Terrorism

Topics: Terrorism, Reign of Terror, State-sponsored terrorism Pages: 5 (1444 words) Published: June 5, 2013
Terrorism
"Terrorism" comes from the French word terrorisme,[12] and originally referred specifically to state terrorism as practiced by the French government during the Reign of terror. The Jacobins cited this precedent when imposing a Reign of Terror during the French Revolution.[14][15] After the Jacobins lost power, the word "terrorist" became a term of abuse.[8] Although "terrorism" originally referred to acts committed by a government, currently it usually refers to the killing of innocent people[16] by a non-government group in such a way as to create a media spectacle. The definition of terrorism has proved controversial. Various legal systems and government agencies use different definitions of terrorism in their national legislation. Moreover, the international community has been slow to formulate a universally agreed, legally binding definition of this crime. 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.[citation needed] Barack Obama, commenting on the Boston Marathon bombings of April, 2013, declared "Anytime bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror."[43] The terms "terrorism" and "terrorist" (someone who engages in terrorism) carry strong negative connotations.[44] 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.[45] 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 which have entered the English lexicon. Several sources[79][80][81] 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
* Left-wing terrorism
* Single-issue terrorism
* State-sponsored terrorism
* Regime or state terrorism
* Criminal terrorism
* Pathological terrorism
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 and in Ireland, in Kenya, in Algeria and in Cyprus during their independence struggles. Attacks on high profile symbolic targets are used to incite counter-terrorism by the state to polarise the population. This strategy was 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 Palestinian airplane hijackings in 1970 and the South Moluccan hostage crises in the Netherlands in 1975. Abrahm suggests that terrorist organizations do not select terrorism for its political effectiveness.[82] 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.[83][84][85][86] However, one study suggests that suicide terrorism may be an exception to this general rule. Evidence regarding this particular method of terrorism...
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