Armed Hostilities

Terrorism Definition and Motivation

Table of Contents
  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Punishment for Terrorism
  4. Beyond Punishment
  5. Alienation as a Cause for Terrorism
  6. Conclusion
  7. References


This paper defines the notion of terrorism according to the UN General Assembly Resolution as well as outlines three main reasons people make terrorist attacks on innocent members of society. Nevertheless, no matter whether a terrorist attack was driven by ideology or a political strategy, a person that is proven to be guilty of it should get punished according to the laws of a country or state where the terrorist act had been done. The most common punishment is imprisonment so that there is a potential possibility of getting information about the possible planned terrorist attacks.

Our experts can deliver a customized essay
tailored to your instructions
for only $13.00 $11.05/page
308 qualified specialists online

Learn more

Furthermore, the paper suggests a beyond punishment approach towards the elimination of terrorism. While criminals deserve to be punished for what they have done the importance of addressing the issues in the communities those criminals come from is crucial. Alienation of some social groups can lead to violent acts targeted at innocent people, so the government should also look into identifying a group or groups that are characterized by an extreme ideology that is enough to perpetrate a terrorist act towards the general public.


According to the UN General Assembly Resolution from December 9, 1994, terrorism is defined as “criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them” (as cited in Various Definitions of Terrorism, n.d., para. 2). Thus, there may be various causes and reasons for terrorism that include strategic reasons, psychological issues, and ideological beliefs (United States Institute of Peace, n.d., p. 10). However, despite the reasons for terrorism existing, it is a crime that should be strictly punished because it causes harm or even takes innocent lives.

Punishment for Terrorism

Since an act of terrorism requires significant periods for planning, it falls into a category of a premeditated act that should be punished accordingly. There are cases in which a terrorist or terrorist committed a suicide terrorist attack just to take the lives of innocent members of the public that did nothing wrong. However, there are cases in which a terrorist act is done by an individual who did not take direct participation in the act. Such individuals are to be punished. The most common type of punishment for terrorist attacks is a prison sentence in a usually maximum-security facility where a prisoner is strictly controlled and monitored. Although there is recent evidence of torture cases targeted at convicted terrorists in some imprisonment facilities because other inmates believe that the act of terrorism should be punished much more strictly than it is. The death penalty is considered the strictest punishment for the act of terrorism. Even though the issue of capital punishment has been a greatly discussed subject, some countries practice the punishment by death because it is believed that taking the life of innocent people is worthy of taking the life of the one who has taken them (Crime Museum, 2015, para. 6).

Beyond Punishment

There is evidence that punishment can reduce the instances of drunk driving or robbery, terrorism is very hard to be controlled with a punishment, especially when it comes to religion and ideology-driven terrorism acts. Furthermore, the suicide terrorists and those who do get caught in the act are acknowledged as heroes within their ideology. Thus, terrorism is a crime that cannot be reduced using legal punishment, so the question about what can stop future terrorist attacks remains unanswered.

The strategies targeted at strengthening the levels of security are constantly evolving. For instance, in the aftermath of the Bost Marathon attacks, there have been discussions centered around the means and methods of improving security at sports events. However, the general public values freedom more than reinforced security. As outlined in the Baltimore Sun article written by Laura Dugan, the majority of terrorist groups and organizations directly depend on the support from the civilian population of their ethnic groups. Thus, if they lose this support, terrorist operations can be greatly disrupted. A progressive step for the government is providing rewarding incentives for the civilian populations to minimize the acts of terrorism and weaken its ideological movement (Dugan, 2013, para. 9). Thus, an alternative way of terrorist prevention is closely connected with rewarding positive behavior rather than punishing the negative.

Alienation as a Cause for Terrorism

The rise of security control strategies that are aimed predominantly at the Muslim population is closely linked to the possibility of alienating some bulks of the population that may cause harm to others. Thus, the strategies designed to reduce instances of terrorism can also have a reward-based background outlined in the previous section of the paper. U.S. specialists that work in the sphere of counterterrorism can implement the following steps:

On-Time Delivery! Get your 100% customized paper
done in
as little as 3 hours

Let`s start

  1. Conduct an identification of a group or groups that are characterized by an extreme ideology that is enough to perpetrate a terrorist act towards the general public.
  2. Find out whether an identified group or groups are backed by their electorate.
  3. Identify whether there are any complaints or offenses in the electorate (Dugan, 2013, para. 13).

For instance, using addressing and identifying issues of Muslim communities in the United States can be instrumental in creating and maintaining close, trusting connections with officials from the government. Such a close relationship strategy can apply to potential terrorists of a radical and violent ideology. Using addressing some issues that usually alienate the terrorists from their support, the cases of terrorist attacks can be reduced. While criminals should always be punished for what they have done, especially in a case of a terrorist attack, the process of terrorism prevention should also consider cultural and emotional issues (Kroenig & Pavel, 2012, p. 34).


To sum up, terrorism is a severe crime that deserves punishment according to the law despite the reasons for the act. The reasons for terrorism can be roughly divided into strategic, psychological, and ideological. However, a lot can be done on the part of the government to reduce the instances of this crime. As discussed in the Baltimore Sun article, the U.S. government can go through some steps to take terrorist instances under control. Since terrorist groups heavily depend on the support of the civilians from their population groups, the government should identify the issues that exist in those populations and find means to address and fix them if possible.


Crime Museum. (2015). Punishment for Terrorism. Web.

Dugan, L. (2013). To Deter Terrorism, Think Beyond Punishment. Web.

Kroenig, M., & Pavel, B. (2012). How to Deter Terrorism. Web.

United States Institute of Peace. (n.d.). Teaching Guide on International Terrorism: Definitions, Causes, and Responses. Web.

Various Definitions of Terrorism. (n.d.). Web.

We’ll deliver a custom paper tailored to your requirements.
Cut 15% off your first order

Use discount

This page is having a slideshow that uses Javascript. Your browser either doesn't support Javascript or you have it turned off. To see this page as it is meant to appear please use a Javascript enabled browser.

Just a bit off from the syllabus rubric, but I can add to the slides on my own. Thank you anyway.
To the writer, THANK YOU, a million times over, this is very impressive! Thank you to the support team for making a hiccup not turn into a disaster!
There was consistent communication from the start, and it was obvious the writer thoroughly reviewed the information provided. Thank you.
Excellent work all the time! love my writer also. Don't know if I'm supposed to do this but I just need to say this writer does excellent work!
The writer followed my instruction thoroughly and did a great job. The quality of the paper is more than I expected. Thank you.
Justus N
Justus N
You people have been really patient with me as I created mechanical engineering content. It’s not an easy topic to handle, yet I can say that I worked with a skilled specialist. My writer took time to understand my ideas but it was mostly my fault. Just share more details.
Kelly H
Kelly H
When I received a paper revision from my new college professor, I was desperate as I didn’t know what to do. If not for Academized, I would be doomed. They know how to fix things for you and explain what was wrong as they fix it.
Paul D
Paul D
You're the best, I'll be using your services again soon! Thank you Thank you Thank you!
Mark P.
Mark P.
I asked my writer to help me compose a personal essay about charity work that I do at the local church. It is not easy for me to express myself in words, which is why I needed some privacy and a good person who would appreciate my thoughts and ideas.

error: Content is protected !!
Open chat
Do You Need Assignment Help? Lets Chat!
StudyPoo Inc.
Get Help Instantly direct from an Expert.

Talk through Live Chat right now!