- Terrorism isn't just an act of violence -- it's a political statement, the politically motivated killing of innocents, writes Philip Mudd
- So, random attacks by disturbed people shouldn't be falsely labeled terrorism, he says
Philip Mudd comments on counterterrorism and security policy for CNN. He was the deputy director of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center and the senior intelligence adviser at the FBI. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.
(CNN)Terrorism isn't just an act of violence -- it's a political statement, the politically motivated killing of innocents. In the early years after the 9/11 attacks, declaring al Qaeda attacks incidents of terror seemed straightforward: Al Qaeda leadership selected targets and trained or inspired followers who took direction or guidance. And responsibility was clear since they generally claimed the attacks they conducted and rarely claimed attacks they did not.