The Nature and Definition of Terrorism

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International terrorism is not a new phenomenon. Indeed, the origin of the word ‘terrorism’ dates back to the French Revolution of 1789 as the label used by the establishment to describe the conduct of revolutionaries.1 Terrorism has likewise been a subject of concern for the United Nations since the 1960s, following a series of aircraft hijackings. Some would argue that terrorism has entered a new phase at around the time of 11 September 2001: an age where transnational activity has intensified and become easier, and where technology and the media can be taken advantage of by terrorist entities to further the impact of terrorist conduct and the delivery of messages or fear-inducing images.2

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... This difference in the definition could vary from a state or group to another: Even though violence is associated to the human nature and history (Giorgi, 2001), the origin of the word "terrorism" dates to a more recent history, namely to the French Revolution of 1789. In the so-called "Reign of Terror" (or simply "Terror"), the ruling Jacobins employed violence for a period of eleven months (September 5, 1793 -July 28, 1794) to intimidate the regime's enemies (Conte, 2010;Stephens, 2004). Modern terrorism rose in the twentieth century, and only then it began to be associated with nonstate groups (Miller 2012). ...
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Albeit the absence of an agreement on the definition, terrorism as studied in this literature has a complex nature and diverse factors that are involved. Furthermore, dealing with terrorism has become the centrepiece of foreign policies of many countries worldwide. The European Union has a long history of fighting terrorism. Yet, the current terrorism threats have shaken the bases of the Union. According to the authors’ assessment and evaluation, terrorism in Europe, in the aftermath of the Second World War, occurs due to the unsustainable foreign policies of the EU member states. To save the European Union and to fight terrorism, the authors suggest a framework based on four complementary headlines: i) Education, ii) Social justice and human rights, iii) Law enforcement, and iv) Sustainable common defence policy. A prerequisite to the success of this framework is a revision of the Europe-transatlantic relations to address the imbalance in the EU relations with USA.
... There is no agreed definition of terrorism, either among experts or within the international community more generally. An analysis of the factors that make defining terrorism so difficult is beyond the scope of the present article; a num‑ ber of renowned scholars have been involved in this effort, and the reader is referred to their findings (Graborsky – Stohl 2010, Martin 2013, Schmid 2011). The main causes are the normative viewpoints assumed and the heterogeneity of the phenomena described as terrorism. ...
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This article analyzes terrorism against the Roma in Europe. It identifies acts of terrorism in violence that targets the largest stateless nation on the continent and categorizes this terrorism according to current research methods. Focusing on events in both Western and Eastern Europe, the article analyses and compares the most significant terrorist acts against the Roma of recent years. It concludes that anti-Romani terrorism is heterogeneous in terms of tactics, strategies, and ideological justification, yet can usually be subsumed into the broadly conceived category of far-right terrorism. The variety of attacks suggests that terrorist acts are an offshoot of the broad spectrum of anti-Romani activity, and are influenced by contemporary trends in inter-ethnic violence.
Kapitel 2 bietet eine Einführung in die Diskussion über den Terrorismusbegriff und identifiziert die wichtigsten Merkmale, die terroristischer Gewalt üblicherweise zugeschrieben werden. Es erläutert, warum es so schwer ist, eine allgemein anerkannte Definition für Terrorismus zu finden, diskutiert zentrale Elemente, die in eine Terrorismusdefinition eingehen könnten, und erörtert Abgrenzungen gegenüber anderen Gewaltformen. Terrorismus ist ein umstrittener Begriff. Während er in Politik und Öffentlichkeit vor allem genutzt wird, um die Illegitimität bestimmter Gewalttaten hervorzuheben, handelt es sich aus sozialwissenschaftlicher Sicht um eine Gewaltstrategie, die von anderen Gewaltformen aufgrund einer Reihe von Merkmalen unterschieden werden kann. Besonders häufig wird Terrorismus mit der Anwendung oder Androhung von Gewalt durch nicht-staatliche Akteure, der Verbreitung von Angst und Schrecken bei einem bestimmten Zielpublikum und dem Streben nach politischer Veränderung in Verbindung gebracht. An einigen Stellen ergeben sich dennoch Grauzonen und Überschneidungen mit anderen Gewaltformen, die sich in verschiedenen Kontexten unterschiedlich gestalten können. Wichtig ist daher vor allem eine zurückhaltende und differenzierte Verwendung des Begriffs, die deutlich macht, warum eine bestimmte Tat als Terrorismus bezeichnet werden kann, und die bewusst macht, dass eine solche Zuschreibung meist erhebliche politische und gesellschaftliche Folgen hat.
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The first part of this chapter examines Canada's new Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) that was quickly enacted in the months after September 11 and compares it to Canada's previous response to terrorism. This section focuses on the breadth of the definition of terrorism in the new law, its reliance on executive proscription of groups, its authorization of novel investigative powers and its status as permanent legislation. The second part of this chapter, examines how Canada's immigration law has been used to detain and deport suspected terrorists in a manner that challenges due process and equality values. It also examine how Canada's immigration policy with respect to refugees has been influenced by anti-terrorism concerns and relations with the United States.Finally, the last part of the chapter examines the likely effectiveness of Canadian anti-terrorism law and policy and a new and promising direction in Canada's approach to security.
The statement, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”, has become not only a cliché, but also one of the most difficult obstacles in coping with terrorism. The matter of definition and conceptualization is usually a purely theoretical issue—a mechanism for scholars to work out the appropriate set of parameters for the research they intend to undertake. However, when dealing with terrorism and guerrilla warfare, implications of defining our terms tend to transcend the boundaries of theoretical discussions. In the struggle against terrorism, the problem of definition is a crucial element in the attempt to coordinate international collaboration, based on the currently accepted rules of traditional warfare.
The prevention of terrorism will be one of the major tasks of governments and regional and international organizations for some time. This collection is designed to contribute to the growing field of comparative and international studies of anti-terrorism law and policy. It includes chapters that focus on a particular country or region in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia, as well as overarching thematic chapters that take a comparative approach to particular aspects of anti-terrorism law and policy, including international, constitutional, immigration, privacy, maritime, aviation, and financial law.
The expansion and escalation of global terrorism has left populations across the world and decision-makers responsible for contending with it unprepared. This book is the first attempt of its kind to create a manual of counter-terrorism measures on all the relevant operational levels. The author's main purpose is to give decision-makers the tools to make rational and effective decisions in both preventing and countering terrorism. The need to contend with terrorism can be found in almost every sphere of life: security, prevention and suppression of terrorism, legal and ethical dilemmas regarding democratic issues, such as the individual's human rights, intelligence interrogations, the right of the public to know, as well as coping with social, psychological, and media-related issues.
Preface and Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Terror and God CULTURES OF VIOLENCE 2. Soldiers for Christ 3. Zion Betrayed 4. Islam's "Neglected Duty" 5. The Sword of Sikhism 6. Armageddon in a Tokyo Subway THE LOGIC OF RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE 7. Theater of Terror 8. Cosmic War 9. Martyrs and Demons 10. Warriors' Power 11. The Mind of God Notes Interviews and Correspondence Bibliography Index
The author examines Canada's new Anti-terrorism Act enacted in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The first part assesses whether the existing criminal law was adequate to deal with the threat of terrorism. The second part examines the crucial definitions of terrorist activities and terrorist groups that have been added to Canadian criminal law and whether these definitions satisfy constitutional requirements of legality, specificity, the presumption of innocence and respect for freedom of expression and association. The third part outlines the many new criminal offences of financing and facilitating terrorism that have been added to Canada's Criminal Code, as well as the increased punishment available for terrorism offences. The final part examines the enhanced investigative powers for terrorism and whether they will be used in a manner that involves discriminatory profiling that targets people because of their religion or race.
In this article the authors review a number of recent legislative efforts to define 'terrorism' in common law jurisdictions and, on the basis of that review, make several recommendations as to the way in which that concept should be defined. These are, broadly: that a general and not a specific approach be adopted; that specific exceptions be made in favour of advocacy and civil protest; and, finally, that legislation should remain the primary means of defining terrorism.
Controversy has erupted in many jurisdictions about the inclusion of a motive element in the criminal law definition of terrorism, in particular whether reference to a political, religious or ideological purpose or cause unjustifiably interferes in freedom of expression and freedom of religion, or invites racial or religious discrimination. This article argues that a compelling reason for including a motive element in an international or domestic definition of terrorist offences is that it helps to differentiate terrorism from other kinds of serious violence which may also generate fear (such as common assault, armed robbery, rape, or murder), while also according with commonplace public understanding of what constitutes terrorism. As such, the criminal law should recognise this distinction in defining terrorism, so as to more accurately express what is considered by the international and national communities to be distinctively wrongful about terrorism. Inevitably, this view reflects judgments of policy, politics and ethics, which may not be shared by all; but it is the critical impulse underlying arguments for including motive in definitions of terrorism.
This article offers an overview and appraisal of efforts by the international community to respond to terrorism through the principles and institutions of international criminal law. It begins by considering the vexed issue of defining terrorism and, after briefly exploring the history of efforts to devise a general definition, assesses some problematic features of recent formulations of a universal offense of terrorism. It then assesses the coterie of United Nations conventions adopted since the 1960s. By criminalizing specific terrorist activities including hijacking, hostage-taking, bombing, and terrorist financing, these conventions have avoided difficult questions as to the quintessence of terrorism, and instead have sought to suppress particular types of terrorist violence. The most significant innovation of the UN conventions is the establishment of a mandatory machinery for the prosecution and extradition of terrorist suspects.
Center vs Periphery: Rules for ‘Preventing Terrorism’ as Politics
  • Gad Barzilai
Terrorism: The New International Challenge (paper presented at the public workshop
  • Berg
The Continuing Al-Qaida Threat. Papers of the International Policy Institute on Counter-Terrorism
  • Yoram Kahati
Terrorism and Human Rights
  • Andreu-Guzmán
Analysis of Recent Al-Qa’ida Documents
  • Yoni Fighel
  • Yoram Kehati
Terrorism and Counterterrorism. Understanding the New Security Environment (Revised and Updated)
  • Rd Howard
  • Rl Sawyer
Osama bin Ladin as the New Prophet of Islam
  • Yoram Kahati
  • Yoni Fighel
Terrorism-The Definitional Problem
  • Alex Schmid
The Endless Jihad… The Mujahadin, the Taliban and Bin Laden. Herzlyia: The International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism
  • Shaul Shay
Al-Qaida’s Asian Web
  • Yael Shahar
Intelligence Challenges in Counter-Terrorism (paper presented at the
  • Ehud Ilan
Foreword Countering the New Terrorism
  • Brian Jenkins
  • Hoffman
  • Bruce
Islamic State Practices, International Law and the Threat from Terrorism. A Critique of the ‘Clash of Civilisations’ in the New World Order
  • Javaid Rehman
Global Terrorism: Multilateral Responses to an Extraordnary Threat
  • Eric Rosand
Counter-Terrorism Law
  • Matthew Palmer
Jihadi Networks of Terror
  • Marc Saggerman
1998. Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion
  • Robert Wuthnow
The Al-Qaida-Hizballah Connection
  • Yoni Fighel
  • Yael Shahar
The Case for Defining Terrorism With Restraint and Without Reference to Political or Religious Motive
  • Kent Roach
The ‘War on Terror’ and the Framework of International Law
  • Helen Duffy
Security Council Resolution 1269: What it Leaves Out
  • Boaz Ganor
(Il)legalità internazionale
  • Martin Scheinin