The Complexity of Terrorism Terminology in Modern Day, By Bello Shehu Maude
EMERGENCY DIGEST- Since 9/11 there has been a five-fold increase in deaths from terrorist attacks. The majority of incidents over the past several years can be tied to groups with a religious agenda.
Before 2000, it was nationalist separatist terrorist organizations such as the Irish Republican Army and Chechen rebels who were behind the most attacks. The number of incidents from nationalist separatist groups has remained relatively stable in the years since while religious extremism has grown. The prevalence of Islamist groups in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria is the main driver behind these trends.
Four of the terrorist groups that have been most active since 2001 are Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIL. These groups have been most active in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria. Eighty percent of all deaths from terrorism occurred in one of these five countries.
The modern explanation of TERRORISM phenomenon was propagated by United State of America after the 9/11 World Trade Center attacked.
The State defined who to be called TERROR and used media for its global acceptance.
Also the US changed the narration of Foreign Policy idea which categorically condemned Non-aligned States in fighting Terrorism.
Sitting on a fence is no longer an option, you are either with us or against us (US ideology on fighting against Terror Act)
Ronald Reagan and others in the American administration frequently called the Mujaheddin “freedom fighters” during the Soviet–Afghan War barely after twenty years later, when a new generation of Afghan men were fighting against what they perceive to be a regime installed by foreign powers, their attacks were labelled “terrorism” by George W. Bush
Those labeled “terrorists” by their opponents rarely identify themselves as such, and typically use other terms or terms specific to their situation, such as separatist, freedom fighter, liberator, revolutionary, vigilante, militant, paramilitary, guerrilla, rebel, patriot, or any similar-meaning word in other languages and cultures. Jihadi, Mujaheddin, and Fedayeen are similar Arabic words that have entered the English lexicon. It is common for both parties in a conflict to describe each other as terrorists.
A Leading terrorism researcher Professor Martin Rudner, Director of the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies at Ottawa’s Carleton University, defines “terrorist acts” as unlawful attacks for political or other ideological goals, and said:
There is the famous statement: ‘One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.’ But that is grossly misleading. It assesses the validity of the cause when terrorism is an act. One can have a perfectly beautiful cause and yet if one commits terrorist acts, it is terrorism regardless.
Bello Shehu Maude
Writes from Kano