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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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Hezbollah posters in the aftermath of the 2006 Lebanon War
Hezbollah literally "party of God") is a Shi'a Islamist political and paramilitary organisation based in Lebanon. Hezbollah is now also a major provider of social services, which operate schools, hospitals, and agricultural services for thousands of Lebanese Shiites, and plays a significant force in Lebanese politics. It is regarded as a resistance movement throughout much of the Arab and Muslim world. Many governments, including Arab ones, have condemned actions by Hezbollah while others have praised the party. Several western countries regard it in whole or in part as a terrorist organization. Hezbollah first emerged as a militia in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, also known as Operation Peace for Galilee, in 1982, set on resisting the Israeli occupation of Lebanon during the Lebanese civil war. Hezbollah's 1985 manifesto listed its three main goals as "putting an end to any colonialist entity" in Lebanon, bringing the Phalangists to justice for "the crimes they [had] perpetrated," and the establishment of an Islamic regime in Lebanon. Hezbollah leaders have also made numerous statements calling for the destruction of Israel, which they refer to as a "Zionist entity... built on lands wrested from their owners." Hezbollah, which started with only a small militia, has grown to an organization with seats in the Lebanese government, a radio and a satellite television-station, and programs for social development. Hezbollah maintains strong support among Lebanon's Shi'a population, and gained a surge of support from Lebanon's broader population (Sunni, Christian, Druze) immediately following the 2006 Lebanon War, and is able to mobilize demonstrations of hundreds of thousands. Hezbollah and some other groups began the 2006–2008 Lebanese political protests in opposition to the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. Finally, on the basis of Doha Agreement, Hezbollah was granted veto power in Lebanon's parliament. In addition, National unity government was formed which Hezbollah has one minister and controls eleven of thirty seats in it. Hezbollah receives its financial support from Iran, Syria, and the donations of Lebanese and other Shi'a. It has also gained significantly in military strength in the 2000s. Despite a June 2008 certification by the United Nations that Israel had withdrawn from all Lebanese territory, in August of that year, Lebanon's new Cabinet unanimously approved a draft policy statement which secures Hezbollah's existence as an armed organization and guarantees its right to "liberate or recover occupied lands." Since 1992, the organization has been headed by Hassan Nasrallah, its Secretary-General.

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Wood Green ricin plot
Credit: United States Department of State

Colin Powell's UN presentation slide showing alleged "UK poison cell" as part of global network.

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7 July 2005 London bombings

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Flag of Uganda
Idi Amin Dada (c.1925 – 16 August 2003) was the military dictator and President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Amin joined the British colonial regiment, the King's African Rifles, in 1946, and eventually held the rank of Major General and Commander of the Ugandan Army. He took power in a military coup of January 1971, deposing Milton Obote. Amin's rule was characterised by human rights abuses, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, nepotism, corruption and gross economic mismanagement. The number of people killed as a result of his regime is estimated by international observers and human rights groups to range from 100,000 to 500,000. Notable backers of Amin included Muammar al-Gaddafi's Libya, the Soviet Union and East Germany, with early support for his regime coming from Great Britain, Israel, and Apartheid South Africa. In 1975–1976, Amin became the Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity, a pan-Africanist group designed to promote solidarity of the African states. During the 1977–1979 period, Uganda was appointed to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. From 1977 to 1979, Amin titled himself as "His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular". Dissent within Uganda and Amin's attempt to annex the Kagera province of Tanzania in 1978 led to the Uganda-Tanzania War and the demise of his regime. Amin fled first to Libya, then to Saudi Arabia, where he died in 2003.

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Tommy Franks
"The global war on terrorism will be a long fight. But make no mistake about it: We are going to fight the terrorists."
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