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Media and Terrorism

Terrorism differs from other forms of violence or crime in that it is aimed at people other than its victims. Most violence is committed for its own sake; an ordinary murderer wants the victim dead and usually does not want anyone to know who is responsible. A terrorist attack, by contrast, uses violence to influence others. The victim may be chosen at random, and the terrorists committing the act of violence generally want people to know that they are responsible. A repressive government might assassinate a relative of a political activist in order to intimidate the activist and other dissidents. A regional separatist group might bomb a police station in order to show authorities that their hold on that region is tenuous. A small fringe group might kidnap a celebrity in order to attract attention to their cause.

In each of these ...

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