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Since the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, terrorism has become a catchword, but its origins are much older. The term stems from that bloody phase of the French Revolution known as the Terror. Historically, terror has been a strategy used by the state itself or the dominant class under stress to suppress opposition and gain or regain control by fear. The extreme methods are not only political terrorism but the trademark of totalitarianism -- to politicize every aspect of life. However, terror is also a strategy available to non-state actors who have neither legitimacy nor police. In fact terrorism is probably the only effective strategy available to a weak group or movement against an overwhelmingly stronger adversary.
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