Terrorism Domestic Terrorism Is Legally Defined As Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Terrorism Type: Essay Paper: #53503327 Related Topics: International Terrorism, Terrorism, Ku Klux Klan, Hezbollah
Excerpt from Essay :


Domestic terrorism is legally defined as activities that are "dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State," and which are intended to "intimidate or coerce a civilian population," "influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion," or "affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping," (Cornell University Law School n.d.). The central difference between domestic and international terrorism is that domestic terrorism that is orchestrated, organized, and occurring within the jurisdiction of the United States. Domestic terrorism from above is defined as that which is perpetrated by the state such as the Qadafi regime's current role in Libya; whereas domestic terrorism from below is that which is perpetrated by civilian or militia groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.

Mao Zedong, Che Guevara, Carlos Marighella, and Frantz Fanon each promoted a communist ideal but used terrorism as a method to achieve their goals. Mao, Guevara, Mirighella, and Fanon used terrorism to achieve domestic goals: often cloaked in the language of liberation. Their methods are similar to those used by Hamas in the Palestinian authority, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and other ideological terrorist groups. However, Mao, Guevara, Marighella, and Fanon were primarily concerned with the overthrow of their own governments more so than they were preoccupied with external concerns...


Moreover, Mao and company championed the communist and socialist ideals rather than a religious ideology.

The earliest forms of terrorism in the United States were unfortunately the first waves of colonizers who terrorized the indigenous people for centuries, ultimately committing genocide and decimating their cultures in the name of European hegemony. The colonial revolt against British crown rule was another major wave of terrorism in the United States, as both sides used violent means to coercively achieve political objectives. On the one hand, the British loyalists terrorized the colonists but on the other hand, the colonists used violence in ways the British could have defined as terrorism. The system of slavery can be considered a "from above" domestic terrorism tactic used to systematically "intimidate or coerce a civilian population," namely all persons of African decent. Later, the Ku Klux Klan filled in for the government in that role of terrorizing persons of color after the Civil War. In each of these cases, terrorism was not much different than it is today. What has changed is the technological tools available to terrorists.

Right wing terrorism groups are bound together by similar ideologies, even if those ideologies differ on the surface. For instance, Odinism and other neo-Nordic pagan movements provide a set of symbols that unite some white supremacists who terrorize persons of color…

Sources Used in Documents:


American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU 2002). How the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act redefines "Domestic Terrorism." Retrieved online: http://www.aclu.org/national-security/how-usa-patriot-act-redefines-domestic-terrorism

Cornell University Law School (n.d.). Definitions. Retrieved online: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/718/usc_sec_18_00002331-000-.html

Presley, S.M. (1996). Rise of Domestic Terrorism and Its Relation to United States Armed Forces. Retrieved online: http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/presley.htm

Cite this Document:

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