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Hate Crimes and Terrorism in the United States - Hate And Terrorist Groups, Hate Crime Legislation, Hate Crime Offenses, Terrorism, Anthrax Hoaxes

committed bias property burn

Crimes committed by hate groups or offenders and those committed by terrorist groups are often very similar, both in method and in effect. For example, a person acting from a motive of religious bias might use an incendiary device (one that causes fire, such as a Molotov cocktail) to burn down a mosque, church, or synagogue. A terrorist group might use the same type of device to burn down a government building. In both cases the results are property damage, intimidation, and possibly even the deaths of or injuries to innocent people.

The primary difference between these types of crime is the motive behind the act. While there are no single, comprehensive definitions for hate crimes and terrorism, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) uses these working definitions:

  • Hate crime (also known as bias crime) is a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, ethnic/national-origin group, or sexual-orientation group.
  • Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, committed to further political or social objectives.
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