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Domestic terrorism

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Domestic terrorism is a phrase used to describe some acts of political violence within a state that are carried out or commissioned by forces inside or originating from that state, as opposed to external attacks.

Examples of recent domestic terrorism are the Oklahoma City bombing, the Atlanta Olympics pipebombing, the Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, and David Copeland's nailbombing campaign against ethnic minorities and gays in London. Older examples are the Gunpowder Plot, the Haymarket Square bombing, and Harper's Ferry.

Domestic terrorism is rare in the United States. As a result, the Oklahoma City bombing was at first thought by some journalists to be the work of external actors, possibly from the Middle East. The revelation that the attack had been carried out by an American came as a shock to the country and the rest of the world, and served as an embarrassment to some sections of the news media.

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