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Are Governments Afraid to Use the Word ‘Terrorist’?

June 2nd, 2013
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President Obama makes a speech in Boston, MA saying the War of Terror is "Over."

President Obama makes a speech in Boston, MA saying the War of Terror is “Over.”

Are Governments Afraid to Use the Word ‘Terrorist’?

original article written by Net Advisor

WASHINGTON, DC and LONDON, England. Despite what some might like to believe, the “War on Terror” is not over. The new movement is that governments want people to think they “won,” the War on Terror by not calling a terrorist action, as ‘an act of terrorism.’

Terrorism is not defined by religion, age, race or sex. Terrorism is defined by specific behaviors.  In the United States, terrorism is defined under the Patriot Act.

[1] Terrorism Defined Under the Patriot Act
The definition of terrorism was expanded under the 2001 Patriot Act as follows:

(a) Domestic Terrorism Defined.
– Section 2331 of title 18, United States Code, is amended– (1) in paragraph (1)(B)(iii), by striking “by assassination or kidnapping” and inserting “by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping”; (2) in paragraph (3), by striking “and”; (3) in paragraph (4), by striking the period at the end and inserting; “and”; and (4) by adding at the end the following: “(5) the term ‘domestic terrorism’ means activities that– “(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; “(B) appear to be intended– “(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; “(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or “(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and “(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”

— Source: Title VIII, §802 of the 2001 Patriot Act (bold emphases added) (view link only/view local PDF 132pps)

Tsarnaev Brothers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 on left and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.

Tsarnaev Brothers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 on left and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.

[1] Boston, Massachusetts.
The bombing attacks that occurred in Boston, Massachusetts on April 16, 2013 by two foreign-born students Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19 were quickly labeled as the “Boston Bombers” and not as “terrorists” which is exactly what they both are as defined by the Patriot Act.

The terror suspects had posted videos of radical Islamic views on YouTube® seeking death to Americans for U.S. government’s role in the Middle-East. Both used explosive devices with the intent to kill or injury many people which is defined as a terrorist act: Using “weapons of mass destruction” (Report).

The perception seems to be because they are young, are students, can speak English, are not from a region of the world that seem to be most associated with terrorist activity such as the Middle-East, that somehow they are not deemed as terrorists. Their actions could not be any clearer, and to label them anything less than what they really are seems to be the new norm.

Michael Adebolajo, an apparent Islamic militant and suspect arrested for murder of British Soldier Lee Rigby in London.

With blood all over his hands and weapons, Michael Adebolajo, an apparent Islamic militant was arrested for murder of British Soldier Lee Rigby in London.

[2] London, England.
Two men randomly attacked a man who was walking down a street allegedly because he was “wearing a T-shirt for a British veterans’ charity”. Lee Rigby, 25 was a British soldier. Two men deliberately drover over Rigby, then the suspects got out of the car and began hacking the soldier including with a knife and a meat cleaver.

One of the attackers reportedly shouted:

“We swear by almighty Allah, we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. Your people will never be safe.”

— Source: ABC News

This was clearly a politically motivated attack – a terrorist attack in protest against British foreign policy. Yet British Prime Minister David Cameron did not immediate call this a “terrorist attack.”

Instead of defending his own soldier who was killed, PM David Cameron was out defending the Islamic religion.

“There is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act,” Cameron said, adding that Britain’s Muslim community was united in condemning the murder.

— Source: Fox News Latino (PDF)

PM Cameron said that the attack “could be” terrorism. It either is, or it is not. This isn’t rocket science. Based on the suspect’s own statements chanting and citing radical religious reasons for inciting the attack in protest against British foreign policy, is pretty clear that this was a terrorist attack, and not a random murder, or other motivated crime. The attack on a British soldier was a convenient and easy target for the terror suspects.

British Intelligence reportedly knew who the attackers were, but they felt they were not seen as a threat to monitor or arrest them.

Alexandre Dhaussy

Alexandre Dhaussy, 22 was captured on closed circuit video at a mall reportedly purchasing two knives. Afterward he got down on his knees reportedly making a prayer just minutes before he allegedly attacked a French Soldier (Source: BBC) [Image Credit: Reuters via The Telegraph.UK].

[3] Paris, France.
In what may appear as a copycat-crime, a French soldier was stabbed in the neck while on duty at a French train station.

BBC News said, “Private First Class Cedric Cordier was approached from behind and stabbed in the neck with a small-bladed knife.” The attack seems to have been committed by a man of similar profile from the London terrorist attack on the British Soldier.

“French daily Le Parisien cited a police source as saying the suspected attacker was a bearded man of North African orig in about 30 years old, and was wearing an Arab-style garment under his jacket.”

— Source: France24 News (PDF)

The prime suspect Alexandre Dhaussy, 22 “is believed to be a recent convert to Islam.” Dhaussy was seen on video buying two knives and “saying a Muslim prayer” 8 minutes before the stabbing.

In this case, French authorities aren’t defending a religion or downplaying the attack. Dhaussy is under investigation by French authorities for “attempted murder linked to a terrorist enterprise” (Sources: BBC and The Telegraph.UK).

Grant Acord, age 17 from  West Albany High School planned "Columbine-style" attack with multiple explosive-type devices.

Grant Acord, age 17 from West Albany High School planned “Columbine-style” attack with multiple explosive-type devices [photo source: Fox 12 Oregon, Facebook page].

[4] Albany, Oregon.
Keep in mind that we said terrorism is not defined by religion, age, race or sex. Terrorism is defined by specific behaviors.

Seventeen-year-old boy named Grant Acord allegedly planned an extensive massacre of his fellow high-school students at West Valley High in Albany, Oregon. Accord reportedly had six home-made bombs including “pipe bombs, a napalm bomb, Draino bombs and Molotov cocktails.”

Acord is being charged as an adult of “attempted aggravated murder,” and additional charges.

“(Grant Acord) will be charged as an adult on suspicion of attempted aggravated murder and faces two counts of possession of a destructive device and two counts of manufacture of a destructive device…”

— Source: UPI (PDF)

Acord was already being held on non-disclosed, and unrelated charges in a juvenile detention center (Source: Fox 12, Oregon PDF). It was an anonymous tip that lead police to the explosives. Had police never received the tip, the incident could have been more tragic.

Acord should be tried as a “domestic terrorist.” His actions or intent are no different from the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston, or the terrorist attacks against military soldiers in London and Paris.

There will be some who will come out to Acord’s defense and argue that his parents were divorced, he was bullied, he was not popular, had low self-esteem, was mentally ill, etc.

None of these reasons justify murder, mass murder, intent to commit murder, or intent to use “weapons of mass destruction” that “involve acts dangerous to human life…” as defined under Section 802(a) of the 2001 Patriot Act.


[5] Prosecuting Domestic Terrorism: Make an Example
If the U.S. was serious at addressing terrorism, state and federal governments have to make an example of those committing crimes of terrorism.

If you want to try and reduce the risk of kids going into schools and shooting or otherwise killing other kids, make a high profile example out of them: If commit such heinous acts of domestic terrorism the penalty should be death. Making them an example of what society will not tolerate, perhaps some might think twice before taking such heinous actions.

After committing or attempting to commit said extreme crimes, the suspect’s career path is pretty much over. These people are not safe to be roaming in society after a few years of “rehabilitation” in prison. In our politically correct world, it seems that we don’t want to offend the terrorists now?

Instead of prosecuting these domestic terrorists as such, there is this huge political push to ban firearms, regulate guns and ammo, otherwise punish law-biding citizens and make them the criminals; while giving free (taxpayer funded) psychiatric and legal help for the terrorists who just need a better outlook about life?

[6] Re-framing Crime
In psychology, re-framing is choosing words in hope to change the meaning of the behavior. This is used all the time in the political world, and now we can see it in the law-enforcement world.

In the United States the term, to “re-offend” no longer appears to be used by the Department of Justice. Re-offending is now called, “Recidivism,” assuming one can pronounce this word correctly the first time through.

“Recidivism is one of the most fundamental concepts in criminal justice. It refers to a person’s relapse into criminal behavior, often after receiving sanctions or undergoing intervention for a previous crime.”

— Source: Department of Justice (PDF)

Regardless of the new terminology, the behavior is the same.

The United States (DOJ Study 1, DOJ Study 2), Canada and the UK (report 1, report 2) all seem to show similar statistics: The large majority of convicted criminals tend to re-offend (Recidivism) within 3 years of their release.

Not only is there an issue that we can’t call re-offenders as they are, we may see less use of the words, “terrorism” or “terrorists” replaced with politically correct semantics as to not offend or label ‘terrorists’ as they really are either.


[7] The Politics of Denial
In May of 2010, President Obama said that the War on Terror was “over.” Mr. Obama’s new policy was to use ‘a softer approach stressing “new partnerships” and multilateral diplomacy’ [Source: Telegraph, UK (PDF), 05-27-2010].

Mr. Obama gave no definitive statements what any of that really means, but it’s supposed to make us think that war and terrorism is really about creating new “partnerships” and “diplomacy?”

Mr. Obama is correct about one thing; U.S. foreign policy could use some change. We had some successes but at what costs? Unresolved issues remain in Afghanistan, Benghazi, Iran, Iraq, North Korea and now we may get involved with Syria?

However, if one thinks they can fight armed radical zealot(s) with a “softer approach”, using “new partnerships” (whatever that means), and “diplomacy” that too is a guaranteed failed policy.

With respect to Benghazi, the Obama Administration first denied that was a terrorist attack. The U.S. President has since called the House Oversight Committee on Benghazi, a “side show.”

Since Obama’s first term in office, there have been some 19 U.S. Embassies attacked by people who don’t share the President’s view of “new partnerships” or “diplomacy.” Not only have these attacks tended to avoid high level U.S. media attention, calling them “terrorist attacks” is also a rare occurrence.

[8] Just a Reminder: The War on Terror is Still “Over?”
Three years almost to the day, President Obama reminded us once again that the War on Terror is “Over”. This time, President Obama said that, ‘the military and intelligence agencies will not wage war against a tactic (whatever that means), but instead will focus on a specific group of networks determined to destroy the U.S’ [Source: U.S. News, (PDF), 05-27-2013].

So we are not fighting terrorists anymore, we are now ‘focusing on groups of networks who seek to destroy the U.S.’

One question for the White House Press Secretary: Isn’t that called, “terrorism?”

Not everyone seems to be on the same philosophical page with the President.

“Wishing the defeat of terrorists does not make it so…”

— Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and House Intelligence Committee member said.

[9] Government’s May Want to Closely Examine Again its Terrorism Enforcement
Clearly we have socially demented individuals and groups that are bent on using terrorist acts against Western targets including innocent civilians.

The U.S., UK, or state governments can’t stick their head in the sand and pretend this problem doesn’t exist, or change the meaning of events to somehow make us feel better.

Calling a person who has extremist political ideology, who sought to kill U.S. soldiers on a U.S. military base in Texas, isn’t exactly “work place violence.” Yet, that is what we are supposed to believe (Sources: ABC News, and Fox News).

These terrorists, whether in organized groups, small bans, happen to be related (Boston brothers), or act as individuals, should be treated as they are, and prosecuted accordingly.

The penalties for acts of terrorism in the U.S. are not as strong as they should be. Penalties could be just 10 years under §802 of the 2001 Patriot Act. The U.S. might want to consider longer sentences including but not limited to life and death penalties for appropriate situations which it has in at least a couple cases.

Convicted Oklahoma City Terrorist, Timothy McVeigh  killed 168 people and injured over 600 after using truck bomb to blow up federal building.

Convicted Oklahoma City Terrorist, Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people and injured over 600 after using truck bomb to blow up a federal building. [image source: Smokinggun.com]

The only U.S. domestic terrorist put to death was Timothy McVeigh, who blew up a federal building with a truck bomb in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, where 168 people died and 600 others injured.

McVeigh was convicted for using a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, destruction with the use of explosives, and 8 counts of first-degree murder. McVeigh’s accomplice, Terry Nichols is serving life in prison.

Was it easier to hand the death penalty (as deserving) to a white, Catholic kid?

Domestic terrorist, Ted Kaczynski known as the “Unabomber” was arrested in April 1996 killed three people and injured 23 after three decades of using explosives to kill people. Kaczynski was sentenced to life in prison. He pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty.

Would the U.S. hand the same penalty to others including but not limited to foreign nationals, naturalized citizens, or otherwise citizens who used weapons of mass destruction to kill and injure people during a Boston Marathon?

Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, was behind the 1993 truck bombing of the World Trade Center in New York where 6 people were killed and 1,042 were injured.

Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, was behind the 1993 truck bombing of the World Trade Center in New York where 6 people were killed and 1,042 were injured. [image source: wikipedia.org]

The U.S. did not send to death, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman (above), who was behind the 1993 truck bombing of the World Trade Center in New York where 6 people were killed and 1,042 were injured. The former resident of New York City, the blind Shaikh is serving a life-sentence in the USA. Why didn’t this guy get the death penalty? We’d argue it was politics.

Should the U.S. consider tougher sentences against those who go into schools and kill or intend to kill students and faculty in mass? These are questions governments should consider.

If penalties are weak, and laws not evenly and strictly enforced in appropriate fashion as to fit the crime, do you think foreign or domestic terrorists will stop attacking just because we keep trying to convince people that the War on Terror is “over?”


Credits: Image / graphic credits by their respective owners where noted if known. Three Monkeys image original owner not known or public domain. Image modification for political cartoon by NetAdvisor.org® staff.

original content copyright © 2013 NetAdvisor.org®

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