Defining Documents in American History: Domestic Terrorism

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While there are many definitions of domestic terrorism, it is largely characterized as terrorism in which the perpetrator targets his/her own country. Also called homegrown terrorism, domestic terrorism is defined by the U.S. State Department as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.” The two largest categories of domestic terrorism (DT) or domestic violent extremism (DVE) are: racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism; and anti-government or anti-authority extremism. These volumes provide thoughtful analysis of the following documents: Unabomber Manifesto, Washington Post , 1995; “Oklahoma Bombing Memorial Prayer Service Address,” by Bill Clinton, April 23, 1995, report from the FBI National Counterterrorism Center, “Did you know there was a terror attack on New York City in 1920?”, reports of notable terrorist attacks, such as the Harper’s Ferry Massacre (1859), Tulsa Race Massacre (1921), Centennial Olympic Park bombing (1996), Boston Marathon bombing (2013), Charleston church shooting (2015), Orlando nightclub shooting (2016), Charlottesville car attack (2017), and the storming of the U.S. Capitol (2021).

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