With nearly 41% of all terrorist attacks resulting in casualty, and a dramatic increase in public targeted incidents, governing bodies representing both domestic and international interests alike have invested countless resources into better understanding why terrorism occurs, and how legislatively, it can be stopped. The result has led to an intriguing conceptualization of terrorism commencement theory, international convention prohibitions, and domestic statute adoptions.
Understanding Terrorism: Scope, Scale, and Premeditative Factors Guiding Legislative Enactment
Statistically, post-1990, approximately 100 to 200 international terrorist attacks have occurred each year. Of this number, 40% of offenses were directly targeted against U.S. interests. Heinous acts of terrorism such as the U.S. 9/11 Twin Towers attack and 2007 London Bombing have demonstrated that atrocities stemming from terrorism extend beyond the loss of life or injury. Rather, both domestic and international acts of terrorism hold the significant capacity to adversely impact socio-political and economic sectors. Empirical evidence has suggested that terrorism, directly and indirectly, results in: infrastructural damage, unemployment, weakened commerce, an elevated need for security, counterterrorism budgeting, and escalated insurance premiums. Globally, the vast majority of attacks have occurred within the Middle East and Europe, however, the highest rates of mortality have occurred within Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
To fully comprehend why terrorism has become an increasingly widespread phenomenon within the last half-century, one must first grasp what constitutes terrorism, and how domestic and international acts of terrorism differentiate. For an atrocity to be classified as an act of "terrorism," intentions must target "...premeditated political violence against civilians with the objective of maximizing media exposure to the act and, ultimately, to the terror group and/or to its cause. Political violence is achieved when either an individual (independent of the state) or the state itself commits assault with the purpose of obtaining a political goal. For the scope of this article, two primary forms of terrorism will be discussed: domestic and international incidents.
Domestic: Domestic terrorist attacks occur when a perpetrator commits an act of political violence within their own nation's jurisdiction. Consequences of a domestic attack are intended only to impact the venue country (whether that be its structural institutions, citizens, or policies). Within a domestic attack, the offenders, their victims, and the overarching goal exist within one territorial jurisdiction. International: Transnational terrorist attacks engage offenders, victims, and targets of multiple nations. There is significant debate existing between international governing bodies as to why acts of terrorism are committed. Despite a dramatic surge in research funding, the enactment of fifteen...