… and I'm the Queen of Sheba (update)

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  1. So what are your guidelines for something to be a terrorist attack? Some people would call the Oklahoma City bombing a terrorist attack, but I’ve talked to people who have a rule that if the person is born in this country, then it can’t be one no matter what you do. Somehow it can only have a terrorist’s meaning if it is a foreigner.
    To me the person, and the numer wounded or injured is not such a factor as the actual intent of the attacker. If that can’t be known, then it comes down to how personal in nature the event could have been or how likely it was that the person was just a mentally ill.

  2. And the news coverage today brought to mind that school shootings are never called terrorist plots or attacks in the news, even when we don’t know who the shooter is. It is just a school shooting. But if the person who fired the shots was a 26 year old Pakistani man, would it then be referred to as a terrorist attack?

  3. “So what are your guidelines for something to be a terrorist attack?”
    I think you need to look at the intent. If the goal is simply to kill people, then it is probably not terrorism. If the goal is to induce extreme fear in others, and cause them to change how they live based on that, then yes it is terrorism.
    Maybe part of the problem is that oversealous DAs are including the charge of “making terroristic threats” when they bring out their laundry lists of charges – which tends to trivialize it a bit.
    As to the statement that terrorists can’t be homegrown, I bet there are some Irish folk around who would dispute that. Ditto for Iraqis, Lebanese, Indonesians, and in fact folks from lots of countries.

  4. Or, looking at today’s headlines:
    “Ernesto Theatens to Soak the Carolinas” == “Eco-Terrorism Alert Status Upgraded to ‘Red’ for Sections of East Coast”

  5. Terror doens’t have to kill or even injure anyone. I woudl suggest that someone who puts flour into an envelope and mails it with hopes of creating anthrax fear, panic & disruption at the home/office of the recipient (or the US Postal Service) is as much a terrorist as a person who chooses a more actually violent means of achieving that end. Similarly, the idiots who call a school or airline with a completely unwarranted a bomb threat. The intent is to cause disruption through fear. That’s what terrorists do.

  6. What I think of as terrorism (or terrorists) would include actions intended to intimidate or otherwise direct another’s course of action, whether it’s a group of people or a government.
    By my lights, then, lynchings and burning crosses would qualify, but not an idiot who calls in a bogus threat… unless said threat was part of a larger campaign by similar people for connected goals.

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