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Those who study terrorism say it’s not possible to know until the culprits — and their motives — are identified.

“It often takes some time before you can tell,” said Cori Dauber, a professor at the UNC-Chapel Hill who researches terrorism communication. “If it turns out to be terrorism, then calling it vandalism downplays it too much. And if it turns out to be vandalism, calling it terrorism upsells it far too much.”

Greensboro News & Record