Wie ist Terrorismus zu definieren?

Jede Zeit hat ihre Feinde. In der Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts waren die Faschisten die Schurken. Nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg waren es die Kommunisten, die unsere Zivilisation bedrohten. Heute sind Terroristen die anerkannten Herren des Bösen. Das Wort ,,Terrorismus" erscheint in Rechtstexten und Gesetzgebung überall auf der Welt. ,,Terroristische Organisationen" werden mit verschiedenen staatlichen Sanktionen belegt, und es kann ein Verbrechen zu sein, sie zu unterstützen.

Es ist allerdings nicht immer einfach, festzulegen, wer ,,sie" - die Terroristen - sind. Ob eine Organisation als terroristisch eingestuft wird oder nicht, wird im hohen Maße durch die Politik bestimmt. Die UNO verabschiedet regelmäßig Resolutionen gegen den Terrorismus, ohne sich allerdings darüber einigen zu können, wie der Begriff zu definieren sei.

Die offiziellen Definitionen des Terrorismusbegriffes sind wenig überzeugend. Die Definition des amerikanischen Kongresses von Terrorismus beispielsweise beinhaltet das Motiv, ein Volk zu nötigen oder zu einzuschüchtern oder eine Regierung beeinflussen zu wollen. Diese Formel allerdings deckt nicht einmal die Terrorangriffe vom September 2001 klar ab: Falls es lediglich das Motiv der Luftpiraten war, Ungläubige zu töten, so fiele der Angriff nicht unter die Definition des Kongresses.

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