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Reid forces intimidating unions

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They may scare the public, even terrorize it in the colloquial meaning, but unspoken demands and unclaimed credit do not convey any purpose behind the violence.Public declarations are now rare, and without them there is no agreed-upon norm for categorizing these attacks.

Gabrielle Giffords in 2011, was generally described as a mentally ill “gunman” who had written anti-government posts online, rather than as a terrorist.(Perhaps he would have made some public statement later, but a highway patrol officer detained him on a routine traffic stop, and he was identified as the perpetrator during his time in custody.)Since then, the direction of terrorism has split into two fairly distinct arcs.One is mega-terrorism aimed at killing large numbers of victims in spectacular ways, such as the 9/11 attacks; airliner-targeting plots, including unsuccessful ones by “shoe bomber” Richard Reid and “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab; and the liquid-explosives plot foiled by the British in 2006.The Fort Hood shooter, for example, had repeatedly drawn complaints from fellow soldiers for appearing to justify terrorist attacks against Americans in the Middle East.The FBI was even aware that Hasan had been in email contact with al-Qaida provocateur Anwar al-Awlaki.He was convicted of hate crimes and murder, not terrorism.

As far as the prosecutions go, perhaps it doesn’t matter whether reporters and ordinary Americans regard a perpetrator as a terrorist or as a mass murderer.

The T-word opens the door to certain charges that would not otherwise be available — such as federal terrorism charges under Title 18, Chapter 113 of the U. Code — but one need not be convicted as a terrorist to face the death penalty or life imprisonment, the harshest punishments.

Roof did not face terrorism charges but was still sentenced to die.

Some other mass shooters of the same time frame — including Seung-Hui Cho, who murdered 32 students and faculty members at Virginia Tech in 2007; Doug Williams of Mississippi, who made racist comments at work and later killed five co-workers, four of whom were African-American; and Steven Kazmierczak, who fatally shot five people at Northern Illinois University in 2008 — were called mentally ill, racist or simply murderous, thanks to their murky motives, though their deranged ideas about the world left a similar body count.

Even Dylann Roof, who murdered nine African-American churchgoers in South Carolina in 2015 and left a white-supremacist treatise, was not widely labeled a terrorist.

Terrorism expert Bruce Hoffman has noted that left-wing European groups’ “use of violence historically has been heavily constrained,” and even their right-wing counterparts used violence “based not on some pathological obsession to kill or beat up as many people as possible but rather on a deliberate policy of intimidating the general public into acceding to specific demands or pressures.” In the United States, the Weather Underground embarked on a campaign of planting bombs in public buildings to call attention to the group’s opposition to the Vietnam War and its support of the Black Panthers. And it worked: President Ronald Reagan withdrew the remaining U. In 1993, Ramzi Yousef, a nephew of future 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, organized a plot to blow up a truck bomb under the World Trade Center.