What is Terrorism?
Terrorism is the unlawful use of force and violence against people or property to scare either a government or individual citizens to accomplish a religious or political goal. Terrorists have been around for thousands of years. Today, governments have a difficult time creating their own definition for the term 'terrorism.' There are certain punishments for certain criminal acts in the United States. Every act must be defined. Therefore, an act or crime must fit whatever they have written down as the definition of an act of terror. Each time a violent act which kills a number of people is committed, the world discusses if it is a terrorist attack or not.
On the one hand, terrorism can seem to be justified or right if people are rebelling against harsh conditions. On the other hand, terrorism can be used by evil forces to harm good people just to accomplish their ideals. Terrorism has often been a strategy of a weaker side in a war or fight. Because terrorists operate in much smaller units than an army, and because they often operate secretly, they are much harder to identify and defeat. They don't give their opposition any clear force to fight against.
The strategy of terrorists is to use acts of violence to get attention. How the public reacts to the criminal activity is very important to terrorists. For example, at the 1972 Olympics, an organization called Black September killed 11 Israeli citizens in Munich, Germany. The desire of the Black September members was to show the poor situation of Palestinian refugees due to the Israeli government's treatment of them. The main goal of the terrorists was to frighten billions of Olympic television viewers. They wanted the attention of the local people in Germany, the attention of the German government and the attention of all the countries of the world which had sent athletes to the Olympics.
Terrorists demand change in things as they are. Their actions are done in a deliberate manner. They do not act at random. They plan their attacks, sometimes for a long time. They use media coverage to attract notice all around the world. Media outlets always want to get the story of any attack before their competitors. They even fight for more information about those who are committing the terrorist attack. In doing that, they really are accomplishing what the attackers have wanted them to do.
The fear that terrorists instill in television viewers or newspaper readers may be a fear of physical harm to themselves or their country. It could be a fear of financial problems started by terrorists. It could be a fear of a cyber- attack on the computer systems of the country. As a result of terror attacks, the government usually makes many new rules and sets up a great number of safety precautions which cost millions of dollars-all as a result of the actions of terrorists.
The terrorists, the victims and the world have different views about the terrorist activity. Terrorists do not think they are bad people. They are just fighting for what they believe is right and good. They will use whatever means they can to accomplish their goals. The victims see the terrorists as evil criminals who have no concern for human life. They are totally evil. They should be destroyed and/or punished.
The view of the average person of the world is more confusing or confused. The terrorists try to pretend that they are the good guys trying to reach certain goals. They are attempting to influence the views of the world to accept their cause. They are really conducting psychological warfare. They are playing with people's emotions and feelings and judgment. The governments and media try to fight this positive view of terrorists.
Terrorists commit criminal acts. They are never justified in killing innocent victims.
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