Terrorism should not be confused with traditional warfare. In war, the target is selected for its military value.
Terrorism is a political act to achieve a desired goal through the use of violence. Terrorism is not an irrational act committed by the insane. The terrorist does not act for personal gain or gratification, thus the terrorist is not a criminal in the traditional sense. A terrorist believes in what he, is doing. The objective is worth the life of the terrorist and the lives of the people he/she will take. The intent is not to kill those who die in an attack, but to affect the larger society as a whole, its laws, its institutions, and its values.
Which is why, when we degrade our laws and our constitution AQ wins.