See B. Hoffman, Inside Terrorism (1998). The Columbia Encyclopedia, Edition 6, 2000 p37945 terrorism.
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terrorism, the threat or use of violence, often against the civilian population, to achieve political ends. Terrorism involves activities such as assassinations, bombings, random killings, hijackings, and skyjackings. It is used for political, not military, purposes, and by groups too weak to mount open assaults. Terrorism reaches back to ancient Greece and has occurred throughout history. In the 20th cent. acts of terrorism have been associated with the Italian Red Brigades, the Irish Republican Army, the Palestine Liberation Organization, Peru's Shining Path, and the Weathermen among many groups. It is a modern tool of the alienated and its psychological impact on the public has increased because of extensive coverage by the media. Governments find terrorism difficult to prevent; international agreements to tighten borders or return terrorists for trial...