Terrorism is a savage definition in my mind. It has snapping teeth and any cage found for it will eventually be shattered with energetic fury. It seems to be a beast created out of instinct and all methods of rationality cannot temper it. Terrorism brings to my mind scarred buildings, burnt metal, burnt flesh, screaming, despair and above all else, this incredible divine pain, as if Hell had burst through the Earth’s crust and finally tried to show itself physically.

            My definition of terrorism doesn’t hinge on the presence of violence, the classification of the victims, the underlying political objective, or the identification of the perpetrator. Former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, said, “Terrorists thrive on despair” (Fedi). In Bloody Sunday, the IRA passed out rifles in the thick of despair. Terrorism is about leaving a lasting imprint on the human mind. One that the nerve synapses can connect to the most ancient part of the brain, the instinctual and the emotional. “The psychological impact of a terrorist act is intended to be greater than the damage caused. The goal of terrorism is to send a message, not defeat the enemy (Barnett and Reynolds 18)”.

            Terrorism is “propaganda by deed” (Barnett and Reynolds 29). It can be carried out by a state, as France, Russia, and Germany all showcased, or it can be carried out through the actions of independent civilians of any nationality. Ultimately, it destabilizes and intimidates the foundations of established society. 

Works Cited

Barnett, Brooke, and Reynolds, Amy. Terrorism and the Press: An Uneasy Relationship. New      York City: Peter Lang Publishing, 2009. Print.

Fedi, Namuezi, et al. Terrorism? Department of International Humanitarian Law-Belgian Red       Cross.