Reports today about the AFP arresting 4 men in Melbourne who were allegedly planning to attack a military base in Victoria is being called "terrorism" by the Prime Minister and the mainstream media. For example, News.com.au claims the attack, if it had gone ahead, would have been "the worst terror attack on Australian soil". However, if they were attacking a military target, does that qualify as terrorism? Wikipedia states that there isn’t an internationally agreed definition of terrorism, but I normally associate it with attacks on civilian targets outside of wartime. A small group of Somali and Lebanese labourers and taxi drivers attacking a military base doesn’t sound like the definition of terrorism to me. It sounds more like the definition of "stupid".
(UPDATE: in discussion with @napper, I said I think an attack by citizens of a country on its own army and inside the country’s own borders is more accurately defined as “revolution” or “insurrection”.)
So – why is it being referred to as terrorism by the Govt and the media? Are we back to the days where The Great Corporation feels the need to frighten the masses? What should we be watching out for? Is there a new law coming soon that will disappear more of our civil rights? Will Rudd use this to help push through his Internet censorship?
UPDATE: I also meant to add – as Terry did in the comments – that I hope the AFP have actually done their job this time, unlike in the Haneef debacle.