What people seem to be oblivious to is that the definition of terrorism has been deliberately kept vague by both academia and our governments as it is politically extremely useful to use such a loaded term when demonising an individual or group, or justifying an otherwise indefensible act/response.
The Woolwich attackers made it clear that their actions were not intended to cause panic or harm to civilians, but were in direct response to UK foreign policy in the Middle East. They deliberately carried out the attack against a member of the British military as an “eye for an eye”. While no stable definition of terrorism exists, inciting terror or panic in a civilian population is the crux of terrorism - not the intended outcome stated by the attacker. The incident would better be described as a retaliation or politically-motivated murder.
The continued muddying of what “terrorism” is by governments and the media allows for the manipulation and incitement of fear in the masses, turning emphasis from our own country’s (and allies) illegal and heinous actions, further demonising groups that have no other way of fighting back.
The attacker even apologised for people having to see such brutality, but pointed out it is what “his people” must see every day.
While such actions are deplorable, and such an attack unacceptable, it’s not terrorism and in my opinion it is dangerous to label it as such.