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One verision of the definition of terrorism is "the calculated use of violence or the threat of violence to introduce fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological."
This definition was carefully made to distinguish between terrorism and other kinds of violence. The act of terrorism is defined and very independent of the cause that motivates it. People employ terrorist violence in the name of many causes. The tendency to label as terrorism any violent act of which we do not approve is wrong. Terrorism is a specific kind of violence. There are many different variations of the definition of terrorism. 

Today, there is no universally accepted definition of terrorism. Countries define the term according to their own beliefs and to support their own national interests. International bodies, when they craft a definition, do so in the interests of their member states. Academics striving to define terrorism are also subject to their own political points of viewClick Here for Many More Definitions

There are different types of terrorism throughout the world, but the U.S classifys these groups into three basic catagories. These are, International Terrorist Groups,Transnational Terrorist Groups, and Domestic Terrorist Groups. We are now breaking these groups into just two. State sponsered and non-state sponsered. 

Among these groups there is obviously different motivations  for terrorism. One must always remember that a group that one views or labels as a terrorist organization may also be veiwed by others as freedom fighters. It has been stated that almost all idealogically inspired terrorist are extremist of one type or another and believe that any means is justifed to carry out thier idealogical objective. 

Some of these different motivations are political or religious and sometimes both, others are those such as eco-terrorism. There are three basic sub-motivations. These are the Rational Motivation, Psychological Motivation and Cultural Motivation. 
There are many reasons that inspire terrorists. As a student of terrorism myself I classify them into three separate categories: cultural, psychological, and rational. A terrorists ideas and values will be shaped by combinations of these.

RATIONAL MOTIVATION: A rational person , i.e., . (terrorist) thinks through his goals and options, making the most cost effective or benefit analysis. Think like a terrorist in this manner. It is the same rational analysis similar to a business owner or that of a military commander, considering all available courses of action.

PSYCHOLOGICAL MOTIVATION: Psychological motivation for a terrorist arises from the individual terrorist's personal dissatisfaction with his own life, government, or accomplishments. A terrorist who is psychologically motivated will always project their own antisocial behaviors and values (motivations) onto anyone they can influence, creating a polarized "US Vs. THEM." Their predictable rationalization is: everyone outside their own group is EVIL. These type of terrorists always NEED a group to belong to, similar to a gang psychology. The terrorist defines their social status or (ego) by the psychology behind group acceptance.

CULTURAL MOTIVATION: It is widely known that cultures shape values and motivate people to actions. It is my experience to accept the fact that there is and intense effect of culture on behavior. I feel that life in general and each individual life in particular is a cultural characteristic that has a tremendous impact on terrorism, especially when in certain societies where people identify themselves in terms of group members.

In such cases regarded as a tribe, clan, or family, there is an undeniable willingness to self-sacrifice seldom seen elsewhere. This is why it is so very easy for a terrorists willingness and be especially eager to give their lives for their (CAUSE, BELIEF OR ORGANIZATION). Remember your life in the eyes of this terrorist is EVIL, within the confines of the terrorist's value system, and you can and will be destroyed with NO REMORSE.

The way terrorist organize themselves all over the world is to function in the specific environments where they are able to carry out the acts of terrorism. Here are some general organization principles to become aware of and how a terrorist thinks. Above all else the most important thing to a terrorist is SECURITY. Why? Because they always operate in a HOSTILE environment.

It does not matter if the terrorist is in Europe, Japan, or the United States, wherever they are it is a hostile environment. Their safety and security is best served in what is called a "CELLULAR STRUCTURE." This is most important because then not one of them can identify more terrorists except the ones in their cell of operation. It is like a safety net to them. It is important for me to explain at this point that terrorist groups that are not supported by a specific government always create what I call a support structure of SYMPATHIZERS, or many people who may have been coerced into supporting or helping them for various reasons.

This system of support can be either ACTIVE OR PASSIVE. By that I mean intelligence collection, recruiting, monetary support, logistics, dissemination of propaganda, or worse, a young child strapped with explosives and sent to a specific target for destruction. Yes, I know this is horrid, but it is a reality in terrorism as is the using of women and children as human shields for covert operations. It is a fact in the life of terrorism.

What qualities a terrorist leader looks for while selecting his followers for an operation? It is difficult to give a categorical answer to this question, but there are certain qualities which one can discern in most terrorists who form part of the hard core of terrorist organisations, as distinguished from the peripheral elements, who play mostly a supportive role: 

First, they believe passionately in the justness of their cause. This is the most important quality, since this is also the most important motivating factor of all their actions. 

Second, the killer instinct; a readiness to kill, not in anger, not in the heat of the moment, not during a fight or a battle, but in cold blood, without any qualms of conscience or feelings of pity or remorse. 

Third, an ability to act a loner, if circumstances so warrant, though in their private lives they may not be loners. Members of conventional armies and insurgent and guerrilla organisations train, live and move together and normally operate in groups, though there may be circumstances when individual members may have to operate alone. On the contrary, in the case of terrorist organisations, they may train and occasionally live together, but, more often than not, their members operate as loners, unless they are engaged in operations such as the hijacking of an aircraft or kidnapping . 

About 60 per cent of the terrorist incidents reported every year are operations in which the terrorists operate as loners -- assassinations, sniper firing, throwing of hand grenades, planting of explosives and so on. To be thus able to operate as a loner requires even greater physical courage and determination than operating in groups. It requires even greater dedication and loyalty than while operating in groups. 

Fourth, a very high degree of physical courage because a terrorist risks not only death, but even worse than death, physical torture if he is caught. 

In 1996 Fmr.President Bill Clinton declared" We will never surrender to terror. America will never abide terrorist. Whereever they come from, wherever they go,we will go after them. We will not rest till they all come to justice. In July of that year several steps were taken to battle terrorism including meetings at the G-7 summit,with Peru,Japan, Eqypt and the Phillipines. In addition to the Antiterrorism and  Effective Death Penalty act of 1996.>Bill Clinton

UPDATED: 01-01-02 

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. 
>George W Bush

Since September 11th 2001, we are now faced with new challenges. The U.S Govenment has taken a completely different posture towards terrorsim because we have been victims of International terrorist. Not only abroad, but now on our own soil. Unfotunatley, it has taken a unspeakable act for the rest of our government organizations to realize the capabilities of International terrorist organizations and their supporters. 

To learn more about terrorism & Counterterrorism you can search the many links listed below. We highly recommend the 
Terrorism Research Center
go to this page for a large link selection.


Interpol Terrorism Wanted
FBI Most Wanted Terrorist

Check out this Tutorial at Planet256.Com
Terrorism Definitions
U.S Foriegn Policy Agenda
WANTED: Osama bin Laden
The Role of Ideology in Terrorists' Target Selection
Global SpecialOPS
CT Studies.Com
Terrorism Reporter
Terrorist Group Profiles
Naval Postgrad School
      Dudley Knox Library
 Index of Groups
J.R's Large Compilation of
Terrorism Related Links
A Few Of Our Favorite Sites
CT & Security Professionals
Bomb Detection Article 
By Sherry l Horowitz
Diplomatic Security Service
Terrorism Research Center
The Institute 
Security Network
 Center for Defense Information
U.S Sate Department
Search for Terrorism
Looksmart - Terrorism
 FirstGov - Terrorism
Google - Terrorism
Yahoo - Terrorism
Lycos - Terrorism
Northern Light / Terrorism
Hotbot - Terrorism
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A personal note from the editor.
J.R's Global Security Resource does not advocate Espionage, Terrorism (foreign or domestic) and Intelligence Collection directed towards the United States Government, or the Private Sector. This site has been published as a learning & information resource for Security Professionals whos goal is to educate themselves on the subjects and  threats that are posed to Americans our allies and our businesses.


U.S Army Course: Intelligence in Combatting Terrorism
Terrorism Research Center 
How To Think Like A Terrorist To Survive Terrorist Times by Nancy J. Gray
Constitutional Rights Foundation America Responds to Terrorism What Is Terrorism?

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