There may not be a true definition of what terrorism really is however it is apparent that terrorism is an act over political or militant issues. Terrorism is made to place fear in people, it is made to create fear in a person or a group of people to make a change in the environment. Psychological warfare is a term that terrorism can be related to in the sense that it is purposely placed into the mind of people creating fear and psychologically causing chaos. Some may confuse terrorism with guerilla warfare but the true definition of guerilla warfare is the use of selective violence against military targets by insurgency forces. Surely, when different societies experience vast violence, the difference between the two can be quite mixed up (Payne, (2013) pg92).
The impact of Terrorism Terrorism has and is changing the world. The U.S. government describes terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents” (Gupta12). The implications of terrorism go beyond the casualties. Terrorism has evolved drastically; the ramifications of these unjustifiable acts of terror have and are having a great impact in our everyday lives. A single act of terror can strike fear and gloom into an entire country.
1. There are many definitions of terrorism. Some of them are: Brain Jenkins said that terrorism is the use or threatened use of force designed to bring about political change. While Walter Lacqueur said that terrorism constitutes the illegitimate use of force to achieve apolitical objective by targeting innocent people. Yet another definition comes from Edward Herman, who said that terrorism should be defined by terms of state repression, such as the corrupt Latin American governments.
'It is generally intended to intimidate or coerce a governments, individuals or groups to modify their behavior or policies (The Vice President's Task Force on Combating Terrorism, pg. 17). '; Violence is its main ley in obtaining this change. Terrorist aim at the entire population. Which increases their chance of change.
Is war the right way? Why do people resort to such violent acts as bombing, assassinations, and hi-jacking? How do individuals and organizations justify these acts of terror? These acts can be described as terrorist actions. Terrorism is a growing international problem.
TERRORISM: DEFINITION, TEMPLATE, AND EXAMPLES In order to determine whether an action is a terrorist act or not, terrorism must first be defined. Terrorism is the use or threatening the use of violence as a weapon to influence a person or a group of people to change policies or influence decisions according to the terrorist’s desires. The terrorist can be a single person acting on personal wishes or a group of people with an ultimate goal. The goals of a terrorist are normally political, ideological, or religious in nature. Once an action has been identified as a possible terrorist act, it now becomes necessary to further explore the reason(s) of the individual(s) behind the action.
Terrorism Definitions: A comparative approach Hanle (2007) argues that terrorism definition elicits mixed reactions depending on the agency defining it. In light of this, terrorism is scholarly defined as a deliberate stab aimed at inflicting pain through the application of mortal force primarily to send a message. Additionally, terrorism as the name suggests distorts the normative values of peace and stability. In this regard, terrorism leads to the untimely deaths of innocent citizens and maiming others. Terrorism (Hanle 2007) reaffirms the calculated acts of violence to a particular target.
The quest to establish a universal definition of terrorism is entangled in questions of law, history, philosophy, morality, and religion by nature, a subjective one that eludes large-scale consensus. Terrorism is defined differently by different countries, nations and even department’s federal or state law enforcement. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as “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 (NIJ). The U.N description of terrorism as “any action, in addition to actions already specified by the existing conventions on aspects of terrorism, the Geneva Conventions and Security Council resolution 1566 (2004), that is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants, when the purpose of such an act, by
Relationship between Criminal Activity and Terrorist Acts Terrorism and crime are related because many terrorists are often involved in illegal activity to undertake a terrorist activity. “They maintain themselves with illegal documents, committing burglary and robbery, dealing drugs, committing fraud, and so on”(Newman & Clark, 2008, p.34). Terrorist engage in criminal activity to maintain an underground lifestyle to fund everyday expenses while they search out targets and weapons for their terrorist acts. Both acts contain two common elements. The first is crime and terrorism has a systematic set of steps that need to be satisfactory to carry out the task.
Given the growing global threats of terrorism, it is significant that an understanding of the history, nature and mechanism-premises under which terror operates is obtained. This is significant as it would shape the perspective of policy makers when addressing issues of this nature. Terrorism, as it is understood is the action of none-state weak actors, individual or groups, who for some reasons feels suppressed, marginalized and, or denied what they may view as the basic human right. All terrorism has political objectives, even though the perpetrators may use religious relics to appeal to a wider existing audience, and invoke a response through violent act to prove or propagate their point. Yoram Schweitzer in "Suicide Terrorism Development & Characteristics," Mark Sedgwick in "Al-Qaeda and the "Nature of Religious Terrorism," and Dr. James Armstrong, all demonstrates that suicide terror attacks are politically motivated even though the perpetrator may use religious symbolism to justifies their acts.