What is terrorism?
Terror attacks happen around the world and affect people from all walks of life. Attacks are violent, premeditated, and most often a surprise. Even though terror events occur globally, there is no universal definition of terrorism.
According to the United States Department of State, terrorism is "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents." Read US Code §2656f here. That means that terrorists plan in advance to attack civilians, in order to boost their own political causes.
The United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says the following about terrorism:
Terrorism is the use of force or violence against persons or property in violation of the criminal laws of the United States for purposes of intimidation, coercion, or ransom. Terrorists often use threats to:
Create fear among the public.
Try to convince citizens that their government is powerless to prevent terrorism.
Get immediate publicity for their causes.
Acts of terrorism include threats of terrorism; assassinations; kidnappings; hijackings; bomb scares and bombings; cyber attacks (computer-based); and the use of chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological weapons. Read the FEMA terrorism guide here.
This site was created by Rebecca Price, MLIS, MEd.