World Trade Center

The Twin Towers during 9/11, the deadliest terrorist attack in modern world history.

A terrorist is someone who uses terror tactics for the purposes of coercion. This may include violence against non-combatants for the purposes of spreading a message or simply to gain recognition. Different groups may have different definitions of terrorists. For example, many terrorist groups see themselves as freedom fighters or revolutionaries. Others may see themselves as warriors of their respective god(s) of worship.

The term Homegrown Terrorist refers to a terrorist who attacks their own country.

The United States government defines terrorism as "the unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence in order to intimidate or coerce governments or societies, often for ideological or political reasons".


  1. State - They are groups holding power in a country and use terror in order to control the populace, intimidating the population into obedience, to make an example of dissidents or in some cases attacking countries they deem hostile to them.
  2. State-Sponsored terrorist - They are acting on their own agendas but supported and funded by governments while said government is not directly involved.
  3. Religious - They are motivated by religious ideas and grievances and are more likely to use "all in" tactics such as suicide bombings.
    1. Islamic Terrorism - They aim to establish an Islamic caliphates in the Middle East, destroy Israel and kill all that are non-believers. They are most likely to commit suicide bombings, attempting to kill as many people as possible.
    2. Christian Terrorism - They aim to protect Christian ideology. They most target abortion clinics but barely commit bloodshed. When they do, they're usually targeting specific individuals such as abortion doctors.
  4. Right Wing - They aim to combat left-wing liberal governments and preserve traditional social orders.
  5. Left Wing - They seek to overthrow capitalist democracies or conservative regimes, and establish socialist, communist governments or liberal governments in their place.
  6. Pathological - They utilize terroristic strategies for the sheer joy of terrorizing others.
  7. Issue Oriented - They carry out for their attacks for the purpose of advancing a specific issue.
  8. Separatist - They seek to cause fragmentation within a country and the establishment of a new state.
  9. Narco-Terrorism - They are organizations that gain funds through the sale of drugs and use violence to make the sale of their drugs easier and thwart government action against the organizations.
  10. Lone Wolf — Usually just a single perpetrator (but can be also two) who commits an act of terror that can range in damage, casualties, and even motives.
  11. Anarchist — People or organizations who seek to abolish government and establish anarchy.

On Criminal Minds

Individual Terrorists

Terrorist Groups

Real World

Real Terrorist Groups

Real Individual Terrorists

  • Amerithrax
  • Timothy McVeigh
  • Eric Rudolph
  • Theodore Kaczynski
  • Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale are a pair of British Christian-turned-Muslims who were affiliated with several Islamist extremist organizations and fatally attacked a British Army soldier on May 22, 2013.
  • Paul Jennings Hill was a convicted American murderer and anti-abortion extremist. Hill murdered physician Dr. John Britton and Britton's bodyguard James Barrett in 1994. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection and was executed on September 3, 2003.
  • James Charles Kopp is an American citizen who was convicted in 2003 for the 1998 sniper-style murder of Barnett Slepian, an American physician from Amherst, New York who performed abortions. Mopped was previously a well-known member in anti-abortion circles.
  • Nidal Malik Hasan is a homegrown terrorist and mass murderer who committed a workplace shooting at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, on November 5, 2009.
  • Anders Behring Breivik is a Norwegian far-right terrorist who committed the 2011 Norway attacks. On 22 July 2011 he killed eight people by detonating a van bomb amid Regjeringskvartalet in Oslo, then shot dead 69 participants of a Workers' Youth League (AUF) summer camp on the island of Utøya.
  • Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were brothers and perpetrators of a bombing that occurred 2012 Boston Marathon that directly killed three. The former was murdered in a shootout with a police and the second was captured after a large manhunt.
  • Christopher Dorner was a homegrown terrorist who went on a week-long killing spree, in which he targeted mostly police officers, on February 2013. He injured three and killed four people.
  • Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr. is an American. Neo-Nazi domestic terrorist who lead a pair of shootings at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and Village Shalom, a Jewish retirement community, in Overland Park, Kansas on April 13, 2014. A total of three people were killed in the shootings, two who were shot at the community center and one who was shot at the retirement community.
  • Eric Frein, the American homegrown convict who, on September 12, 2014, shot two state troopers with a .308 caliber rifle at the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in Blooming Grove Township, killing one. He claimed he wanted to spark a revolution.
  • Khalid Masood, the man who drove a van onto civilians, killing four, near in Westminster, England near the British Parliament. He later got out and stabbed a police officer to death before being shot dead.
  • Salman Ramadan Abedi, the suicide bomber responsible for killing 22 adults and children following a Dangerous Woman concert by American singer Ariana Grande on May 22nd, 2017 in Manchester, England.
  • Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba, the perpetrators who rammed a van onto pedestrians on the London Bridge and proceeded on a stabbing spree on June 3rd, 2017. All three were later shot dead by police, after killing 8 people and injuring 48.
  • Darren Osborne, a domestic terrorist who rammed his vehicle onto a crowd of Muslims outside a mosque on June 13th, 2017 in England. A man who previously collapsed and was receiving first-aid died. His motive is believed to be revenge for earlier terrorist attacks in Britain.
  • Younes Abouyaaqoub, a member of a Spaniard Islamist terrorist cell who drove a van into pedestrians on La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain, killing 13 people and injuring at least 130 others, one of whom died 10 days later on 27 August. Abouyaaqoub fled the attack on foot before being killed by police 4 days later. Later, five terrorists drove a van into pedestrian and attacked them with knives before being shot dead by police.