We often hear the word “terrorist,” but who or what exactly does it refer to? In 1973, the United Nations invited experts and scholars to explore the specific definition of “terrorism”–aim to cause panic, threaten people, or force a government or an international organization to take or not take actions in the attempt to cause death or serious harm are all criminal behaviors of terrorism.
However, since the purpose of existence is different for each organization, no one can determine for certain whether a group of people who seek independence and are willing to fight the authority for their cause are terrorists or freedom fighters. Therefore, so far, the world has no common agreement on “who is a terrorist,” only “how many countries in the world determine that it’s a terrorist organization.” So far, the most widely recognized terrorist organization is the Islamic State, with over 18 countries and 3 international organizations determining it to be a terrorist organization, including Taiwan. The second most recognized terrorist organization is AL-Qaeda, which initiated the 911 attack.
What about the Taliban in Afghanistan, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthi Movement in Yemen, or Al-Shabaab in Somalia? It all depends on your perspective. For example, the United States does not consider the Taliban to be a terrorist organization, but Japan, Canada, New Zealand, and Russia do. Or, for example, the United Nations and European Union do not consider Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization, but the United States, Israel, and Canada do. There is also the World Uyghur Youth Congress, which sounds harmless but is designated by China as a terrorist organization, the only country in the world that thinks so.
So there is no such thing as 100% consensus on a terrorist organization in regards to organized armed forces, extremist groups, or terrorist organizations. It all depends on your perspective.