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Portal:Terrorism

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Terrorism Portal

Terrorism is the main systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. At present, there is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a "lone wolf" attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants. Some definitions also include acts of unlawful violence and war. The history of terrorist organizations suggests that they do not select terrorism for its political effectiveness. Individual terrorists tend to be motivated more by a desire for social solidarity with other members of their organization than by political platforms or strategic objectives, which are often murky and undefined. The word "terrorism" is politically and emotionally charged, and this greatly compounds the difficulty of providing a precise definition. Studies have found over 100 definitions of “terrorism”. The concept of terrorism is itself controversial because it is often used by states to delegitimize political or foreign opponents, and potentially legitimize the state's own use of terror against them. A less politically and emotionally charged, and better defined, term (used not only for terrorists, and not including all those who have been described as terrorists) is violent non-state actor. Terrorism has been practiced by a broad array of political organizations for furthering their objectives. It has been practiced by both right-wing and left-wing political parties, nationalistic groups, religious groups, revolutionaries, and ruling governments. One form is the use of violence against noncombatants for the purpose of gaining publicity for a group, cause, or individual.

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Northern Ireland shown in red
The Real Irish Republican Army, otherwise known as the Real IRA (RIRA) and styling itself as Óglaigh na hÉireann (Volunteers of Ireland), is a paramilitary organisation which aims to bring about a united Ireland. The RIRA was formed in 1997 following a split in the Provisional IRA. It is an illegal organisation in the Republic of Ireland and designated as a terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom and the United States. The organisation has been responsible for a number of bombings in Northern Ireland and England, including the 15 August 1998 Omagh bombing, which killed 29 people. On 7 March 2009 RIRA members claimed responsibility for an attack on the Massereene Barracks that killed two British soldiers, the first to be killed in Northern Ireland since 1997.

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Map of the 2008 Mumbai attacks
Credit: OpenStreetMap

The 2008 Mumbai attacks were more than ten coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across Mumbai, India's largest city, by Muslim terrorists from Pakistan. The attacks, which drew widespread condemnation across the world, began on 26 November 2008 and lasted until 29 November, killing at least 173 people and wounding at least 308.

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Wail al-Shehri
Wail al-Shehri (Arabic: وائل الشهري‎, Wāīl ash-Shehrī; also transliterated Alshehri; July 31, 1973 – September 11, 2001) was an al-Qaeda associate and hijacker on American Airlines Flight 11, which was hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center as part of the September 11 attacks. Shehri was an elementary school teacher from Khamis Mushait in the Asir region of Saudi Arabia. In early 2000 he traveled to Medina to seek treatment for mental issues. He and his younger brother Waleed traveled to Afghanistan in March 2000 and joined an Al-Qaeda training camp. The brothers were chosen, along with others from the same region of Saudi Arabia, to participate in the September 11 attacks. Once selected, Shehri returned to Saudi Arabia in October 2000 to obtain a clean passport, then returned to Afghanistan. In March 2001, he recorded his last will and testament on video. Shehri arrived in the United States in early June 2001, staying in budget motels in the Boynton Beach area of south Florida. On September 5, 2001, Shehri traveled to Boston and checked into a motel with his brother. Six days later, Shehri arrived early in the morning at Boston's Logan International Airport and boarded American Airlines Flight 11. Fifteen minutes after take off, the flight was hijacked and deliberately crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m. In the aftermath of the attacks, some news reports mistakenly reported Shehri as a trained pilot and son of a Saudi diplomat, who was still alive and well. The Shehri family in Khamis Mushait spoke to the media, denying those early reports, saying that the Shehri brothers had disappeared and have not been heard from since.

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George W. Bush
"The best way to describe the people who are conducting these attacks are cold-blooded killers, terrorists. That's all they are. They can't stand the thought of a free society. They hate freedom. They love terror."
George W. Bush, on insurgency in Iraq (October 27, 2003)

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