Most significant contribution of sociological thinking to our understanding of terrorism is the realization that it is a social construction. Terrorism is not a given in the real world, but it instead an interpretation of events and their presumed causes. Conscious efforts to manipulate perceptions to promote certain interests at the expense of others. Pronouncements by the u. s. state department, for example reflect assessments not only of objective threat but also of the political, economic and military implications of naming particular entities as terrorist. Few incidents have been defined as terrorism or the perpetrators as terrorists. Instead, authorities have typically ignored or downplayed the political significance of such violence, opting to portray and treat the violence as apolitical criminals act by deranged or evil individuals, outlaws or gangsters, or imported agitators. Terrorism is far more likely to refer to incidents associated with agents and supporters of presumably foreign-based terrorist organizations such as al.