A new debate is shaping up in the wake of recent (and not-so-recent) attacks on people in the U.S. and elsewhere. Was the attack, six months ago, on the editorial offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, a terrorist act or a hate crime? Most people will not hesitate to classify that attack as a terrorist act.
Yet, in discussing last week’s events in Charleston, South Carolina, when Dylann Roof entered a church and murdered nine people, many people do not feel that it was a terrorist attack, but rather, tend to classify this act as a hate crime.
What is the difference between a hate crime and a terrorist attack, and why is it important to distinguish between the two?
To learn more about this debate, you can read a recent OpEd in SecurityDebrief.com by Dr. Erroll Southers, TAL Global’s Managing Director, Counter-Terrorism & Infrastructure Protection.
You can also hear an intriguing debate on the subject, titled: “Defining Terrorism”, on NPR’s All Sides with Ann Fisher, WOSU, Ohio: