Analysis of 'Terrorist'

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Many people shudder when the word ‘terrorist’ is being spoken on the news. A single word strikes fear in the hearts of many people but has it always held this sort of sway over people? Indeed, ‘terrorist’ was originally ‘terror’ in Latin, which meant to terrorize, and it still holds the same meaning as the word ‘terrorist’ today, albeit it being specific with certain characteristics. Many sources state that the word was first used in France as ‘terroriste’ to refer to members who supported and carried out the policies of the Reign of Terror from September 1793 to the mid-summer of 1794. The word has evolved to cause panic because of the modern world today. There is a stigma associated with this word that did not exist as strongly as it does in the present. Today, a quick search using an Internet search engine brings up an online dictionary, which defines a terrorist as a person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism. An electronic BESTA dictionary defines a terrorist as a freedom fighter. This leads to the bigger question of what a terrorist actually is. There has been debate and many experts in the field have suggested differing definitions. The reason? Terrorists cannot be classified as a sole group of people. There are no clear similarities between different types of terrorists and they are certainly not all empowered by political reasons. At one point, due to the infamous September 11 terrorist attacks that left the modern world reeling with shock and gripped by anxiety, many people had the stereotype that a terrorist would have brown skin and follow the Islamic faith. The many bombings by Islamic groups in the recent decade has led to stereotype becoming more negative and further solidifies the stigma that the word carries. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force and

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