Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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In the dictionary, terrorism is defined as "the unlawful use of force or violence or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons"� Today the term terrorism is more than just the use of intimidation or coercion, but includes the use of terrorism as a means of revenge and as a means of suppression. Many experts believe that terrorism is an abstract concept with no essence, a single definition cannot account for all the possible uses of the term, many different definitions share common elements, the meaning of terrorism derives from the victim of target.

Over the past Century, terrorism has evolved from random killings to massive plans for terrorist groups. Terrorism has been used in societies where grievances can be expressed freely and where free speech is suppressed. Terrorist violence is limited to acts which will achieve that objective.

In some cases, the use of terrorism appears to be a reaction to the breakdown of law and order. A stable society has normally evolved peaceful ways of keeping order and handling disputes between its members without violence. Once law and order breaks down, members of society have to defend themselves in different ways. War between countries is a place were terrorism is used immensely in order to strike fear into an enemy. Terrorism is often used as a last resort.

The popular image of terrorism is of extremist groups trying to rebel or promote their ideologies by blowing up airplanes, buses, government buildings, or taking hostages. To understand the motivation of terrorists, we have to consider the conditions the terrorist may live under. A few factors that may attribute to the cause of terrorism are social, economic, cultural, technological and geographical factors; however, no...