Terrorism: “I know it when I see it.”

Paris, France: Today, Wednesday, January 7, 2015, three men walked into a building in Paris, into the offices of a newspaper that published cartoons depicting Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam, called out the names of people and shot 12 people dead and injured another 11 people. The three men yelled “Allah Akbar!” (“God is great”) as they fired.

All day long, news reports were funneling the latest comments by politicians, leaders of France, England, Germany and the United States. Fox News highlighted how long it took President Obama to call it an act of terror, apparently only after France’s President called it an act of terror. Well, here’s the thing…

The United Nations cannot agree on a definition of “terror, terrorism.” After all, it could be an act of self-determination (read revolt). Here in the United States, we did agree on a definition of terrorism, but broke it out between International, Domestic and Federal. The Central Intelligence Agency states:

“The Intelligence Community is guided by the definition of terrorism contained in Title 22 of the US Code, Section 2656f(d):

The term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.
The term “international terrorism” means terrorism involving the territory or the citizens of more than one country.
The term “terrorist group” means any group that practices, or has significant subgroups that practice, international terrorism.”

So, in essence, depending on where the attack takes place, what the motives are, whether it be a individual, a group, a state sponsor…. this is why it takes time to make a clear and concrete statement that today’s act was an act of terror… For me, an act of terrorism is much like Judge Potter Stewart’s comment on pornography, “I know it when I see it.”

22 thoughts on “Terrorism: “I know it when I see it.”

  1. And when was the last time a group of Christians walked into the office of a Muslim publication and began murdering people in cold blood yelling, Jesus is great! Or hijacked a pland and flew it into a skyscraper? Hmmmm, I didn’t think so. So what is it about this that does not evince terror or terrorism? If we look at this sort of behavior, hem and haw and have to consult with a bunch pundits to figure this out, then all I can say is, I know stupid when I see it. Good work Huntie!

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    • I understood why it took time for the designation of “terror.” Once it is labeled “terror,” all kinds of Acts, such as the Patriot Act, and funding kick in – different agencies activated.

      I am troubled when an act of terror, such as the Fort Hood shooting, is called “workplace violence.” Or the more recent one of Oklahoma where the grocery fired a man, who returned and chopped off the head of a coworker. While both were committed by a lone individual, the first seemed a deliberate and well thought out plan of attack that would seem to me to be an act of terror. The Oklahoma one seems less so – more an act of workplace violence influenced by a recent conversion to Islam.

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  2. I’ve been thinking about that stuff in France also. I haven’t fully came up with any conclusion but this. What the paper was printing was offensive and I am sure they knew it. To the Muslim community it is slander. When you promote that type of thing you are inviting hatred and encouraging even more acts of violence, the divide between Islam and Christianity is bad enough on its own.

    Well, I’d better get back to my own blog lol but yes,violence is violence, it’s not that hard to see

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    • Aaron, near as I can tell, the paper was nonpartisan in its lampooning of all religions, not just Islam. You wrote “When you promote that type of thing you are inviting hatred and encouraging even more acts of violence, the divide between Islam and Christianity is bad enough on its own.” You could flip that and ask what type of people promise to kill you if you do not do as they believe you should?

      You are a blogger, Aaron – what would you do if someone said “Your writing offends me – you can write or you can die.”? And then, it won’t just be your writing, it will be what you say, what you do, how you choose to worship.

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  3. We have brutal radical groups, small and massive, who love death more than they love even their own children. Completely rabid as animals. Beyond reach of redemption, and doing their terror with the blasphemy of using God’s Name. All done to control others by force, and fear. Terrorism. Islamic Supremacy terrorism.

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    • In reading your comment, MB, I got to “Beyond reach of redemption…” and all my background and faith stood up and said, “No one is beyond redemption…” Then I thought some more and realized, ah, it is the Christian God who said redemption is possible for all. And there you have the crux of the problem. One religion urges death to nonbelievers and another simply waits for an invitation to come into your heart.

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  4. It was an act of terror. One group of people holding another group hostage by threat of violence can be nothing but.
    Regardless of what the CIA and the, apparently Muslim, prez of the US has to say about it…

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  5. Hello Huntie – My father didn’t allow the slaughter of animals raised on our ranch at meet packing houses because of the horrific methods used. He routinely ‘sold out’ over 2,000 black angus beef to individuals every year because people knew they were getting premium meat with no growth hormones, no antibiotics for rapid growth or any of the other tricks of the trade.
    My father was a man’s man but he also understood kindness. The flip side, he wouldn’t stand for butchery of beast or man and that’s exactly what happened in Paris, in my opinion.
    I called it terrorism from the start the same as Fort Hood. It’s a shame we have a Prez that doesn’t understand the concept of murder.
    Finally after much in-fighting in Congress and the Pentagon, the shooting at Fort Hood has been named an act of Terrorism – unfortunately the soldiers that were severely wounded were medical boarded out of the Army before the decision was made and they are out there on their own trying to find health care they have to pay for themselves. If it had been called Terrorism from the beginning, they would be declared 100% disabled Veterans! What a difference that makes. It’s the difference between having a home and being homeless.

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