Terrorism is, in the most general sense, the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.  At present, the International community has been unable to formulate a universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition of terrorism.  Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants (civilians). Some definitions also include acts of unlawful violence and war.
The history of terrorist organizations suggests that they do not select terrorism for its political effectiveness.  Individual terrorists tend to be motivated more by a desire for social solidarity with other members of their organization than by political platforms or strategic objectives, which are often murky and undefined.  The word “terrorism” is politically and emotionally charged, and this greatly compounds the difficulty of providing a precise definition. Studies have found over 100 definitions of “terrorism”. 6] The concept of terrorism may itself be controversial as it is often used by state authorities to delegitimize political or other opponents, and potentially legitimize the state’s own use of armed force against opponents (such use of force may itself be described as “terror” by opponents of the state. ).  A less politically and emotionally charged, and more easily definable, term is violent non-state actor (though the semantic scope of this term includes not only “terrorists,” while excluding some individuals or groups who have previously been described as “terrorists”). citation needed] Terrorism has been practiced by a broad array of political organizations for furthering their objectives. It has been practiced by both right-wing and left-wing political parties, nationalistic groups, religious groups, revolutionaries, and ruling governments.  One form is the use of violence against noncombatants for the purpose of gaining publicity for a group, cause, or individual.