Terrorism facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
National Park Service 9-11 Statue of Liberty and WTC fire
September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the New York World Trade Center

Terrorism is the use of fear and acts of violence in order to intimidate societies or governments. Many different types of social or political organizations might use terrorism to try to achieve their goals. People who do terrorism are called terrorists. The foundation of modern terrorism is the work of Sergey Nechayev, a Russian radical who developed strategies for carrying out terrorism.

It is difficult to explain terrorism. Terrorism has no official criminal law definition at the international level. Common definitions of terrorism refer to violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror). They may be done for a religious, political, or ideological goal, and often target civilians. Some definitions now include acts of unlawful violence and war. The use of similar tactics by criminal gangs is not usually called terrorism. The same actions may be called terrorism when done by a politically motivated group.

There are over 100 definitions of "terrorism". In some cases, the same group may be described as "freedom fighters" by its supporters and "terrorists" by its opponents. The term 'terrorism' is often used by states to criticize political opponents. As well, states may do state terrorism.

One form of terrorism is the use of violence against noncombatants for the purpose of gaining publicity for a group, cause, or individual.


Terrorism Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.