This is a link to an Ars Technica article, which is about an article in Nature. How's that for levels of reference?
You can't read the Nature article unless you are a subscriber. I link to it becuase it''s about whether animal rights extremists should be considered terrorists. I don't agree with setting off bombs in labs or burning down buildings. But, is it terrorism?
In many cases, groups like ALF try to make sure that there are no people around when they do these things. Is it terrorism?
That raises some interesting issues. On the one hand, I can see governments using that as a bludgeon to go after groups involved in a midnight arson attack against a medical testing facility. On the other hand, they are using violence to achieve a particular goal, But, are they to be lumped together with Al Qaida?
Let's seperate the issue out from the tactics. If you were pro-choice, would you want someone who burned down an abortion clinic a terrorist?
The comments in the Ars Technica article are worth a read, just to get a feel for different opinions (albeit from the cheeto stained fingers of your average Ars Technica reader). And, yes, I eat cheetos from time to time and read Ars Technica once in a while.