"Fear is apparently a formidable ally"
Terrorism is the unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.
Terrorism is not new ,it has a history that is at least 2000 years old. Although targets, victims, causes and justifications for the use of terror have changed, the methods of terrorism have remained the same throughout history. The only major change is the technology of terrorism.
Terrorism today is a worldwide problem.
The FBI describes terrorism as either domestic or international, depending on the origin, base, and objectives of the terrorists:
• Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or its territories without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
• International terrorism involves violent acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or any state. These acts appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping. International terrorist acts occur outside the United States or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to coerce or intimidate, or the locale in which the perpetrations operate or seek asylum.
Terrorists often use threats to:
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.
High-risk targets for acts of terrorism include military and civilian government facilities, international airports, large cities, and high-profile landmarks. Terrorists might also target large public gatherings, water and food supplies, utilities, and corporate centers. Further, terrorists are capable of spreading fear by sending explosives or chemical and biological agents through the mail.
Terrorism should not be confused with traditional warfare. In war, a target is selected because it has military value and will achieve a specific military objective. The terrorist chooses targets that have symbolic or economic value or targets that have public value in order to get the society’s attention and cause governments to change policies.
Types of Terrorism
Throughout human history, there have been many threats to the security of nations. These threats have brought about large-scale losses of life, the destruction of property, widespread illness and injury, the displacement of large numbers of people, and devastating economic loss.
Recent technological advances and ongoing international political unrest are components of the increased risk to national security.
Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) are foreign organizations that are designated by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended. FTO designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business.
Current List of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations
State sponsors of terrorism provide critical support to many non-state terrorist groups. Without state sponsors, these groups would have greater difficulty obtaining the funds, weapons, materials, and secure areas they require to plan and conduct operations. The United States will continue to insist that these countries end the support they give to terrorist groups.
The designation of countries that repeatedly provide support for acts of international terrorism as state sponsors of terrorism carries with it four main sets of US Government sanctions:
Credit: The FBI