The Definition of Terrorist

Definition of Terrorism
[Source: Patterns of Global Terrorism. Washington: Dept. of State, 2001: vi]

No one definition of terrorism has gained universal acceptance. For the purposes of this report, however, we have chosen the definition of terrorism contained in Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 2656f(d). That statute contains the following definitions:

The term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant (1) targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.

The term “international terrorism” means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country.

The term “terrorist group” means any group practicing, or that has significant subgroups that practice, international terrorism.

The U.S. Government has employed this definition of terrorism for statistical and analytical purposes since 1983.

Domestic terrorism is probably a more widespread phenomenon than international terrorism. Because international terrorism has a direct impact on U.S. interests, it is the primary focus of this report. However, the report also describes, but does not provide statistics on, significant developments in domestic terrorism.

(1) For purposes of this definition, the term “noncombatant” is interpreted to include, in addition to civilians, military personnel who at the time of the incident are unarmed and/or not on duty. For example, in past reports we have listed as terrorist incidents the murders of the following U.S. military personnel: Col. James Rowe, killed in Manila in April 1989; Capt. William Nordeen, U.S. defense attache killed in Athens in June 1988; the two servicemen killed in the La Belle disco bombing in West Berlin in April 1986; and the four off-duty U.S. Embassy Marine guards killed in a cafe in El Salvador in June 1985. We also consider as acts of terrorism attacks on military installations or on armed military personnel when a state of military hostilities does not exist at the site, such as bombings against U.S. bases in Europe, the Philippines, or elsewhere.

So – now that we have the legal US definition of terrorism, we can begin to explore some more possibilities.

Since we know from above (The term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant (1) targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.) then we also know that Julian Assange was a noncombatant (because he was cooperating with law enforcement with regard to the allegations from Sweden) and was a target (and continues to be) of subnational groups or clandestine agents (retired Military Personel – perhaps?) through their incitement to murder Assange claims on public television – that it’s not in fact Julian who is the terrorist.  Those people were acting on behalf of the United States – so does that make the United States a terrorist organization or nation?

The road goes both ways.  If people are going to call Wikileaks and Assange “terrorists and/or terrorist organizations” then perhaps the balance should be too given to the US.  The US cannot simply make it a one road ordeal.  If Assange is a terrorist – then so is the US.  Its as simple as that.  And there is much evidence to say that the US (outside of the Wikileaks/Assange affair) have engaged in terrorist acts – and all of those are outlined in the released cables by Wikileaks.

What do they always say….”it takes on to know one?”

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