Terrorism is, in its broadest sense, the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror or fear, in order to achieve a political, religious, or ideological aim. In modern times, terrorism as a whole is considered a major threat to society and therefore illegal under anti-terrorism laws in most jurisdictions. It is also considered a war crime under the laws of war when used to target non-combatants, such as civilians, neutral military personnel, or enemy prisoners of war. The term "terrorism" became popular when journalists and politicians publicly introduced and started using the term "Islamic terrorists" following the September 11 attacks. Rather than describing a type of activity, "terrorism" has often been used as a term of abuse or denunciation, both by insurgent groups and by governments against each other.
There is no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition of terrorism. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for a religious, political or ideological goal, and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants (civilians). Some definitions now exclude acts of state terrorism and some also include acts of unlawful violence and war. The use of similar tactics by criminal organizations for protection rackets or to enforce a code of silence is usually not labeled terrorism though these same actions may be labeled terrorism when done by a politically motivated group.
The word "terrorism" is politically and emotionally charged, and this greatly compounds the difficulty of providing a precise definition. Studies have found over 100 definitions of “terrorism”. The concept of terrorism may itself be controversial as it is often used by state authorities (and individuals with access to state support) to delegitimize political or other opponents, and potentially legitimize the state's own use of armed force against opponents (such use of force may itself be described as "terror" by opponents of the state).
Terrorism has been practiced by a broad array of political organizations for furthering their objectives. It has been practiced by both right-wing and left-wing political parties, nationalistic groups, religious groups, revolutionaries, and ruling governments. An abiding characteristic is the indiscriminate use of violence against noncombatants for the purpose of gaining publicity for a group, cause, or individual.
According to data from the Global Terrorism Database, more than 61,000 incidents of non-state terrorism, claiming over 140,000 lives, have been recorded from 2000 to 2014.
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BACK GROUND TO TERROR
Types of terrorism:
Limited political terrorism
Official or state terrorism
It is often difficult to determine the root cause of terrorism and therefore the topic is treated in the media too unilaterally. Several recent events have been named terrorism, although the root cause may be personal desire to disturb and destroy, seek attention, or act according to the model learning. When done, the jihadists take the havoc in their name using chaos as terror achievement. Situations are often unexpected and as so easily spread to bigger audience sowing fear and mistrust. (LOF)