Definitions of Terrorism
by nature is difficult to define. Acts of terrorism conjure emotional
responses in the victims (those hurt by the violence and those affected
by the fear) as well as in the practitioners. Even the U.S. government
cannot agree on one single definition. The old adage, One man's
terrorist is another man's freedom fighter is still alive and
well. Listed below are several definitions of terrorism. For the purposes
of the Terrorism Research Center, we have adopted the definition used
by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Terrorism is the use or threatened use of force
designed to bring about political change.
Terrorism constitutes the illegitimate use of force
to achieve a political objective when innocent people are targeted.
Terrorism is the premeditated, deliberate, systematic
murder, mayhem, and threatening of the innocent to create fear and
intimidation in order to gain a political or tactical advantage, usually
to influence an audience.
James M. Poland
Terrorism is the unlawful use or threat of violence
against persons or property to further political or social objectives.
It is usually intended to intimidate or coerce a government, individuals
or groups, or to modify their behavior or politics.
Vice-President's Task Force, 1986
Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or 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.
||More Than One Nation Involved
|Government Controlled or Directed
Terrorism Research Center