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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World Trade Center aerial view March 2001
The World Trade Center (WTC) was a complex in Lower Manhattan in New York City whose seven buildings were destroyed in 2001 in the September 11 terrorist attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with six new skyscrapers and a memorial to the casualties of the attacks. The original World Trade Center was designed by Minoru Yamasaki in the early 1960s using a tube-frame structural design for the twin 110-story towers. In gaining approval for the project, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey agreed to take over the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad which became the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH). Groundbreaking for the World Trade Center took place on August 5, 1966. The North Tower (1) was completed in December 1970 and the South Tower (2) was finished in July 1971. Construction of the World Trade Center involved excavating a large amount of material which was used in making Battery Park City on the west side of Lower Manhattan. The complex was located in the heart of New York City's downtown financial district and contained 13.4 million square feet (1.24 million m2) of office space. The Windows on the World restaurant was located on the 106th and 107th floors of the North Tower, while the Top of the World observation deck was located on the 107th floor of the South Tower. Other World Trade Center buildings included the Marriott World Trade Center; 4 World Trade Center; 5 World Trade Center; 6 World Trade Center, which housed the United States Customs; and 7 World Trade Center, which was built in 1985. The World Trade Center experienced a fire on February 13, 1975 and a bombing on February 26, 1993. In 1998, the Port Authority decided to privatize the World Trade Center, leasing the buildings to a private company to manage, and awarded the lease to Silverstein Properties in July 2001. On the morning of September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda-affiliated hijackers flew two 767 jets into the complex, one into each tower, in a coordinated suicide attack - resulting in 2,750 deaths. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), established in November 2001 to oversee the rebuilding process, organized competitions to select a site plan and memorial design. Memory Foundations, designed by Daniel Libeskind, was selected as the master plan, which included the 1,776-foot (541 m) 1 World Trade Center, three office towers along Church Street and a memorial designed by Michael Arad.

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A picture of the plaque at Bologna Centrale.
Credit: Zweifel

The Bologna massacre (Italian: Strage di Bologna) was a terrorist bombing at the Central Station of Bologna, Italy on the morning of 2 August 1980, which killed 85 people and wounded more than 200. The attack has been attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari and connected to the EU investigated Operation Gladio.

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Twin towers of the World Trade Center burning.

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Assata Shakur
Assata Shakur (born 1947) is an African-American activist who was a member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army. From 1971 to 1973, Shakur was accused of several crimes, of which she would never be convicted, and made the subject of a multi-state manhunt. In May 1973, Shakur was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike, during which she and Trooper James Harper were wounded; New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and BLA member Zayd Malik Shakur suffered fatal injuries. In 1977, she was convicted of the first-degree murder of Foerster and of seven other felonies related to the shootout. Between 1973 and 1977, Shakur was indicted in relation to six other alleged criminal incidents—charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, bank robbery, and kidnapping—resulting in three acquittals and three dismissals. Shakur was then incarcerated in several facilities, where her treatment drew criticism from some human rights groups. She escaped from prison in 1979 and has been living in Cuba with political asylum since 1984. Since May 2, 2005, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has classified her as a "domestic terrorist" and offered a $1 million reward for assistance in her capture. Attempts to extradite her have resulted in letters to the pope and a Congressional resolution. Shakur was the aunt of hip hop artist Tupac Shakur (the sister of his stepfather, Mutulu Shakur), and her life has been portrayed in literature, film, and song.

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Marlin Fitzwater
I think this conflict [against terrorism] is going to require a suspension of freedom and rights unlike anything we have ever seen, at least since World War II.

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