The official approach to this changing terrorism is rather complicated. The terrorist
of yesterday is the hero of today, and the hero of yesterday becomes the terrorist
of today . There is then a great need to know what contemporary terrorism is and what it is not. Terrorism is a calculated use of power to achieve a political change, thus violence
or equally important, the threat of violence is used and directed in pursuit of, or in service of a political aim . Terrorism is an expression of political strategy, a willful choice made
by an organization for political and strategic reasons (efficacy) rather than as the unintended outcome of psychological or social factors .
However, terrorism is difficult to define because the meaning of the term has changed so frequently over the past 200 years. It has morphed from positive connotation during the French Revolution (closely associated with the ideals of virtue and democracy ), through the revolutionary movement and finally to a religiously motivated act as it is mainly perceived today. Nevertheless, we have to ask ourselves whether "old" and "new" terrorism really exists, or maybe the phenomenon we are facing today reminds us an old wine in a new bottle.
Two questions frame the discussed issue:
1. What is the nature of "new" terrorism?
2. What is the magnitude of threat of "new" terrorism?
"Old" and "new" terrorism are distinguishable in five points, as the table below shows .
Old Terrorism New Terrorism
Ideological Vague or religious motivations
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