To answer this question let us look at the definition of terrorism.
Political terrorism is a mode of warfare and has a different meaning for different people and in this is the conundrum in defining political terrorism. For the developed world the Libyan-supported attacks on the airports at Rome and Vienna in 1985 were acts of political terrorism by Libya and the revolutionary elements using armed struggle to promote their aims at securing freedom. From the perspective of Libya, however it was the retaliatory attack by the powerful United States of America in 1986 that was an act of political terrorism, for it was purely with the objective of putting fear into Libya and the insurgent groups that violence would be met with violence. Thus searching for a universally accepted definition of political terrorism is futile exercise and there would be better reward in trying to understand what political terrorism means (Merari, 2007).
There are three basic elements that go into providing an understanding of political terrorism. The first is that the destructive violence seen in mode of warfare of political violent is unlike the conventional open combat and is essentially in used by stealth. The second basic element is the principal targets of this violence is political and even when the targets are not political, the message attempted to be communicated through the violence is political. The final basic element in political terrorism is that it is used by insurgent groups against the state or as recourse by the state. Thus the main players in political terrorism are insurgent groups acting against the state or the state by itself (Ronczkowski, 2004).
Terror as a weapon has a long history and is not a development of the twentieth century. However, the nature of terrorism that society faces today is far different from the earlier experiences and as a coherent philosophy is rooted in ...
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