There are many different definitions of the term “terrorism.” The United States Law Code states that “[The term] terrorism means any group, or which has significant subgroups which practice, international terrorism.”[1] In Terrorism and the Press, one of the definitions mentioned was from the International Encyclopedia of Terrorism: “the selective or indiscriminate use of violence in order to bring about political change by inducing fear.[2] To me, I find that the term “terrorism” can be defined as a means of communication: terrorism is when the terrorists (the sender) attack other innocent civilians (create an act) to send messages to the rest of the public (the receivers). These messages might be to influence what people do, to threaten others, or merely to express hatred, etc.

The word “terrorism” had never existed in my own dictionary until what happened on 9/11/2001: two airplanes were crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, one into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the last one into a field, killing all abroad. Thousands of people lost their lives. For the first time, I identified those attackers as terrorists, who sent their messages of threats by killing the innocents and destroying what America stands for: freedom, liberty, and equal rights of men and women of all races, backgrounds, and beliefs. They created and spread terror among the rest of those who were survivors living in fears.


Barnett, Brooke & Reynolds, Amy (2009). Terrorism and the Press. New York: Peter Lang Publishing

Cornell University Law School. § 2656f. Annual country reports on terrorism. Retrieved 3/10/2010 from—f000-.html

Journal of the American Enterprise Institute. What Makes a Terrorist. Retrieved 3/10/2010 from


[2] Barnett, Brooke & Reynolds, Amy (2009). Terrorism and the Press. New York: Peter Lang Publishing