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Monday, November 5, 2012

Terrorism and The Charity

I tried to put a pretty face on terrorism, but I just couldn't pull it off.

My book isn't just a cobbled together flight of fancy by some know-nothing author. It is meticulously researched so that the story line, supporting events, characters and their behaviors all mesh together to create a realistic read. Because the book is written from the perspective of someone impacted by terrorist acts, it's an "Oh-my-god-I-can't-put-this-down" fictional story - not a terrorist "How To" book .

The CIA states on its website that the "Intelligence Community is guided by the definition of terrorism contained in Title 22 of the US Code, Section 2656f(d) - The term "terrorism" means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents."

The FBI's site states that "there is no single, universally accepted, definition of terrorism. Terrorism is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85)."

I can put it in different terms: When somebody hates what you stand for or believe in, whether its political, social or religious in nature and they can't change your mind with words, then they're left to intimidate the hell out of you with whatever means they can in order to change your actions, if not your mind. When you're on the receiving end of violence, the acts are seen as pure hatred and cowardice. When you're on the giving end, (I would imagine) you view your actions as loving and brave.

My book explores what happens you a young woman who's life is forever changed as the result of terrorist activities. Remember, terrorism's influence isn't just the bomb in the grocery store. Like ripples after a stone is tossed in a pond, it's influence spreads through every set of eyes that witnessed the attack, saw the grieving families, read the news get the idea. But its influence is also felt in the supporting network around the terrorist - those people who feed, clothe, house, train and pay for those activities. This is where The Charity's life breathes.

At first I thought I could write a legal thriller that inhabited the outer ripples of terrorism without getting too enmeshed - that I could keep a pretty face on it. I realized that with my own experience of hatred in the form of arson that I respected myself and my readers too much to write a dumbed down version.