International terrorism as a phenomenon and a variety of transnational crime manifested itself in the 1960s as a form of struggle for the most radical political groupings and extremist elements with the ruling regimes that are unsuitable for them, governments or representatives of other political and public views. Today, the modern system of collective security is aimed, among other things, at protecting international peace and security from terrorism, especially from its manifestations at the international level. Although terrorism has turned into the most acute problem of the present and the struggle against it has become the task of all mankind, one of the fundamental issues of this activity has not been solved to date – the definition of the universally recognized concept of international terrorism, as well as the criminalization of the latter, which creates serious problems in counteraction to it.
Due to the wide variety of approaches to uncovering the definitions of terrorism and international terrorism in the norms of domestic and international law, the need arose for the development of their universally recognized definitions, in connection with which two main points of view were formed. In accordance with the first point of view, the existence of strict definitions of terrorism and international terrorism is not mandatory for effective international struggle against them, since it is sovereign states that independently determine the criminality and punishability of such crimes on their territory. Supporters of another point of view believe that a legally rigorous definition of these concepts is indispensable as a fundamental condition for a successful fight against it.
Most of the international legal disputes over terrorism are focused on ideological controversies or technical mechanisms for determining, and then on the main question, why terrorism should be internationally criminalized.
In the practice of states, viewed through the prism of United Nations bodies and regional organizations, the grounds for criminalization are that terrorism seriously undermines: basic human rights, state and political processes, and international peace and security. The definition will also help distinguish political violence from private violence, eliminate overvoltage arising from the multitude of sectoral antiterrorist treaties and ensure the calibration of an international response to various types of violence.
International terrorism as a phenomenon and a variety of transnational crime manifested itself in the 1960s as a form of struggle for the most radical political groupings and extremist elements with the ruling regimes that are unsuitable for them, governments or representatives of other political and public views.