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    What Is Terrorism and Can We Deal With Its Root Causes?

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    What are the most common terrorist qualities? What are the primary motivations driving the terrorists to commit terrorist acts? Why is it difficult to deter this motivation?

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    In today's world, it has become increasingly difficult to find a clear definition of terrorism as the media in their effort to "save space," have begun to apply the word to almost any abhorrent act of violence. Actions of political dissidents, organized crime, mob violence, militants, and/or psychotics may be defined by many as terrorism.
    ? The Cambridge Dictionary defines terrorism as "(threats of) violent action for political purposes" (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/terrorism?q=terrorism).
    ? The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines terrorism as "A system of terror. 1. Government by intimidation as directed and carried out by the party in power in France during the revolution of 1789-94; the system of 'Terror'. 2. gen. A policy intended to strike with terror those against whom it is adopted; the employment of methods of intimidation; the fact of terrorizing or condition of being terrorized" (Hoffman, B. 1998; Oxford English Dictionary, nd).
    ? Merriam Webster (1996) gives the following definition: "1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. 2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization. 3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government."
    Bruce Hoffman (1998) regards all of these definitions "unsatisfying." Hoffman considers terrorism as "fundamentally and inherently political" (Hoffman, B., 1998). ...

    Solution Summary

    Defining terrorism and its causes is complicated and difficult. There are no absolutes in its causes or the motivation of its perpetrators, but it is generally used against unarmed citizens in order to frighten and coerce them into submitting to the desires of those who perform their abhorrent acts. This paper addresses why it is so difficult to define and to fight terrorism.