Terrorism constitutes a threat to the enjoyment of human rights, regardless of whether the victims were guilty or responsible for the oppression of the people engaging in terrorism.
This very fact can be found in a United Nations resolution where terrorism is defined as “activities aimed at the destruction of human rights, fundamental freedoms, and democracy…”.
As human rights thinking and jurisprudence have evolved, not only states but also non-state actors such as rebel groups or multi-national corporations can be held responsible for human rights violations. For example, al Qaeda falls into this category as an organization. Its terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, was condemned by the United Nations as a “horrific violation of human rights."
The above-mentioned human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, and many more. These fundamental rights are ensured through various legal documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Considering that terrorist acts include deliberate killings, torture, and abduction, terrorism violates all of the rights mentioned above. Some terrorist acts can even violate the right to education. For example, terrorism threatens education in Afganistan. Taliban closed or burned many schools, and many teachers died during the attacks.
Overall, terrorism is never justified because it violates the human rights of its victims.