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 Post subject: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:10 am 
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so it seems that suspect #2 is going to be tried in a federal court and the crime was considered an act of terrorism.

im just curious what is the line when something is a crime tried by whatever state/city it happens in and when something becomes a federal crime that is considered an act of terror.

is it the type of crime? ie the weapons he used.
the number of people hurt?

the potential motive? (and in this case we dont actually KNOW the motive we are just guessing)

did they decide to consider it an act of terrorism so they could loosen up the rules they had to follow in order to apprehend them?

is it the resources needed? (literally every damn law enforcement imaginable was in Watertown yesterday)

im honestly just curious.

someone walks into a movie theater heavily armed and kills and wounds dozens of people he is tried at the state level.
2 people carry home made bombs to a sporting event and kill 3 and maim hundreds and it's a federal crime.

im curious where the delineation is cause i just dont know.

im not rendering any opinions on what i think it should be i just want to be informed.

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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:35 am 
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http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publi ... -2002-2005

Quote:
here is no single, universally accepted, definition of terrorism. Terrorism is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85).

The FBI further describes terrorism as either domestic or international, depending on the origin, base, and objectives of the terrorist organization. For the purpose of this report, the FBI will use the following definitions:

Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.


So if it's just for the sake of blowin' people up for kicks, it's just mass murder.

If it's for the sake of furthering some agenda, it's terrorism.

I don't know how that fits with Monday, but I suspect it will come out as things move forward.

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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:21 pm 
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im thinking the same thing, ie that things will start to come out and it was to further some agenda.

i know one thing i learned today is that it's since come out that the older one was already interviewed by the FBI in 2011 because an unnamed country gave us some tip to watch out for him.

im guessing the FBI/government has info on him/them to have made that decision that it was an act of terror rather than like you say just mass murder.

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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:24 pm 
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I'm pretty curious to see what the motive is here. The media seems like they really want this to be about religious extremism -- I read an article on boston.com yesterday claiming that one of the suspects had recently become more religious, but the content of the article seemed to contradict the headline.

For what it's worth, based upon what we know now, it doesn't seem like there was any loosening of the rules in order to apprehend these guys. (The rules are actually pretty loose as it is thanks to 40 years of jurisprudence in the context of the war on drugs.)

All of the video used to identify the guys was taken in public places and freely turned over to the police, so no issues there. As far as I know, the police relied on tips and the suspects own stupid decision to flee on Thursday to ID the guys (rather than, say, warrentless wiretapping or waterboarding), so no issue there.

The manhunt that went on yesterday is pretty much a textbook example of the exigent circumstances exception to the 4th amendment (in that it was one of the examples in my Criminal Procedure textbook in lawschool).

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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:41 pm 
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LisaPunk wrote:
im thinking the same thing, ie that things will start to come out and it was to further some agenda.

i know one thing i learned today is that it's since come out that the older one was already interviewed by the FBI in 2011 because an unnamed country gave us some tip to watch out for him.

im guessing the FBI/government has info on him/them to have made that decision that it was an act of terror rather than like you say just mass murder.


Except that President Obama was calling this an act of terror at a press conference on Wednesday, before they had narrowed down who the suspects were or what their possible motives might have been.

I read somewhere on Tuesday (and now I can't find it, of course) that someone in the Federal government said that it would be considered an act of terror if multiple explosive devices were used. I'll see if I can find that quote.

ETA: This is the article. It looks like a number of people in the federal government said it "had the hallmarks" of a terrorist attack.

Not that that really clarifies much.

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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:00 pm 
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I think this inquiry becomes really interesting in light of AETA (the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act). Under AETA and the SHAC 7 case, we have seen non-violent actions such as including maintaining a website that allowed others to send black faxes, labeled as terrorism and subjected the perpetrators to a mandatory 7 year terrorism enhancement. When peaceful protests are legally defined to become terrorism I start to worry about this country.

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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:24 pm 
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My conception was always that if an act left people feeling terror, then what happened was terrorism.

But clearly I don't agree with the government on that one because then the SHAC stuff wouldn't qualify as terrorism in my book.

So . . .

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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:38 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
I think this inquiry becomes really interesting in light of AETA (the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act). Under AETA and the SHAC 7 case, we have seen non-violent actions such as including maintaining a website that allowed others to send black faxes, labeled as terrorism and subjected the perpetrators to a mandatory 7 year terrorism enhancement. When peaceful protests are legally defined to become terrorism I start to worry about this country.


THIS! In this case corporate interests are clearly at play, and it's infuriating they aren't challenged on labeling this 'terrorism.'


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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:53 pm 
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starrynight87 wrote:
My conception was always that if an act left people feeling terror, then what happened was terrorism.

But clearly I don't agree with the government on that one because then the SHAC stuff wouldn't qualify as terrorism in my book.

So . . .


right, so then what separates what happened at the marathon from what happened in sandy hook elementary and the theatre shootings? what causes more terror than having an entire theatre full of people or an entire classroom of children murdered in cold blood? weren't people afraid to go see movies or send their children to school for weeks after?

i don't understand the difference.


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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:54 pm 
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littlebird wrote:
right, so then what separates what happened at the marathon from what happened in sandy hook elementary and the theatre shootings? what causes more terror than having an entire theatre full of people or an entire classroom of children murdered in cold blood? weren't people afraid to go see movies or send their children to school for weeks after?


Politics. The _effect_ may be that people are terrorized, but they are generally terrorized and there is no implied threat-- that is, the Sandy Hook shooter and the theater guy were individuals acting on their own to do something awful rather than representatives of a group attempting to enact larger change by forcing groups to act a certain way through the use of terror attacks.

If the Sandy Hook guy had left a note saying "I am one of many; if you guys don't (legalize pot/illegalize gays/release Bradley Manning/impeach Obama/whatever) then this will happen again and again until you do" _that_ would make it terrorism.

That tendency for people to take very rare events (school shootings; bombings) and think that they could happen any time to anyone and probably will is exactly what terrorists are exploiting.

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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:03 pm 
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but there is an assumption that boston was terrorism, with absolutely no backing. other than that the two men were not born in america. they haven't said anything about why they did it. they didn't claim the act at all!

super forking slippery slope we're heading down to assign terrorist motives to immigrant criminals.


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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:12 pm 
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Its like when abortion clinics are bombed and doctors shot, its not terrorism because a good Christian did it.

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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:17 pm 
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littlebird wrote:
but there is an assumption that boston was terrorism, with absolutely no backing. other than that the two men were not born in america. they haven't said anything about why they did it. they didn't claim the act at all!

super forking slippery slope we're heading down to assign terrorist motives to immigrant criminals.

It was being called terrorism before we knew who the suspects were, I think. It was still an assumption of terrorism, but not one based on who did it.

Although, Obama did *not* use the word "terror" or "terrorist" in the press conference Monday night, but did on Tuesday night: "Anytime bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror." http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics ... irst-words

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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:20 pm 
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Shy Mox wrote:
Its like when abortion clinics are bombed and doctors shot, its not terrorism because a good Christian did it.


I've not thought about that, but you're right. It's never referred to as such.

I too have wondered why the bombings were automatically called terrorism. Maybe just because our world is so saturated with terrorism/political bombings that that's just the assumption we go with? Because American media loves to use "terrorism" to sensationalize things? Because in a post 9-11 world we assume terrorism first and then prove otherwise later?

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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:26 pm 
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if you were watching the news or plowing through reddit/twitter/4chan, terrorist/terrorism were being used constantly. the persons of interest all happened to be non-white males. before anyone knew anything, the assumption was there that this was terrorism, perpetrated by foreigners.


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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:35 pm 
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Louzilla wrote:
Although, Obama did *not* use the word "terror" or "terrorist" in the press conference Monday night, but did on Tuesday night: "Anytime bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror." http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics ... irst-words


But of course its only terrorism if they attack us. If we attack them, even on their own soil its something else. I thought this piece was interesting.

Quote:
"ANY TIME bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it's an act of terrorism," said Barack Obama in response to the attacks in Boston. Yet Obama made no mention of the 11 children and nine adults killed in an air strike in eastern Afghanistan a month before the Boston Marathon explosions. No mention either of the 42 killed and 257 injured in a series of bombings in Iraq on the same day as the Marathon.

On Wednesday, a reporter at a White House press briefing directed a question at White House spokesperson Jay Carney: "President Obama said that what happened in Boston was an act of terrorism. I would like to ask: Do you consider the U.S. bombing on civilians in Afghanistan earlier this month that left 11 children and a woman killed a form of terrorism? Why or why not?"

Carney could not provide a real answer to the question of whether civilians killed by U.S. bombs and drones in Afghanistan qualify as "terrorism." Instead, he referred to the 9/11 attacks: "We have more than 60,000 U.S. troops involved in a war in Afghanistan, a war that began when the United States was attacked, in an attack that was organized on the soil of Afghanistan by al-Qaeda, by Osama bin Laden and others."

This begs the question: What did the 11 children killed in the bombing referred to by the reporter have to do with planning the 9/11 attacks, which happened before they were born? In truth, the vast majority people killed and injured in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion have had nothing whatsoever to do with al-Qaeda, nor even the former Taliban regime that the U.S. accused, on flimsy evidence, of protecting bin Laden.

The silence of the mainstream media makes it very easy to ignore the deaths of people halfway around the world. But when a bombing like Boston happens close by, we are forced to imagine what it would be like to live in Afghanistan or Iraq--to live in constant fear of attack and to see the people you care most about taken away from you.


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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:59 pm 
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Moon wrote:
Shy Mox wrote:
Its like when abortion clinics are bombed and doctors shot, its not terrorism because a good Christian did it.


I've not thought about that, but you're right. It's never referred to as such.


Sure it is. The FBI treats it as such when they investigate it. It's just not reported as such by the mainstream news media, because the mainstream news media don't want to alienate anyone who might buy things advertised between news stories.

Remember, mainstream news is really just entertainment television, and is designed to draw as many eyes to ads as possible. Just because CBS/NBC/and especially Fox don't say the word "terrorism" doesn't mean that _nobody_ is saying the word "terrorism."

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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:25 am 
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solipsistnation wrote:
Moon wrote:
Shy Mox wrote:
Its like when abortion clinics are bombed and doctors shot, its not terrorism because a good Christian did it.


I've not thought about that, but you're right. It's never referred to as such.


Sure it is. The FBI treats it as such when they investigate it. It's just not reported as such by the mainstream news media, because the mainstream news media don't want to alienate anyone who might buy things advertised between news stories.

Remember, mainstream news is really just entertainment television, and is designed to draw as many eyes to ads as possible. Just because CBS/NBC/and especially Fox don't say the word "terrorism" doesn't mean that _nobody_ is saying the word "terrorism."


Good point. I was thinking of the mainstream media when I said that.

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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:29 pm 
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solipsistnation wrote:
Moon wrote:
Shy Mox wrote:
Its like when abortion clinics are bombed and doctors shot, its not terrorism because a good Christian did it.


I've not thought about that, but you're right. It's never referred to as such.


Sure it is. The FBI treats it as such when they investigate it. It's just not reported as such by the mainstream news media, because the mainstream news media don't want to alienate anyone who might buy things advertised between news stories.

Remember, mainstream news is really just entertainment television, and is designed to draw as many eyes to ads as possible. Just because CBS/NBC/and especially Fox don't say the word "terrorism" doesn't mean that _nobody_ is saying the word "terrorism."


How we use terms is just as important as their objective meaning. While the FBI might use the term to describe it, for the most part it means absolutely nothing to Joe Shmoe who doesn't really care how the FBI classifies the crimes it investigates. Hell the insurgencies in Syria can be described as terrorism, but because we don't like their government, its revolution.

I think most people would consider nonviolent activity not to be terrorism, and they've been treating the Boston Marathon explosion as a terrorist act before there were even any suspects. The FBI may have a definition to offer, but a) it can really only be used in retrospect since we can't know as its happening and until its investigated that an act is terrorism, since we need to learn the intent, and b) they don't follow that definition anyway.

Since 9/11 there is a lot of baggage attached to the word terrorism, we don't like to apply it to those who are Christian, American, and white, but we love to apply it once we learn that a perpetrator of violence doesn't meet those criteria.

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 Post subject: Re: when does something become an act of terror?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:10 pm 
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Although it seems to be evolving in that way now, I don't think the original reason that the word terrorism was applied here was the religion or birth place of the suspects. (We've certainly applied the word terrorism to Oklahoma City and the Atlanta Olympics, both of which were carried out by white Americans). When I first heard about what happened in Boston, my mind went to terrorism without anyone else using that word because a bombing at the Boston marathon seemed very symbolic to me. I assumed the culprit had some sort of "message" to convey.

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