Terrorism. We hear the word every day, it impacts millions of people, and it is one of the single largest problems in the modern world, but do we know what it really means?
Although terrorism means radically different things to different people (more than 100 definitions are in use), they generally share in common the idea of harming human beings, usually innocent, in order to gain political and social leverage to advance the desires of a group and to spread chaos. Here are some groups' points of view:
"An anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby - in contrast to assassination - the direct targets of violence are not the main targets." ~ The United Nations
“The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.” ~ The United States Department of Defense
"If inciting [violence against] those who kill our sons is terrorism, then let history be witness that we are terrorists." ~ Osama Bin Laden
"…the use of violence for political ends, and includes any use of violence for the purpose of putting the public, or any section of the public, in fear." ~ British Government
"Terrorism is in good part an effect of government propaganda; it serves to deflect attention from governmental abuse toward a mostly imagined, highly dangerous outside enemy." ~ Mark Poster"
"Terrorism is the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives." ~ FBI
What is Terrorism?