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Do Now #77: What is the Definition of Terrorism?

| April 26, 2013 | 266 Comments
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Photo by Aaron Tang/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo by Aaron Tang/commons.wikimedia.org


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDEdspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.


Do Now

How should the U.S. government define terrorism?

Introduction

Two weeks ago, on April 15, two bombs exploded at the finish line during the Boston Marathon, leaving three people dead and injured at least 250. It was a horrific act that brought the nation together in support of the families of the victims as well as the Boston community. As the aftermath unfolded, questions were raised whether this was a terrorist attack or not.

As Howard Koplowitz mentions in his article in the International Business Times, “When he addressed the country around 6:15 p.m. EDT, President Barack Obama was criticized in some circles for not using the words ‘terrorism’ or ‘terror’ to describe the explosions that rocked Copley Square during the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon….But just 15 minutes later, the Obama administration said the twin bombings were ‘acts of terror.'”

Consequently, this shift in identification of the act raises questions about the way our government defines terrorism. In the 1980s, during the Reagan Administration, journalists and scholars claimed that perhaps the definition of “terrorism” is quite subjective, depending on a person’s political point of view. Clarence Page wrote in a Chicago Tribune article in May 1986, “When President Reagan decided to use the term ‘freedom fighters’ to describe the Nicaraguan contras, he fell into an old word trap. One person`s ‘freedom fighter’ is someone else`s ‘terrorist.'” Page references that both geographic location and ideology factor into the definition of “terrorism.”

The definition of “terrorism” has changed since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, with the FBI and CIA having different criteria when labeling an event as terrorism. On their website, the Federal Bureau of Investigation defines “domestic terrorism” as “the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico 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.”

According to the agency, the CIA definition of “terrorism” is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.” 

In moving forward on this debate about how the U.S. government should define the word “terrorism,” perhaps the FBI and CIA definitions should be compared. Also, it could be useful to identify some of the horrific and violent events in the last 50 years and match them up with these definitions. In doing so, there are two factors to consider: 1) The motivation of the violent act. 2) Who perpetrates the violence and how does this inform if it is terror whether conducted by governments, organizations, individuals, citizens or foreign nationals?

Resource

PBS NewsHour video President Obama Calls Boston Bombing an ‘Act of Terror’ – April 16, 2013
In a press conference Tuesday, President Barack Obama called the explosions at the Boston Marathon, a “heinous and cowardly act.” The president said that the FBI is investigating the bombings as an “act of terror.”


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.

We encourage students to reply to other people’s tweets to foster more of a conversation. Also, if students tweet their personal opinions, ask them to support their ideas with links to interesting/credible articles online (adding a nice research component) or retweet other people’s ideas that they agree/disagree/find amusing. We also value student-produced media linked to their tweets like memes or more extensive blog posts to represent their ideas. Of course, do as you can…and any contribution is most welcomed.


More Resources

PBS NewsHour Extra Lesson Plan How Do We Define Terrorism? – April 19, 2013
This lesson poses the question, “What is a terrorist?” Students will learn about situations in Northern Ireland, Chechnya, Chiapas, South Africa and the Weathermen Underground in the United States.

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Category: Do Now, Do Now: Government and Civics

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About the Author ()

Matthew Williams is a filmmaker and media educator who has recently transplanted to Oakland from Los Angeles. He believes that you are what you eat and feels everyone should have a multitude of dietary options for self-realization. Matthew is the Educational Technologist at KQED.
  • Nick

    I think that an act of terror should be defined more by the motivation and intent of the person who does it more than anything. If their intention is to threaten and coerce the government that it categorizes it as terrorism. If it’s just a blind act of violence by an unstable person with no real motive, it can’t really be called terrorism.

    • Jake

      I agree. An unstable person who commits a blind act of violence is not a terrorism , that’s called mass murder. If we considered all serial killer terrorists, then they would be an epidemic of sorts.

    • Nick M

      I completely agree. To expand upon your definition, terrorism is considered a far worse threat than a typical murder case in that, because the intention is “to threaten and coerce the government”, it is something that could reoccur if not dealt with in a timely matter. This is not to say that people who kill mindlessly and endlessly are better than terrorists, but there is a difference. There must be that motivation to strike fear into a group of people in order for it to be considered “terrorism”.

      • Austin

        I would completely agree i think that terrorists are using the people they kill to send the government a message instead of just killing people just to kill them

    • Syd

      I agree with everything said. An act of terrorism must have the intention to threaten the government and a country as a whole. There must be a motive besides wanting to commit an act of violence to be a horrible person.

    • http://prezi.com/llxlvran32go/should-women-receive-equal-pay-as-men-in-the-same-jobs/ Alec

      I also agree with that. If some mad man tries to blow up a building because he is psycho he really isnt what a person percieves as a terrorist. However terrorist means someone who causes terror. That man still causes people terror so technically he is a terrorist. However most people would not consider him one.

    • Aubrey

      I agree with you. If someone is going to a theatre to shoot people just because they are mentally unstable, they shouldn’t really be considered a terrorist, but I also believe that anyone that is a terrorist must have some sort of mental instability, unless they are forced to do it.

  • Nick

    I think that an act of terror should be defined more by the motivation and intent of the person who does it more than anything. If their intention is to threaten and coerce the government that it categorizes it as terrorism. If it’s just a blind act of violence by an unstable person with no real motive, it can’t really be called terrorism.

    • Jake

      I agree. An unstable person who commits a blind act of violence is not a terrorism , that’s called mass murder. If we considered all serial killer terrorists, then they would be an epidemic of sorts.

    • Nick M

      I completely agree. To expand upon your definition, terrorism is considered a far worse threat than a typical murder case in that, because the intention is “to threaten and coerce the government”, it is something that could reoccur if not dealt with in a timely matter. This is not to say that people who kill mindlessly and endlessly are better than terrorists, but there is a difference. There must be that motivation to strike fear into a group of people in order for it to be considered “terrorism”.

      • Austin

        I would completely agree i think that terrorists are using the people they kill to send the government a message instead of just killing people just to kill them

    • Syd

      I agree with everything said. An act of terrorism must have the intention to threaten the government and a country as a whole. There must be a motive besides wanting to commit an act of violence to be a horrible person.

    • http://prezi.com/llxlvran32go/should-women-receive-equal-pay-as-men-in-the-same-jobs/ Alec

      I also agree with that. If some mad man tries to blow up a building because he is psycho he really isnt what a person percieves as a terrorist. However terrorist means someone who causes terror. That man still causes people terror so technically he is a terrorist. However most people would not consider him one.

    • Aubrey

      I agree with you. If someone is going to a theatre to shoot people just because they are mentally unstable, they shouldn’t really be considered a terrorist, but I also believe that anyone that is a terrorist must have some sort of mental instability, unless they are forced to do it.

  • Miranda

    I think people use the word “terrorists” a little too loosely. The definition of terrorist is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. People believe that most terrorists mean to do harm onto others. But the definition of a terrorist means to create terror. Terrorists are who they are because they have a purpose. They want people to see what is wrong with something with an act of terror to put fear into people into thinking that maybe there is something wrong. Such as the gun laws. What if someone was truly upset with these laws and planned an act of terror to show people that such things are unjust even though the laws are made for the better of the people, they aren’t what the people want. People also believe terrorists are born and raised that way. They aren’t some terrorists can be anyone walking down the street even your neighbor. You may even know the person and know that they would never hurt a fly but one day would cause a terrorist event. You would never know.

    • T Ashton

      Are you saying the boston bombings were an act of terrorism? I think they were according to your definition because the two men who bombed the marathon did it in a crowded place with the intent to injure and maim. They put a great part of Boston and Massachusetts in a state of great fear while they were locked in their homes and apartments. Do you agree that they were terrorists? Why or why not?

  • Miranda

    I think people use the word “terrorists” a little too loosely. The definition of terrorist is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. People believe that most terrorists mean to do harm onto others. But the definition of a terrorist means to create terror. Terrorists are who they are because they have a purpose. They want people to see what is wrong with something with an act of terror to put fear into people into thinking that maybe there is something wrong. Such as the gun laws. What if someone was truly upset with these laws and planned an act of terror to show people that such things are unjust even though the laws are made for the better of the people, they aren’t what the people want. People also believe terrorists are born and raised that way. They aren’t some terrorists can be anyone walking down the street even your neighbor. You may even know the person and know that they would never hurt a fly but one day would cause a terrorist event. You would never know.

    • T Ashton

      Are you saying the boston bombings were an act of terrorism? I think they were according to your definition because the two men who bombed the marathon did it in a crowded place with the intent to injure and maim. They put a great part of Boston and Massachusetts in a state of great fear while they were locked in their homes and apartments. Do you agree that they were terrorists? Why or why not?

  • Stevie S

    Terrorism to me is an act of violence intended to inflict fear and panic. Terrorism is a tough situation, trying to figure out who delivered the attack and how to deal with it can be very sensitive. The worst part about terrorism is that it is mostly delivered to innocent civilians. As far as the extinction of terrorism I’m afraid that will never be accomplished as there will always be people less successful and jealous and will do anything to try and show their dominance.

    • Matilyn P.

      I agree with what you have said. Terrorism is whole-heartedly an act of violence to inflict fear and panic to innocent civilians.

  • Stevie S

    Terrorism to me is an act of violence intended to inflict fear and panic. Terrorism is a tough situation, trying to figure out who delivered the attack and how to deal with it can be very sensitive. The worst part about terrorism is that it is mostly delivered to innocent civilians. As far as the extinction of terrorism I’m afraid that will never be accomplished as there will always be people less successful and jealous and will do anything to try and show their dominance.

  • Stevie S

    Terrorism to me is an act of violence intended to inflict fear and panic. Terrorism is a tough situation, trying to figure out who delivered the attack and how to deal with it can be very sensitive. The worst part about terrorism is that it is mostly delivered to innocent civilians. As far as the extinction of terrorism I’m afraid that will never be accomplished as there will always be people less successful and jealous and will do anything to try and show their dominance.

    • Matilyn P.

      I agree with what you have said. Terrorism is whole-heartedly an act of violence to inflict fear and panic to innocent civilians.

  • Sam Rob

    In my eyes, the real definition of terrorism is: A harmful act against a collective community by someone who lives in a different country or someone who is legally insane.

  • Sam Rob

    In my eyes, the real definition of terrorism is: A harmful act against a collective community by someone who lives in a different country or someone who is legally insane.

  • JM

    While I think we use the phrase terrorism a little too loosely, the FBI hit the nail on the head with their definition. Any unlawful use of force or violence, for political and social aims, not directed by a foreign country. This rules out ordinary lawbreakers, the mentally ill, and groups sponsored by other countries. That said, we have a habit of calling almost any shooting or bombing terrorism, because it allows governments a lot more latitude in their investigations.

  • JM

    While I think we use the phrase terrorism a little too loosely, the FBI hit the nail on the head with their definition. Any unlawful use of force or violence, for political and social aims, not directed by a foreign country. This rules out ordinary lawbreakers, the mentally ill, and groups sponsored by other countries. That said, we have a habit of calling almost any shooting or bombing terrorism, because it allows governments a lot more latitude in their investigations.

  • Sean Mac

    Websters dictionary defines terrorism as “the systematic use of terror especially as coercion.” Using this definition I would describe the incident in Boston as an act of terrorism and a national tragedy. As more time passed new details emerged involving who was responsible, the bombings became more evident cases of terrorism. This bombing was truly something terrible, and involved the harm of numerous innocent civilians.

  • Sean Mac

    Websters dictionary defines terrorism as “the systematic use of terror especially as coercion.” Using this definition I would describe the incident in Boston as an act of terrorism and a national tragedy. As more time passed new details emerged involving who was responsible, the bombings became more evident cases of terrorism. This bombing was truly something terrible, and involved the harm of numerous innocent civilians.

  • Sean Mac

    Websters dictionary defines terrorism as “the systematic use of terror especially as coercion.” Using this definition I would describe the incident in Boston as an act of terrorism and a national tragedy. As more time passed new details emerged involving who was responsible, the bombings became more evident cases of terrorism. This bombing was truly something terrible, and involved the harm of numerous innocent civilians.

  • Alex M

    Some people seem to think that all terrorist attacks must be at the scale of 9/11; killing and injuring thousands of people and causing our nation to completely change how many matters of security are handled. But I believe that even one premeditated murder is, in a way, a small act of terror.
    We also seem to think terror is only committed against us, while in fact, we in America have been terrorists ourselves, when we bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This attack killed over two hundred thousand people. The amount of deaths America has caused in terror makes the deaths others have caused us seem small.
    Anyone with power and motivation can cause terror, whether it’s a government with billions of dollars behind it or a couple people with a homemade pressure cooker bomb.
    I think that one way terror could be defined as an act of premeditated violence meant to cause terror among people.

  • Alex M

    Some people seem to think that all terrorist attacks must be at the scale of 9/11; killing and injuring thousands of people and causing our nation to completely change how many matters of security are handled. But I believe that even one premeditated murder is, in a way, a small act of terror.
    We also seem to think terror is only committed against us, while in fact, we in America have been terrorists ourselves, when we bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This attack killed over two hundred thousand people. The amount of deaths America has caused in terror makes the deaths others have caused us seem small.
    Anyone with power and motivation can cause terror, whether it’s a government with billions of dollars behind it or a couple people with a homemade pressure cooker bomb.
    I think that one way terror could be defined as an act of premeditated violence meant to cause terror among people.

  • Alex M

    Some people seem to think that all terrorist attacks must be at the scale of 9/11; killing and injuring thousands of people and causing our nation to completely change how many matters of security are handled. But I believe that even one premeditated murder is, in a way, a small act of terror.
    We also seem to think terror is only committed against us, while in fact, we in America have been terrorists ourselves, when we bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This attack killed over two hundred thousand people. The amount of deaths America has caused in terror makes the deaths others have caused us seem small.
    Anyone with power and motivation can cause terror, whether it’s a government with billions of dollars behind it or a couple people with a homemade pressure cooker bomb.
    I think that one way terror could be defined as an act of premeditated violence meant to cause terror among people.

  • Katherine Moser

    According to dictionary.com, the word “terrorism” itself means “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.” I do agree that the bombings in Boston were terroristic, however, we must evaluate all aspects of the spectrum. If we are looking at all sides of the story, one could claim that the U.S. government itself can be terroristic at times, such as when we invaded countries in the Middle East, send drones over that kill innocent people, or even imposed the death penalty on our own criminals. Just food for thought.

  • Katherine Moser

    According to dictionary.com, the word “terrorism” itself means “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.” I do agree that the bombings in Boston were terroristic, however, we must evaluate all aspects of the spectrum. If we are looking at all sides of the story, one could claim that the U.S. government itself can be terroristic at times, such as when we invaded countries in the Middle East, send drones over that kill innocent people, or even imposed the death penalty on our own criminals. Just food for thought.

  • Katherine Moser

    According to dictionary.com, the word “terrorism” itself means “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.” I do agree that the bombings in Boston were terroristic, however, we must evaluate all aspects of the spectrum. If we are looking at all sides of the story, one could claim that the U.S. government itself can be terroristic at times, such as when we invaded countries in the Middle East, send drones over that kill innocent people, or even imposed the death penalty on our own criminals. Just food for thought.

  • cassidy

    To me, terrorism is an act of violence that is meant to create fear and/or harm people within a large group (in this case, the U.S.A). People who commit acts of terrorism could either want dominance, fear from others, or a warning not to mess with them. So usually these horrible attacks are out of anger which is immaturity to the extreme.
    @rapoch #KQEDdonow

  • cassidy

    To me, terrorism is an act of violence that is meant to create fear and/or harm people within a large group (in this case, the U.S.A). People who commit acts of terrorism could either want dominance, fear from others, or a warning not to mess with them. So usually these horrible attacks are out of anger which is immaturity to the extreme.
    @rapoch #KQEDdonow

  • Izzy

    Terrorism should be defined by intent. It is not a consequence of race nor culture, but ideology. If the intent of an act is to inspire terror and/or coerce the United States government, then it might be considered an act of terror. We mustn’t jump to conclusions in classifying acts of “terrorism” because that word alone incites fear and anxiety, when it is likely misused quite often. Perhaps the definition of terrorism should be that it depends on circumstances – there can be not cut and dry definition because that is far too limiting.

  • Izzy

    Terrorism should be defined by intent. It is not a consequence of race nor culture, but ideology. If the intent of an act is to inspire terror and/or coerce the United States government, then it might be considered an act of terror. We mustn’t jump to conclusions in classifying acts of “terrorism” because that word alone incites fear and anxiety, when it is likely misused quite often. Perhaps the definition of terrorism should be that it depends on circumstances – there can be not cut and dry definition because that is far too limiting.

  • Jack

    I think that we need to make sure it is clear that terrorism isn’t a term associated with any particular group of people. Anybody can use violence as a way to coerce or intimidate – it isn’t even necessarily have to be a person or group from a different country or community.

  • Jack

    I think that we need to make sure it is clear that terrorism isn’t a term associated with any particular group of people. Anybody can use violence as a way to coerce or intimidate – it isn’t even necessarily have to be a person or group from a different country or community.

  • Sabiha

    I believe we use the word ‘terrorist’ too freely and for only specific groups of people. As others have said, the United States is just as guilty as any other government for inflicting terror on innocent people. To define terrorism, we must look at the motive, not the background of the person who committed the act (i.e- race, religion). It’s common in our media to see the word ‘terrorist’ attributed solely to foreign nationals. If a white man commits a horrendous crime, he was mentally unstable. If a brown man down, he’s a terrorist. Regardless of where they come from, a world away or our own backyard; terrorists set out to derail a community or society, incite fear, and cause harm for a specific purpose. We need to be more careful about how and when we use this word.

  • Sabiha

    I believe we use the word ‘terrorist’ too freely and for only specific groups of people. As others have said, the United States is just as guilty as any other government for inflicting terror on innocent people. To define terrorism, we must look at the motive, not the background of the person who committed the act (i.e- race, religion). It’s common in our media to see the word ‘terrorist’ attributed solely to foreign nationals. If a white man commits a horrendous crime, he was mentally unstable. If a brown man down, he’s a terrorist. Regardless of where they come from, a world away or our own backyard; terrorists set out to derail a community or society, incite fear, and cause harm for a specific purpose. We need to be more careful about how and when we use this word.

  • Sabiha

    I believe we use the word ‘terrorist’ too freely and for only specific groups of people. As others have said, the United States is just as guilty as any other government for inflicting terror on innocent people. To define terrorism, we must look at the motive, not the background of the person who committed the act (i.e- race, religion). It’s common in our media to see the word ‘terrorist’ attributed solely to foreign nationals. If a white man commits a horrendous crime, he was mentally unstable. If a brown man down, he’s a terrorist. Regardless of where they come from, a world away or our own backyard; terrorists set out to derail a community or society, incite fear, and cause harm for a specific purpose. We need to be more careful about how and when we use this word.

  • michael

    I would define an act of terrorism as and act of trying to get rid of one own government or another countries government.

  • michael

    I would define an act of terrorism as and act of trying to get rid of one own government or another countries government.

  • michael

    I would define an act of terrorism as and act of trying to get rid of one own government or another countries government.

  • http://education.kqed.org Sara S.

    I think the U.S. government or its agencies have already given an appropriate definition to terrorism. It has also created the department of Homeland Security to assist it in identifying, defending against, responding to and recovering from acts of terrorism.
    I particularly like the FBI’s definition of terrorist incident: A terrorist incident is a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States, or of any state, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
    Any act of violence that is committed against others for a specific outcome is an act of terrorism.

  • http://education.kqed.org Sara S.

    I think the U.S. government or its agencies have already given an appropriate definition to terrorism. It has also created the department of Homeland Security to assist it in identifying, defending against, responding to and recovering from acts of terrorism.
    I particularly like the FBI’s definition of terrorist incident: A terrorist incident is a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States, or of any state, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
    Any act of violence that is committed against others for a specific outcome is an act of terrorism.

  • http://education.kqed.org Sara S.

    I think the U.S. government or its agencies have already given an appropriate definition to terrorism. It has also created the department of Homeland Security to assist it in identifying, defending against, responding to and recovering from acts of terrorism.
    I particularly like the FBI’s definition of terrorist incident: A terrorist incident is a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States, or of any state, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
    Any act of violence that is committed against others for a specific outcome is an act of terrorism.

  • Maggie Jablinski

    Terrorism to me is an act of violence intended to inflict fear and panic. Terrorism is a tough situation, trying to figure out who delivered the attack and how to deal with it can be very sensitive. The worst part about terrorism is that it is mostly delivered to innocent civilians. As far as the extinction of terrorism I’m afraid that will never be accomplished as there will always be people less successful and jealous and will do anything to try and show their dominance. #KQEDdonow @rapoch

  • Maggie Jablinski

    Terrorism to me is an act of violence intended to inflict fear and panic. Terrorism is a tough situation, trying to figure out who delivered the attack and how to deal with it can be very sensitive. The worst part about terrorism is that it is mostly delivered to innocent civilians. As far as the extinction of terrorism I’m afraid that will never be accomplished as there will always be people less successful and jealous and will do anything to try and show their dominance. #KQEDdonow @rapoch

  • Maggie Jablinski

    Terrorism to me is an act of violence intended to inflict fear and panic. Terrorism is a tough situation, trying to figure out who delivered the attack and how to deal with it can be very sensitive. The worst part about terrorism is that it is mostly delivered to innocent civilians. As far as the extinction of terrorism I’m afraid that will never be accomplished as there will always be people less successful and jealous and will do anything to try and show their dominance. #KQEDdonow @rapoch

  • Amber

    Terrorism to me is an act of violence intended to inflict fear and panic. I don’t really understand why people do it.

  • Amber

    Terrorism to me is an act of violence intended to inflict fear and panic. I don’t really understand why people do it.

  • Amber

    Terrorism to me is an act of violence intended to inflict fear and panic. I don’t really understand why people do it.

  • Jake

    I think terrorism is any act of violence that causes mass terror. It may insult with injury and/or death.

  • Jake

    I think terrorism is any act of violence that causes mass terror. It may insult with injury and/or death.

  • Angel Figueroa

    I think that definition of terrorism if you see people doing criminal acts against the U.S. Government. Also if they are killing people like in the Boston Marathon or an attempt to kill people.

  • Angel Figueroa

    I think that definition of terrorism if you see people doing criminal acts against the U.S. Government. Also if they are killing people like in the Boston Marathon or an attempt to kill people.

  • Angel Figueroa

    I think that definition of terrorism if you see people doing criminal acts against the U.S. Government. Also if they are killing people like in the Boston Marathon or an attempt to kill people.

  • Darin B.

    I believe that the definition of terrorism is when a group of people decide to either kill people in the public at big events like the twin towers or just attack certain people.

  • Darin B.

    I believe that the definition of terrorism is when a group of people decide to either kill people in the public at big events like the twin towers or just attack certain people.

  • Darin B.

    I believe that the definition of terrorism is when a group of people decide to either kill people in the public at big events like the twin towers or just attack certain people.

  • April

    Terrorism should be described, in the U.S., as any direct act of violence toward a group of people or persons within the United States. Anyone who attacks the United States is an act of terror, even if it is not directly towards a political party. Terrorism is defined by the “use of violence to gain political aims.” I personally feel that any acts of violence in the United States, like the Boston Marathon should be considered terrorism.

  • April

    Terrorism should be described, in the U.S., as any direct act of violence toward a group of people or persons within the United States. Anyone who attacks the United States is an act of terror, even if it is not directly towards a political party. Terrorism is defined by the “use of violence to gain political aims.” I personally feel that any acts of violence in the United States, like the Boston Marathon should be considered terrorism.

  • Ryan Mareska

    The whole tarriest thing is trying to make our country look weak and try to start a war. We need to step up and stop everything dealing with terrorism. We have the ability to but we don’t want to waste money on things we need to work on as a country but waste money on pointless things.

  • Ryan Mareska

    The whole tarriest thing is trying to make our country look weak and try to start a war. We need to step up and stop everything dealing with terrorism. We have the ability to but we don’t want to waste money on things we need to work on as a country but waste money on pointless things.

  • Ryan Mareska

    The whole tarriest thing is trying to make our country look weak and try to start a war. We need to step up and stop everything dealing with terrorism. We have the ability to but we don’t want to waste money on things we need to work on as a country but waste money on pointless things.

  • Lauren

    The act of terrorism to me is defined by the intention to cause fear and panic. Terrorist intend to make people live in fear for quite some time after the act of violence. For terrorist the intention is not always to kill. The bombing at Boston was probably just to cause people to live in fear, I do not believe that the intention was to kill because there were only three causalities instead of hundreds. Even though the people behind it were caught they still succeeded in causing fear throughout the nation, and sent the government and people into a frenzy.

  • Lauren

    The act of terrorism to me is defined by the intention to cause fear and panic. Terrorist intend to make people live in fear for quite some time after the act of violence. For terrorist the intention is not always to kill. The bombing at Boston was probably just to cause people to live in fear, I do not believe that the intention was to kill because there were only three causalities instead of hundreds. Even though the people behind it were caught they still succeeded in causing fear throughout the nation, and sent the government and people into a frenzy.

  • Lauren

    The act of terrorism to me is defined by the intention to cause fear and panic. Terrorist intend to make people live in fear for quite some time after the act of violence. For terrorist the intention is not always to kill. The bombing at Boston was probably just to cause people to live in fear, I do not believe that the intention was to kill because there were only three causalities instead of hundreds. Even though the people behind it were caught they still succeeded in causing fear throughout the nation, and sent the government and people into a frenzy.

  • Kristi

    To me terrorism ia an act of violence trying to hurt people and just scare them, it makes me mad that people do this, I don’t know why you would have to do something so evil like this, they might have a reason but why do it when you know your going to be hurting thousand of innocent people. It also makes me mad because of the things some people do they consider other foreign people to be terrorist because of somethings other people do, and they should say that everyone not from the United States is a terrorist because we aren’t. They should look at the reasons people are doing what they are doing not because they they were born in other countries.

  • Kristi

    To me terrorism ia an act of violence trying to hurt people and just scare them, it makes me mad that people do this, I don’t know why you would have to do something so evil like this, they might have a reason but why do it when you know your going to be hurting thousand of innocent people. It also makes me mad because of the things some people do they consider other foreign people to be terrorist because of somethings other people do, and they should say that everyone not from the United States is a terrorist because we aren’t. They should look at the reasons people are doing what they are doing not because they they were born in other countries.

  • Kameron E.

    “ Terrorism” as “the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual 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.” Along with an act of aggression against a point of view that would stand morally against the values of the society.
    I believe that the FBI’s version updated to the version above correctly states what I believe is terrorism. The FBI’s version before was just stated for domestic violence, which is to restrictive for the general term, terrorism. I added the last clause to the nearly quoted phase to distinguish the fact that, even if the aren’t looking to further any objective, it is still as act of terrorism.

  • Kameron E.

    “ Terrorism” as “the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual 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.” Along with an act of aggression against a point of view that would stand morally against the values of the society.
    I believe that the FBI’s version updated to the version above correctly states what I believe is terrorism. The FBI’s version before was just stated for domestic violence, which is to restrictive for the general term, terrorism. I added the last clause to the nearly quoted phase to distinguish the fact that, even if the aren’t looking to further any objective, it is still as act of terrorism.

  • Ramon Luna

    Terrorism I think that there really isn’t a solid definition. It really depends on the person’s point of view which is why there are so many different meanings. Seeing that this attacks are usually aimed at gatherings of people I think it would that should be the definition of a terrorist attack.

  • Ramon Luna

    Terrorism I think that there really isn’t a solid definition. It really depends on the person’s point of view which is why there are so many different meanings. Seeing that this attacks are usually aimed at gatherings of people I think it would that should be the definition of a terrorist attack.

  • Matt Williams

    Quick question, would you consider the tragic Newtown school shooting an act of terror? How do these differ?

  • Matt Williams

    Quick question, would you consider the tragic Newtown school shooting an act of terror? How do these differ?

  • Susana Lopez

    i think that everyone has there own definition of this word not everyone really thinks the same about it. I think that everyone has their own opinion to what they think of the word.

  • Susana Lopez

    i think that everyone has there own definition of this word not everyone really thinks the same about it. I think that everyone has their own opinion to what they think of the word.

  • Brandon Bowling

    i believe terrorism is any act of violence against a country by a group or individual for any reasoning. acts of terror usually affect more than just a few people and i view the boston marathon bombings as an act of terror against the united states and i think terrorism can even be preformed by the goverment or any organization on other nations or even your own nation and it shouldnt be what people turn to to get something done or just to hurt a nation. #KQEDdonow @rapoch

  • Brandon Bowling

    i believe terrorism is any act of violence against a country by a group or individual for any reasoning. acts of terror usually affect more than just a few people and i view the boston marathon bombings as an act of terror against the united states and i think terrorism can even be preformed by the goverment or any organization on other nations or even your own nation and it shouldnt be what people turn to to get something done or just to hurt a nation. #KQEDdonow @rapoch

  • Josh

    Terrorism should be classified as an act of warfare. Cause the definition of terrorism is the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of a political aim. It also involves weapons of mass destruction. So the government should define terrorism as an act against our country.

  • Josh

    Terrorism should be classified as an act of warfare. Cause the definition of terrorism is the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of a political aim. It also involves weapons of mass destruction. So the government should define terrorism as an act against our country.

  • Jesus Diaz

    I believe a terrorist is any individual that through an unjust act of violence usually driven by a cause much bigger then themselves and they use it to cause panic and terror to a nation.

  • Jesus Diaz

    I believe a terrorist is any individual that through an unjust act of violence usually driven by a cause much bigger then themselves and they use it to cause panic and terror to a nation.

  • Samuel K.

    In my opinion, I think terrorism needs a motive to be called terrorism. A person with some sort of mental illness killing someone does not merit the label of terrorism. Personally, I don’t know why we are so quick to call violent acts “acts of terrorism”. It seems to me that we almost want terrorism to happen as a means to justify our counter-measures. But then maybe I’m wrong.
    #KQEDdonow
    @rapoch

  • Samuel K.

    In my opinion, I think terrorism needs a motive to be called terrorism. A person with some sort of mental illness killing someone does not merit the label of terrorism. Personally, I don’t know why we are so quick to call violent acts “acts of terrorism”. It seems to me that we almost want terrorism to happen as a means to justify our counter-measures. But then maybe I’m wrong.
    #KQEDdonow
    @rapoch

  • Samuel K.

    In my opinion, I think terrorism needs a motive to be called terrorism. A person with some sort of mental illness killing someone does not merit the label of terrorism. Personally, I don’t know why we are so quick to call violent acts “acts of terrorism”. It seems to me that we almost want terrorism to happen as a means to justify our counter-measures. But then maybe I’m wrong.
    #KQEDdonow
    @rapoch

  • Jose

    How should the U.S. government define terrorism?
    terrorism depends on who you are talking about maybe different for others people in their point of view the attack that was aimed at the people I thought it was used the right way. because they are people that are attacking other people and we should do something about it but try not to spent money on it.

  • Jose

    How should the U.S. government define terrorism?
    terrorism depends on who you are talking about maybe different for others people in their point of view the attack that was aimed at the people I thought it was used the right way. because they are people that are attacking other people and we should do something about it but try not to spent money on it.

  • Nick

    Terrorism is an act against a group of people meant to inflict panic, or harm of any kind for any reason at all.
    #KQED @rapoch

  • Nick

    Terrorism is an act against a group of people meant to inflict panic, or harm of any kind for any reason at all.
    #KQED @rapoch

  • Chris

    To me, terrorism is the act of carrying out an attack that harms many people. Or, causes TERROR to the people. There doesn’t even need to be a motivation.

  • Chris

    To me, terrorism is the act of carrying out an attack that harms many people. Or, causes TERROR to the people. There doesn’t even need to be a motivation.

  • David Jenny

    I agree Obama should of used the term terrorism because it was an act that was trying to terrorize America. But I believe terrorism should be defined as any direct act of violence toward a group of people or country by another group of people or country. But terrorism could be anything as small as calling a person a bad name or racial slur.

  • David Jenny

    I agree Obama should of used the term terrorism because it was an act that was trying to terrorize America. But I believe terrorism should be defined as any direct act of violence toward a group of people or country by another group of people or country. But terrorism could be anything as small as calling a person a bad name or racial slur.

  • Abbie McGill

    Terrorism is usual accompanied with connotations of foreign attacks on America (in this case) and a group or party inflicting fear or terror on citizens and the country. Terrorism is defined as “the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion” (webster’s), meaning is can be inflicted on any group of people for any given reason. I think that terrorism should not be always joined with fears of Al Queda or other alien countries and the US government should stress that acts of terrorism can be inflicted even by American citizens, born and raised here, not always outlandish organizations.

  • Abbie McGill

    Terrorism is usual accompanied with connotations of foreign attacks on America (in this case) and a group or party inflicting fear or terror on citizens and the country. Terrorism is defined as “the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion” (webster’s), meaning is can be inflicted on any group of people for any given reason. I think that terrorism should not be always joined with fears of Al Queda or other alien countries and the US government should stress that acts of terrorism can be inflicted even by American citizens, born and raised here, not always outlandish organizations.

  • Julia

    Our government needs to be more aware of how the word “terrorism” is used. I agree with other commenters who have said that a act of violence needs a motive to be called terrorism. Those who were upset when Obama did not call the bombings an act of terrorism seem to think that the word will “sensationalize” the act and incite a stronger emotion among citizens. However, to mislabel something as terrorism, when in reality it was just an act committed by mentally ill individuals, is counter-productive. The FBI’s definition of terrorism is accurate, but personally I would not call the bombings in Boston an act of terror.

  • Julia

    Our government needs to be more aware of how the word “terrorism” is used. I agree with other commenters who have said that a act of violence needs a motive to be called terrorism. Those who were upset when Obama did not call the bombings an act of terrorism seem to think that the word will “sensationalize” the act and incite a stronger emotion among citizens. However, to mislabel something as terrorism, when in reality it was just an act committed by mentally ill individuals, is counter-productive. The FBI’s definition of terrorism is accurate, but personally I would not call the bombings in Boston an act of terror.

  • Daniel

    Terrorism should have a broad definition, and it should basically be any act that attempts to inhibit the ideas or beliefs of one person or group of people, terrorism happens everyday, and has directly affected almost everybody in the world, therefore the definition should be broad because the population it has the ability to affect is also very broad.

  • Daniel

    Terrorism should have a broad definition, and it should basically be any act that attempts to inhibit the ideas or beliefs of one person or group of people, terrorism happens everyday, and has directly affected almost everybody in the world, therefore the definition should be broad because the population it has the ability to affect is also very broad.

  • EP

    For me terrorism is any act trying to cause chaos or violence in a community. The fact that Obama didn’t directly say that the boston bombings were acts of terror doesn’t seem like a very big deal to me. I don’t think that anyone was doubtful, or questioning that it was an act of terror, it seemed pretty clear to me. Our top priorities in a situation like that should not be to worrying about the proper way to classify the event.

  • EP

    For me terrorism is any act trying to cause chaos or violence in a community. The fact that Obama didn’t directly say that the boston bombings were acts of terror doesn’t seem like a very big deal to me. I don’t think that anyone was doubtful, or questioning that it was an act of terror, it seemed pretty clear to me. Our top priorities in a situation like that should not be to worrying about the proper way to classify the event.

  • Jackie

    Terrorism should be defined as any act that is intended to cause hurt and panic to a group of people for reasons of anger of and revenge. Sometimes I believe our country is too quick to define an act as an act of terror. There are many acts of terror but in many cases, the events are not anger motivated but due to mental illness. Works of terror must be committed in order to cause harm to the people of a country because the individual has anger towards the country for some reason.

  • Jackie

    Terrorism should be defined as any act that is intended to cause hurt and panic to a group of people for reasons of anger of and revenge. Sometimes I believe our country is too quick to define an act as an act of terror. There are many acts of terror but in many cases, the events are not anger motivated but due to mental illness. Works of terror must be committed in order to cause harm to the people of a country because the individual has anger towards the country for some reason.

  • Evan Freeman

    I think the definition of “Terrorism” is that when someone destroyed historical landmarks, inflicted panic to others & and lastly brakes souls, to do anything to carry-out their mission and they don’t care what happens at all! #KQEDdonow @rapoch

  • Evan Freeman

    I think the definition of “Terrorism” is that when someone destroyed historical landmarks, inflicted panic to others & and lastly brakes souls, to do anything to carry-out their mission and they don’t care what happens at all! #KQEDdonow @rapoch

  • Tyler Poe

    Terrorism depends on the person you talk to. But personally, i don’t care if it is domestic or international terrorism. Terrorism is terrorism. With that being said, terrorism is something done by an individual or group of individuals that perform an act for the sole purpose of scaring, “terrorizing,” a population. So the dispute between the FBI and CIA definitions of terrorism, while they are both correct, need to come together to try and destroy terrorism forever! #kqeddonow@rapoch

  • Tyler Poe

    Terrorism depends on the person you talk to. But personally, i don’t care if it is domestic or international terrorism. Terrorism is terrorism. With that being said, terrorism is something done by an individual or group of individuals that perform an act for the sole purpose of scaring, “terrorizing,” a population. So the dispute between the FBI and CIA definitions of terrorism, while they are both correct, need to come together to try and destroy terrorism forever! #kqeddonow@rapoch

  • Alex Hansgen

    Terrorism is when someone uses fear and scare tactics to force people to bend to their will or just cause wide spread panic. @rapoch

  • Alex Hansgen

    Terrorism is when someone uses fear and scare tactics to force people to bend to their will or just cause wide spread panic. @rapoch

  • Mr. Malley

    Interesting topic. While watching President Obama’s news conference I came up with a number of things I’m wondering about. I’d love to hear some thoughts about these questions.

    1. Is this the age of terror for the United States? How does this match historically with other eras of terror (Weathermen, early 20th century anarchists) in our country?

    2. How does one live with the possibility of terror? In other words, how does this impact you? Thinking about Sandy Hook, the Aurora movie theater, the Boston Marathon and the recent ricin scare, does this impact the way you see the world? The way you carry out your day? Your subconscious?

    3. President Obama asks citizens to speak up if they see anything suspicious. Is this enough? What should be done? Conversely, what could be some negative consequences of a hypersensitive citizenry overly focused on terror spotting?

  • Mr. Malley

    Interesting topic. While watching President Obama’s news conference I came up with a number of things I’m wondering about. I’d love to hear some thoughts about these questions.

    1. Is this the age of terror for the United States? How does this match historically with other eras of terror (Weathermen, early 20th century anarchists) in our country?

    2. How does one live with the possibility of terror? In other words, how does this impact you? Thinking about Sandy Hook, the Aurora movie theater, the Boston Marathon and the recent ricin scare, does this impact the way you see the world? The way you carry out your day? Your subconscious?

    3. President Obama asks citizens to speak up if they see anything suspicious. Is this enough? What should be done? Conversely, what could be some negative consequences of a hypersensitive citizenry overly focused on terror spotting?

  • Mr. Malley

    Also, KQED, how about a “thumbs up, thumbs down” rating system to help comments of substance be recognized and rise to the top?

  • Mr. Malley

    Also, KQED, how about a “thumbs up, thumbs down” rating system to help comments of substance be recognized and rise to the top?

  • Andrew A

    My definition of terrorism is a violent act against a group of innocent people for a certain reason. However I believe that the United States Government should define terrorism as a violent act against innocent people that cause damage, distress, fear or terror to innocent civilians. But everybody has their own definition for the word terrorism. I like the FBI’s definition of terrorism which is a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws.

  • Andrew A

    My definition of terrorism is a violent act against a group of innocent people for a certain reason. However I believe that the United States Government should define terrorism as a violent act against innocent people that cause damage, distress, fear or terror to innocent civilians. But everybody has their own definition for the word terrorism. I like the FBI’s definition of terrorism which is a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws.

  • Andrew A

    My definition of terrorism is a violent act against a group of innocent people for a certain reason. However I believe that the United States Government should define terrorism as a violent act against innocent people that cause damage, distress, fear or terror to innocent civilians. But everybody has their own definition for the word terrorism. I like the FBI’s definition of terrorism which is a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws.

  • Jessie

    It may be an act of terrorism, in the eyes of an political person. I believe it really wasn’t I think it was just a unlawful act of a person of different heritage. Terrorism is a act of someone who is trying to hurt the country to make another government fall.

  • Jessie

    It may be an act of terrorism, in the eyes of an political person. I believe it really wasn’t I think it was just a unlawful act of a person of different heritage. Terrorism is a act of someone who is trying to hurt the country to make another government fall.

  • http://www.defense.gov/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=67587 Josh

    The definition of terrorism should be how the FBI and the CIA have defined it. Those are both really good ways of defining a terrorist attack. If you cause harm harm to civilians by any means, weather you are from another country, or a civilian.

  • http://www.defense.gov/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=67587 Josh

    The definition of terrorism should be how the FBI and the CIA have defined it. Those are both really good ways of defining a terrorist attack. If you cause harm harm to civilians by any means, weather you are from another country, or a civilian.

  • Cameron Tournear

    An act to intentionally harm a group of people and scare others, done by extremely radical people.

  • Cameron Tournear

    An act to intentionally harm a group of people and scare others, done by extremely radical people.

  • Landon

    Terrorism is mostly defined as what most people are replying with but people do throw that word around. People who do an act to cause damage to terrorize others. Some people would say its someone who just is out of country but that’s not always correct.

  • Landon

    Terrorism is mostly defined as what most people are replying with but people do throw that word around. People who do an act to cause damage to terrorize others. Some people would say its someone who just is out of country but that’s not always correct.

  • Tayler Arterburn

    I think a act of terrorism is when a group of people or a single person does a harmful thing to cause damage among a mass amount of people. But if it just someone and he/she causes damage to one person it cant be classified as a act of terrorism

    • Steven Moore

      an* is* can’t* .*

      • tayler Arterburn

        sorry i cant write good captain steve

        • Tucker C.

          *well

  • Tayler Arterburn

    I think a act of terrorism is when a group of people or a single person does a harmful thing to cause damage among a mass amount of people. But if it just someone and he/she causes damage to one person it cant be classified as a act of terrorism

    • Steven Moore

      an* is* can’t* .*

      • tayler Arterburn

        sorry i cant write good captain steve

        • Tucker C.

          *well

  • Caleb

    Dictionary.com states that terrorism is “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.” I think this is a good definition and we should go with this one.

  • Caleb

    Dictionary.com states that terrorism is “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.” I think this is a good definition and we should go with this one.

  • Megan

    Terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.” However, terrorism is much more than that. Terrorism doesn’t only have to do with politics; it’s also ideological, a war of ideas and beliefs. Furthermore, some people don’t care about politics or ideals; they only want to harm others. It’s hard to define exactly what terrorism is, but here’s what it isn’t- love, peace, respect, tolerance. But maybe it’s not as important to define terrorism as it is to try and prevent it. I know this isn’t always possible, but it should be a priority to make peace within our own country, as well as with other countries, and maybe some of this animosity would transform into kindness and terrorism would take a back seat to tolerance.

    • Tucker C.

      WAR IS INEVITABLE.

      • Tucker C.

        CONFLICT IS INEVITABLE.

        • Tucker C.

          VIOLENCE IS INEVITABLE.

          • http://www.edmodo.com Stebo Moore

            Truth

          • Megan

            I know that all these things are inevitable, but if some conflicts were resolved before it got to the point of war and violence, terrorism would probably decrease. There’s not any true solution, but that should not be a reason for nobody to attempt to solve anything. Just because something is inevitable doesn’t mean the likelihood of it happening is not able to be lessened.

      • kalee

        Love conquers all

        1 cor. 13

  • Megan

    Terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.” However, terrorism is much more than that. Terrorism doesn’t only have to do with politics; it’s also ideological, a war of ideas and beliefs. Furthermore, some people don’t care about politics or ideals; they only want to harm others. It’s hard to define exactly what terrorism is, but here’s what it isn’t- love, peace, respect, tolerance. But maybe it’s not as important to define terrorism as it is to try and prevent it. I know this isn’t always possible, but it should be a priority to make peace within our own country, as well as with other countries, and maybe some of this animosity would transform into kindness and terrorism would take a back seat to tolerance.

    • Tucker C.

      WAR IS INEVITABLE.

      • Tucker C.

        CONFLICT IS INEVITABLE.

        • Tucker C.

          VIOLENCE IS INEVITABLE.

          • http://www.edmodo.com Stebo Moore

            Truth

          • Megan

            I know that all these things are inevitable, but if some conflicts were resolved before it got to the point of war and violence, terrorism would probably decrease. There’s not any true solution, but that should not be a reason for nobody to attempt to solve anything. Just because something is inevitable doesn’t mean the likelihood of it happening is not able to be lessened.

      • kalee

        Love conquers all

        1 cor. 13

  • Kalee

    I think terrorism should be defined as having something to do with wanting to harm the government. If terrorism is defined as a harmful act organized by a group or an individual there would be a LOT of terrorism here, and everywhere for that matter. Some people say the definition of terrorism is relative but if the government would pick something and stick with it things could run a lot smoother. “government would pick something and stick with it”- I make myself laugh. Some would say that as times change rules must too, however, if rules change because the actions change wont that give wiggle room for getting around the rules? Laws should be set in stone-as should definitions.

    • Tucker C.

      If laws were set in stone the Supreme Court would be useless. Our Amendments would be futile and not incorporated to be put into effect. Laws change with time, and technological advances, as do words and their definitions. The government actually defines terrorism; “terrorism” is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.” It is not “relative” as “some people” ignorantly say. Laws set in stone would oppress future generations. Our founding fathers saw this and I wish you could too.

      • kalee

        What? im saying that laws shouldn’t change. an example is:
        if God decided to change the commandments as people changed wouldn’t that be contradictory. im not saying change is bad, no, i embrace a good twist every once in a wile. what im getting at is that as long as people keep getting more freaky and our laws change based on it wont we have funky laws eventually?

      • http://www.defense.gov/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=67587 Josh

        I agree with Tucker on this one. Our founders could not have known what the future had instore, so they made the constitution be able to evolve with changing times. The same principals should be applied to words aswel.

  • Kalee

    I think terrorism should be defined as having something to do with wanting to harm the government. If terrorism is defined as a harmful act organized by a group or an individual there would be a LOT of terrorism here, and everywhere for that matter. Some people say the definition of terrorism is relative but if the government would pick something and stick with it things could run a lot smoother. “government would pick something and stick with it”- I make myself laugh. Some would say that as times change rules must too, however, if rules change because the actions change wont that give wiggle room for getting around the rules? Laws should be set in stone-as should definitions.

    • Tucker C.

      If laws were set in stone the Supreme Court would be useless. Our Amendments would be futile and not incorporated to be put into effect. Laws change with time, and technological advances, as do words and their definitions. The government actually defines terrorism; “terrorism” is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.” It is not “relative” as “some people” ignorantly say. Laws set in stone would oppress future generations. Our founding fathers saw this and I wish you could too.

      • kalee

        What? im saying that laws shouldn’t change. an example is:
        if God decided to change the commandments as people changed wouldn’t that be contradictory. im not saying change is bad, no, i embrace a good twist every once in a wile. what im getting at is that as long as people keep getting more freaky and our laws change based on it wont we have funky laws eventually?

      • http://www.defense.gov/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=67587 Josh

        I agree with Tucker on this one. Our founders could not have known what the future had instore, so they made the constitution be able to evolve with changing times. The same principals should be applied to words aswel.

  • http://www.edmodo.com Stebo Moore

    The dictionary definition of terror literally means, to instill fear. Has this person implemented fear? Has he caused national distraught, and wonder? Yes, he has. Therefor I think this act should be defined, and treated as, an act of terrorism.

    • Landon Mynatt

      I agree completely.

    • cameron

      Do think that a terrorist must be someone from another country or could they be an American citizen?

  • http://www.edmodo.com Stebo Moore

    The dictionary definition of terror literally means, to instill fear. Has this person implemented fear? Has he caused national distraught, and wonder? Yes, he has. Therefor I think this act should be defined, and treated as, an act of terrorism.

    • Landon Mynatt

      I agree completely.

    • cameron

      Do think that a terrorist must be someone from another country or could they be an American citizen?

  • Tucker C.

    I agree with the CIA, “terrorism” is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.” Any act of terrorism is obviously defined by its motives. The Page quote is also out of context. To say one persons freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist is ridiculous. It is the same as sympathizing with your oppressor. Reagan also believed that the Contra’s were of the same mentality of our finding fathers. In saying one person’s freedom fighter is another person’s terrorist, one could also argue that our founding fathers were terrorists. This argument is stupid, and it simply comes down to perspective on the attack. The Boston Bombings were a tragedy, and God bless the victims. IED’s go off in the middle east all the time. Soldiers die and they don’t get half the recognition the 250+ injured recieved. Why? Media recognition and politics. Terrorism is defined by politics.

    • Mr. Malley

      Tucker, I think your post has some good points. Of course perspective matters. To King George, American colonialists were akin to terrorists. These rebels fought a guerilla war that defied the conventions of war that a century of war had solidified. While the Brits lined up in formation we took potshots from the woods. (I know this is an oversimplification.) We dumped tea in a harbor thus disrupting the economy. The only difference is that American colonialists were not attacking common citizens.

      So, I’m guessing if that’s where the line lies. To be a terrorist one must attack ordinary citizens. This is the red line. In the Middle East Americans are soldiers. They sign up and are paid to fight. Danger and possibility of death is part of the deal. Because of this, these deaths aren’t as publicized as the death of ordinary citizens. Kids getting gunned down in a school and a child getting blown up while attending a race in Anytown, USA is more heartbreaking. They were just going about their day.

      Ultimately, I don’t think that terrorism has to do as much with politics (though it certainly goes hand in hand in many cases) as it does with provoking a sense of dread in ordinary citizens through the use of deadly force.

      • Tucker C.

        Mr. Malley, I personally don’t believe that terrorism SHOULD be defined by politics. Im saying that they do. And yes I am glad you bring up the perspective point. King George was indeed up against colonial “terrorists”. Why then, are we taught that they were patriots and American heroes? This is because of our perspective. I am saying this article and this discussion are ridiculous. terrorism is premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents. Period. Get the media out of this discussion. Terrorism IS defined.

        • Tucker C.

          first sentence: terrorists*
          second sentence: are*

  • Tucker C.

    I agree with the CIA, “terrorism” is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.” Any act of terrorism is obviously defined by its motives. The Page quote is also out of context. To say one persons freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist is ridiculous. It is the same as sympathizing with your oppressor. Reagan also believed that the Contra’s were of the same mentality of our finding fathers. In saying one person’s freedom fighter is another person’s terrorist, one could also argue that our founding fathers were terrorists. This argument is stupid, and it simply comes down to perspective on the attack. The Boston Bombings were a tragedy, and God bless the victims. IED’s go off in the middle east all the time. Soldiers die and they don’t get half the recognition the 250+ injured recieved. Why? Media recognition and politics. Terrorism is defined by politics.

    • Mr. Malley

      Tucker, I think your post has some good points. Of course perspective matters. To King George, American colonialists were akin to terrorists. These rebels fought a guerilla war that defied the conventions of war that a century of war had solidified. While the Brits lined up in formation we took potshots from the woods. (I know this is an oversimplification.) We dumped tea in a harbor thus disrupting the economy. The only difference is that American colonialists were not attacking common citizens.

      So, I’m guessing if that’s where the line lies. To be a terrorist one must attack ordinary citizens. This is the red line. In the Middle East Americans are soldiers. They sign up and are paid to fight. Danger and possibility of death is part of the deal. Because of this, these deaths aren’t as publicized as the death of ordinary citizens. Kids getting gunned down in a school and a child getting blown up while attending a race in Anytown, USA is more heartbreaking. They were just going about their day.

      Ultimately, I don’t think that terrorism has to do as much with politics (though it certainly goes hand in hand in many cases) as it does with provoking a sense of dread in ordinary citizens through the use of deadly force.

      • Tucker C.

        Mr. Malley, I personally don’t believe that terrorism SHOULD be defined by politics. Im saying that they do. And yes I am glad you bring up the perspective point. King George was indeed up against colonial “terrorists”. Why then, are we taught that they were patriots and American heroes? This is because of our perspective. I am saying this article and this discussion are ridiculous. terrorism is premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents. Period. Get the media out of this discussion. Terrorism IS defined.

        • Tucker C.

          first sentence: terrorists*
          second sentence: are*

  • Jordan Sterling

    I think the definition of terrorism is any action a person or a group of people do to cause injury, harm, or terror from a single person or a group of people. The Boston Bombing is an act of terrorism because it was an action by people that caused harm and terror for the people.

    • Jessie

      I agree the bombing is a terrorest act.

      • Jordan Sterling

        The bombings from the terrorists also allow the government to wake up to the possible threats to the U.S. from other people or countries.

        • M. Anonymous

          I feel like you have made a very important point, Jordan. A person that is out to make a point and uses terror to enforce it is in fact a TERRORist. P.S. Don’t run out of headlight fluid. #Gavino Free

      • Austin

        We as the American people have been brought together in the worst of time we will survive and thrive because we are murica

        • Jordan Sterling

          Shoutout to Austin two chairs next to me

        • Jordan Sterling

          #TruckingYOLO

          • Austin

            #DanTheMan BEST COMMENT TREAD EVER LOLOLOLOLOL

        • Jordan Sterling

          #eatliquidgold
          #iatethebones

  • Jordan Sterling

    I think the definition of terrorism is any action a person or a group of people do to cause injury, harm, or terror from a single person or a group of people. The Boston Bombing is an act of terrorism because it was an action by people that caused harm and terror for the people.

    • Jessie

      I agree the bombing is a terrorest act.

      • Jordan Sterling

        The bombings from the terrorists also allow the government to wake up to the possible threats to the U.S. from other people or countries.

        • M. Anonymous

          I feel like you have made a very important point, Jordan. A person that is out to make a point and uses terror to enforce it is in fact a TERRORist. P.S. Don’t run out of headlight fluid. #Gavino Free

      • Austin

        We as the American people have been brought together in the worst of time we will survive and thrive because we are murica

        • Jordan Sterling

          Shoutout to Austin two chairs next to me

        • Jordan Sterling

          #TruckingYOLO

          • Austin

            #DanTheMan BEST COMMENT TREAD EVER LOLOLOLOLOL

        • Jordan Sterling

          #eatliquidgold
          #iatethebones

  • Waffles

    i think that people in the United States use the word “terrorists” way too much and without care of how much this word really means. “act of terror” to me is when people do things because they want to get attention and are scared of something.

  • Waffles

    i think that people in the United States use the word “terrorists” way too much and without care of how much this word really means. “act of terror” to me is when people do things because they want to get attention and are scared of something.

  • Theron Hardee

    Because of the mans religious beliefs i think that it was an act of terrorism if he was persuaded or not. You commit the crime you do the time.

    • Waffles

      I find your comment very irrelevant or it doesn’t really explain itself. i dont really get what you are trying to say. please explain yourself

  • Theron Hardee

    Because of the mans religious beliefs i think that it was an act of terrorism if he was persuaded or not. You commit the crime you do the time.

    • Waffles

      I find your comment very irrelevant or it doesn’t really explain itself. i dont really get what you are trying to say. please explain yourself

  • http://education.kqed.org/EDSPACE/2013/03/08/DO-NOW-68-WOULD-STRICTER-GUN-LAWS-REDUCE-GUN-VIOLENCE/ Mason Kent

    i think that both the FBIs and the CIAs definitions are both good definitions of terrorism and are accurate to what i would consider to be a terrorist and i also believe that the boston bombings were terrorist

  • http://education.kqed.org/EDSPACE/2013/03/08/DO-NOW-68-WOULD-STRICTER-GUN-LAWS-REDUCE-GUN-VIOLENCE/ Mason Kent

    i think that both the FBIs and the CIAs definitions are both good definitions of terrorism and are accurate to what i would consider to be a terrorist and i also believe that the boston bombings were terrorist

  • Cesar Q

    I think anyone that does something to hurt American citizens in a large way should be considered a terrorist or act of terrorism.

  • Cesar Q

    I think anyone that does something to hurt American citizens in a large way should be considered a terrorist or act of terrorism.

  • Mo

    I think terror is a hard thing to prove, because to me it is based on motives, and you can’t ever truly know what is going on in a person’s mind. To me, terror can be defined as a malicious act with the goal to hurt or strike fear in a community to make some sort of statement. I think we are in a new “red scare”- a terror scare. Everyone is jumping to conclusions, and most often racial conclusions. about terror acts and terror intentions and terrorists. “Terrorist” itself has become a tools of fear; saying terrorist can cause panic and strike fear into the mind of most Americans. We must be thorough and thoughtful in investigating potential acts of terror. Like in the recent Twin Boston Bombings, President Obama did not immediately label it as an act of terror, which I think was a conscious and smart move on his administrations part.

  • Mo

    I think terror is a hard thing to prove, because to me it is based on motives, and you can’t ever truly know what is going on in a person’s mind. To me, terror can be defined as a malicious act with the goal to hurt or strike fear in a community to make some sort of statement. I think we are in a new “red scare”- a terror scare. Everyone is jumping to conclusions, and most often racial conclusions. about terror acts and terror intentions and terrorists. “Terrorist” itself has become a tools of fear; saying terrorist can cause panic and strike fear into the mind of most Americans. We must be thorough and thoughtful in investigating potential acts of terror. Like in the recent Twin Boston Bombings, President Obama did not immediately label it as an act of terror, which I think was a conscious and smart move on his administrations part.

  • Kane

    I believe that we make the assumption that terrorist attacks are made by people from another country that dislike the United States as a nation. Unfortunately, this leads to profiling when in reality anybody could be a suspect. Terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims”, and this needs to be made clear. Terrorism is any act of violence with the intent to coerce, regardless of race or origin.

  • Kane

    I believe that we make the assumption that terrorist attacks are made by people from another country that dislike the United States as a nation. Unfortunately, this leads to profiling when in reality anybody could be a suspect. Terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims”, and this needs to be made clear. Terrorism is any act of violence with the intent to coerce, regardless of race or origin.

  • Burnie

    Hello everyone, My name is Burnie call me Burn for short. Terrorism is a rough topic and unlike many other Americans I think it is NECESSARY! Sometimes you need a nuke or two to wake up the country and let them know the troubles that await in the world. We are too weak as a nation, we should be the ones throwing bombs around not get attacked. ” When you say bomb we say how big of explosive device. ” We need to let people know that the United States and Burnie are nothing to mess around with! I want to live in a country where I don’t have to worry about letting my jack rabbits out to take a tinkle without getting blown away by a terrorism group.

  • Burnie

    Hello everyone, My name is Burnie call me Burn for short. Terrorism is a rough topic and unlike many other Americans I think it is NECESSARY! Sometimes you need a nuke or two to wake up the country and let them know the troubles that await in the world. We are too weak as a nation, we should be the ones throwing bombs around not get attacked. ” When you say bomb we say how big of explosive device. ” We need to let people know that the United States and Burnie are nothing to mess around with! I want to live in a country where I don’t have to worry about letting my jack rabbits out to take a tinkle without getting blown away by a terrorism group.

  • Seth G

    I don’t believe that any attack involving explosives should be considered a terrorist attack. Anyone with the right resources could obtain this stuff. A terrorist attack should only be classified as a premeditated, politically motivated violence used against citizens to cause terror to further a religious or political agenda.

  • Seth G

    I don’t believe that any attack involving explosives should be considered a terrorist attack. Anyone with the right resources could obtain this stuff. A terrorist attack should only be classified as a premeditated, politically motivated violence used against citizens to cause terror to further a religious or political agenda.

  • Clara

    I think terrorism should be defined as an act of violence toward a large group of people by a person or persons with a definite motive on hurting others and making them afraid.

  • Clara

    I think terrorism should be defined as an act of violence toward a large group of people by a person or persons with a definite motive on hurting others and making them afraid.

  • Mark

    I agree that any premeditated act of violence to the public should be considered terrorism

  • Mark

    I agree that any premeditated act of violence to the public should be considered terrorism

  • Tim Bowers

    I agree with the CIA’s definition of terrorism because it, in all cases, is premeditated and is carried out on noncombatant targets. therefore, I completely agree with the article above.

  • Tim Bowers

    I agree with the CIA’s definition of terrorism because it, in all cases, is premeditated and is carried out on noncombatant targets. therefore, I completely agree with the article above.

  • Christian

    I agree because terrorism is intended to scare the government, and in this case I think the bombers were.

  • Christian

    I agree because terrorism is intended to scare the government, and in this case I think the bombers were.

  • Dylan Miner

    I do believe it was an act of terror, but it also depends on the motive. The suspect is refusing to talk to the police and it is unclear if he is linked to any terrorist groups or if this was just domesticated terrorism

  • Dylan Miner

    I do believe it was an act of terror, but it also depends on the motive. The suspect is refusing to talk to the police and it is unclear if he is linked to any terrorist groups or if this was just domesticated terrorism

  • Tyler

    I agree with what has been said. I think that anyone who has the intent of harming a government or body of people should be labeled as a terrorist.

  • Tyler

    I agree with what has been said. I think that anyone who has the intent of harming a government or body of people should be labeled as a terrorist.

  • Madison M

    I think that terrorism is any act of violence or destruction against our country. What happened in Boston was an act of terrorism.

  • Madison M

    I think that terrorism is any act of violence or destruction against our country. What happened in Boston was an act of terrorism.

  • Sidney

    I agree with the article above. I think terrorism is any shape or form of violence to our country by someone else. Especially in this case, because of the man’s religious beliefs. So I agree with Obama and CIA’s definition.

    • Tucker C.

      You mean you agree with the CIA. Obama defines nothing other than an ignorant, evil media pig. I have no faith in the future of America, so long as we are electing liberal parasites as our leaders. They are corrupting us along side the malicious media.

      • Tucker C.

        BEWARE THE SOCIALIST DEVIL THAT IS OUR PRESIDENT.

  • Sidney

    I agree with the article above. I think terrorism is any shape or form of violence to our country by someone else. Especially in this case, because of the man’s religious beliefs. So I agree with Obama and CIA’s definition.

    • Tucker C.

      You mean you agree with the CIA. Obama defines nothing other than an ignorant, evil media pig. I have no faith in the future of America, so long as we are electing liberal parasites as our leaders. They are corrupting us along side the malicious media.

      • Tucker C.

        BEWARE THE SOCIALIST DEVIL THAT IS OUR PRESIDENT.

  • Stephen

    I think that anyone who wants to harm a body of people should be labeled as a terrorist but I won’t be the final judge in that matter.

  • Stephen

    I think that anyone who wants to harm a body of people should be labeled as a terrorist but I won’t be the final judge in that matter.

  • Ally

    Terrorism is any act of violence intended to incite fear among people. I think the connotations that come along with the word “terrorism” and “terrorist” are where people misunderstand the terms. A “terrorist” can be anyone. It is not limited to any certain race, religion, or gender.

  • Ally

    Terrorism is any act of violence intended to incite fear among people. I think the connotations that come along with the word “terrorism” and “terrorist” are where people misunderstand the terms. A “terrorist” can be anyone. It is not limited to any certain race, religion, or gender.

  • Troy K.

    For the United States specifically I think the age of terror hasn’t officially started from any certain point. Some may suggest 9/11 to be the start of this age of terror but I’m sure there have been times as frequent as we see terrorism now as early as 20 years ago. I haven’t been around for more than 18 years so I can’t really say if it was worst then than it is now but it seems that the US could be in a worst position than just the 2 drastic acts of terror in the past 12 years. Really I found only 9/11 and this Boston Marathon bombing to be the most known acts of terror from people foreign to the US. Whether it was for a purpose or not, I kind of look at “acts of terror” as an attack from a foreign nation or individual(s) from foreign nations. Not to say that terrorism isn’t defined by the US citizen who committed the Sandy Hook shooting. I just think that there wasn’t a specific time in the past 40 years where terrorism really exploded to the point where it is considered an “age of terror”. But again this is just my opinion.

    • Mr. Malley

      Interesting Troy. I still am desperate to know how you were able to finagle a picture as your avatar. The force is strong with this one.

  • Troy K.

    For the United States specifically I think the age of terror hasn’t officially started from any certain point. Some may suggest 9/11 to be the start of this age of terror but I’m sure there have been times as frequent as we see terrorism now as early as 20 years ago. I haven’t been around for more than 18 years so I can’t really say if it was worst then than it is now but it seems that the US could be in a worst position than just the 2 drastic acts of terror in the past 12 years. Really I found only 9/11 and this Boston Marathon bombing to be the most known acts of terror from people foreign to the US. Whether it was for a purpose or not, I kind of look at “acts of terror” as an attack from a foreign nation or individual(s) from foreign nations. Not to say that terrorism isn’t defined by the US citizen who committed the Sandy Hook shooting. I just think that there wasn’t a specific time in the past 40 years where terrorism really exploded to the point where it is considered an “age of terror”. But again this is just my opinion.

    • Mr. Malley

      Interesting Troy. I still am desperate to know how you were able to finagle a picture as your avatar. The force is strong with this one.

  • Justin

    I, personally, think that the definition of terrorism is an outside force that is a threat to the good of the people. Terrorism isn’t classified and chained down to one specific country. It can, and does, happen all over the globe. It’s an epidemic that is still a little fuzzy on how to approach it.

  • Justin

    I, personally, think that the definition of terrorism is an outside force that is a threat to the good of the people. Terrorism isn’t classified and chained down to one specific country. It can, and does, happen all over the globe. It’s an epidemic that is still a little fuzzy on how to approach it.

  • Alec M.

    The definition of terrorism would be different depending on the country and also the people youre asking. To me I think the definition of terrorism, at least in the United States, would be, intentional acts of violence against the citizens and infrastructure of the country. Mostly in the US, people probably think as something being terrorism if the people performing the act are from foreign nations, but I think even the citizens of that country can perform acts of Terror of their own nation, for example the shootings in Colorado. I feel that there should be classes and degrees of “terrorism” much like other things. However globally its different. In certain countries, what we define as “terrorism” is domestic civil violence, or that it would only be classified as terrorism if its being performed against a certain part of that nation or the nations government.

  • Alec M.

    The definition of terrorism would be different depending on the country and also the people youre asking. To me I think the definition of terrorism, at least in the United States, would be, intentional acts of violence against the citizens and infrastructure of the country. Mostly in the US, people probably think as something being terrorism if the people performing the act are from foreign nations, but I think even the citizens of that country can perform acts of Terror of their own nation, for example the shootings in Colorado. I feel that there should be classes and degrees of “terrorism” much like other things. However globally its different. In certain countries, what we define as “terrorism” is domestic civil violence, or that it would only be classified as terrorism if its being performed against a certain part of that nation or the nations government.

  • Adam M

    I feel that people who have the intention to hurt or kill other people on a large scale, are considered terrorists. It doesn’t have anything to do with what race or religion a person is.

  • Adam M

    I feel that people who have the intention to hurt or kill other people on a large scale, are considered terrorists. It doesn’t have anything to do with what race or religion a person is.

  • http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/northkorea/index.html Alyx

    I agree with the article above. Anyone who is against there country or tries to cause violence I believe should be considered a terrorist.

  • http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/northkorea/index.html Alyx

    I agree with the article above. Anyone who is against there country or tries to cause violence I believe should be considered a terrorist.

  • Brice

    I think that the US should define terrorism as another country intentionally harming United States citizens. Not only from other countries, but any harm to make a statement against the US government.

  • Brice

    I think that the US should define terrorism as another country intentionally harming United States citizens. Not only from other countries, but any harm to make a statement against the US government.

  • M. Anonymous

    I agree with the CIA’s definition of terrorism because it is premeditated and is carried out on noncombatant targets. So this is why I completely agree with the article above.

  • M. Anonymous

    I agree with the CIA’s definition of terrorism because it is premeditated and is carried out on noncombatant targets. So this is why I completely agree with the article above.

  • Bailey C.

    Terrorism is the act of inflicting panic & pain on others. It’s unnecessary & I don’t understand why people do it. Anything that puts pain or panic on another person should be defined as terrorism. It shouldn’t matter how large or small the event it. Also, if it’s done by a U.S. citizen, it should still be considered as terrorism & they should be treated just as awful as we’d treat someone from middle-eastern countries.

  • Bailey C.

    Terrorism is the act of inflicting panic & pain on others. It’s unnecessary & I don’t understand why people do it. Anything that puts pain or panic on another person should be defined as terrorism. It shouldn’t matter how large or small the event it. Also, if it’s done by a U.S. citizen, it should still be considered as terrorism & they should be treated just as awful as we’d treat someone from middle-eastern countries.

  • lindsey b

    I think that any form of direct and intentional violence towards our country should be counted as terrorism. I don’t think that it has anything to do with what your race or religion is and i agree with the CIA. I also thing that something should be done about it. Even if the definition has changed over the years, people are still going to commit acts of terrorism that could kill or injure many innocent people.

  • lindsey b

    I think that any form of direct and intentional violence towards our country should be counted as terrorism. I don’t think that it has anything to do with what your race or religion is and i agree with the CIA. I also thing that something should be done about it. Even if the definition has changed over the years, people are still going to commit acts of terrorism that could kill or injure many innocent people.

  • Kelly

    The United States should define terrorism as the use of violence towards someone. It is sad that these 2 men killed and injured people. I think it was wrong for the cops to go into a battle with these 2 men because they killed one and the other was injured. Yet, they also had no choice because they are protecting the city and the people. You can not really tell whether if this was terror or terrorism because we do not have any reason on why they did this and who was in charge of this.They are still investigating to see what was going on and who was behind this whole mastermind. But there mother of the 2 men is on the United States terrorist list. They say that the mother Zubeidat was placed on the list 18 months ago. Also her son that is now deceased were added to the databased in 2011, which was requested by the Russian government. Most people live in terror because everything is happening around the world and we can not stop it or go back in time to change things. It is hard for a lot of people because they have to deal with what happened and that their love one is gone. This impacts the way I see the world because everything been happening, but we have no answers to why they did this and what was the cause for them to do this. I hope one day that things will be different and that we all can live peacefully in our world.

  • Kelly

    The United States should define terrorism as the use of violence towards someone. It is sad that these 2 men killed and injured people. I think it was wrong for the cops to go into a battle with these 2 men because they killed one and the other was injured. Yet, they also had no choice because they are protecting the city and the people. You can not really tell whether if this was terror or terrorism because we do not have any reason on why they did this and who was in charge of this.They are still investigating to see what was going on and who was behind this whole mastermind. But there mother of the 2 men is on the United States terrorist list. They say that the mother Zubeidat was placed on the list 18 months ago. Also her son that is now deceased were added to the databased in 2011, which was requested by the Russian government. Most people live in terror because everything is happening around the world and we can not stop it or go back in time to change things. It is hard for a lot of people because they have to deal with what happened and that their love one is gone. This impacts the way I see the world because everything been happening, but we have no answers to why they did this and what was the cause for them to do this. I hope one day that things will be different and that we all can live peacefully in our world.

  • Grace

    ” 1.White terrorists are called “gunmen.” What does that even mean? A person with a gun? Wouldn’t that be, like, everyone in the US? Other terrorists are called, like, “terrorists.”

    2. White terrorists are “troubled loners.” Other terrorists are always suspected of being part of a global plot, even when they are obviously troubled loners.

    3. Doing a study on the danger of white terrorists at the Department of Homeland Security will get you sidelined by angry white Congressmen. Doing studies on other kinds of terrorists is a guaranteed promotion.

    4. The family of a white terrorist is interviewed, weeping as they wonder where he went wrong. The families of other terrorists are almost never interviewed.

    5. White terrorists are part of a “fringe.” Other terrorists are apparently mainstream.

    6. White terrorists are random events, like tornadoes. Other terrorists are long-running conspiracies.

    7. White terrorists are never called “white.” But other terrorists are given ethnic affiliations.

    8. Nobody thinks white terrorists are typical of white people. But other terrorists are considered paragons of their societies.

    9. White terrorists are alcoholics, addicts or mentally ill. Other terrorists are apparently clean-living and perfectly sane.

    10. There is nothing you can do about white terrorists. Gun control won’t stop them. No policy you could make, no government program, could possibly have an impact on them. But hundreds of billions of dollars must be spent on police and on the Department of Defense, and on TSA, which must virtually strip search 60 million people a year, to deal with other terrorists.”

    written by
    Juan Cole

  • Grace

    ” 1.White terrorists are called “gunmen.” What does that even mean? A person with a gun? Wouldn’t that be, like, everyone in the US? Other terrorists are called, like, “terrorists.”

    2. White terrorists are “troubled loners.” Other terrorists are always suspected of being part of a global plot, even when they are obviously troubled loners.

    3. Doing a study on the danger of white terrorists at the Department of Homeland Security will get you sidelined by angry white Congressmen. Doing studies on other kinds of terrorists is a guaranteed promotion.

    4. The family of a white terrorist is interviewed, weeping as they wonder where he went wrong. The families of other terrorists are almost never interviewed.

    5. White terrorists are part of a “fringe.” Other terrorists are apparently mainstream.

    6. White terrorists are random events, like tornadoes. Other terrorists are long-running conspiracies.

    7. White terrorists are never called “white.” But other terrorists are given ethnic affiliations.

    8. Nobody thinks white terrorists are typical of white people. But other terrorists are considered paragons of their societies.

    9. White terrorists are alcoholics, addicts or mentally ill. Other terrorists are apparently clean-living and perfectly sane.

    10. There is nothing you can do about white terrorists. Gun control won’t stop them. No policy you could make, no government program, could possibly have an impact on them. But hundreds of billions of dollars must be spent on police and on the Department of Defense, and on TSA, which must virtually strip search 60 million people a year, to deal with other terrorists.”

    written by
    Juan Cole

  • Alis Manoogian

    Terrorism should be defined as any harmful threat or attack from an outside group on another group of people. For example, 9/11 was an attack by a group of people not from America. A terrorist is a person that creates terror. This can be found at different levels, including less harmful and extremely detrimental situations. As an American, I personally feel that as a country we were attacked at the Boston Marathon. Although I was not in Boston when the bombing occurred, I still felt that the attack on fellow Americans at the marathon was an attack on all people living in America. For that reason, I consider the bombing at the Boston Marathon as a terrorist attack.

  • Alis Manoogian

    Terrorism should be defined as any harmful threat or attack from an outside group on another group of people. For example, 9/11 was an attack by a group of people not from America. A terrorist is a person that creates terror. This can be found at different levels, including less harmful and extremely detrimental situations. As an American, I personally feel that as a country we were attacked at the Boston Marathon. Although I was not in Boston when the bombing occurred, I still felt that the attack on fellow Americans at the marathon was an attack on all people living in America. For that reason, I consider the bombing at the Boston Marathon as a terrorist attack.

  • Nick M

    I completely agree. To expand upon your definition, terrorism is considered a far worse threat than a typical murder case in that, because the intention is “to threaten and coerce the government”, it is something that could reoccur if not dealt with in a timely matter. This is not to say that people who kill mindlessly and endlessly are better than terrorists, but there is a difference. There must be that motivation to strike fear into a group of people in order for it to be considered “terrorism”.

  • Tucker C.

    CONFLICT IS INEVITABLE.

  • Tucker C.

    If laws were set in stone the Supreme Court would be useless. Our Amendments would be futile and not incorporated to be put into effect. Laws change with time, and technological advances, as do words and their definitions. The government actually defines terrorism; “terrorism” is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.” It is not “relative” as “some people” ignorantly say. Laws set in stone would oppress future generations. Our founding fathers saw this and I wish you could too.