United Airlines Flight 175 hits the South Tower of the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks of 2001 in New York City.

Terrorism, in its broadest sense, is the use of intentional violence and fear to achieve political or ideological aims. The term is used in this regard primarily to refer to intentional violence during peacetime or in the context of war against non-combatants (mostly civilians and neutral military personnel).[1] The terms "terrorist" and "terrorism" originated during the French Revolution of the late 18th century[2] but became widely used internationally and gained worldwide attention in the 1970s during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Basque conflict, and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The increased use of suicide attacks from the 1980s onwards was typified by the 2001 September 11 attacks in the United States.

There are various different definitions of terrorism, with no universal agreement about it.[3][4] Terrorism is a charged term. It is often used with the connotation of something that is "morally wrong". Governments and non-state groups use the term to abuse or denounce opposing groups.[4][5][6][7][8] Varied political organizations have been accused of using terrorism to achieve their objectives. These include left-wing and right-wing political organizations, nationalist groups, religious groups, revolutionaries, and ruling governments.[9] Legislation declaring terrorism a crime has been adopted in many states.[10] State terrorism is that perpetrated by nation states, but is not considered such by the state conducting it, making legality a grey area.[11] There is no consensus as to whether terrorism should be regarded as a war crime.[10][12] Separating activism and terrorism can be difficult and has been described as a 'fine line'.[13]

The Global Terrorism Database, maintained by the University of Maryland, College Park, has recorded more than 61,000 incidents of non-state terrorism, resulting in at least 140,000 deaths, between 2000 and 2014.[14]

  1. ^ Wisnewski, J. Jeremy, ed. (2008). Torture, Terrorism, and the Use of Violence (also available as Review Journal of Political Philosophy Volume 6, Issue Number 1). Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 175. ISBN 978-1-4438-0291-8.
  2. ^ Stevenson, Angus, ed. (2010). Oxford dictionary of English (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-957112-3.
  3. ^ Halibozek, Edward P.; Jones, Andy; Kovacich, Gerald L. (2008). The corporate security professional's handbook on terrorism (illustrated ed.). Elsevier (Butterworth-Heinemann). pp. 4–5. ISBN 978-0-7506-8257-2. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Mackey, Robert (November 20, 2009). "Can Soldiers Be Victims of Terrorism?". The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2010. Terrorism is the deliberate killing of innocent people, at random, in order to spread fear through a whole population and force the hand of its political leaders.
  5. ^ Sinclair, Samuel Justin; Antonius, Daniel (2012). The Psychology of Terrorism Fears. Oxford University Press, US. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-19-538811-4.
  6. ^ White, Jonathan R. (January 1, 2016). Terrorism and Homeland Security. Cengage Learning. p. 3. ISBN 978-1-305-63377-3.
  7. ^ Cite error: The named reference Heryant was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  8. ^ Ruthven, Malise; Nanji, Azim (April 24, 2017). Historical Atlas of Islam. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01385-8.
  9. ^ "Terrorism". Encyclopædia Britannica. p. 3. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Majoran, Andrew (August 1, 2014). "The Illusion of War: Is Terrorism a Criminal Act or an Act of War?". Mackenzie Institute. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  11. ^ Cite error: The named reference teichman was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  12. ^ Eviatar, Daphne (June 13, 2013). "Is 'Terrorism' a War Crime Triable by Military Commission? Who Knows?". HuffPost. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  13. ^ Bohmer, Carol (2010). Rejecting refugees: political asylum in the 21st century. Routledge. p. 258. ISBN 978-0-415-77375-1. OCLC 743396687.
  14. ^ "Global Terrorism Index 2015" (PDF). Institute for Economics and Peace. p. 33. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 7, 2019. Retrieved July 19, 2016.

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