Définir le terrorisme

Tout âge a ses ennemis. Au milieu du 20 e siècle, les fascistes jouaient le rôle des méchants. Après la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale, les communistes sont devenus la Némésis de la civilisation. Aujourd'hui, les terroristes sont les maîtres désignés de la malveillance. Le mot « terrorisme » apparaît dans les livres de droits et dans la législation du monde entier. Diverses sanctions civiles s'appliquent aux « organisations terroristes » et apporter son aide à l'une de ces organisations peut être considéré comme un crime.

Mais il n'est pas toujours facile de déterminer qui sont ces « ils » (les terroristes). La classification de ces organisations en organisations terroristes est essentiellement une question politique. L'ONU a adopté à maintes reprises des résolutions contre le terrorisme, mais ne parvient pas à s'accorder sur la définition à donner à ce terme.

Les définitions officielles du terrorisme sont peu convaincantes. Le Congrès américain définit par exemple le terrorisme comme un motif qui pousse à contraindre ou à intimider une population ou à influencer un gouvernement. Mais cette formule ne recouvre manifestement pas les attaques terroristes de septembre 2001. Si le motif qui commandait les pirates de l'air était simplement la volonté de tuer les infidèles, la définition donnée par le Congrès ne suffirait pas expliquer ces attaques.

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