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2002 Los Angeles Airport Shooting

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On July 4, 2002, an Egyptian citizen who was living in Irvine, CA but had recently returned from a visit to Egypt pulled a gun at the El Al counter at LAX International Airport, started shooting and stabbing, killing two people and wounding others before he himself was killed by a security guard. FBI concluded that this act was not a terrorist act.

Should this have been deemed a terrorist act under the definition of terrorism that is applied by the FBI? Is this considered a terrorist act or not?

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Solution Summary

A definition of terrorism is given in the response, along with whether the scenario in the question fits this definition. Discrimination is also discussed. References are included for this 1,057 word response.

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Terrorism is defined by the FBI defines "the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives." This definition applies to both domestic and international incidents depending on the origin, base, and objectives of those individuals or organizations. Terrorism is investigated by the agency without the focus of race, religion, national origin, or gender. The objective of the agency is not to stereotype entire groups of people by the actions of members from a ethnic group that may have engaged in terrorist activity. In this regard it is Important for YOU to realize that just because the Egyptian man was from a Muslim country, does not entail that his actions were terroristic.

The FBI has a long history in fighting what it perceives as domestic and international terrorism beginning with the early Civil Rights Movement wherein the agency began to label many of the groups associated with anti-Vietnam and pro-black movements as domestic terrorists. The view of the FBI is that groups that attempt to espouse ideology that is conducive to attempting to overthrow the government or forcing political and social objectives could be considered as terrorist.

The scenario mentioned within your post does not fit terrorism under the definition given by the FBI. This is because the scenario does not entail any political or social ideology as far as was put in the posting. The Egyptian man may have been experiencing a ...

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