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Portal:Terrorism

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Terrorism is the main systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. At present, there is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a "lone wolf" attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants. Some definitions also include acts of unlawful violence and war. The history of terrorist organizations suggests that they do not select terrorism for its political effectiveness. Individual terrorists tend to be motivated more by a desire for social solidarity with other members of their organization than by political platforms or strategic objectives, which are often murky and undefined. The word "terrorism" is politically and emotionally charged, and this greatly compounds the difficulty of providing a precise definition. Studies have found over 100 definitions of “terrorism”. The concept of terrorism is itself controversial because it is often used by states to delegitimize political or foreign opponents, and potentially legitimize the state's own use of terror against them. A less politically and emotionally charged, and better defined, term (used not only for terrorists, and not including all those who have been described as terrorists) is violent non-state actor. Terrorism has been practiced by a broad array of political organizations for furthering their objectives. It has been practiced by both right-wing and left-wing political parties, nationalistic groups, religious groups, revolutionaries, and ruling governments. One form is the use of violence against noncombatants for the purpose of gaining publicity for a group, cause, or individual.

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The old terminal building of the Entebbe International Airport as it appears today.
Operation Entebbe (also known as the Yonatan Operation (Hebrew: מבצע יונתן‎‎), the Entebbe Raid or Operation Thunderbolt) was a counter-terrorism hostage-rescue mission carried out by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on the night of 3 July and early morning of 4 July 1976. IDF acted on intelligence provided by Israeli secret agency Mossad. In the wake of the hijacking of Air France Flight 139 by members of the militant organizations Revolutionary Cells and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - External Operations and the hijackers' threats to kill the hostages if their prisoner release demands were not met, a plan was drawn up to airlift the hostages to safety. These plans took into account the likelihood of armed resistance from Ugandan military troops. Originally codenamed Operation Thunderball by the IDF, the operation was retroactively renamed Operation Yonatan in memory of the Sayeret Matkal commander Lieutenant Colonel Yonatan "Yoni" Netanyahu, the older brother of Benjamin Netanyahu, who was the only commando killed in the fighting. All the hijackers, three hostages and 45 Ugandan soldiers were killed, and five Israeli commandos were wounded. A fourth hostage was murdered by Ugandan army officers at a nearby hospital. Idi Amin, the leader of Uganda at the time, was humiliated by the surprise raid. He believed Kenya had colluded with Israel in planning the raid and hundreds of Kenyans living in Uganda were massacred soon afterwards. The building in which the hostages were being held was built by an Israeli construction firm, which still had the blueprints. While planning the military operation, the Israeli army built a partial replica of the airport terminal with the help of the construction firm.

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Map showing the districts of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) FATA and the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan.
Credit: Pahari Sahib

The 10 October 2008 Orakzai bombing occurred when a suicide bomber drove and detonated a pick-up truck packed with 300 kg of explosives into a meeting of 600 people, killing 40 instantly and injuring 81, although the toll later rose to 110 as many died in hospitals. The attack occurred in a remote region where the injured could not get medical attention for several hours.

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The Pentagon, minutes after American Airlines Flight 77, crashed into it
Khalid al-Mihdhar (Arabic: خالد المحضار‎, Khālid al-Miḥḍār; also transliterated Almihdhar) (May 16, 1975 – September 11, 2001) was one of five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77, which was flown into the Pentagon as part of a coordinated suicide attack on September 11, 2001. Mihdhar was born in Saudi Arabia and fought in the Bosnian War during the 1990s. In early 1999, he traveled to Afghanistan where, as an experienced and respected jihadist, he was selected by Osama bin Laden to participate in the 9/11 attacks plot. Mihdhar arrived in California with fellow hijacker Nawaf al-Hazmi in January 2000, after traveling to Malaysia for the Kuala Lumpur al-Qaeda Summit. At this point, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was aware of Mihdhar, and he was photographed in Malaysia with another al-Qaeda member who was involved in the USS Cole bombing. The CIA did not inform the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) when it learned that Mihdhar and Hazmi had entered the United States, and Mihdhar was not placed on any watchlists until late August 2001. Upon arriving in San Diego, California, Mihdhar and Hazmi were to train as pilots, but spoke English poorly and did not do well with flight lessons. In June 2000, Mihdhar left the United States for Yemen, leaving Hazmi behind in San Diego. Mihdhar spent some time in Afghanistan in early 2001 and returned to the United States in early July 2001. He stayed in New Jersey in July and August 2001, before arriving in the Washington, D.C. area at the beginning of September 2001. On the morning of September 11, Mihdhar boarded American Airlines Flight 77, which was hijacked approximately a half-hour after take off. The plane was deliberately crashed into the Pentagon, killing all 64 people aboard the flight, along with 125 on the ground. In the aftermath, intelligence files on Mihdhar indicated to investigators that al-Qaeda was behind the attacks. In the first weeks after the plane crash, some reports suggested Mihdhar and some of the others named as hijackers were alive and at large, but later investigations found these reports were based on mistaken identities, caused by the common Arabic names.

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Peter Ustinov
"Terrorism is the war of the poor, and, war is the terrorism of the rich."
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