Us Law Definition of Terrorism

Also in 2004, a High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, composed of independent experts, quoting the Secretary-General of the United Nations, called upon States to set aside their differences and adopt the following “political description of terrorism” in the text of a draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism: terrorism – including, but not limited to, the use of force and/or threat, by any person or group of persons acting for or in connection with political, religious, ideological or similar purposes, including the intention to influence a government and/or to frighten the public or any section of the public. The U.S. National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) defines terrorism in the same way as 22 U.S.C. § 2656f(d)(2) of the United States Code. The center also defines a terrorist act as “deliberate; committed by a sub-national or covert agent; politically motivated, including religious, philosophical or culturally symbolic motivations; violent; and against a non-combat target.” [64] The political and emotional connotation of the term “terrorism” makes it difficult to use it in legal discourse. In this sense, Saul notes that: The new definition distinguishes between the motivations of terrorism (religion, ideology, etc.) and the objectives of terrorism (“generally political”). This contrasts with the previous definition, which states that the objectives could be religious in nature. “Terrorism” currently lacks the precision, objectivity and security required by legal discourse. The criminal law seeks to avoid emotional concepts in order to prevent harm to an accused and avoids ambiguous or subjective concepts because they are inconsistent with the principle of retroactivity. If the law was to permit the term, a prior definition was essential for reasons of fairness, and it was not sufficient to leave the definition to unilateral interpretations by States. The legal definition could presumably pull terrorism out of the ideological quagmire by separating an agreed legal meaning from the rest of the elastic political concept. Ultimately, it must do so without criminalizing – and participating in – legitimate violent resistance to oppressive regimes.

[21] Here are some relevant examples of these definitions from various major international organizations: Overall, the “sectoral” conventions thus support the assumption that certain offences in themselves may be considered offences of international interest, regardless of any “terrorist” intent or intent. The main advantage of the “sectoral approach” is that it avoids having to define “terrorism” as “terrorist acts”. As long as the “sector-by-sector” approach was followed, there was no need to define terrorism; A definition would be necessary only if the punishment of the offences concerned was conditional on the existence of a specific “terrorist” intent; However, this would be counterproductive as it would lead to excessive restrictions on their oppression. [32] Academics and practitioners can also be classified according to the definitions of terrorism they use. Max Abrahms introduced the distinction between what he calls “terrorist distortions” and “terrorist dividers.” Lumpers define terrorism broadly and tolerate no difference between this tactic and guerrilla warfare or civil war. In contrast, terrorists narrowly define terrorism as the selective use of force against civilians for perceived political gain. As Abrahms notes, these two definitions have different policy implications: In distinguishing terrorists from other types of criminals and terrorism from other forms of crime, we recognize that terrorism: The FBI strives to remain agile in its approach to the terrorist threat that has evolved since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Years after those attacks, the threat landscape has expanded dramatically and international terrorism remains a serious threat. The threat of domestic terrorism also remains persistent overall, with actors crossing the line from exercising rights from the First Amendment to the commission of crimes to the promotion of violent agendas. Although the reign of terror was imposed by the French government, “terrorism” in modern times generally refers to the killing of people by non-state political activists for political reasons, often in the form of a public statement. This meaning comes from Russian radicals in the 1870s.

Sergei Nechaev, who founded the People`s Punishment (Народная расправа) in 1869, described himself as a “terrorist.” [15] The German radical writer Johann Most helped popularize the modern meaning of the word by giving “advice to terrorists” in the 1880s. [16] Many scholars have proposed working definitions of terrorism. Bruce Hoffman, a well-known scholar, stated: Terrorism expert Walter Laqueur also counted more than 100 definitions and concluded that “the only generally accepted general characteristic is that terrorism involves violence and the threat of violence.” But terrorism is not the only enterprise associated with violence and threats of violence. This also applies to war, coercive diplomacy and bar fights. [11] In this sense, after examining the various academic definitions of terrorism, Vallis concluded that: The international community has been working on two comprehensive counter-terrorism treaties, the 1937 League of Nations Convention on the Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism, which never entered into force, and the comprehensive convention on international terrorism proposed by the United Nations. which is not yet finished. The following year, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan endorsed the High-Level Panel`s definition of terrorism and called on States to set aside their differences and include that definition in the draft comprehensive convention on terrorism before the end of the year. Title 18 of the United States Code (with respect to crimes and criminal procedure) defines international terrorism as follows: Antonio Cassese argued that the language of this and similar UN statements “contains an acceptable definition of terrorism.” [45] The term “terrorism” comes from the French terrorism, from the Latin: terror, “great fear”, “fear”, cognate with the Latin verb terrere, “to frighten”. The Terror cimbricus was a panic and state of emergency in Rome in response to the rapprochement of warriors from the Cimbri tribe in 105 BC. The word terrorism does not have a universally accepted or legally adopted unambiguous definition, as the definition of its scope is politically complex and its selective use is often controversial within and outside national and international legal arenas. In September 2002, the U.S.

National Security Strategy defined terrorism as “premeditated and politically motivated violence against innocent people.” [65] This definition did not exclude the actions of the U.S. government and was characterized a few months later as “deliberate and politically motivated violence against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or covert agents.” [66] Byrnes notes that “this action-oriented approach to addressing terrorism issues in binding international treaties continued until relatively recently. Although political condemnation of terrorism in all its forms has continued at a steady pace, there has been no successful attempt to define the term “terrorism” as a term in the broadest sense that is satisfactory for legal purposes. There was also some skepticism about the need, desirability and feasibility of an agreed and achievable general definition. [34] Nevertheless, since 2000, the UN General Assembly has been working on a proposal for a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. There is no general consensus on the definition of terrorism. The difficulty in defining terrorism lies in its risk of taking a stand. The political value of the term currently takes precedence over its legal value.

Left to its political significance, terrorism is easily the victim of changes that correspond to the interests of certain States at certain times. The Taliban and Osama bin Laden were once called freedom fighters (mujahideen) and supported by the CIA when they opposed the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Now they are at the top of international terrorist lists. Today, the United Nations considers Palestinians to be freedom fighters fighting Israel`s illegal occupation of their land and participating in long-established legitimate resistance, but Israel considers them terrorists. The effects of the current preponderance of political value over the legal value of terrorism are costly, leaving the war on terrorism selective, incomplete and ineffective. [25] It is not only individual agencies within the same machinery of government that cannot agree on a uniform definition of terrorism.