Terrorism is defined by The Other Wiki as "the use of violence, or threatened use of violence, in order to achieve a political, religious, or ideological aim". Some things associated with terrorism include murders, bombings, shootings, hostage-taking, and other threats. There are numerous real-world terrorist groups that make an appearance in fiction and countless fictional ones. They are usually portrayed as villainous.
While terrorism has appeared in fiction for years, the 9/11 attacks made terrorists, specifically the Islamic Fundamentalist type, as the main villains in Hollywood movies, replacing the Dirty Communists of the Cold War.
Tropes:Terrorists (by ethnic/national origin)
- African Terrorists: Ruthless militants from a country in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Far East Asian Terrorists: Ruthless militants from a country in East (or Southeast) Asia.
- Middle Eastern Terrorists: Ruthless militants from a country in North Africa or West Asia.
- South Asian Terrorists: Ruthless militants from a country in the Indian subcontinent.
- Western Terrorists: Ruthless militants from a country in the Americas, Europe, or Oceania.
Terrorists (by ideological motives)
- Apocalypse Cult: A religious cult which attempts to help jumpstart doomsday through terror attacks on the public.
- Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: Militant anarchists who want to violently overthrow all forms of centralized government and state authority.
- Church Militant: Religious extremists who wish to enforce their super-strict theocratic laws upon society.
- Dirty Communists: Militant socialists who want to violently overthrow all forms of capitalism and privately-owned businesses.
- Eco-Terrorist: Militant environmentalists whose motivation is to punish people they blame for destroying the natural environment.
- Animal Wrongs Group: Eco-terrorists who are specifically targeting people for causing harm to non-human animals.
- Evil Reactionary: Ultra-conservative extremists who intend to regress society backwards in accordance to their traditionalist ideology.
- Fantastic Terrorists: Extremist militants whose political ideology can only exist or make any sense when they live in some sort of sci-fi/fantasy world. They're most likely motivated by some form of fantastic discrimination.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Any terrorist who strongly believes in some form of ethnic nationalism, racial supremacism, or religious sectarianism will likely try to commit violent hate crimes against any "undesirable" people around them.
- Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: A far-right-wing militant, usually some sort of homegrown extremist from the United States, who is a member of a private paramilitary group.
- Terrorists Without a Cause: Criminals who commit violent acts which may resemble terrorism, or may have (nominally) ideological motives, but their end goals are mostly apolitical.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: A terrorist who commits their crimes out of a genuine (if horribly misguided) belief they are fighting for something good.
- The Extremist Was Right: Not only were the terrorist's beliefs proven correct, but their methods may be justified too.
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: The terrorist claims that they have good intentions, but it's rather obvious that they're only committing their crimes for more self-serving motives.
Terrorists (other types)
- Demolitions Expert: Someone who is skilled at producing improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
- Mad Bomber: A terrorist who plants a lot of explosives and blows up anything they can.
- Nebulous Evil Organisation: A terrorist organization that remains mysterious and anonymous to the public.
- Private Military Contractors: While true mercenaries are motivated primarily by money rather than ideology, a private army of paid volunteers can be recruited by the villains to help them carry out acts of terrorism.
- Renegade Splinter Faction: A terrorist group which split off from another older organization that wasn't radical enough for them.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: One person's evil extremist may be another's heroic rebel.
- Assassination Attempt: Terrorists will often try to kill any important figure whom they believe to be an enemy to their cause.
- The Coup: An attempt to forcefully overthrow the established government through illegitimate means other than full-scale rebellion, mostly through violent terror attacks.
- Dirty Bomb: An IED that is designed to scatter radioactive materials around the blast radius.
- Empty Quiver: When a nuclear weapon falls into the wrong hands (such as a ruthless terrorist organization).
- External Combustion: AKA car bombing, a classic terrorist tactic in which a motor vehicle loaded with explosives is detonated to kill people or destroy a targeted location.
- Hostage Situation: When terrorists abduct people and threaten to kill them, while making demands to their enemies involving political goals or ransom money, in exchange for the captives' safety and freedom.
- Mistaken for Terrorist: An innocent person is maliciously accused of or misidentified as being some sort of dangerous extremist (or at least a sympathizer).
- Post-9/11 Terrorism Movie: Political action-thriller films about America's War on Terror.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Rebels and revolutionaries engage in a reign of terror against anyone who is (perceived to be) a counter-revolutionary or loyalist of the old regime.
- Spree Killing: A terrorist may decide to commit a homicidal rampage at a crowded (public) place, trying to massacre as many people as possible with whatever weapons they have (blades, firearms, explosives, vehicles, etc).
- Suicide Attack: Some terrorists are so devoted to their cause that they'll go far enough to get both themselves and others killed, usually through the use of explosives.