No universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition of terrorism currently exists.
“ Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for a religious, political or ideological goal, deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants (civilians), and are committed by non-government agencies.”
2000 to present the Government has introduced various Terrorism Acts after the 9/11 and London Bombings (separate from N. Ireland legislation –”Prevention of Violence Act 1939”)
Terrorism Act 2000 Important Sections Section 41- police had the power to arrest and detain a person without charge for up to 48 hours if they were suspected of being a terrorist and this could be extended to up to seven days if the police can persuade a judge that it is necessary for further questioning. Section 44 Powers- the police and the Home Secretary could identify any area in the country and time period where they could stop and search any vehicle or person, and seize "articles of a kind which could be used in connection with terrorism“. This section did not require the police to have ”reasonable suspicion” to search someone. In January 2010 the stop-and-search powers granted under Section 44 were ruled illegal by the European Court of Human Rights .
The Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Many of its measures are not specifically related to terrorism.
USA PATRIOT Act 2001 (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) “To further close our borders to foreign terrorists and to detain and remove those within our borders.” Gave the Attorney General the power to certify an alien as a terrorist if he/she had “reasonable grounds to believe” that an alien is a terrorist or has committed a act of terrorism. An alien can be detained under the Act for up to 7 days if not charged with a violation. The violation does not have to do with an alleged terrorist attack, but can be from a minor infraction of the immigration laws, where they can be detained for an unspecified length of time. The Act also trebled the number of Border Patrols and introduced new ground for deporting or denying people entry. Department of Homeland Security