The word "terrorism" is politically loaded and emotionally charged, and this greatly compounds the difficulty of providing a precise definition. Studies have found over 100 definitions of "terrorism". In some cases, the same group may be described as "freedom fighters" by its supporters and considered to be terrorists by its opponents. The concept of terrorism may be controversial as it is often used by state authorities to delegitimize political or other opponents, and potentially legitimize the state's own use of armed force against opponents. At the same time, the reverse may also take place when states perpetrate or are accused of perpetrating state terrorism. The usage of the term has a controversial history, with individuals such as Nelson Mandela at one point also branded a terrorist.
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