of terrorists were politicians and chiefs of police while now, international tourists and visitors are selected as the main targets of attacks. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, were the symbolic epicenter, which marked a new epoch in the use of civil transport against the main power of the planet. From this event onwards, the spaces of leisure that characterized the pride of West, were conceived as dangerous and frightful.
State sponsors have constituted a major form of funding; for example, Palestine Liberation Organization, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and other groups considered to be terrorist organizations, were funded by the Soviet Union. The Stern Gang received funding from Italian Fascist officers in Beirut to undermine the British Mandate for Palestine. Pakistan has created and nurtured terrorist groups as policy for achieving tactical objectives against its neighbours, especially India.
"Revolutionary tax" is another major form of funding, and essentially a euphemism for "protection money". Revolutionary taxes "play a secondary role as one other means of intimidating the target population".
Other major sources of funding include kidnapping for ransoms, smuggling (including wildlife smuggling), fraud, and robbery. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant has reportedly received funding "via private donations from the Gulf states".
Terrorist attacks are often targeted to maximize fear and publicity, usually using explosives or poison. Terrorist groups usually methodically plan attacks in advance, and may train participants, plant undercover agents, and raise money from supporters or through organized crime. Communications occur through modern telecommunications, or through old-fashioned methods such as couriers. There is concern about terrorist attacks employing weapons of mass destruction.
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:
Specific types of responses include:
The term "counter-terrorism" 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."
America's thinking on how to defeat radical Islamists is split along two very different schools of thought. Republicans, typically follow what is known as the Bush Doctrine, advocate the military model of taking the fight to the enemy and seeking to democratize the Middle East. Democrats, by contrast, generally propose the law enforcement model of better cooperation with nations and more security at home. In the introduction of the U.S. Army / Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual, Sarah Sewall states the need for "U.S. forces to make securing the civilian, rather than destroying the enemy, their top priority. The civilian population is the center of gravity – the deciding factor in the struggle.... Civilian deaths create an extended family of enemies – new insurgent recruits or informants – and erode support of the host nation." Sewall sums up the book's key points on how to win this battle: "Sometimes, the more you protect your force, the less secure you may be.... Sometimes, the more force is used, the less effective it is.... The more successful the counterinsurgency is, the less force can be used and the more risk must be accepted.... Sometimes, doing nothing is the best reaction." This strategy, often termed "courageous restraint", has certainly led to some success on the Middle East battlefield, yet it fails to address the central truth: the terrorists we face are mostly homegrown.
Terrorism research, called terrorism and counter-terrorism research, is an interdisciplinary academic field which seeks to understand the causes of terrorism, how to prevent it as well as its impact in the broadest sense. Terrorism research can be carried out in both military and civilian contexts, for example by research centres such as the British Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies, and the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT). There are several academic journals devoted to the field.
One of the agreements that promote the international legal anti-terror framework is the Code of Conduct Towards Achieving a World Free of Terrorism that was adopted at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2018. The Code of Conduct was initiated by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Its main goal is to implement a wide range of international commitments to counter terrorism and establish a broad global coalition towards achieving a world free of terrorism by 2045. The Code was signed by more than 70 countries.
Mass 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. This may encourage organizations to perform more extreme acts of terrorism to be shown in the mass media. Conversely James F. Pastor explains the significant relationship between terrorism and the media, and the underlying benefit each receives from the other.
There is always a point at which the terrorist ceases to manipulate the media gestalt. A point at which the violence may well escalate, but beyond which the terrorist has become symptomatic of the media gestalt itself. Terrorism as we ordinarily understand it is innately media-related.
Jones and Libicki (2008) created a list of all the terrorist groups they could find that were active between 1968 and 2006. They found 648. of those, 136 splintered and 244 were still active in 2006. Of the ones that ended, 43 percent converted to nonviolent political actions, like the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland. Law enforcement took out 40 percent. Ten percent won. Only 20 groups, 7 percent, were destroyed by military force.
Forty-two groups became large enough to be labeled an insurgency; 38 of those had ended by 2006. Of those, 47 percent converted to nonviolent political actors. Only 5 percent were taken out by law enforcement. 26 percent won. 21 percent succumbed to military force. Jones and Libicki concluded that military force may be necessary to deal with large insurgencies but are only occasionally decisive, because the military is too often seen as a bigger threat to civilians than the terrorists. To avoid that, the rules of engagement must be conscious of collateral damage and work to minimize it.
Another researcher, Audrey Cronin, lists six primary ways that terrorist groups end:
The following terrorism databases are or were made publicly available for research purposes, and track specific acts of terrorism:
The following public report and index provides a summary of key global trends and patterns in terrorism around the world
The following publicly available resources index electronic and bibliographic resources on the subject of terrorism
The following terrorism databases are maintained in secrecy by the United States Government for intelligence and counter-terrorism purposes:
Jones and Libicki (2008) includes a table of 268 terrorist groups active between 1968 and 2006 with their status as of 2006: still active, splintered, converted to nonviolence, removed by law enforcement or military, or won. (These data are not in a convenient machine-readable format but are available.)
Terrorism is the deliberate killing of innocent people, at random, in order to spread fear through a whole population and force the hand of its political leaders.
The second part of the report, entitled "Freedom from Fear backs the definition of terrorism–an issue so divisive agreement on it has long eluded the world community – as any action "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"
The nation's deadliest terrorist acts – attacks designed to achieve a political goal
Iraq has accused the United States of state terrorism amid signs that the war of words between the two countries is heating up.
This article examines the complex relations between a violent non-state actor, the Al Qaeda network, and order in the international system. Al Qaeda poses a challenge to the sovereignty of specific states but it also challenges the international society as a whole.
This would end the argument that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter ...
For those like Professor Walzer who value the just-war tradition as a disciplined way to think about the morality of war ...
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Inside Terrorism falls into the category of 'must read,' at least for anyone who wants to understand how we can respond to international acts of terror.
The terrorists appear to be deliberately homing in on the few remaining places where Israelis thought they could socialize in peace.
Europe's longest-enduring terrorist group. This week, ETA (the initials stand for Basque Homeland and Freedom in Euskera, the Basque language)
The Shining Path, a faction of Peruvian militants, has resurfaced in the remote corners of the Andes. The war against the group, which took nearly 70,000 lives, supposedly ended in 2000. ... In the 1980s, the rebels were infamous for atrocities like planting bombs on donkeys in crowded markets, assassinations and other terrorist tactics.
The outlawed anti-apartheid group the African National Congress has been blamed for the attack ... He said the explosion was the "biggest and ugliest" terrorist incident since anti-government violence began in South Africa 20 years ago.
... we and Frontline felt that it was important to look more comprehensively at the post-9/11 shift to prevention and the dilemma we all now face in balancing security and privacy.
Almost everyone Stern interviewed said they were doing God's will, defending the faithful against the lies and evil deeds of their enemies. Such testimonials, she suggests, "often mask a deeper kind of angst and a deeper kind of fear – fear of a godless universe, of chaos, of loose rules, and of loneliness".
A large number of independent studies have agreed that since the 9/11 mass murder, more people have been killed in America by non-Islamic domestic terrorists than jihadists.
A passenger on the flight, Heath Schofield, explained the suspicions: "It was a return holiday flight, full of people in flip-flops and shorts. There were just two people in the whole crowd who looked like they didn't belong there."
Washington did everything in its power to encourage and facilitate the army-led massacre of alleged PKI members, and U.S. officials worried only that the killing of the party's unarmed supporters might not go far enough, permitting Sukarno to return to power and frustrate the [Johnson] Administration's emerging plans for a post-Sukarno Indonesia. This was efficacious terror, an essential building block of the neoliberal policies that the West would attempt to impose on Indonesia after Sukarno's ouster
and before the Soviet Union fell, terrorist organizations were funding themselves through subsidies from Communist governments
That's the beauty of asymmetric warfare. You don't need a lot of money, or an army of people.
Christian terrorism comprises terrorist acts by groups or individuals who profess Christian motivations or goals. Christian terrorists justify their violent tactics through their interpretation of the Bible, in accordance with their own objectives and world view. These interpretations are typically different from those of established Christian denominations.These terrorist acts can be committed against other Christian denominations, other religions, or a secular government group, individuals or society. Christianity can also be used cynically by terrorists as a rhetorical device to achieve political or military goals.Christian terrorist groups include paramilitary organizations, cults and loose collections of people that might come together to attempt to terrorize another group. Some groups also encourage terrorist acts by unaffiliated individuals. The paramilitary groups are typically tied to ethnic and political goals as well as religious ones and many of the other groups have religious beliefs at odds with conventional Christianity.Counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism (also spelled counterterrorism) incorporates the practice, military tactics, techniques, and strategy that government, military, law enforcement, business, and intelligence agencies use to combat or prevent terrorism. Counter-terrorism strategies include attempts to counter financing of terrorism.
If terrorism is part of a broader insurgency, counter-terrorism may employ counter-insurgency measures. The United States Armed Forces use the term foreign internal defense for programs that support other countries in attempts to suppress insurgency, lawlessness, or subversion or to reduce the conditions under which these threats to security may develop.Definitions of terrorism
There is no universal agreement on the definition of terrorism. Various legal systems and government agencies use different definitions. Moreover, governments have been reluctant to formulate an agreed-upon and legally binding definition. Difficulties arise from the fact that the term has become politically and emotionally charged. In the United States of America, terrorism is defined in Title 22 Chapter 38 U.S. Code § 2656f as "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents". In general, terrorism is classified as:
the use of violence or of the threat of violence in the pursuit of political, religious, ideological or social objectives
acts committed by non-state actors (or by undercover personnel serving on the behalf of their respective governments)
acts reaching more than the immediate target victims and also directed at targets consisting of a larger spectrum of society
both mala prohibita (i.e., crime that is made illegal by legislation) and mala in se (i.e., crime that is inherently immoral or wrong)The following criteria of violence or threat of violence fall outside of the definition of terrorism:
wartime (including a declared war) or peacetime acts of violence committed by a nation state against another nation state regardless of legality or illegality that are carried out by properly uniformed forces or legal combatants of such nation states
reasonable acts of self-defense, such as the use of force to kill, apprehend, or punish criminals who pose a threat to the lives of humans or property
legitimate targets in war, such as enemy combatants and strategic infrastructure that form an integral part of the enemy's war effort
collateral damage, including the infliction of incidental damage to non-combatant targets during an attack on or attempting to attack legitimate targets in warThere are many reasons for the failure to achieve universal consensus regarding the definition of terrorism. In a briefing paper for the Australian Parliament, Angus Martyn stated that "[t]he 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." These divergences have made it impossible to conclude a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that incorporates a single, all-encompassing, legally binding, criminal-law definition of terrorism.
In the meantime, the international community adopted a series of sectoral conventions that define and criminalize various types of terrorist activities. In addition, since 1994, the United Nations General Assembly has 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."
A 2003 study by Jeffrey Record for the United States Army quoted a source (Schmid and Jongman 1988) that counted 109 definitions of terrorism that covered a total of 22 different definitional elements. Record continued:
"Terrorism expert Walter Laqueur also has counted over 100 definitions and concludes that the 'only general characteristic generally agreed upon is that terrorism involves violence and the threat of violence.' Yet terrorism is hardly the only enterprise involving violence and the threat of violence. So does war, coercive diplomacy, and bar room brawls".Eco-terrorism
Eco-terrorism is an act of violence committed in support of ecological or environmental causes, against people or property.The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation defines eco-terrorism as "...the use or threatened use of violence of a criminal nature against innocent victims or property by an environmentally-oriented, subnational group for environmental-political reasons, or aimed at an audience beyond the target, often of a symbolic nature." The FBI credited eco-terrorists with US$200 million in property damage between 2003 and 2008. A majority of states in the US have introduced laws aimed at penalizing eco-terrorism.Eco-terrorism is a form of radical environmentalism that arose out of the same school of thought that brought about deep ecology, ecofeminism, social ecology, and bioregionalism. "Eco-terrorism" is a controversial term.Some "eco-terrorists" are people fighting to preserve their environment with the belief that they are preserving their existence. Examples of such "ecoterrorists" include tribal ethnic minorities such as the Waorani.Federal Security Service
The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB; Russian: Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации (ФСБ), tr. Federal'naya sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsii, IPA: [fʲɪdʲɪˈralʲnəjə ˈsluʐbə bʲɪzɐˈpasnəstʲɪ rɐˈsʲijskəj fʲɪdʲɪˈratsɨjɪ]) is the principal security agency of Russia and the main successor agency to the USSR's Committee of State Security (KGB). Its main responsibilities are within the country and include counter-intelligence, internal and border security, counter-terrorism, and surveillance as well as investigating some other types of grave crimes and federal law violations. It is headquartered in Lubyanka Square, Moscow's centre, in the main building of the former KGB. According to the 1995 Federal Law "On the Federal Security Service", direction of the FSB is executed by the president of Russia, who appoints the Director of FSB.The immediate predecessor of the FSB was the Federal Counterintelligence Service (FSK) of Russia, itself a successor to the KGB: on 12 April 1995, Russian president Boris Yeltsin signed a law mandating a reorganization of the FSK, which resulted in the creation of the FSB. In 2003, the FSB's responsibilities were widened by incorporating the previously independent Border Guard Service and a major part of the abolished Federal Agency of Government Communication and Information (FAPSI). The three major structural successor components of the former KGB that remain administratively independent of the FSB are the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), the State Guards (FSO), and the Main Directorate of Special Programs of the President of the Russian Federation.
Under Russian federal law, the FSB is a military service just like the armed forces, the MVD, the FSO, the SVR, the FSKN, Main Directorate for Drugs Control and EMERCOM's civil defence, but its commissioned officers do not usually wear military uniforms.
The FSB is mainly responsible for internal security of the Russian state, counterintelligence, and the fight against organized crime, terrorism, and drug smuggling, whereas overseas espionage is the primary responsibility of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, successor to the KGB's First Directorate, as well as the GRU, a body within the Russian Ministry of Defence. However, the FSB's FAPSI conducts electronic surveillance abroad. All law enforcement and intelligence agencies in Russia work under the guidance of the FSB, if necessary.The FSB employs about 66,200 uniformed staff, including about 4,000 special forces troops. It also employs about Border Service of the 160,000–200,000 border guards.Under Article 32 of the Federal Constitutional Law On the Government of the Russian Federation, The FSB answers directly to the RF president and the Director of FSB, while a member of the RF government which is headed by the Chairman of Government, reports to the president only; the Director also, ex officio, is a permanent member of the Security Council of Russia presided over by the president and chairman of the National Anti-terrorism Committee of Russia.Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (GWOT-SM) is a military award of the United States Armed Forces which was created through Executive Order 13289 on 12 March 2003, by President George W. Bush. The medal recognizes those military service members who have supported operations to counter terrorism in the War on Terror from 11 September 2001, to a date yet to be determined.Islamic terrorism
Islamic terrorism, Islamist terrorism or radical Islamic terrorism is defined as any terrorist act, set of acts or campaign committed by groups or individuals who profess Islamic or Islamist motivations or goals. Islamic terrorists justify their violent tactics through their own interpretation of the Quran and Hadith. The motivation for Islamic terrorism in part comes from the idea of Islamic supremacy which is encapsulated in the formula, "Islam is exalted and nothing is exalted above it."The highest numbers of incidents and fatalities caused by Islamic terrorism occur in Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria. In 2015 four Islamic extremist groups were responsible for 74% of all deaths from terrorism: ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, according to the Global Terrorism Index 2016. In recent decades, such incidents have occurred on a global scale, affecting not only Muslim-majority states in Africa and Asia, but also several other countries, including those within the European Union, Russia, Australia, Canada, Israel, India, the United Kingdom and the United States. Such attacks have targeted Muslims and non-Muslims. In a number of the worst-affected Muslim-majority regions, these terrorists have been met by armed, independent resistance groups, state actors and their proxies, and elsewhere by condemnation coming from prominent Islamic figures.List of designated terrorist groups
This is a list of designated terrorist groups by national governments, former governments, and inter-governmental organizations, where the proscription has a significant effect on the group's activities. Many organizations that are accused of being a terrorist organization deny using terrorism as a military tactic to achieve their goals, and there is no international consensus on the legal definition of terrorism. Some organisations have multiple wings or components, one or more of which may be designated as terrorist while others are not.
This listing does not include unaffiliated individuals accused of terrorism, which are considered under lone wolf terrorism. This list also excludes groups which might be widely considered terrorist, but who are not officially so designated according to the criteria specified above.
This list is not all inclusive. For more inclusive lists, including people, entities (corporations), and specific vehicles, refer to lists under Process of designation.
There are near about 210 recognised terrorist organisations.List of terrorist incidents
The following is a list of terrorist incidents that have not been carried out by a state or its forces (see state terrorism and state-sponsored terrorism). Assassinations are listed at List of assassinated people.
Definitions of terrorism vary, so incidents listed here are restricted to those that:
are not approved by the legitimate authority of a recognized state
are illegally perpetrated against people or property
are done to further political, religious, or ideological objectivesLone wolf (terrorism)
A Lone Terrorist or Lone Wolf, is someone who prepares and commits violent acts alone, outside of any command structure and without material assistance from any group. They may be influenced or motivated by the ideology and beliefs of an external group and may act in support of such a group. In its original sense, a "lone wolf" is an animal or person that generally lives or spends time alone instead of with a group.Observers note the attacks are a relatively rare type of terrorist attack but have been increasing in number, and that it is sometimes difficult to tell whether an actor has received outside help and what appears to be a lone wolf attack may actually have been carefully orchestrated from outside.Patriot Act
The USA PATRIOT Act (commonly known as the "Patriot Act") is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The title of the Act is a contrived three letter initialism (USA) preceding a seven letter acronym (PATRIOT), which in combination stand for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. The acronym was created by a 23 year old Congressional staffer, Chris Kyke.
In response to the September 11 attacks and the 2001 anthrax attacks, Congress swiftly passed legislation to strengthen national security. On October 23, 2001, Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner introduced H.R. 3162 incorporating provisions from a previously-sponsored House bill and a Senate bill also introduced earlier in the month. The next day, the Act passed the House by a vote of 357–66, with Democrats comprising the overwhelming portion of dissent. The three Republicans voting "no" were Robert Ney of Ohio, Butch Otter of Idaho, and Ron Paul of Texas. On October 25, the Act passed the Senate by a 98–1 vote, the only dissident being Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.Those opposing the law have criticized its authorization of indefinite detentions of immigrants; the permission given to law enforcement to search a home or business without the owner's or the occupant's consent or knowledge; the expanded use of National Security Letters, which allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to search telephone, e-mail, and financial records without a court order; and the expanded access of law enforcement agencies to business records, including library and financial records. Since its passage, several legal challenges have been brought against the act, and federal courts have ruled that a number of provisions are unconstitutional.
Many of the act's provisions were to sunset beginning December 31, 2005, approximately four years after its passage. In the months preceding the sunset date, supporters of the act pushed to make its sun-setting provisions permanent, while critics sought to revise various sections to enhance civil liberty protections. In July 2005, the U.S. Senate passed a reauthorization bill with substantial changes to several of the act's sections, while the House reauthorization bill kept most of the act's original language. The two bills were then reconciled in a conference committee criticized by Senators from both the Republican and Democratic parties for ignoring civil liberty concerns.The bill, which removed most of the changes from the Senate version, passed Congress on March 2, 2006, and was signed by President Bush on March 9 and 10 of that year.
On May 26, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011, a four-year extension of three key provisions in the Act: roving wiretaps, searches of business records, and conducting surveillance of "lone wolves"—individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups.Following a lack of Congressional approval, parts of the Patriot Act expired on June 1, 2015. With passing the USA Freedom Act on June 2, 2015, the expired parts were restored and renewed through 2019. However, Section 215 of the law was amended to stop the National Security Agency (NSA) from continuing its mass phone data collection program. Instead, phone companies will retain the data and the NSA can obtain information about targeted individuals with permission from a federal court.Religious terrorism
Religious terrorism is terrorism carried out based on motivations and goals that may have a predominantly 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 has more often been based on anarchism, and revolutionary politics. Since 1980, however, there has been an increase in terrorist activity motivated by religion.Former United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher has said that terrorist acts in the name of religion and ethnic identity have become "one of the most important security challenges we face in the wake of the Cold War." However, the political scientists Robert Pape and Terry Nardin, the social psychologists M. Brooke Rogers and colleagues, and the sociologist and religious studies scholar Mark Juergensmeyer have all argued that religion should only be considered one incidental factor and that such terrorism is primarily geopolitical.Saffron terror
Saffron terror is a neologism used to describe acts of violence motivated by Hindu nationalism, usually perpetrated by members, or alleged members, of Hindu nationalist organisations like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or Abhinav Bharat. The term comes from the symbolic use of the saffron colour by many Hindu nationalist organisations.September 11 attacks
The September 11 attacks (also referred to as 9/11) were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. Additional people died of 9/11-related cancer and respiratory diseases in the months and years following the attacks.
Four passenger airliners operated by two major U.S. passenger air carriers (United Airlines and American Airlines)—all of which departed from airports in the northeastern United States bound for California—were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists. Two of the planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were crashed into the North and South towers, respectively, of the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. Within an hour and 42 minutes, both 110-story towers collapsed. Debris and the resulting fires caused a partial or complete collapse of all other buildings in the World Trade Center complex, including the 47-story 7 World Trade Center tower, as well as significant damage to ten other large surrounding structures. A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, was crashed into the Pentagon (the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense) in Arlington County, Virginia, which led to a partial collapse of the building's west side. The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, was initially flown toward Washington, D.C., but crashed into a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after its passengers thwarted the hijackers. 9/11 is the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history and the single deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States, with 343 and 72 killed, respectively.
Suspicion quickly fell on al-Qaeda. The United States responded by launching the War on Terror and invaded Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, which had failed to comply with U.S. demands to extradite Osama bin Laden and expel al-Qaeda from Afghanistan. Many countries strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation and expanded the powers of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to prevent terrorist attacks. Although Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda's leader, initially denied any involvement, in 2004 he claimed responsibility for the attacks. Al-Qaeda and bin Laden cited U.S. support of Israel, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iraq as motives. After evading capture for almost a decade, bin Laden was located in Pakistan and killed by SEAL Team Six of the U.S. Navy in May 2011.
The destruction of the World Trade Center and nearby infrastructure seriously harmed the economy of Lower Manhattan and had a significant effect on global markets, which resulted in the closing of Wall Street until September 17 and the civilian airspace in the U.S. and Canada until September 13. Many closings, evacuations, and cancellations followed, out of respect or fear of further attacks. Cleanup of the World Trade Center site was completed in May 2002, and the Pentagon was repaired within a year. On November 18, 2006, construction of One World Trade Center began at the World Trade Center site. The building was officially opened on November 3, 2014. Numerous memorials have been constructed, including the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington County, Virginia, and the Flight 93 National Memorial in a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Although not confirmed, there is evidence of alleged Saudi Arabian involvement in the attacks. Given as main evidence in these charges are the contents of the 28 redacted pages of the December 2002 Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 conducted by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. These 28 pages contain information regarding the material and financial assistance given to the hijackers and their affiliates leading up to the attacks by the Saudi Arabian government.State terrorism
State terrorism refers to acts of terrorism conducted by a state against foreign targets or against its own citizens.Suicide attack
A suicide attack is any violent attack in which the attacker accepts his own death as a direct result of the method used to harm, damage or destroy the target. Suicide attacks have occurred throughout history, often as part of a military campaign such as the Japanese kamikaze pilots of World War II, and more recently as part of terrorist campaigns, such as the September 11 attacks.
While there were few, if any, successful suicide attacks anywhere in the world from the end of World War II until 1980, between 1981 and September 2015, a total of 4,814 suicide attacks occurred in over 40 countries, killing over 45,000 people. During this time the global rate of such attacks grew from an average of three a year in the 1980s, to about one a month in the 1990s, to almost one a week from 2001 to 2003, to approximately one a day from 2003 to 2015.Suicide attacks tend to be more deadly and destructive than other terror attacks because they give their perpetrators the ability to conceal weapons, make last-minute adjustments, and because they dispense with the need for remote or delayed detonation, escape plans or rescue teams. They constituted only 4% of all terrorist attacks around the world over one period (between 1981 and 2006), but caused 32% of all terrorism-related deaths (14,599). Ninety percent of those attacks occurred in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Overall, as of mid-2015 about three-quarters of all suicide attacks occurred in just three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq.Suicide attacks have been described as a weapon of psychological warfare to instill fear in the target population, a strategy to eliminate or at least drastically diminish areas where the public feels safe, and the "fabric of trust that holds societies together", as well as demonstrate the lengths to which perpetrators will go to, to achieve their goals.The motivation of suicide attackers varies. Kamikaze acted under military orders and were motivated by obedience and nationalism. Before 2003, most attacks targeted forces occupying the attackers' homeland, according to analyst Robert Pape. Anthropologist Scott Atran states that since 2004 the overwhelming majority of bombers have been motivated by the ideology of Islamist martyrdom.Terrorism in India
Terrorism in India, according to the Home Ministry, poses a significant threat to the people of India. Terrorism found in India includes ethno-nationalist terrorism, religious terrorism, left wing terrorism and narco terrorism.A common definition of terrorism is the systematic use or threatened use of violence to intimidate a population or government for political, religious, or ideological goals.The regions with long term terrorist activities have been Jammu and Kashmir, east-central and south-central India (Naxalism) and the Seven Sister States. In August 2008, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan has said that there are as many as 800 terrorist cells operating in the country. As of 2013, 205 of the country’s 608 districts were affected by terrorist activity. Terror attacks caused 231 civilian deaths in 2012 in India, compared to 11,098 terror-caused deaths worldwide, according to the State Department of the United States; or about 2% of global terror fatalities while it accounts for 17.5% of global population.Media reports have alleged and implicated terrorism in India to be sponsored by Pakistan, particularly through its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). In 2012, the US accused Pakistan of enabling and ignoring anti-India terrorist cells working on its soil; however, Pakistan has denied its involvement. In July 2016, Government of India released data on a string of terror strikes in India since 2005 that claimed 707 lives and left over 3,200 injured.In mid-September 2018 Police in India have announced they have arrested a terrorist from the Hizbul Mujahideen group in the city of Kanpur, who wanted to attack on Ganesh Chaturthi.Terrorism in the United States
In the United States a common definition of terrorism is the systematic or threatened use of violence to create a general climate of fear to intimidate a population or government and thereby effect political, religious, or ideological change. This article serves as a list and compilation of acts of terrorism, attempts of terrorism, and other such items pertaining to terrorist activities within the domestic borders of the United States by non-state actors or spies acting in the interests of or persons acting without approval of state actors.
According to a 2017 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, "of the 85 violent extremist incidents that resulted in death since September 12, 2001, far right wing violent extremist groups were responsible for 62 (73 percent) while radical Islamist violent extremists were responsible for 23 (27 percent). The total number of fatalities is about the same for far right wing violent extremists and radical Islamist violent extremists over the approximately 15-year period (106 and 119, respectively). However, 41 percent of the deaths attributable to radical Islamist violent extremists occurred in a single event—an attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida in 2016."In 2018, most ideologically motivated murders were linked to right-wing extremism.War on Terror
The War on Terror, also known as the Global War on Terrorism, is an international military campaign that was launched by the United States government after the September 11 attacks against the United States. The naming of the campaign uses a metaphor of war to refer to a variety of actions that do not constitute a specific war as traditionally defined. U.S. president George W. Bush first used the term "war on terrorism" on 16 September 2001, and then "war on terror" a few days later in a formal speech to Congress. In the latter speech, George Bush stated, "Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them." The term was originally used with a particular focus on countries associated with al-Qaeda. The term was immediately criticised by such people as Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and more nuanced terms subsequently came to be used by the Bush administration to publicly define the international campaign led by the U.S.; it was never used as a formal designation of U.S. operations in internal government documentation.U.S. President Barack Obama announced on 23 May 2013 that the Global War on Terror was over, saying the military and intelligence agencies will not wage war against a tactic but will instead focus on a specific group of networks determined to destroy the U.S. On 28 December 2014, the Obama administration announced the end of the combat role of the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan. However, the unexpected rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terror group—also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)—led to a new operation against terror in the Middle East and South Asia, Operation Inherent Resolve.
Criticism of the War on Terror focused on morality, efficiency, economics; some, including later president Barack Obama, objected to the phrase itself as a misnomer. The notion of a "war" against "terrorism" has proven contentious, with critics charging that it has been exploited by participating governments to pursue long-standing policy/military objectives, reduce civil liberties, and infringe upon human rights. Critics also assert that the term "war" is not appropriate in this context (much like the term "War on Drugs") since there is no identifiable enemy and it is unlikely that international terrorism can be brought to an end by military means.
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