With the recent attack on a group of tourists the definition of terrorism becomes the dominant word of the day. I had an interesting series of comments in my last post on this incident where it was argued that what happened was not an act of terrorism but merely a criminal act of murder and that we are allowing the media and government to lead us in the thought process. I thought the discussion deserved a post unto itself especially with the Parliament recently defining “terrorism” when it comes to Jordan under the anti-terrorism law:
Ã¢??Every intentional action committed by any means that leads to killing anyone or causing him physical harm or inflicting damages to public or private propertyÃ¢?Â¦ if the intention of that action was to disturb public order and endanger public safety and security or impede the implementation of the law or the Constitution.Ã¢?Â
There is no doubt that since 9/11 the word terrorism has in one way or another been used and misused by the mass media and in that manner we are all being socialized to consider and reconsider a new and popular definition of the word. But the perhaps indoctrinating effect of western mass media aside, we do have our own definition of what constitutes terrorism, considering we too as Jordanians, Egyptians, Iraqis, Saudis and what have you, have all had our encounters with it.
The way I see it is that every crime is categorized by its intention; specifically when it comes to murder. It’s why there is first degree, second degree and manslaughter (for example). Terrorism depends on intention as well. There is a difference for instance between two people having an intense argument and one of them deciding to kill the other in the heat of the moment and someone who goes to a popular tourist destination, wields a gun and runs toward a crowd of tourists spraying them with bullets until he runs out and takes flight. Is it wrong to assume there is a difference? Is it wrong to assume that if there was no difference then everything and anything would be considered murder or terrorism and would receive the exact same punishment? Should we consider this latest act a normal everyday murder?
Should the definition of terrorism also depend on the number of victims and/or the number of assailants? Does there need to be more than one gunman, more than one person dead? Does the definition depend on the weapon: is a gun any less significant than a bomb? Does the definition depend on the spectacle: does a burning building make it more of an act of terrorism than a bleeding tourist?
Nas, I tried to reply to your previous post and I quoted the definition of terrorism that was just endorsed by parliament, but the spam filter flagged it as spam. Can you still find it?
I don’t have answers to the questions you ask towards the end of the post, but here’s my opinion which I tried to post in the previous comment but for some reason your spam filter must not like my new email address and new web site it flagged my comments.
Even when discussing intentions there is room for debate here, because that was actually the main point of what I wanted to say before.
The newly approved terrorism law in Jordan defines terrorism as what you quoted and a little more. It adds: or if the intention was also to “influence the policy of the state or the government or to force it to implement or abstain from implementation of certain actions or to endanger national security by way of fear, terror or violence.”
I personally believe there is, so far, no evidence to support the theory that this criminal had any of the intentions mentioned. I would say that the intention of this person was to kill foreign innocent people, out of his hate towards their societies. I don’t believe he had the intention to disturb public order even if you are willing to argue that his actions did end up causing that effect, at which point we’d have to ask ourselves the question: how was the public order disturbed in a way different than a public homicide case that is not considered an act of terrorism? And we also have to ask: was the public order disturbed because of the action itself, or because of the fact that it was touted as a terrorist act by media or the authorities?
I certainly believe this action posed a threat to public safety. An enraged individual was shooting a gun in a public crowded place. But was the intention of his actions really to threaten the public? Or was his intention of harm directed only to these five or six individuals who were in public, in the same way that a male criminal in Jordan would direct his intention of harm towards one female relative victim who happens to be in public? I believe it is the latter, and what applies to a criminal in a family related “dishonor” homicide case, is probably what applies here best.
Impeding the implementation of the law or the constitution, influencing government policies, and threating national security I believe are all ruled out except for maybe the last which would have to be supported by evidence of some kind of organization on the level of impacting national security through other similar planned incidents, not just one.
So, as I said before and I’m saying here, this incident so far looks more like an isolated hate crime than a terrorist act that was part of a terrorist plan in the sense that terrorism is defined by our new law (and common sense to me).
I think it would have been much better if there was one official statement made by the authorities stating only the facts that we know so far; that “an armed man opened fire in public on a group of tourists and killed one and injured five others.” When officials are asked obviously whether this was a terrorist attack, the responce should be “So far there is no evidence to support any terrorist affiliation.”
Everything that I am saying is not meant to undermine the severity of this crime. I don’t believe anything I said really affects the seriousness that we should take this crime with or the punishment. But I do believe that what I’m saying has to do with us possible making the consequences of this person’s action worse than he had already made them to be. Meaning that we all realize the negative impact that this person’s action has on the reputation of our country and the tourism sector, but isn’t it possible that we just made it worse ourselves?
Hamzeh, yeah something up with spam karma, the strange thing is that it marked them as spam after they were posted for some time but email me next time if you notice it.
I think the “influence the policy of the state” part was scratched out and the definition i posted was the one they approved in the end.
“out of his hate towards their societies” come on hamzeh, you know better than that. this is like bush saying “they attacked us because they hate our freedom”.
“how was the public order disturbed in a way different than a public homicide case that is not considered an act of terrorism?”
– but you didnt finish it… “…was to disturb public order and endanger public safety and security or impede the implementation of the law or the Constitution.” you dont think a man shooting up a crowd of foreign tourists contradicts any of that? and moreover, you dont think a man shooting up a crowd of foreign tourists is different from a public homicide?!
“And we also have to ask: was the public order disturbed because of the action itself, or because of the fact that it was touted as a terrorist act by media or the authorities?””
– do you think if the government said nothing and the media said nothing, that no one would stop to consider a jordanian shooting up a crowd of foreign tourists as a terrorist attack? are people that stupid that they need to be told what to think, or cannot identify an act of terrorism on their own?
A hate crime? Really? I wonder if you’re being naive on purpose or are just playing devil’s advocate. Either way it’s scaring me. When someone intentionally targets foreigners while yelling Allahu akbar I don’t think it qualifies as a hate crime, I think there’s a hint of terrorism…just a hint dont you think.
Otherwise the Amman bombings were just hate crimes. It wasnt terrorism, it was just a bunch of people who didnt like weddings.
And sure the media makes it worse, thats what the media does. But it doesnt strip the act of its proper definition. Like I said before, let’s at least call a spade a spade for God’s sake. It was a terrorist act. Whether it was one person with one gun killing one person, or 3 people with 3 bombs killing 60. a rose by any other name…
Nas, I’m not playing devil’s advocate and no I don’t think I’m just being naive. I’m just anal about things and just like you have this urge in you to call a spade a spade this is exactly what I’m doing. As I said in my previous comment, calling this incident an isolated hate crime or a terrorist attack doesn’t change anything about the seriousness of the crime, but I do believe it has to do with us; people who are outside the perimeter of the crime itself and how we deal with it and how our actions might be shaped by it.
What I was trying to say is that essentially this man had hate in him that drove him towards murder. This is enough to call it a hate crime. The question is whether this hate crime is also an act of terrorism.
I did talk about those things, and I said he clearly endangered public safety, but as you said in the post, this is about intentions and as I said we have to wonder how did this man intend to endanger the public’s safety and disturb public order in any way that is different from a criminal who chooses to attack his target in public? This man clearly had a specific group of people in mind, he didn’t randomly fire his gun on people who were walking by, he walked up to a specific group that had a specific set of characteristics that made it different to him than everyone else around, and attacked them. Now I admit, this man didn’t have a strong link to this particular group of people other than the fact that they were of a foreign nationality that apparently he decided was suitable to take out his rage on. In other words, had the public area been full of only foreign tourists, then this person’s actions would have been completely random, and it would be impossible to say that this man did not intend to endanger public safety, because the entire public in that case would have been what this man considered fair game in his criminal mind. But, I believe that this weak link between this criminal and his victims only his intentions were consistent with the intentions of a person who was carrying a hate crime, but it doesn’t differentiate this hate crime from any other hate crime and qualify it for a terrorist act.
I agree, there is a small hint of something that is very familiar to us and we know very well from our exposure to terrorism in the region. This small hint is exactly what I’m talking about; irrationalism, anger and hate.
Ok, who’s playing naive now? The Amman bombings had an element of organization that we so far have no evidence existed in this case. The Amman bombings were definitely crimes of hate, but they were also categorized under terrorism simply because they were planned and carried by known terrorists who had all the intentions mentioned in the law.
So far there is no evidence that this incident was an act of terrorism in the sense that the term is defined by law. Sure one person can carry an act of terrorism just as three people could, but that doesn’t mean that when one person commits an act of hate, that it automatically becomes an act of terrorism. There are other pieces to the story that must come together before that is established.
By the way, don’t you think it’s interesting that this happened just a week after the Terrorism Law was approved.
I personally find it worrisome that just one week after parliament approved legislation that regulates how our country deals with terrorism, that this is what our interior minister says on the scene of the crime before any investigation:
Please tell me I’m not the only one who sees a big problem in this. Was the terrorism law passed so that our government can claim a rule that says “guilty of terrorism until proven innocent”?
This is exactly why I’m arguing about this.
you don’t think all terrorists act out of hatred towards a people, culture or ideology? when they bomb a hotel are they terrorists acting out of love?
hamzeh, the man went to this place with the full intent of killing foreign tourists for the simple reason that they are foreigners. he aimed and shot directly at this crowd for no other reason than the fact that they were foreigners. does this not have the hallmarks of an act of terrorism?
now your changing your story. was it a terrorist act because the people who carried them out had “hate in their hearts” or was it a terrorist attack because it was “planned” or because they were “known terrorists”. What makes them known? were they all card-carrying members of Al-Queda? did the Jordanian authorities recover the laminated cards from their wallets, in bits and pieces?
at the root of it all is one common denominator: they went into these hotels with an intent to kill based on an extremist ideology that tells them they must. this is the same common denominator that is apparent with this gunman. For as you admitted yourself had it been just another crime he would’ve opened fire on just about anyone. going to a specific place with a specific target with a specific purpose all in mind constitutes an act of terrorism. you want to call it a hate crime now because he had hate in his heart? fine. but he had an ideology in his mind and that’s what makes it an act of terrorism.
what more do you want?
what variables in this story do we need to change in order to avoid calling it the obvious? one gunman shoots the US diplomat lawrence foley. one gunman, one man dead. was that too just a hate crime or an act of terrorism? and how does the variable of him being a diplomat change the course of events or make them any different?
yes, in an attempt by the government to ensure the application of the terrorism law they conspired to kill a tourist. score one for public policy implementation!
all kidding aside, i dont think he said “until proven otherwise”, I think it was “until proven deranged”. do you know why? because the intent is so obvious that it doesnt take a rocket scientist to put it together let alone the interior minister. had the anti-terrorism bill not passed it would’ve still been deemed an act of terrorism. the anti-terrorism bill wasn’t around this time last year or a few years back and we’ve had one too many terrorist activities on our soil than i care for.
moreover, the media can call it what it wants. we dont work for the media. and the minister, on the spot, can call it what it is. at the end of the day it is up to the courts to decide. the minister talks to the cameras, he doesn’t legislate.
reading just one line out of context of the entire definition is a misuse of the definition.
Nas, An interesting point for discussion for sure,
Hamzeh, I think you touched on the most important point, but unfortunately in my opinion you preceded it with a conclusion which didn’t help the case you are stating. The question is not about whether this gets defined in the end as a murder or a terrorist act, but rather about the undertaking of a due process to reach such conclusion. In that I totally agree with you, itÃ¢??s a shame that our officials didn’t have enough foresight and diplomatic tact to do that!
As for definitions of terrorism, there are way too many and all will always be open to interpretation. In my view in the current climate you will always have to put up with having two in any given sovereignty, a legal one (official) and a social one, the difficulty comes when attempting to analyse all relating aspects of terrorism under one umbrella. The closeness of these definitions to each other will vary over time, and that is just a fact of life. In fact itÃ¢??s beyond the realms of reason to have something socially defined as terrorism but actually legally is not and vice versa.
For what it is worth I think there are very good arguments legally and socially not withstanding human rights, to actually not have a distinction between terrorism and crime! But that is not going to happen anytime soon is it?
However within the current climate I think the critical criteria for determining whether an act is terrorism or not with the inevitable overhead and headaches that causes should be whether a directly related act is likely to occur. But that is my personal view!
I believe most terrorists act out of hatred. I only say most, because the definition of terrorism doesn’t require the person to have hate. Ie. a person could carry out an act of terrorism without hating his/her victims.
It shares a lot of elements with acts of terrorism that we’ve seen before, but so far none of the elements known to us make it considered an act of terrorism according to the definition.
Obviously the crimes committed by Zarqawi’s group are all hate crimes, because I don’t imagine that even those criminals themselves would think for a second that they are doing something of benefit to anyone. Also, Zarqawi and his group are the kind of people who would say “God asked us to hate them, to hate the enemy.” It was a terrorist attack simply because it had the elements mentioned in the definition. I believe that attack was even used as a guide for coming up with the definition itself. I seem to remember Zarqawi immediately declaring responsibility, and from his statements you could tell that there was intent to “change the government’s policies” or else he promised to cause havoc and bring more similar attacks; a threat to national security. The lady who failed to carry out the attack was arrested, and confessed to belonging to Zarqawi’s group. The whole operation had a degree of planning that was not present in this recent shooting. Borders were involved, explosives, random victims of all origin and color, multiple targets.
That is not what I was trying to say. I was trying to say that this just shows how serious our government is about implementing laws in the country.
That I’m sure of. My point is not that because of the terrorism law the interior minister said that. My point is that he said it even though the terrorism law was put in effect just a week ago and is enough reason for him not to jump to such conclusions which I believe are wrong.
I don’t of any terrorists who loved the people their victims or at best were indifferent about killing them.
so then it’s quacking like a duck and walking like a duck and it’s even wearing a t-shirt that says “hey, i am a duck”…but we’re just not prepared to call it a duck just yet.
planning goes as far as intent does. you don’t need to have blueprints to call it planning, this isnt a hollywood heist. a man who travels from zarqa to downtown amman to the roman theater to look for tourists…that man has a plan..that man has an intention. the only difference between this an zarqawi was that the latter had blueprints and recruited from outside whereas this man is a terrorist of a domestic nature.
but then this is your opinion hamzeh. again, when someone targets a specific group of people with a specific intent and ideology in mind and the result is what was apparent yesterday…it is a safe assumption made by anyone (not just a minister) to label it terrorism. as far as them publically announcing it as an act of terrorism, I agree with you in that regard simply because it was a bad PR move on the government’s behalf but what else is new. nevertheless, saying it or not saying it doesn’t erode what it is.
a rose by any other name…
out of context? simply quoting the portion you quoted…attempting to understand the meaning … So, let’s try again:
would a bank rober killing between 1-3 employees fall under this defintion?
would a man killing his sister or wife or mother fall under this definition?
would a thug stabbing (knife – not a gun nor a bomb was used) a taxi driver in daylight fall under this definition?
would a man who rapes and murders a woman fall under this definition?
would this very same man been categorized as a terrorist committing a terrorist attack had the crowd he fired into were just…arabs?!
Iman, to all those questions the answer is “no” and if you can’t deduce that from the standardized definition then you’re in big trouble 😀
60 people were slaughtered in hotels last year, over 90% were Arab…so I’d say yes.
Naseem, forgive me for not comprehending a poorly drafted law :D! The standardized definition you’ve quoted numerous times on your site is very misleading and open to wide interpretation…
According to the definition – since you seem to really have it grasped, how is a bank robber leaving x number of people dead is not any different than the man responsible for the shootings in downtown Amman?
It doesn’t matter whether we can find an incident or not, what matters is that according to the definition, hate is not a prerequisite of calling a certain incident an act of terrorism. If I had to guess as to a certain incident, I would say maybe the bombing of the King David hotel is a close enough example of a terrorist act in which the criminals didn’t hate the residents of the hotel. The accepted story is that they actually tried to call and have people leave. Nevertheless they did end up killing people and theirs was definitely a terrorist attack because it has the intent of some of the things mentioned in the definition of terrorism.
This doesn’t describe the discussion we’re having so far. If it flies, does that necessarily make it a duck? Throughout this whole discussion I’ve tried to keep my arguments within the premiter of the legal definition of a terrorist act. What makes this a terrorist attack? None of your answers fall within the definition, and this is my ponit, what good is this definition if we’re not gonna stick to it? Just one week after!
Ok, maybe I should have made myself clear. When I talk about planning it’s not because planning itself makes a terrorist act as such. It’s because the level of planning, I believe, is directly proportional to the intent of threatening national security. A man who decides he wants to find a group of tourists and kill them does not have the intent of threatening national security that an organization that plans to have simultanous hotel bombings has. Had this man had accomplices with him, the chances of it being a terrorist attack would be extremely high because more than likely the group would plan to carry more than one attack, which in itself shows intent to threaten national security on a bigger level than just one incident. Even if this lone criminal had a plan to carry out more than one attack, that would be considered intent to threaten national security and he would be considered a terrorist. But so far none of this is the case.
You might call it a safe assumption, but does that make it a valid one? I’m more interested in valid assumptions.
Iman the current definition that was approved is much better than the original and much narrower in interpretation. They’re not going to make a law that says “a terrorist is a person who looks like this, talks like this, believes this and this”. and if you cant see the difference between a bank robber and a guy shooting tourists as defined by logic, sanity and the anti-terrorism bill soon to become law…then i really can’t help you.
so your arguement is that in order for it to be considered a terrorist act the emotion of hate should be present/absent?
how have we strayed from it?
your arguement is similar to saying that one man who killed multiple people over a period of time (like the son of sam) is not as dangerous as one man who planned to kill his wife simply because there was a greater level of planning. therefore the latter is less of a threat to the public and therefore less of a terrorist.
which brings us back to what the results of planning are…killing more people, greater undermining of national security etc. in that sense i agree, the mass murderer is more dangerous….but it doesnt make the second guy any less of a murderer..in other words regardless of the level of threat, there remains a threat..the lowest common denominator. both are murderers despite the level of planning or lack thereof.
how do you know he didn’t? it’s like arguing that since he only shot one person it’s really not a big deal.
hamzeh, there is a fundemental extremist ideology at the core of these actions. we are in the midst of time where it is necessary to root out this ideology. and if the thought process alone is not scary enough, to have it push someone to weild a weapon with an intent to kill is even worse. it is the crossing of that line. whose to say that had this man been educated in munitions he would have designed his own little bomb and walked into this crowd, or a hotel for that matter? he has the ideology, it has pushed him to kill…ideology…intent…weapon…motive…
are we really going to base our definition of him being a terrorist on the fact that he didnt have a greater sense of planning..that he wasn’t thinking “BIG PICTURE”? which only brings us back to the original arguement/question…would it have made a difference if he wasnt captured and had taken the next bus to petra or jerash?
most safe assumption aquire the comfort of safety from their validity. otherwise we wouldn’t make them.
Nas, neither. I believe a terrorist act can be committed regardless of whether hate is involved or not. That’s why hate was left out of the definition.
Like it or not, a serial killer poses more dangerous threat to society than a criminal who would only kill people he has a personal relationship with. This one example of the shooter in Amman is similar. This person posed a threat to one group of tourists with a frequency of one incident. But how did he threaten all of Jordan’s national security if we don’t know whether he had plans to do it again? The terrorist organization that carried out the Amman bombings had carried out several bombings in Baghdad before. It doesn’t take a genious to realize which one poses the real threat to national security and it doesn’t take a genious to realize that this once incident is nothing when it comes to national security when compared to the hotel bombings.
Oh no no, you’re reading my words the wrong way man. I told you already, calling it a terrorist act or a hate crime says nothing about the seriousness of the act itself. He’s no less a criminal than they are. But terrorists are not the only criminals, and this guy is a criminal who is not a terrorist.
No, that’s not what I’m trying to say. It is a big deal, because it’s of all crimes a murder. I’m arguing that since we just had an anti-terrorism law passed that clearly defined the “crime of terrorism”, don’t we have to still apply the “innocent until proven guilty” principle? It’s clear that the man is guilty of murder, eyewitnesses confirm that. But the same cannot be said about whether his crime falls under the category of terrorist acts or not.
If that’s what diving into the details of the legal definition of a terror act requires, then yes we have to.
Yes it would, then you would know that you have this lone terrorist carrying out these attacks. Had he gotten away with it, he would have most probably thought of doing it again, and would have probably done it, and that then would make him a terrorist. But so far, we have no proof of that, and all we know is that this was his one hate crime.
You do agree there are hate crimes that are not terror acts, don’t you? What scenario do you imagine in which this person would have committed a crime against foreigners that you would consider a hate crime, but not an act of terror?
hence with good reason.
hamzeh, how many people in the last decade have been caught and sentenced in Jordan for planning to (having the intent to) kill tourists..or Jordanians for that matter? how many of them had no precedent..they had no record of fighting in afghanistan or iraq or what have you? the Islamic Revivalist group that suddenly appeared in 1996 with plans to kill tourists. or Bayt il Imam.
how about the guys who thought it would be clever to collect mines from a field in ajloun to bomb an israeli bus of tourists? what about the killing of Foley? on and on and on and on
the list of terrorism in Jordan range from operations carried out and operations thankfully foiled. in either case there is an intent.
shall we say that this specific gunman that we are concerned about is not a terrorist because we don’t know if he had plans or the intention to do it again? what about the first time? if you knew he was going to do this, if you knew the intent, would you report him any more or less than you would report someone planning to blow up a building, or someone who just purchased an ak-47 and plans to shoot up a bus of tourists in jerash (another historic case).
all these people who were caught were given different sentences. some recieved life in prison, some death, and some 2 years. it depended on the extent of the crime. one thing however that they did have in common was they WERE ALL CONSIDERED TERRORISTS.
whether they planned
whether they bought weapons
whether they carried out the plan
they were all terrorists with the same fundemental intention.
well first of all the law doesn’t stipulate the “until proven guilty” principle (which it should). more importantly now that we have this law and say someone decides to blow up a hotel or a bus of tourists, do we wait until they’re caught and go through due process before we can even categorise their act as one of terrorism? im not saying we remove due process, legislation is seperate from the talking points. we should all be able to get on board with the language.
lol so lets say then he killed 20 people instead of just one. would we still have to wait until he goes on to kill someone else before we call it terrorism? or do we say, well he did kill 20 people but we dont know if he was going to do it again..so no it wasnt an act of terrorism.
so now our definition of terrorism becomes: thinking “big picture” and redundancy or in other words: killing as many people as you can, as many times as you can.
you’re under the impression that all hate crimes result in killing when the overwhelming majority of them do not.
This is irrelevant to the point of our discussion. Even this “list” has to be closely investigated to separate terrorism cases from hate crime cases. It might turn out that all of them were terrorism cases, but that doesn’t necessarily close the argument on this one.
No, but we can say he is not a terrorist because we have no proof that he had the intentions mentioned in the definition of a terror act. The fact that he did what he did doesn’t prove the existance of those particular intentions because it’s possible to commit the same crime with a different kind of intent.
Not sure what you mean by “report” here. You mean report in the media or report to authorities? It’s every responsible person’s duty to report criminals to authorities regardless of what their intentions were when planning their crimes. As for reporting in the media, I believe only the known facts should be reported. Assumptions or speculations can only be presented as personal opinions by analysts, not reporters.
True, but there is a reason why the terror law defined the cases when an act is considered an act of terrorism, not when an act is not considered an act of terrorism.
If we have no proof that the man intended to do the things that were mentioned in the definition of terrorist acts, how can we say what he did was a terrorist act? Even if he killed 20 people? I do believe that at one point the number of victims becomes a significant factor in posing a threat to national security and I believe at one point a bigger number of victims will only be desired by a person who is either insane, or who has the knowledge that this action is a direct threat to national security yet he is willing to do it. This case seems to be neither.
No, I never said that. What if the one British person who died in this incident had lived? It would still be a hate crime, and I imagine you would still call it an act of terrorism. The question is, can you imagine a scenario in which this person would harm these tourists without it being a terrorist act and being a hate crime?
Let’s try this again 😀
Then what is the point of such a clearly ambiguous law? (despite their effort at making it as clear as possible, it is still not that clear and many criminals would fall under that definition!)
I mean, after all if someone commits a crime – regardless of the scope of the crime, then they should be punished by the law as a criminal. period. they’re criminals whether they kill one person or if it’s mass murder…it remains a CRIME, so what’s the point of using the term ‘terrorist’????? what’s the distinction that it aims to create between a criminal and a terrorist?
Ugh! it’s all the good ol’ US’s fault! I mean, if the war on terror was never introduced I highly doubt that Jordan or any other Arab country (more to follow) would be so keen on yet striving to define what a ‘terrorist’ is.
I wonder how the mafia would be viewed now… would it be a terrorist organization or just a criminal organization? what makes it one and not the other?!
of course it’s relevent, we are looking at the intent. most of the perps on the list had only the intent and the weapons, most had not carried out the operation but were arrested with the intent to carry out acts of terrorism. should we consider them not terrorists and let them go?
i see…so perhaps then his intent was to welcome these tourists but instead of pulling out his hand he pulled out a gun…and shot 12 times. his intention is just so blurry I can’t see it anymore.
by report i mean what is the first thing that comes into your mind…do you think that the man who just told you he bought a gun to go shoot a tourist is about to committ a hate crime or he’s about to committ an act of terrorism?
so suffiecient to say that with 12 bullets all that was lacking here to make it a terrorist act by your definition…is better marksmanship. as if one body wasnt significant enough…what we now need is more.
let us say this…
if you kill a foreign tourist what could possibly be your intention? the elements outlined in the law put this man in that category unless he’s proven to be as you said insane, or as the minister said deranged. he did put public safety at risk by shooting up a popular tourist destination in the middle of the downtown core, he did impede on the laws and constitution of this country to say nothing of laws established against harming jordan’s relationship with other nations, and yes it is a threat to national security simply for the fact that by killing a tourist (by default) sets off a series of events that leads to the safe assumption that the country is under attack and therefore security is beefed up, borders are locked down, embassies and hotels are safegaurded etc etc etc. if you were prime minister or even the minister of defence you would probably reach the same conclusion at that moment, you would be (one hopes) able to distinguish this act as reported to you between just another murder and you would take the necessary security measures.
iman all laws are ambiguous, even in the united states of frikin america laws are ambiguous. ambiguity is not the best word for it, i would suggest abstract. Laws are not designed to be customized to specific people, acts and cases. Otherwise we should be making laws for every single case and situation. instead we make abstract laws that cast a wider net.
we use these definitions as the preliminary basis of the case. once that is established then you have a case which goes to court and evidence, motive and everything else is presented and a verdict is made on whether it was terrorism or not. the defense is not going to rest based on a definition, the definition categorizes the act and the defense tries to prove otherwise and the court makes the judgment. i think they call this the judicial system if i’m not mistaken. we have one of those in Jordan
and in case you forgot, Jordan has been sentencing terrorists for a long time before 9/11, so you can blame the US for other things in the world, like the weather. not all crimes are the same. they are all criminals but they are distinguished based on the extent of their crime. a bank robber is not equivalent to a suicide bomber. the word terrorist is not exclusive from the word criminal as you make it out to be…there are different kinds of criminals: murder, fraud, burglary, and yes terrorism.
The law specifically talks about certain intentions that would make the crime qualify as an act of terrorism. As I said it’s possible to commit the same crimes with other intentions. I know all these people intended to do harm onto others, but did they also have the intentions mentioned in the law? We don’t have proof that this person did.
Sigh. Again, his intention was obviously to harm them. But intending to harm others alone doesn’t qualify a crime as an act of terror. And no, just because he shot tourists while yelling Allahu Akbar doesn’t make it an act of terrorism. It’s the things mentioned in the definition.
Obviously I would think he’s about to commit a crime. I would have to know whether he is doing it out of hate before calling it a hate crime, and I would have to know whether he’s doing it to achieve the things mentioned in the definition of a terrorist act before calling it an act of terrorism.
I didn’t say it that way. I said at one point the number becomes big enough to serve as a good measure of the presence of a will in the mind of the criminal to threaten national security simply because any sane person (including the criminal) would know that a crime of that magnitude would not only threaten national security, but possibly compromise it too. One individual harming one small group of tourists in the street is not a threat to national security. Whether he would have liked to hurt more, I don’t know, and you don’t either.
There are enumerable possibilities? What if it was as simple as a robbery case? This is why the law doesn’t say anything about tourists in its definition of terrorism.
Again, how did he intend to endanger public safety in anyway different than a brother who shoots his sister in the street (it’s happened in downtown Amman before you know and the guy didn’t even stay in jail more than a few months).
Same thing here. Everyone who commits any crime violates the law. How did this man intend by his murder of foreign tourists to impede on the law in anyway different than the honor crime example I cited. If a criminal attacked security forces and facilities with the intent to prevent them from maintaining law and order in the country, that would be a terrorist act. It’s true that he fired at the police, but so does every criminal when running away. He did not go there to fire at the police, he fired while escaping like most criminals who don’t want to be caught do. Is every wanted man who runs away and shoots at police officers a terrorist?
That’s fine, but what course of action the security aparatus in the country chooses to do does not add value to the act itself. You are supposed to be careful and to play it safe, but that doesn’t mean that this person intended to harm the national security in the way that you’re prepared for. The only reason to beef up security after the incident is to prevent a repeat of the incident. How do you know that this man who apparently had acted alone was planning to do it again? You have no proof. This doesn’t mean that his actions didn’t threaten national security, but it means that you and I have no proof that that was part of his intentions.
Security is not a joke, but justice isn’t either. Again, as I said before, even in this incident one from a security standpoint would have to treat it as if it were a worst case scenario, but from a judicial standpoint, it could turn out to be completely a different case.
Ok, I just posted two contradicting sentences.
Naseem, point remains is that the particular soon to be law is very misleading … and again, open to wider interpretation …
alright then … they are ALL criminals! and they should all be punished by the law based on the crime they carried out, so why do we have to dedicate one law just for ‘terrorists’ … shouldn’t they all fall under some type of ‘collective’ anti-crime law?!
Someone please, define a terrorist?
Terrorism, internationally has been known to as an organized or at least repetitive violent action. As simple as that! does this crazy person belong to any organization? is this the second time this person, or whoever is behind him commits or even just plans for such a crime? Until now, the answer is NO.
Hamzeh, lol. well i’ll tell you what. i still do believe this act can be considered an act of terrorism but i’m willing to compromise when taking into consideration your side of the arguement that the minister of interior should not have described it as such in the hours that followed the attack.
try to understand iman…there is a room full of criminals but each of them committed a different crime, one robbed a bank, one killed someone, one bombed a hotel, one did something else..they are all criminals but with different crimes and even within the same types of crimes there are categories and levels of criminal activity based on many factors. this is the law.
I agree shaden, that is a rather simple view of what terrorism is. you’re definition begs the question of how many terrorist activities were based on a reptitive nature especially when in many cases the terrorists blow themselves up 😀
i guess casper can be considered a terrorist though.
Naseem, those bombers belonged to organized terrorist groups. At least to my knowledge, all bombers belonged to organizations that announced responsibility after the attack and death of the bomber.
Shaden, many of these bombings are people who claim allegiance to alqueda but will pretty much organize it on their own, egyptian resorts being one example. the 3 guys who launched rockets in aqaba last year and killed a jordanian is another example. none of them have any ties with any group but will act on their own and then claim allegiance.
Naseem, the point is, they were organized crimes. After that condition is fulfilled, we can look for intentions. But it wasn’t even organized. And I’m not adding anything to what’s been already said here I guess.
Shaden, so then its not about repetitiveness but rather being organized. many if not most of those operation outside iraq or afghanistan are organized in any way or even affiliated with the “head office”. it’s not exactly the mafia
Naseem. I understand! All those are acts of crime and those responsible for committing them should be tried according to the degree of that crime … it remains a crime, so whatÃ¢??s the point of using the term Ã¢??terroristÃ¢???
Why wasn’t this law introduced long before then?!
What about the mafia?! is it a criminal organization or a terrorist organization?
because terrorism is a crime iman and has its own governing punishments like other crimes.
because up until november 9th 2005 we never had a terrorist attack in the country that resulted in the death of 60 of our citizens. everyone before then was convicted of plotting terrorist attacks.
the mafia is a criminal organization
” there is so much misconception , Thus i chose to stay ignorant ”
– Firez Mand’olani
Honestly , Terrorism is when a crime doesn’t feel right , Not when a person offers him-self as a weapon to kill soldiers , Because let’s face it .. there’s nothing else to do if you have nothing in the first place to attack with not to mention assaulted everyday it’s not terrorism .