Before we discuss the state terrorism in which Mamdouh Habib became a victim, it is useful to lay some definitional groundwork. The difficulties of defining state terrorism are legion, as Ruth Blakeley has pointed out in her chapter of this book (see also Blakeley 2009). This current chapter therefore takes a very simple approach. It accepts, for the purposes of its argument, the definitions of ‘international terrorism’ and of ‘terrorism’ legislated by the United States and Australian federal law in, respectively, the US Code Section 2331 and the Criminal Code Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2003. Following Blakeley’s (2009) argument that the key criteria apply to the acts of terrorism rather than the actors, where such acts are perpetrated directly or by proxy, or are abetted, by nationstates, these will be taken to constitute state terrorism. Section 2331 of the US Code defined ‘international terrorism’ as activities that:
a involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;
b appear to be intended –
iii to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; iii to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coer-
cion; or iii to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassi-
nation, or kidnapping; and
c occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.