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Talk:Terrorism

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"How terrorist Movements Terminate" This might be good info, but I don't understand the title. Does anyone know of the RAND project's report, and what they were really saying? Is it "Ways to end terrorism?" or is it "What drives a terrorist movement to kill" or what??--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"«Let the credulous and the vulgar continue to believe that all mental woes can be cured by a daily application of old Greek myths to their private parts. V.Nabokov» 10:12, 9 April 2009 (EDT)


According to a study done by the Rand Corporation in 2008 on how terrorist movements terminate:

  • 43% by converting to mainstream political movements.
  • 40% by law enforcement apprehension
  • 10% by achieving their stated goals.
  • 7% by being neutralized through military action.[1]

Since 9/11 the entire focus of the United States, at least (hopefully) until the Obama administration, has been on that 7 percent solution.

It is titled "How Terrorist Groups End". - User \scriptstyle\int_{-1}^{1}1/\sqrt{1-x^{2}}dx 10:45, 9 April 2009 (EDT)
And it's definitely worth putting in. Totnesmartin 11:08, 9 April 2009 (EDT)
That is entirely irrelevant. Al Qaeda cannot convert to mainstream politics within the USA as they are external and because they hail from regions that do not permit political organisation of this kind. MarcusCicero (talk) 12:49, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Dominant forms of terrorism[edit]

The reson I added that two dominant forms of terrorism are Islamic terrorism and communist terrorism is because throughout the cold war we witnessed communist terrorism all over the world like the Vietcong, or modern day communist terrorists, and in the post cold war era radical Islamist terror is certainly the dominant form of terrorism. Other types of terrorism like ecoterror, nationalist terror also exist, but they are less prevalent. Anyone disputing this? However nationalist terror is not universal and there are regional characteristics, so nationalist terror may also be included as a dominant form, it is open to discussion. --Steve (talk) 06:09, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Having, in my time, been personally shaken by bombs by both the IRA and ETA, I'm not sure that we'd want to downplay nationalist terror too much.--BobNot Jim 08:13, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
There's also capitalist terrorism. And wasn't the second-largest terrorist attack in the states the Murrah Fed building thing? Although maybe one of the early union-busting affairs had a higher death toll... ħumanUser talk:Human 18:28, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
So I went to Wikipedia putting in terrorist names as they occurred to me.
Red Brigades Marxist Leninist; Angry Brigade British libertarian communist; The Japanese Red Army was a militant far-left group; Aum Shinrikyo is a Japanese new religious movement; The Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventists (also known as "The Branch") are a Protestant sect; The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation; The Ulster Defence Association (UDA) is a loyalist and Protestant[5] paramilitary organisation; Euskadi Ta Askatasuna or ETA is an armed Basque nationalist and separatist organization; The Vietcong or National Liberation Front, was an army in South Vietnam and Cambodia that fought the United States and South Vietnamese governments during the Vietnam War; The Communist Party of Peru more commonly known as the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), is a Maoist guerrilla organization in Peru.
Completely unscientific, and my definition of "terrorist" might be a bit off in some cases. Some religion, some nationalism, some mixtures.--BobNot Jim 19:15, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Notable terrorist groups[edit]

Many of those put on the list do not meet the criteria of an actual terrorist. The British Army is a government agency and the Founding Fathers did not target civilians. Researcher (talk) 00:58, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Actually the tea ships the founding fathers targeted were privatley owned so yes, they did target civilians. Not to mention the countless torrys who were targeted by the colonials--BenB (talk) 20:35, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Vandalism does not equal terrorism. Therefore, the founding fathers still do not count. Nor, for that matter, do the British or even Nazi armies. Researcher (talk) 00:06, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
In that case neither does 9/11 as that was also vandalism. Vandalism is the malicious destruction of property. Terrorism is the use of violence to achieve political or ideological change. So when an act of vandalism is done in an effort to bring about change it is in fact terrorism. --BenB (talk) 04:04, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Interesting because I was under the impression that one of the 9/11 goals was to kill as many people as possible. If they were only interested in vandalism why not just spray paint "Osama waz here!" all over the place in the dead of night? Acei9 04:13, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Naw, they weren't trying to kill as many people as possible. They hit he towers early in the AM before the workers (probably the ones they really wanted to kill) had turned up. No, they hijacked planes full of fuel for transcontinental flights, and relatively low on passengers, and attacked physical icons of what they hated. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:44, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Notable terrorist groups 2[edit]

To say the truth, unless we are going to do as good a job as Wikipedia here ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_designated_terrorist_organizations ), is there even a point for that section? Sen (talk) 19:48, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

French Resistance[edit]

Should we add in the French Resistance? They did of course attack the recognized government of France. Imarcuson (talk) 17:16, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

But did they bomb civilians? €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:21, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Sloppy[edit]

We really need to get a bit more serious here. The American Revolution was not an example of terrorism - a free people made a conscious decision to secede, and did so by attacking the military infrastructure in place by the domineering force in power. Al Qaeda and associated groups clearly are 'terrorist' as they deliberately target civilians (Such as 9/11, the Madrid bombings) in order to instill absolute terror within the population. The way you conduct yourself is everything. MarcusCicero (talk) 12:47, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes. The following should go:
  • Founding Fathers
  • US Army
  • British Army Lyra § talk 19:02, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
It should also be noted that the Continental Army was recognized as a properly constituted fighting force, not as a "terrorist" or "criminal" organization. Also, in throwing tea into a harbor, no civilians were hurt or killed, unlike other terrorist attacks that included violence against civilians, even if unintentional or as a side-note. (And, besides 9/11, AQ has launched numerous attacks whose purposes were definitely death and destruction.) Researcher (talk) 21:02, 29 August 2010 (UTC)


  1. Rand Research Brief

Terrorism's Success Rate and Prevalence[edit]

In his recent book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, Steven Pinker refers to a couple of studies on the successfulness of terror tactics, noting that around 5% of terror groups ever manage to accomplish any of their strategic goals. This is in addition to noting that terrorism, and the rates of deaths caused by terrorism, have been in rather steady decline over the last several decades. Perhaps something discussing these facts should be included here? Siafu (talk) 23:20, 11 April 2013 (UTC)


Types of terrorism section?[edit]

Have it include political types- Eco-terrorism, left-wing terrorism,right-wing terrorism, state terrorism, state sponsored terrorism and religious terrorism. Plus have it include terrorism methods- conventional terrorism (bombings and shootings), bioterrorism, nuclear terrorism, cyber terrorism and chemical terrorism.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 17:11, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Does not parse[edit]

"from fire-bombing air-campaigns air forces in national miltiaries"? what?

Hamas -- religious or nationalist[edit]

Chris, I really think Hamas belongs in both categories even tho I agree they're more nationalist than religious. It's not just their Charter. Their public statements remain heavily inflected with religious rhetoric.---Mona- (talk) 06:11, 5 December 2015 (UTC)

As a reader it looked strange to have it listed twice. Just add "but also has strong religious overtones and could arguably also fit in the religious section", or something to that effect. Carpetsmoker (talk) 06:20, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
That's essentially how it stands now. I'm just sayin', I couldn't disagree if another editor thought it should also be in religious.---Mona- (talk) 06:23, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it's accurate and I think it tends to be a propaganda weapon for Bibi. Hamas is not an international terrorist group that calls for overthrowing everyone in the MENA area to establish a caliphate as part of its end times prophecy. Even in their internal rule of Gaza, they haven't implemented sharia law. True, there are some elements of Islamization, but the group actually gets condemned by Salafist groups for not being truly Islam and not imposing sharia. Hamas restricts their terrorism to the area of Palestine. So I don't believe they fall in the same category of jihadist groups that want to eliminate borders. One is an anti-nationalist, pan-Islamic group while Hamas is a nationalist militant political party, albeit again with religious overtones. To my knowledge, the main leaders of Hamas want to emulate the Erdogan model with a mixturr of seculiarism and religion. You can take this to my talk page Mona if you wish. TL;DR Don't think nationalist groups should be put in same position as groups like ISIS or Al Qaeda that want to usher in end times. ChrisAmiss (talk) 07:54, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
Agree with Mona's double label. Hamas may not be as apocalyptic as ISIS but that doesn't make Hamas non-religious, just like not being a fundamentlist inerrantist doesn't make a "cafeteria Christian" non-religious. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:52, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
Ill include it under religious. ChrisAmiss (talk) 09:06, 5 December 2015 (UTC)

Lightning[edit]

Not sure how accurate this statistic is. According to the sources used to make the graph, from 1982-2009, 4298 Americans have been killed by terrorists, vs 1568 killed by lightning. Maybe because they're counting deaths *per flight* rather than deaths per year? They say "one in 500,000 chance each year of being struck by lightning", while the statistics I found are more like 1/200,000. Similar, I guess.

A better example would be something we don't generally worry about, like tuberculosis, which killed 35,235 (8 times as many) Americans in the same time period, or, if you want to trigger conservatives, gun accidents killed 31,732 Americans in the same time period (7 times as many). For something most people have only a mild fear of, drunk driving killed 536,721 Americans in the same time period, or 125 times as many as terrorism. Hmmph (talk) 15:49, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

Also this graph: https://pix-media.priceonomics-media.com/blog/1270/image01.png Hmmph (talk) 02:12, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

The US government is a terrorist organization?[edit]

What? How does it make sense for the US to be singled out as a terrorist organization while at the same time leaving out the governments of China (suppression of minorities in Xinjiang), Russia (state sponsored assassinations, bombing campaign in Syria), etc? 76.198.195.103 (talk) 05:09, 16 September 2019 (UTC)

no respectable group considers the US a terrorist organization EK (talk) 12:16, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
The definition of "terrorist group" is subjective and beholden to the whims of state actors, whom often aren't much better than their non-state opponents. Oxyaena Harass 13:17, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter comes to mind here. The Crow (talk) 13:24, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
Feel free to add those other governments. I pose no objections to such.As to "respectable group", highly respected scholars do in fact claim so. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_and_state_terrorism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_and_state-sponsored_terrorism https://monthlyreview.org/2001/11/01/the-united-states-is-a-leading-terrorist-state/Codefuser (talk) 13:33, 20 December 2019 (UTC)

The definition of terrorism is generally set in international law so unless you can show me evidence from a reliable source that the US is a recognised terrorist organisation then it does not belong on the page. EK (talk) 18:36, 20 December 2019 (UTC)

Already gave you a bunch of sources, reputable academics who rightly points out how the US operates no different from a typical terrorist group, albeit on a far larger scale. Until you demonstrate otherwise, I don't see how the US wouldn't be considered a terror group. — Unsigned, by: Codefuser / talk / contribs
Should point out that the definition of terrorism isn't universally agreed upon. See Definition of terrorismWikipedia's W.svg on Wikipedia for details on that. I'll also say that I hold reservations on putting the United States under the terrorist groups as is (so under the Nationalism place where it currently resides), since the Nationalism section is used for separatist movements and autonomy movements. My suggestion would be to instead add a section about the US in more detail (and for other countries as well such as China and Russia) in how they fund terrorist activity or what terrorist activity they engage in. The Crow (talk) 21:25, 20 December 2019 (UTC)
I will accept citations from bodies like the UN, and possibly reports from NGOs like Amnesty International as sources, but not scholars or media. To be clear, this isn't an article on theory. If you can't show internationally and lawfully recognised terrorist activity directly carried out by the US then it's not a terrorist organization. If you want to write about their support of other terrorist groups that is another matter but again there has to be credible sources, and remember, working off Wikipedia may be useful but Wikipedia isn't a reliable source itself. EK (talk) 04:31, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
Cool, so funding Bin Laden doesn't make the US a terrorist, and you will only accept citations from a body where the US has veto power. But alas, if you would accept citations from the United States government, then could I perhaps point out that the Department of State has for long designated the PKK as a terrorist group, and the Director of National Intelligence considers the YPJ/YPG the "the Syrian militia of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party", which the US has been backing and funding, ergo by the United States' standards they do in fact engage in terrorism? Let's throw in a Turkish citation as well since you enjoy deepthroating the boot of governments so much, Erdogan's government directly considers the YPJ/YPG terrorist. So here we have the United States government and the Turkish government agreeing that the United States finance and participate in terrorist activities, what more do we need? Codefuser (talk) 05:56, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
If the US government is a terrorist organization, than basically any government that has used their military in the last ten years is a terrorist organization. There's plenty of room for criticism of the US and of the term "terrorism", but it's clear that you are not interested in any of that. You just want to be edgy and indulge in your anti-US grudges. That's why I'm not taking you seriously, and that's why your edit will not be added to the page. 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 06:59, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
Damn pointing out how a government has sytematically funded genocides and terrorized population, all while backing groups that they themselves consider terrorist makes me edgy? And depends on how you define "using their military", I imagine that there are quite a few countries that have used their military without accidentally backing the Guatemalan genocide. Codefuser (talk) 12:00, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
You're not "edgy" because of you saying that the US government has some seriously questionable foreign policy. You're edgy because you use that as an argument to designate the government as an organization on the same degree of awfulness as ISIS, the SA or Hamas (just picking a couple from the list of terrorist organizations list). Which is just flatly not the case because those organizations have as their primary means to stage and commit terror attacks. The United States does not commit terror attacks as their primary purpose. They are a government, their primary goal is to manage and take care of their citizens (their actual success at doing that is definetly questionable, but that's neither here nor there), not killing civilians and non-combatants. That isn't to say that we shouldn't examine the US's foreign policy and how it has led to them funding or sometimes staging terrorist attacks, we totally should, but they're not a "terrorist organization" in the way that the KKK or the Freikorps are/were and to suggest as such is inane. The Crow (talk) 15:59, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
How are Hamas that terrible again? They're not as bad as Israel is, they're merely fighting back against Israeli apartheid. Remember that Israel is still subjecting Gaza to an illegal blockade, and is actively crushing Gazan infrastructure in general to make life a living hell for the average Gazan. What does drone striking hospitals and greenhouses have to do with fighting terrorism? Oxyaena Harass 10:15, 26 December 2019 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── the basic cycle is that hamas fires a rocket at Israel, iron dome destroys the rocket, the IDF fire a missile back at where the rocket was launched from. This repeats. Occasionally a rocket gets past iron dome and kills someone, so the IDF get angry and target hamas leaders and/or fighters in a larger operation. The conflict has been going on for a while now so there are multiple incidents like this. EK (talk) 10:46, 26 December 2019 (UTC)

It's a self reinforcing cycle, and there's evidence that Hamas and Israel are actively perpetuating the conflict because it helps their political goals, an "iron law of institutions" type situation, I guess. To single out Hamas but not Israel kind of furthers my point. Oxyaena Harass 12:16, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
I picked Hamas because it's on the list we already have. My take on the Israel situation is that there's nobody in the right there, both Hamas and Israel are godawful groups in that entire debacle and any veneer either could have had for being in the right has been long gone by now, but that's irrelevant to this discussion. If you take so much issue with me saying Hamas, just pretend I said Al-Qaeda instead (which isn't actually on the list I think, but that's a pretty clear terrorist group). Seriously, it is irrelevant to my primary point and you seem to be trying to logic chop the discussion here rather than engage with my primary argument, which is that the US government is not a terrorist organization because their primary goal isn't committing terrorist acts. The Crow (talk) 12:59, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
Both may be "godawful" as you so eloquently put it, but the actions of Israel clearly make it the aggressor here. Palestinians are only fighting against oppression, remember they were the original inhabitants of the land now called "Israel," and Israel resorted to a hell of a lot of ethnic cleansing to make Palestine their Zionist paradise. Oxyaena Harass 14:50, 26 December 2019 (UTC)

Here, let's resolve this with a vote: should the US government be listed on RW as a terrorist organization?[edit]

Yes[edit]

  1. Yes. There is no consistent standard under which the US government is not a terrorist organization, unless that standard is one where you make an exclusion for the United States. Codefuser (talk) 12:00, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
  2. The definition of "terrorist" by all measures is inherently murky and is biased in favor of state over non-state actors to begin with. Oxyaena Harass 16:02, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
  3. Yes. (What am I doing agreeing with Oxy?) Scream!! (talk) 18:35, 21 December 2019 (UTC)

No[edit]

  1. Starting the party. 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 07:05, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
  2. Not as a bullet point with no further explanation. See Goat for some more. The Crow (talk) 09:13, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
  3. The U.S. government might have funded terrorist activity, terrorized or otherwise used fear and violence to politically manipulate other countries, but its primary purposes, means, and goals are not terrorism-related. The "U.S. government" refers to an extremely broad coalition of multiple, organized governing bodies (with varying degrees of independence) divided between interacting state and federal governments which is in stark contrast with the recognized terrorist organizations, which are far smaller and have more specific means and scopes. To apply the relatively specific label "terrorist organization" to a very general concept is not very well-thought out to me. On top of this, no official body recognizes the United States as a terrorist organization, and arguments for the label focus too much on the foreign policy disasters rather than the reasons for them as well as casting way too broad of a net. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 17:09, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
  4. the US is not seriously recognised by anyone that matters as a terrorist organisation, and furthermore very few internationally recognised governments are terrorist organisations by the generally accepted definition. EK (talk) 18:41, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
    Now there is Iran https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/01/07/irans-parliament-designates-pentagon-official-terrorist-organization Codefuser (talk) 16:00, 21 February 2020 (UTC)
    Said "anyone that matters" being pro-state actors like the goddamn UN and Amnesty International. Oxyaena Harass 18:44, 21 December 2019 (UTC)
    "Anyone that matters", of course, being the people who the US can veto, like the UN security council which the US has a permanent seat on..., and I just provided you with how the US recognizes itself as terrorist so that should meet your standard, no?Codefuser (talk) 03:21, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
    I think it's absurd argument to assume that the UN and Amnesty International didn't designate the U.S. government as a terrorist organization not because they think the U.S. government disqualifies as a terrorist organization, but it must be because the United States somehow influenced them and that the UN and Amnesty International are just pro-state sympathizers. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 06:28, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
    I think it is absurd to think that it is one-or-another rather than something that can be both. Recall how courts that criticizes the United States (such as the ICC) are withdrawn from by the United States, and then the United States drafted up a lil law commonly known as the Hague Invasion Act? And then, the ICJ rules against the United States (not even by that much tbh, their recommendations were pretty mild) and the US vetoes and stopped the resolution calling for compliance with the ICJ judgement. This is the more out-right stuff. On the less-obvious side, there is this thing called hegemony, which Gramsci described better than me, and works from Chomsky are also good. And yes the UN is quite obviously pro-state sympathizer, do you even know what the UN is and what they are composed of? An organization by states and for states is quite clearly pro-state, and I wish it was prostate instead of pro-state because then the world would be a much better place. Codefuser (talk) 04:39, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
  5. On a theoretical level, yes. On a more realistic and practical level, no. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:17, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
  6. Obviously not. Has the US Government done some things over the past fifty years or so which could be regarded as terrorist actions under some definitions? Sure. Does that mean that the entire internal and external structure of the US government past present is dedicated to a terrorist cause? Obviously not. Unless you want to regard capitalism as terrorism, but in that case the whole of western society is terrorist and the word loses any meaning. Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:35, 21 February 2020 (UTC)

Goat[edit]

Whilst I voted no, I do think it's important to have a paragraph that explains how the United States has funded terrorist activity (which is something that they did do, mainly during the cold war era). Just casually mentioning a government is going to raise some eyebrows and no amount of references on a simple bullet point is going to change that. This goes for any government that would engage in terrorist activity or funds terrorist activity for what it's worth. I also don't think that it's accurate to call them a terrorist group since to me, the primary means of a terrorist group is to stage and commit terror attacks, possibly in the service of a larger goal. The Crow (talk) 09:13, 21 December 2019 (UTC)