Well I think it's hardly just a word at all. It's not a buzzword especially. It's a real thing that really affects people. Sure, a part of it is a state of mind in which you are afraid, but there are real things that actually do happen which cause that fear. And the level of that threat fluctuates even, but we shouldn't pretend terrorism is simply in our minds. Nor should we overestimate the threat of terrorism either.
On December 31, 2011, President Obama signed the 2012 NDAA, codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history. The NDAA’s dangerous detention provisions would authorize the president — and all future presidents — to order the military to pick up and indefinitely imprison people captured anywhere in the world, far from any battlefield. The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress, or internationally.