Explore BrainMass

Terrorism: Definition, Criteria and more

After reading the following articles I have answered the below questions but I still need help to ensure accuracy, thanks.

1. Why is it difficult to define terrorism?
2. Describe the criteria used to define terrorism. How does the criteria relate to the history and patterns of terrorism since 1945?
3. Why do terrorists commit terrorism?
4. What are Ahmad's recommendations to America? Do you agree or disagree with his recommendations? Why or why not?
5. Would you consider the American Revolution an act of terrorism? Why or why not? Support your argument using logic or information obtained from this article or other peer-reviewed journals.
6. Examine and explain the terms of "just war" and the "right to revolution" in terms of the current understanding of terrorism.
7. In your opinion, how does the changing role of Hezbollah in Lebanon possible change the definition of a terrorist organization? (Add your response to this question immediately after your response to Question 5)


Solution Preview

Hope this helps you.
Thanks for using BrainMass.

1. Why is it difficult to define terrorism?

Defining terrorism implies a "commitment to analysis, comprehension and adherence to some norms of consistency" (Ahmad, E., 1998, p. 47), which is impossible since terrorism is a subjective term described by a person, group or government to accommodate its interest in that particular moment in time. Keeley explained that during the 1980 there were two groups fighting against what they called an unjust government. The US government backed the group in Nicaragua while the group in El Salvador was condemned, which is an example of the subjectivity of the definition of the word terrorism.

2a. Describe the criteria used to define terrorism.

Keely's uses certain parameters to define terrorism. The first criterion is that motivation is of no concern because the cause is not considered as just or unjust. Second, it is a tactic to achieve certain aims, not an end itself. Third, it uses violence in an indiscriminate way, generally against civilians non- combatants in pursuit of its aim. Fourth, it is used either by revolutionary insurgents attacking an existing regime or by that regime to protect itself from being overthrown. Lastly, it is considered a symbolic act designed to influence political behavior by extraordinary means, including the use or threat of violence.

2b. How does the criteria relate to the history and patterns of terrorism since 1945?

After the establishment of Israel, the Palestine people lost their country and the Palestine Liberation Organization was the center of terrorist attacks that filled ...

Solution Summary

The solution includes answers to a selection of questions using the documents provided. The topic includes dificulty of defining terrorism, what criteria should be use, reasons why terrorism exists, role of Hezbollah and why would the American Revolution would be considered terrorism by today's standards.