People have talked about them as terrorists.
Frankly, I am not sure. Merely using a bomb to kill people as opposed to using bullets does not make you a terrorist (or every combat pilot would be a terrorist). What makes these bombers different from the criminals that shoot up schools?
Terrorists kill non-combatants for political reasons. Soldiers kill combatants for political reasons, criminals kill all for money or hate and crazy people kill for non-sane reasons. Idiots do it by accident.
They definitely targeted non-combatants, which means they are not soldiers.
It was not negligence, they did it on purpose.
They did not do it for money.
They appear to be sane, but that has not been determined. They very well could count as psychotic. Some kill for the fame, others kill just to kill (anarchists). An argument could be made that they are anarchists.
If their only reason was hatred for Americans (as opposed to hatred of America), that makes them criminals. This is a rather subtle point and quite frankly no one cares.
(You see, there is no real difference between a terrorist and a criminal when it comes to the law. It only matters to our government if you committed your deed outside of the country. We don't like to arrest criminals outside of the country, but we do hunt down and kill terrorists outside of the country).
To truly be a terrorist they need to have some kind of political agenda.
They have not made that clear. Yes, there is some indication of political agenda - letting a non-american car-jack victim live, talking about politics, etc. Talking about 'radicalization' But that is rather indistinct evidence.
To me, I want a lot more. I want an explicit admission of political motivation.
What, you are are thinking - you want an admission - don't I know criminals lie?
Yes I do know that criminals lie - but you are claiming he is NOT a criminal. Terroirsts are not criminals, that's why they go to Guantanamo not jail.
Terrorist organizations don't lie about being terrorists. They proudly proclaim it. Why? Because that is the whole point of terrorism. Oh sometimes they claim to be "freedom fighters", but they don't deny their goal is political. Terrorists want people to know who they are and what they did. That is why they do the crime - to get in the news and make trouble.
If you don't proclaim your cause, then no one knows what you want them to be in terror of.
Real terrorists proclaim their terrorism, and he is the only one left to proclaim.
I don't know yet if the bombers were terrorists. We won't know that fact till the survivor speaks on the subject
But honestly, it doesn't really matter. It won't really affect his punishment anyway.