is a phenomenon that takes several meanings and conceptualizationsthat vary from people to people. However, in the midst of the varyingconceptualizations, there are the fundamental defining elements thatmake terrorism what it is today since its evolution. Through a reviewand comparison of the varying definitions, this paper will exploreterrorism with a view of defining what it is and base theunderstanding of the fundamental elements that conceptualize theterrorism phenomenon. is any act or intention that ismotivated by causing pain, terror and harm as a way of demonstratingan ideology or to force acceptance of the ideologies of a group ofpeople.

Themain defining element of terror is the ill-intention of theperpetrator. Just like any other crime, terrorism has an ill motivethat is meant to be achieved through the use of terror ordestruction. However, terrorism takes a more complex and wider scopeof intent since the motivation derives from religious or politicalfactors. According to Laqueur (n.d), terrorism is politicallymotivated and involves perpetration of violence for higher reasonsrather than just destruction. On the other hand, Khanna (2003) viewsterrorism as a war that is motivated by the desire to showsuperiority of either a religion or a social group. This leads to aconclusion that terrorism is a crime of mass destruction that ismotivated by political, social or religious factors of war.

Inaddition, terrorism is a war between two or more sides that want toachieve some of the end results motivated by the factors above. appears as a war by the way it is planned, executed anddeveloped in the world (Bobbit,2013).The world has seen the development of terrorism and the establishmentof the current war against modern terrorists. According to Khanna(2003), terrorism is a war that is planned by terrorist to advancetheir extremist fundamentalism against the ever retaliating world.Khanna (2003) further states that defining terrorism as a war is theonly way of justifying the spectrum of the planning of the attack andthe responses that was taken to fight terrorism.

Moreover,terrorism is also defined as a religious and political actsimplemented through violence to advance certain interests. Accordingto Khanna (2003), terrorism is practiced by several political andreligious groups to cause revolutions and overthrow regimes. The riseof terrorist attacks by Muslim extremists is motivated by believingthat they are in jihad war against those perceived to be against theextremist Muslim believes. Similarly, terrorism beliefs that theirattacks against the western nations will force their agenda regardingpolitical interests of western nations in perceived Islamic countries(Bobbit,2013).This makes terrorism a political and a religious phenomenon that canonly be ended through strategies that involve the dynamics ofpolitics and religion.

takes different forms and definitions but has main defining elementsthat conceptualize it. No matter the form of terrorism taken, thephenomenon involves an intention that motivates the use of violenceand destruction to implement the motive. This makes the definition ofterrorism as a war valid since it involves attacking andcounterattacking in the struggle to achieve the motives. Moreover,terrorism is defined as a political or religious war that ismotivated by factors of dominance and forcing acceptance of certainideologies.


Bobbit,P. (2013). Terror and Consent: The Wars for the Twenty-first Century.New York: Penguin Books Limited

Khanna,P. (2003). as War. RetrievedFrom, &lthttp://www.hoover.org/research/terrorism-war&gt September14, 2014

Laquer,W. (N.d). :a Brief History. RetrievedFrom, &lthttp://www.laqueur.net/index2.php?r=2&ampid=71&gtSeptember 14, 2014