chapter  2
18 Pages

Defining, Delineating, and Dissecting Terrorism

It can be seen that the definition of terrorism has changed over time. It has always

implied the use of extreme violence intended to generate fear. This could be caused by

a variety of factors. A local street gang could induce fright on the part of neighborhood

residents. A motorcycle gang riding down the main street of a small community could

generate extreme fear to the townspeople. A labor union overturning company trucks dur-

ing a strike could alarm the business owner greatly. Similarly, strikers could be frightened

by “union busters” brought in by the company to clear away picketers. A robber could

cause extreme panic in his victim if he suddenly shot out the windows of the person’s

store. Although all of these examples could be described as terrorism and may well have

been considered terrorism 50 years ago, such would not be the case today.