Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Alan M. Dershowitz
One of the greatest dangers facing the world today comes from religiously inspired terrorist groups—often state sponsored—that are seeking to develop weapons of mass destruction for use against civilian targets. These loosely knit groups are especially difficult to combat because they often employ suicidal terrorists who are not subject to the usual deterrent threats—of death or other severe punishment. Terrorists also lack a “return address,” a known location where they can be attacked without civilian casualties. The grave dangers posed by this kind of “poor man's warfare” are different from any previously faced. The first problem is to define terrorism. We have all heard the refrain, “One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.” We have heard this theme and its variations so often that it has been impossible to fix on a single definition of terrorism that satisfies everyone. Part of the blame lies with the United Nations and ...