The United States legal definition of terrorism specifically excludes acts done by sovereign states. According to U.S. law (22 U.S.C. 2656f(d)(2)) terrorism is defined as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience". There is no international consensus on a legal or academic definition of terrorism. United Nations conventions have failed to reach consensus on a definition of terrorism and state terrorism. Nevertheless, "terrorism" is used to describe incidents "facilitated" by agents provocateurs from the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The official narrative of terrorism is that in the 21st century, modern technology and increased access to information (especially about WMD, "weapons of mass destruction") has brought about a grave threat which needs to be countered by exceptional measures. Collectively referred to as the "War on terror", governments need such measures to be able to protect their citizens from heightened threat posed by "extermist" terrorists.
The commercially-controlled media consistently promote the official narrative about terrorism, especially from Muslims. In November 2014, the BBC headlined a story that "Terrorism threat is on the increase". In January 2016, Ross Douthat wrote for the New York Times that immigration of Muslims into Germany "threatens not just a spike in terrorism but a rebirth of 1930s-style political violence."
The failure to agree on what "terrorism" actually is the primary weakness of the official narrative, though it has other major problems such as its failure to mention (or sometimes, its explicit exclusion of) state terrorism, false flag terrorism or the clear motivations of authorities to exaggerate or deliberately increase "the terrorist threat". The prison-industrial-judidicial-law enforcement complex has an obvious commercial incentive for increasing terrorism and fear of it. The FBI, for example, has incited many terrorist plots in USA (according to Project Censored, the majority) but commercially-controlled media are very reluctant to report on this. Since 2001 especially, the deep state has been rolling back civil liberties and building a police state under the pretext of the "War on terror".
After spreading the meme of "Islamic terrorism", and introducing laws with the implication that "this for for them, not us" the phrase "domestic terrorism" was gradually introduced, equating with terrorism many kinds of dissent which were legal and/or non-violent. Documents from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security identify the non-violent Occupy movement as a “terrorist” activity. The FBI however turned a blind eye (or worse) to the Dallas occupy plot, a "a long-term plan to kill local Occupy leaders via sniper fire".
Israel used the word "terrorism" in the 1960s and 70s to refer to attacks by Palestinians, whether against civil or military targets. In 1972, Richard Nixon, describing attacks on civil aviation, became the first US Persident to use the word "terrorism". President Carter used the word "terrorism" about the hostage taking of the US embassy staff in Tehran, but the word remained very seldom used until the Beirut Barracks bombing in October 1983.
- Full article: “Cyberterrorism”
- Full article: “Cyberterrorism”
The 21st century has seen the promotion of the word "cyberterrorism", which purports to be the threat posed by terrorists to computer based infrastructure. Like other forms of terrorism itself, the commercially-controlled media are expansive about the threat, but the word is never defined, and the media's claims rarely if ever stand up to close scrutiny (indeed, they are rarely detailed enough to warrant it). The main practitioners of this would appear to be the NSA, whose extensive capabilities have been demonstrated by the Edward Snowden Affair. Western commercially-controlled media never describes the NSA as cyberterrorists.
War on terror
- Full article: “War on terror”
- Full article: “War on terror”
The war on terror, which was rolled out after the end of the cold war - conveniently from the point of view of the Military-industrial-congressional complex - can be understood as the same old same old, a war on enemy governments and non-state actors. As Professor Mark Selden summarises: "American politicians and most social scientists definitionally exclude actions and policies of the United States and its allies [as terrorism]".
The UK government's 2006 policy on combating terror lays particular emphasis on Islamic terror, noting for example:
The current threat from Islamist terrorism is serious and sustained. It is genuinely international in scope, involving a variety of groups, networks and individuals who are driven by particular violent and extremist beliefs. It is indiscriminate – aiming to cause mass casualties, regardless of the age, nationality, or religion of their victims; and the terrorists are often prepared to commit suicide to kill others. Overall, we judge that the scale of the threat is potentially still increasing and is not likely to diminish significantly for some years.
Countering International Terrorism: The United Kingdom’s Strategy, July 2006
This is all the more remarkable since, according to Europol, less than 1% of terrorist incidents in Europe are by Islamic terrorists. Sociology professor David Miller has suggested that arms of the UK government such as MI5 are deliberately encouraging hatred of Muslims through such documents and through information provided to the commercially-controlled media.
False flag terror
- Full article: False flag
- Full article: False flag
Arguably, most large scale terrorist plots in the 21st century have been false flag attacks, i.e. designed to be blamed on people other than the real perpetrators. The extent this represents a new tendency is moot and likely to remain so (due to the difficulty of establishing the real perpetrators of acts of terrorism now long past), but can be surmised to include a more generalised concensus of world public opinion that terrorist attacks are wrong, whatever their details and motivations. In a world in which such an understanding is firmly established, there is little to gain and a lot to lose by carrying out acts of terror — while false flag attacks become correspondingly more attractive to those groups who believe that they can not only not only them out but also successfully pin the blame on some other group.
In 2014, Human Rights Watch issued a report that reported that almost all the highest-profile domestic terrorism plots in the United States since 9/11 featured the "direct involvement" of government agents or informants. It reported that "in some cases the FBI may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by suggesting the idea of taking terrorist action or encouraging the target to act."
- Full article: Terrorism research
- Full article: Terrorism research
Nafeez Ahmed describes a very large proportion of terrorism research as "bullshit", and observes that "among the most consistent findings is that the field is full of very serious, beard-stroking, speculative conjecture dressed up as ‘theory'."
|File:A Global Chronology of Incidents of Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear Attacks 1950-2005.pdf||report||7 July 2006||Hamid Mohtadi|
|A summary of Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear Attacks, from 1950 - 2005, giving the number of injuries and fatalities, and other information (if known) on the perpetrators and motives.|
|A Long History of America's Dark Side||article||7 October 2010||Peter Dale Scott|
|Americans are encouraged to unquestioningly view their country and its soldiers as the "good guys" spreading “democracy” and “liberty” around the world. When the US inflicts death and destruction, it’s viewed as a mistake or an aberration. This article reviews the long history of these acts of brutality, a record that suggests they are neither a “mistake” nor an “aberration” but a conscious counterinsurgency doctrine on the "dark side".|
|A lesson from Brussels we refuse to learn||article||24 March 2016||Jonathan Cook||Commentary on the shortcomings of a Simon Jenkins article on the Mass murder in Brussels|
|Bangkok Blast - Who the Liars Say Did It, Says it All||article||18 August 2015||Tony Cartalucci||Analysis of the 18 August terrorist bombing in Bangkok illustrating western media (especially the BBC) bias by omission of major salient points|
|File:FBI Report - Terrorism 1980-2005.pdf||report||2005||FBI||Non-Muslims responsible for over 90% of all terrorist attacks in America|
|File:Jewish Terrorism under the British Mandate.pdf||factsheet||2006||CJPME||Information about specifically Jewish acts of terrorism against British military, police and civilian personnel in the years between the end of World War II and the establishment of the state of Israel|
|Paul Wilkinson, extract from The "Terrorism" Industry||book extract||12 May 1990||Edward S. Herman|
|Radicalisation - UK.gov gets itself in cluster-muddle over 'terrorism'||article||25 August 2016||Alexander J Martin|
|File:Report on Terrorism 2014.pdf||report||30 April 2014||United States Department of State||A summary of global terrorism in 2014.|
|File:Security Terrorism and the UK.pdf||briefing paper||1 July 2005||Lloyds of London|
|A quintessentially UK Establishment view on Security and Terrorism in the UK.|
|Sins of Statecraft - The War on Terror Exposed||paper||29 July 2006||Brian Bogart|
|File:Targetedandentrapped.pdf||report||May 2011||Various faculty members|
|File:Terrorism & Relative Justice.pdf||paper||2007||Mark Findlay|
|Terrorism as Seen From Washington||article||5 May 2014||Thierry Meyssan||A brief expose of the US Annual Report on Terrorism in the world as the propaganda.|
|Terrorism, Transit and Public Safety - Evaluating the Risks||paper||16 January 2012||Todd Litman||"It is important for individuals and public officials to take all risks into account and avoid overreacting to transit terrorism risks in ways that increase overall danger." An investigation into the real rather than the perceived risks of public and private transport. Contains some basic points that reveal the purported "terrorist threat" to be vastly exaggerated.|
|The "Terrorism" Industry||book||12 May 1990||Edward S. Herman|
|A look at the reality of terrorism, and how the institutional forces shape it to their ends.|
|The Experts extract from The "Terrorism" Industry||book extract||1989||Edward S. Herman|
|The Politics of Terror||article||31 August 2010||Douglas Valentine|
|The scariest thing about Brussels is our reaction to it||article||24 March 2016||Simon Jenkins||Absurd over-reaction to terrorist attacks in the west in general and the Mass murder in Brussels in particular, is EXACTLY what the those responsible for the attacks want and expect.|
|Unthinking extremism - Radicalising narratives that legitimise surveillance||paper||26 October 2015||Ben Harbisher|
|Who is Bombing European Civilians?||article||22 March 2016||Sott.net||Sharp questioning of precisely who is responsible for attacks on civilians in Europe|
|Colin Powell||“That [Terrorism] is the cost of doing business and it's not just something that can happen overseas but, as this community knows better than anyone, it can happen here... I think there are limits to what you can do in a free society.”||Colin Powell||11 August 1998|
|Internet/Censorship||“For some time to come, the delicate balance between freedom and security may have to shift”||Tony Abbott||September 2014|
|Islamophobia||“"terrorism" in the post-9/11 American vernacular has become shorthand for "Islamic terrorism."”||Gregory Krieg||2 April 2017|
|Sins of Statecraft - The War on Terror Exposed||“a group of powerful elites from various countries gathered at an international conference in Jerusalem to promote and exploit the idea of ‘international terrorism.’ The (Jerusalem) conference (on International Terrorism, or JCIT) established the ideological foundations for the ‘war on terror.’ JCIT’s defining theme was that international terrorism constituted an organized political movement whose ultimate origin was in the Soviet Union. All terrorist groups were ultimately products of, and could be traced back to, this single source, which - according to the JCIT - provided financial, military, and logistical assistance to disparate terrorist movements around the globe. The mortal danger to Western security and democracy posed by the worldwide scope of this international terrorist movement required an appropriate worldwide anti-terrorism offensive, consisting of the mutual coordination of Western military intelligence services.”||Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed||2005|
|War on Terror||“The surest defense against terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized.”||Bruce Schneier||August 2006|
|Washington Conference on International Terrorism||“Given terrorism's unique dependence on publicity and amplification, the media have a crucial role in either facilitating or obstructing the spread of terrorism against the West... manipulation of public opinion is in fact, central to the terrorist strategy. For this purpose, access to the media, indeed their domination, is indispensable.”|
|William E. Odom||“By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ‘78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.”||William E. Odom||April 2006|
|2016 Magnanville stabbing||13 June 2016 09:00:00|
|Oklahoma City bombing||19 April 1995||Timothy McVeigh|
|Operation Nicole||2009 - Present||UK/Police|
- Gupta, Dipak K. (2008). Understanding terrorism and political violence: the life cycle of birth, growth, transformation, and demise. Taylor & Francis. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-415-77164-1.
- Sinai, Joshua (2008). "How to Define Terrorism". Perspectives on Terrorism (Terrorism Research Institute) 2 (4).
- U.S. Department of State (February 1, 2010). "Title 22 > Chapter 38 > § 2656f - Annual country reports on terrorism". Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute.
- Gupta, p. 8
- Sinai, Joshua (2008). [httSpecial:RecentChangesp://www.terrorismanalysts.com/pt/index.php/pot/article/view/33/html "How to Define Terrorism"] Check
value (help). Perspectives on Terrorism (Terrorism Research Institute) 2 (4).
- "Country Reports on Terrorism - Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism". National Counterterrorism Center: Annex of Statistical Information. U.S. State Department. April 30, 2007.
- Williamson, Myra (2009). Terrorism, war and international law: the legality of the use of force against Afghanistan in 2001. Ashgate Publishing. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-7546-7403-0.
- Rupérez, Javier (6 September 2006). "The UN's fight against terrorism: five years after 9/11". U.N. Action to Counter Terrorism (in Tr. from Spanish). Real Instituto Elcano of Spain.
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