To be able to identify a terrorist, we must be able to define the terrorist whether it is an individual, an organization, or a sponsoring state.
Freedom fighters are generally defined as a local organization, possibly military or pari-military, that is fighting a military force that is believed to be illegally occupying the local territory (Ash 2001). Freedom fighters were instrumental in impeding Nazi aggression across Europe during WWII. Guerrilla warfare is fought by small bands of irregular soldiers usually against an oppressive government in their own country, and generally restricts its targets to military and government facilities.
The FBI, CIA, State Department, and United Nations all agree that to attain the label of terrorist they must target the civilian population (Beres n.d.). It may be an individual, a group, an organization, or a country that funds and advocates terrorism. Terrorism must use misappropriated violence or the threat of violence against the civilian populace to alarm or intimidate a government. The Department of Defense further defines terrorism as, "...violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives" (Beres n.d.).