Terrorist Law and Legal Definition

A Terrorist is a person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism. Terrorism is, in the most general sense, the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. Terrorism is practiced by a broad array of political organizations for furthering their objectives. It has been practiced by both right-wing and left-wing political parties, nationalistic groups, religious groups, revolutionaries, and ruling governments. One form is the use of violence against noncombatants for the purpose of gaining publicity for a group, cause, or individual.

The following is an example of a statute defining the term:

The term "terrorism" means any activity that--

(A) involves an act that--

(i) is dangerous to human life or potentially destructive of critical

infrastructure or key resources; and

(ii) is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State or other subdivision of the United States; and

(B) appears to be intended--

(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.[6 USCS § 101]