What is terrorism? According to the FBI, animal activists who stole two piglets from a farm were terrorists. As of now, Stephen Paddock, who killed 58 people at a country music concert in Las Vegas two weeks ago, has not been labeled a terrorist by the federal security organization.
In a viral story [theintercept.com] posted on The Intercept, journalist Glenn Greenwald details an account of federal agents investigating animal activists and scouring farm-animal sanctuaries to find two missing piglets that allegedly had been stolen from a farm. The FBI devoted such resources to finding these two piglets because their alleged theft and the capturing of undercover videos of the farm's conditions count as terrorism.
Why is the piglet theft classified as terrorism, but not the Las Vegas shooting? The distinction is rooted in the definition of the term. In spite of the emotions the word "terrorist" might elicit, the definition is not "mass killer" or "Muslim extremist" or "very bad person." The legal definition of terrorism is "the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property in order to coerce or intimidate a government or the civilian population in furtherance of political or social objectives."