Terrorism is defined as any use of terror in the form of violence and threats, obliging an individual, group or entity to act in a manner in which any person or group could not otherwise lawfully force them to act. The definition further clarifies that these acts appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce changes in governmental policy or government conduct through the use of mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.
In the United States, the FBI categorizes terrorism as one of two types: International and Domestic
Domestic terrorism involves groups or individual activities that focus on facilities or populations without foreign direction. It tends to be acted out on a smaller stage with more parochial motives.
On the other hand, international terrorism involves groups or individuals whose activities are foreign-based or sponsored by countries or groups outside U.S., or those whose activities transcend national boundaries. International terrorism means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country, it poses the greatest threat to our national security.
The main difference between the two is the inclusion under international terrorism that clarifies criminal violations as those that would be interpreted as such if committed in U.S. federal or state jurisdiction. The other distinction describes where the acts occur. International terrorism occurs primarily outside the “territorial jurisdiction” of the United States, while domestic primarily occurs within U.S. jurisdiction.
Also the distinction between domestic or international terrorism refers not to where the terrorist act takes place but rather to the origin of the individuals or groups responsible for it.