Terrorism Defined

Terrorism: interpretation

(1) In this Act “terrorism” means the use or threat of action where:

            (a) the action falls within subsection (2),

            (b) the use or threat is designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and

            (c) the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.

(2) Action falls within this subsection if it:

            (a) involves serious violence against a person,

            (b) involves serious damage to property,

            (c) endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action,

            (d) creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or

            (e) is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.

(3) The use or threat of action falling within subsection (2) which involves the use of firearms or explosives is terrorism whether or not subsection (1)(b) is satisfied.

I believe in the UK’s definition of Terrorism, which was defined in their Terrorism Act of 2000 passed by Parliament.  It states that in order for an event to be considered “terrorism” it has to affect the bigger picture. Part 1a, which leads us to part 2, states terms in which the “action” may fall under as terrorism. For example, violence against a person, causing serious damage to property, and creating a serious risk to the public would meet the criteria defined in part 2. Part 1b and 1c go on to describe how the event will need to affect the government. For example, the Oklahoma city bombing orchestrated by Timothy McVeigh would be classified as “terrorism” as it killed 168 people, destroyed a federal building, and was designed to inspire a revolt against our government.”

I believe this is an all-encompassing definition; it has clear criteria which have to be met in order to be defined as “Terrorism.” It looks at the scope of the event and how the government reacts once it has taken place. This definition not only allows September 11 to be classified as Terrorism, but events such as the Oklahoma City bombing as well – a threat to the people, country and government.