Types of Terrorism
In early 1975, the Law Enforcement Assistant Administration in the United States formed the National Advisory Committee on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals. One of the five volumes that the committee wrote was entitled Disorders and Terrorism, produced by the Task Force on Disorders and Terrorism under the direction of H.H.A. Cooper, Director of the Task Force staff. The Task Force classified terrorism into six categories.
- Civil disorder – A form of collective violence interfering with the peace, security, and normal functioning of the community.
- Political terrorism – Violent criminal behaviour designed primarily to generate fear in the community, or substantial segment of it, for political purposes.
- Non-Political terrorism – Terrorism that is not aimed at political purposes but which exhibits “conscious design to create and maintain a high degree of fear for coercive purposes, but the end is individual or collective gain rather than the achievement of a political objective.”
- Quasi-terrorism – The activities incidental to the commission of crimes of violence that are similar in form and method to genuine terrorism but which nevertheless lack its essential ingredient. It is not the main purpose of the quasi-terrorists to induce terror in the immediate victim as in the case of genuine terrorism, but the quasi-terrorist uses the modalities and techniques of the genuine terrorist and produces similar consequences and reaction. For example, the fleeing felon who takes hostages is a quasi-terrorist, whose methods are similar to those of the genuine terrorist but whose purposes are quite different.
- Limited political terrorism – Genuine political terrorism is characterized by a revolutionary approach; limited political terrorism refers to “acts of terrorism which are committed for ideological or political motives but which are not part of a concerted campaign to capture control of the state.
- Official or state terrorism –"referring to nations whose rule is based upon fear and oppression that reach similar to terrorism or such proportions.” It may also be referred to as Structural Terrorism defined broadly as terrorist acts carried out by governments in pursuit of political objectives, often as part of their foreign policy.
Several sources have further defined the typology of terrorism:
- Political terrorism
- Sub-state terrorism
- Social revolutionary terrorism
- Nationalist-separatist terrorism
- Religious extremist terrorism
- Religious fundamentalist Terrorism
- New religions terrorism
- Right-wing terrorism
- Left-wing terrorism
- Single-issue terrorism
- State-sponsored terrorism
- Regime or state terrorism
- Sub-state terrorism
- Criminal terrorism
- Pathological terrorism
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