Many people think of terrorism as extraordinary, yet global peace is actually quite rare, existing for only brief periods during this century. According to some scholars that terrorism is “violence or threat of violence employed by an individual or a group as a political strategy” (Church, 2003). While for the government agencies terrorism is the systematic use of violence or threat of violence by organized groups to achieve specific goals. Terrorist activities may be directed against individuals, organizations, or governments. Methods used include murder, torture, kidnapping, hijacking, and destruction of poverty (Jenkins, 2000). Very often terrorists succeed in frightening people into cooperating with them by threats and intimidation. In addition, terrorism is often employed by radical groups to obtain concessions from established governments, such as change in policies unfavorable to them or the release of imprisoned members of their organizations, and to gain the attention of the news media. Terrorist violence is particularly effective for small groups with limited military and financial resources.
I would say that the government’s agencies have the most accurate definition because they specify and elaborate what terrorism is and point out the forms of assaults pertain to terrorism. Scholars’ definition for this word is deficient because they are unable to elaborate but give general and broad definition for the word. They fail to point out the ways and the possible purposes why terrorism happens. Usually, terrorism is also used by criminals, particularly by organized groups like the Mafia. They used terrorist threats or acts to force cooperation, extort money, to prevent testimony against them.
1. Church, George J. (2003). “The Terror Within.” Time. Vol. 142, No. 1: 2-27.
2. Jenkins, Brian M. (2000). “Terrorism Remains a Threat.” Syndicated Column, The Columbus Dispatch (January 14, 1999):A10