Portal:Terrorism

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Terrorism Portal

Terrorism is the main systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. At present, there is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a "lone wolf" attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants. Some definitions also include acts of unlawful violence and war. The history of terrorist organizations suggests that they do not select terrorism for its political effectiveness. Individual terrorists tend to be motivated more by a desire for social solidarity with other members of their organization than by political platforms or strategic objectives, which are often murky and undefined. The word "terrorism" is politically and emotionally charged, and this greatly compounds the difficulty of providing a precise definition. Studies have found over 100 definitions of “terrorism”. The concept of terrorism is itself controversial because it is often used by states to delegitimize political or foreign opponents, and potentially legitimize the state's own use of terror against them. A less politically and emotionally charged, and better defined, term (used not only for terrorists, and not including all those who have been described as terrorists) is violent non-state actor. Terrorism has been practiced by a broad array of political organizations for furthering their objectives. It has been practiced by both right-wing and left-wing political parties, nationalistic groups, religious groups, revolutionaries, and ruling governments. One form is the use of violence against noncombatants for the purpose of gaining publicity for a group, cause, or individual.

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Supreme Court of Victoria
R v Thomas was an Australian court case decided in the Victorian Court of Appeal on 18 August 2006. It concerned the conviction in February 2006 of Joseph Thomas (nicknamed "Jihad Jack" in the media) on terrorism-related charges, specifically receiving funds from Al Qaeda. The appeal revolved around the admissibility of a confession Thomas made during an interrogation in Pakistan in 2003. The court found that the evidence, which was crucial to Thomas' convictions, was inadmissible because it had not been given voluntarily. The court accordingly quashed his convictions, but after further hearings ordered on 20 December 2006 that he be retried rather than acquitted.

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Wood Green ricin plot
Credit: United States Department of State

Colin Powell's UN presentation slide showing alleged "UK poison cell" as part of global network.

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Beverly Eckert

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7 July 2005 London bombings

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Ziad Jarrah
Ziad Jarrah was named by the FBI as one of the hijackers of United Airlines Flight 93 as part of the September 11, 2001 attacks. He is believed to have taken over as the pilot of the aircraft and made an unsuccessful attempt to crash the plane into either the White House or the U.S. Capitol. After a wealthy and secular upbringing, Jarrah became involved in the September 11 conspiracy in college. Unique among the hijackers, he had a girlfriend and was close to his family. There are disputes concerning whether or not Jarrah was actually on Flight 93, although the 9/11 Commission concluded that his was not a case of mistaken identity.

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David B. Frohnmayer
The Rajneeshees committed the most significant crimes of their kind in the history of the United States. The largest single incident of fraudulent marriages, the most massive scheme of wiretapping and bugging, and the largest domestic mass poisoning.

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