Criteria 1

The act must be aimed at attaining a political, economic, religious, or social goal. In terms of economic goals, the exclusive pursuit of profit does not satisfy this criterion. It must involve the pursuit of more profound, systemic economic change.

Criterion 2

There must be evidence of an intention to coerce, intimidate, or convey some other message to a larger audience (or audiences) than the immediate victims. It is the act taken as a totality that is considered, irrespective if every individual involved in carrying out the act was aware of this intention. As long as any of the planners or decision-makers behind the attack intended to coerce, intimidate or publicize, the intentionality criterion is met.

Criterion 3

The action must be outside the context of legitimate warfare activities. That is, the act must be outside the parameters permitted by international humanitarian law (particularly the prohibition against deliberately targeting civilians or non-combatants.

Doubt Terrorism Proper

The existence of a "Yes" for "Doubt Terrorism Proper?" records reservation, in the eyes of GTD analysts, that the incident in question is truly terrorism. Such uncertainty, however, was not deemed to be sufficient to disqualify the incident from inclusion into the GTD. Furthermore, such a determination of doubt is subsequently coded by GTD analysts as conforming to one of four possible alternative designations: 1) Insurgency/Guerilla Action; 2) Other Crime Type; 3) Inter/Intra-Group Conflict; or 4) Lack of Intentionality.