Terrorism Definitions

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See also: Criminal Code and Related Definitions

"Terrorism offence"

s. 2.
“terrorism offence” means

(a) an offence under any of sections 83.02 to 83.04 or 83.18 to 83.23,
(b) an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament committed for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group,
(c) an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament where the act or omission constituting the offence also constitutes a terrorist activity, or
(d) a conspiracy or an attempt to commit, or being an accessory after the fact in relation to, or any counselling in relation to, an offence referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c);



"Terrorist Group"

s. 2.
“terrorist group” has the same meaning as in subsection 83.01(1);


"Terrorist Activity"

Section 83.01 states:

“terrorist activity” means

(b) an act or omission, in or outside Canada,
(i) that is committed
(A) in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause, and
(B) in whole or in part with the intention of intimidating the public, or a segment of the public, with regard to its security, including its economic security, or compelling a person, a government or a domestic or an international organization to do or to refrain from doing any act, whether the public or the person, government or organization is inside or outside Canada, and
(ii) that intentionally
(A) causes death or serious bodily harm to a person by the use of violence,
(B) endangers a person’s life,
(C) causes a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or any segment of the public,
(D) causes substantial property damage, whether to public or private property, if causing such damage is likely to result in the conduct or harm referred to in any of clauses (A) to (C), or
(E) causes serious interference with or serious disruption of an essential service, facility or system, whether public or private, other than as a result of advocacy, protest, dissent or stoppage of work that is not intended to result in the conduct or harm referred to in any of clauses (A) to (C),

and includes a conspiracy, attempt or threat to commit any such act or omission, or being an accessory after the fact or counselling in relation to any such act or omission, but, for greater certainty, does not include an act or omission that is committed during an armed conflict and that, at the time and in the place of its commission, is in accordance with customary international law or conventional international law applicable to the conflict, or the activities undertaken by military forces of a state in the exercise of their official duties, to the extent that those activities are governed by other rules of international law.


Section 2 defines "terrorist activity" as being identical to the definition under s. 83.01.

The definition of "terrorist activity" under section 83.01 of the Code does not violate s. 2(b) Charter rights to freedom of expression.[1] The activity either involves the use of violence or otherwise is destructive to the principles underlying the right.[2]

  1. R v Khawaja, 2012 SCC 69 (CanLII)
  2. Khawaja, ibid.

"List of Entities"

Establishment of list
83.05 (1) The Governor in Council may, by regulation, establish a list on which the Governor in Council may place any entity if, on the recommendation of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Governor in Council is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that

(a) the entity has knowingly carried out, attempted to carry out, participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity; or
(b) the entity is knowingly acting on behalf of, at the direction of or in association with an entity referred to in paragraph (a).



See Also