Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 14:15:45 -0400


Subject: Terrorism vs. sabotage

A colleague asked a good question today, one that I thought I knew the

answer to but now am not so sure. In connection with the derailing of the

Sunset Limited this week, an Amtrak official apparently said they were

trying to determine if it was an act of "terrorism or sabotage." My

colleague logically asked what the difference is between the two.

After launching into my usual explanation of the origin of the word

"sabotage"--the wooden shoe (sabot) into the gears of the machinery, ad

nauseum--I quickly discovered I wasn't sure about the fine line between the

two. My basic assumption was that sabotage came from within an organization

or unit and terrorism from without. Am I oversimplifying that?

We'd appreciate any comments/clarifications.

Jerry Miller

Pulliam School of Journalism

Franklin College (Ind.)