Politicians and the media are quick to label any enemy violence as terrorism.
If every surprise attack on active armed forces is considered terrorism, there is little to distinguish terrorism from unexpected attacks that occur in conventional warfare.
Hence, many scholars believe that terrorism involves violence directed at civilians.
History is replete with examples of nation-states targeting civilians, whether their own citizens or individuals in other countries.
Traditionally, though, such actions are referred to as state terror or war crimes.
With this increased focus, confusion has arisen as to the very meaning of terrorism.
Conclusion Since September 11, 2001, considerable attention has been devoted to the study of terrorism, yet scholarly analysis of the subject has actually been active for several decades.
For the purposes of empirical analysis, terrorism must be defined explicitly.
As a common cliché says, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” The shifting contexts in which the term is used make it difficult, but not impossible, to study the phenomenon as a distinct form of political violence.
That is to say, the victims of terrorism are not actively or officially involved in a violent conflict.
Second, it is important to distinguish the characteristics of the perpetrators of terrorism.