Introduction and Background
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion or as a means of achieving political goals. According to MacColn Shaw the use of terror as a means of achieving political ends is not a new phenomenon. The term “Terrorism” was originally used to describe the actions of the Jacobean Club during the “Region of Terror” in the French Revolution. The Jacobian leader, Macmillan Robespierre stated that “Terror is nothing other than justice prompt, severe, inflexible”. The Jacobians successfully imposed a reign of terror in Paris and its environs during the French Revolution. After the Jacobians lost power, the word “Terrorist” became a term of nouse and derision.

The word “Terorrism” is politically and emotionally charged and this greatly compounds the difficulty faced by scholars political analyst and international law in providing a precise or universally acceptable definition. Researcher has shown that there are over a hundred definitions of terrorism. The concept of terrorism is controversial in that it is often used by state authorities to delegitimize political opponents and perceived dissisents while the same time it may be used to legitimize the use of force by the state against other group or the opposition. Such use of force may be described similarly as “terror” by opponents of the state.
Terrorism has been practiced by a broad array of political organization, militants groups, religious extremist, merce navy agents etc, for the furtherance of their objectives. It has been practiced by both rightwing and leftwing political parties, nationalistic groups, religious groups, revolutionary organizations and non combatants for the purpose of gaining publicity for a group, cause or individual.
At present, the international community has not been able to formulate a universally acceptable legally building definition of terrorism under criminal law. Common definition of terrorism refer to only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear and are perpetrated for an ideological goals. Such acts are carried out deliberately and with conscious disregard for the safety of non combatants, the civilians populations and other innocents.
Some simply define terrorism as acts of unlawful violence and war. The history of terrorism organizations and their activities suggest that they do not select terrorism for its political effectiveness purse. Individual terrorists tend to be motivated more by a desire for social solidarity with other members of their organization than by political plat forms or strategic objectives. Some of these objectives are often nurky and undefined.
In November 2004, a special UN report issued by the office of the secretary general described terrorism as any act intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from dong an act….
Over the years, the world community has continued to grapple with the problem of a definition of the term terrorism which would be seen as acceptable or that would serve to situate the place of terrorism under international law. It has been impossible for even the UN to conclude a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. In 1994, the UN General Assembly described terrorism as “Criminal Acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of person or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstances unjustifiable, whatever the consideration of political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them … ref 22
Terrorism is carried out in a variety of ways. Some of their tactics include assassination, hijacking, kidnapping, bombing, arson, sabotage, and other forms of destruction. Terrorists activities aim at producing fear among the civilian population and within the institution of government either as a means of changing the existing order of things or to draw attention to the demands of the group.
Since the end of the cold war, terrorism and related activities have gained enormous prominence in the calculation of the government of the United States. The state Department defined terrorism as “political motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-regional groups or clandestine agents ..ref 23
Critics of United States foreign policy argue that the US view of terrorism is narrow and self serving. They argue that any group fighting against American interest and those of her allies are seen as terrorist groups while those agreeable with American intentions are considered “free fighters”. Several organizations which play important role in the international system today could be branded terrorist organization on one hand or freedom fighters on the other depending on whose view is being espoused. The IRA, the Taliban, Al-qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, PLO etc are viewed as terrorist group by the western democracies while others view them as freedom fighters in the struggle to liberate their lands and people from various forms of oppressions.
As a result, International law and indeed the United Nations is faced with the serious problem of common agreement on the common issue of definition, who is a terrorist, what constitutes terrorist act and the legitimacy otherwise of terrorist activities. These political differences not withstanding, reasonable progress has been made at both international and regional levels, to establish basic rules in dealing with terrorists activities and its perception around the world. The September 2001, attack on the World Trade Centre in New York marked a turning point in the desire to reach a common consensus and understanding in the perception of terrorist activities. More than ever before September 11 drew global condemnation because of the barbarism and sheer destruction of the attack. Even countries and groups that previously maintained ambiguous position on the issue of terrorism came out boldly to voice their condemnation of the act in addition to moving previously dormant UN action on terrorism to higher level.
The UN adhoc committee on terrorism came up with a Declaration in 1994 on measures to eliminate International Terrorism. The declaration condemned “all acts, methods and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, whenever and by whoever committed ref 5. The declaration to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group or person or persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature may be involve to justify them. The declaration obliged states to refrain from organizing terrorist activities and to take practical measures to ensure that their territories are not used for terrorist installations, training camps or for the preparation of terrorist acts against other states. States are further obliged to apprehend and prosecute or extradite perpetrators of terrorist acts and to co-operate with other states in exchanging information and combating terrorism6.
The controversial and emotional bases upon which the issue of terrorism is ensconced explain why scholars, politicians and the media deign to be careful in their use of the term in order achieve a level of relatively acceptable impartiality.

Types of Terrorism
In 1975, the US government set up a task force to study the issue of terrorism. In its report, the task force classified terrorism into six main categories.
1.         Civil Disorder: This is a form of collective violence which has the tendency to interfere with the peace, security and normal functioning of the community.
2.         Political Terrorism: This is a violent criminal behaviour designed primarly to generate fear in the community or substantial segment of the community for political purposes.
3.         Non-political Terrorism: An act of terrorism that is not aimed at political purposes but which exhibits a conscious design to create and maintain a high degree of fear for coercive purpose but the end is individual or collective gain rather than the achievement of a political objective.
4.         Quasi-Terrorism: The activities incidental to the commission of crimes of violence that are similar in form and method to genuine terrorism but which nevertheless lack its essential ingredients. It is not the main purpose of the quasi terrorist to undertake terror in the immediate victim as in the case of genuine terrorism, but the quasi terrorist uses the modalities and techniques of the genuine terrorists and produces similar consequences and reaction. For instance, the fleeing felon who takes a hostage or hostages is a quasi terrorist but while his method is similar to those of the genuine terrorist, his purpose is quite different.
5.         Limited Political Terrorism: Genuine political terrorism is characterized by a revolutionary approach while limited terrorism refer to acts of terrorism which are committed for ideological and political motives but which are not part of a concerted campaign to capture control of the state.
6.         Official or State Terrorism: This refers to nations whose rules are based upon fear and oppression. Similar to terrorism or such proportions, it may also be referred to as structural terrorism which may be viewed broadly as terrorist acts carried out by government in pursuit of political objectives of state as part of their foreign policy.
Democracy and Domestic Terrorism: The relationship between domestic terrorism and democracy is very complex. Terrorism is most common in nations with intermediate political freedom and least common in the most advanced democracies. Some example of “terrorism” in non-democracies include ETA in Spain under Francisco Franco, the shining part of Peru, under the Alberto Fujimore, the Kurdistan Workers Party in Turkey under military rulers and the ANC in apartheid South Africa. Democracies such as UK, US, Israel, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines etc have also experienced domestic terrorism.
While a democratic nation espousing civil liberties may claim a sense of higher moral ground than other authoritarian regimes acts of terrorism within such states constitute serious dilnma. The bone of contention have becomes whether to maintain the existing civil liberties at the risk of being perceived as ineffective in dealing with problems or to restrict its civil liberties at the risk of delegitimising its claim of supporting civil liberties.

Terrorist Profile:
Terrorism is a clandestine activity. To work successfully, a terrorist must avoid detection through his manner of neither dress behaviour nor general outlook. While on a mission, a terrorist will look casual, dress normally and put ordinary behaviour until the assigned mission is executed. Some studies claim that attempts to profile terrorism based on personality, physical or sociological traits are highly unsuccessful because the physical and behavioural description of the terrorist does not deviate from that of any normal human being. Most terrorist and highly intelligent and the commitment and zealousness attached to their mission demands a commensurate level of equavimity and emotional stability. Studies however, reveal that most terrorist attacks are carried out by military age men, aged 16-40 years.
            The perpetrators of acts of terrorism could be individuals, groups or states. Clandestine or semi-clandestine states actors may also carryout terrorist act outside the framework of a state of war. However, the most common image of terrorism is that it is carried out by small and secretive cells highly motivated to serve a particular cause. Many of the highly successful and most deadly operations carried out in recent years were carried out by unit cells comprising of close friends and family members or other strong social networks. These groups benefited form the free flow of information and efficient communication skillfully managed.

State Sponsorship:
A state can sponsor terrorist activities by providing funds in aid of terrorist operations or providing a safe haven for terrorist organizations. State may also use its institutional apparatuses to carry out terrorist activities. They may be the intelligence organization or a special task force set up and trained for such purpose. This of course must be highly clandestine. When states provide funding for groups considered to be terrorist activities, they rarely acknowledge them as such. Opinions vary widely as to which acts of violence by states consists of terrorist sponsorship. State involvement in terror acts may also take a different scope.
            According to civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher up to those at the lower wrung is nearly always sensible. Largely, it goes unnoticed, when it is noticed, it is quickly and fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower in the hierarchy to those higher up is unthinkable and when it occurs, it is regarded with shock, horror and wide condemnation.
            The concept of “State Terrorism” is a controversial one. What constitutes self defence or the protection national interest to one side may be viewed as terrorist act or plain militarism by another side. Like most concepts in international politics, consensus opinions is never easy to come by. It states abused their power they should be judged against international conventions dealing with war crimes, international human rights and international humanitarian law. According to Koffi Anan, the world has reached a stage where it must set aside debates on so-called “State Terrorism”. In his view, the use of force by states is already thoroughly regulated under international law and … regardless of differences between government on the question of definition of terrorism, what is clear and what we can all agree on is that any deliberate attack on innocent civilians regardless of ones’ cause is unacceptable and fits into the definition of terrorism…
            State terrorism has been used to refer to terrorist acts of governmental agencies or forces. This involves the use of state resources employed by a state’ foreign policies such as using its military to directly perform acts of terrorism. Michael Stohl cites the exmples of Germany’s bombing of London and the US atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. He argues that … the use of terror tactics is common in international relations and the states has been and remains a more likely employers of terrorism within the international system, more than insurgents…
            They also cite the first strike option as an example of terror of coercive diplomacy as form of this which holds the world hostage with the implied threat of suing nuclear weapons in “crisis management”. They argue that institutionalized forms of terrorism has occurred as a result of changes that took place following World War II.
In this analysis, state terrorism exhibited as a form of foreign policy was shaped by the presence and use of weapon of mass destruction and how the legitimizing of such violent behaviour led to an increasing accepted form of this state behaviour. The concept of state terrorism is also used to describe political repression by governments against their won civilian population with the purpose of inciting fear. Execution of civilian hostages or extra judicial elimination are commonly considered acts of terror.

Terrorism is a form of asymmetric warfare and is more common when direct conventional warfare would not be effective because of the varying degree of power allocation. The context in which terrorist tactics are used is often a large scale, unresolved political conflict. The type of conflict varies widely. Some historical examples include:
a.         Secession of a territory to form a new sovereign state.
b.         Dominance of territory or resources by various ethnic groups.
c.         Imposition of a particular form of government.
d.         Economic deprivation of a population.
e.         Opposition to a domestic government or occupying army.
f.          Religious extremision.
            Terrorism attacks are often targeted to maximize fear and publicity often with the use of explosives or poison. There is increasing concern about terrorist acquiring weapons of mass destruction and using such in their attacks.
Terrorist organizations usually plan their campaigns methodically and often ahead of time. Train participants, plant undercover agents and raise money from supporters or through organized crime. Terrorist communicate through modern telecommunication techniques though this in some cases increases their risk of possible detection and exposure. In many other cases, they rely on the old fashioned method of communication such as couriers and other person to person means of communication.
            Responses to terrorism are broad in scope. They include re-alignment of the political spectrum and reassessment of fundamental values. Specific types of response include.
a.         Targeted laws, criminal procedures, deportation and enhanced police activities.
b.         more elaborated and sophisticated defence measures and detection techniques.
c.         Pre-emptive or reactive military action. The drone aircrafts recently introduced by the US government in fighting Al-qaeda militants in Afghanistan is a good example.
d.         Increased intelligence and surveillance activities.
e.         pre-emptive humanitarian activities aimed at reducing the sympathy or support of the local population to the terrorists.
f.          More Strict interrogation and detention of policies.
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