Terrorism is linked to some form of warfare, which is conducted by a group of people that are formed illegally. Unlike warfare, terrorism focuses mostly on civilian population and is indiscriminate in their infliction of violence. According to White (2006), terrorism is politically motivated. Normally, it should not be dealt with from a criminology point of view but since their strategy involves violent tactics, such as violence, killing innocent lives, drug trafficking, sabotage of property and violation of the law, it is therefore right to address it from a central criminology point of view. This makes it possible to analyze terrorism as a crime and deviance (White, 2006). In addition, it makes it easier to counter-terrorism as social control. The agencies and mechanisms applied to respond to terrorism make it easier to determine the attention and intensity that should be accorded to terrorism. Subsequently, addressing terrorism from a criminology point of view provides a theoretical and empirical platform to counter-attack any form of terrorism (Horgan & Taylor 2007). Ethnic groups who make demands through blackmail to have attention and acknowledgement of marginalized ethnical groups politically and ideologically inspire most acts of terrorism.

Criminology interprets and analyzes the effectiveness of terrorism and counter-terrorism and the various strategies and characteristics of terrorism. Criminology also addresses issues of mechanisms and agencies involved as far as counter-terrorism is concerned. Criminologists have put up theoretical empirical measures to address and control acts of terrorism. Terrorism is a form of violence that calls upon the intervention of criminology to enable discerning of causations of crime from a micro and macrolevel (Horgan & Taylor 2007). At the macrolevel, criminology analyzes terrorism as an act of crime and focuses more on the fluctuations of terrorism. Meanwhile, Criminology on a microlevel concentrates highly on people who are more vulnerable and can be easily influenced to become terrorists.

According to White (2006), terrorism can be justified from a religious angle because some religious terrorists believe that there is a looming threat to divine structure. According to White, religious terrorists do not necessarily battle the human race but rather, the focus on battling evil. Therefore, as much as theology has criminal importance, this argument cannot be used to counter terror, as it has no basis nor rational justification. Furthermore, religious terrorists have different argument from political terrorists even though they use similar modes of attacks and violence. Therefore, it is important to counter any form of terrorism from a criminology point of view as opposed to religious angle. Criminologists relate terrorism in line with its legal perspective that law violation (Welch, 2006). Unlike from political, ideological and religious views, criminology looks deeper and rationally into crime construction theories that view terrorism as a form of deviance. Criminologists dig deeper to the processes and motives behind a terrorist attack and mostly more emphasis is put on the societal context in which crime was conducted.

Suicide bombing whose main intention is to kill the culprit alongside other innocent lives can be viewed as a heroic act from a religious context (Welch, 2006). However, in criminology, it is a punishable under crimes against humanity and is viewed as homicide and therefore neutralizing arguments of justification. In addition, criminology specifically searches for causes of crime in order to get rid of the root cause and deals specifically with the offender who is punished in accordance to the law.




Horgan,J & Taylor,M (2007), “The Making of a Terrorist,” Jane’s Intelligence Review 13,

Ventura, H. E.,Miller, J.M., & Deflem,M. (2005). Governmentality and the war on terror: FBI Project  carnivore and the diffusion of disciplinary power. Critical Criminology, 13, 55–70.

Welch, M. (2006). Scapegoats of September 11th: Hate crimes and state crimes in the war on        terror. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

White, J. R. (2006). Terrorism and homeland security (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson-  Wadsworth.

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