Terrorism is international. The command and control of terrorist groups, the recruitment, training, active operations and the target audience can all be located in different countries and so counter-terrorist measures will not be effective unless all nations cooperate in agreeing to the characteristics of terrorist groups and their activities. Agreement on a common definition would be a step towards universal cooperation in the prevention of terrorism. The UN unsuccessfully attempted to get universal agreement after the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre. Some nations, particularly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, were unwilling to label groups as terrorists if they sympathised with their aims, because of the perjorative aspects of the label. The West has also sympathised with groups which have committed terrorist activities. The Reagan administration supported the Nicaraguan Contras and there was Western support for the African National Congress in South Africa in the mid-1980s when their actions were terrorist. A universal definition will define terrorism irrespective of the aims of the group. As stated by Louise Richardson (1) ) “The legitimacy or otherwise of the goals being sought (by a group) should be irrelevant to whether a group is (defined as) a terrorist group” and “so a terrorist is not a freedom fighter and a terrorist is not a guerrilla. A terrorist is a terrorist, no matter whether or not you like the goal s/he is trying to achieve, no matter whether or not you like the government s/he is trying to change”.
However, if someone has had an or experienced a traumatic event, the return to childhood ways of protection might mean following a coping style that does not work as an adult. One of the most damaging effects of experiencing terror is the return or regression to the way they protected themselves as a child.
Definition of Terrorism – Social and Political Effects
The term terrorism is not new. It is in practice since the known recorded history of the world in one way or the other. The terrorists hale this nomenclature for themselves because they justify their actions and strategy to fight against oppression and injustice. The phrase “one man’s terrorist is an other man’s freedom fighter” is what the terrorists boast to accept. They normally act upon their motto of violence, fear and intimidation towards govt. or civil societies in pursuit of their goals that are political, religious or ideological.