Monday, August 20, 2012

What Is Terrorism?

When you sit down and try to define "terrorism" you begin to realize that this is so controversial and politically charged, that there are many interpretations. A simple definition is as follows:

"The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims."

As a result of multiple interpretations, there is no single comprehensive legal definition of "terrorism." In 1975 the federal government tried to define terrorism by having the Law Enforcement Assistant Administration to analyze and deliberate to determine a standard definition.

Their Results
Here's what they came up with as a definition of terrorism. It's actually several types, as follows:

  • Civil Disorder--A public disturbance by three or more people involving acts of violence that cause immediate danger, damage, or injury to others or their property.
  • Political Terrorism--Violent criminal behavior designed primarily to generate fear in the community, or substantial segment of it, for political purposes.
  • Non-Political Terrorism--Terrorism that is not aimed at political purposes but which exhibits “conscious design to create and maintain a high degree of fear for coercive 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 crimes of violence 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 who takes hostages 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 approach; limited political terrorism refers to “acts of terrorism which are committed for ideological or political motives but which are not part of a concerted campaign to capture control of the state".
  • Official or State Terrorism--Refers to nations whose rule is based upon fear and oppression 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.
  • International Terrorism--Terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country.
Note: Tomorrow's blog: Are You An Extremist? The government's views on your thinking.

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