Some of the people who get called terrorists clearly aren’t. Right now, we have a man in London charged with attempted murder who is labelled a terrorist because he shouted “This is for Syria” while wielding his knife. But according to his family he is a man with a history of mental illness, specifically paranoia, and though his actions have a “copy cat” character that is true of many mentally ill criminals – they have watched the movie or seen the news and that’s as far as it goes. For this man, Syria just happens to be the movie of the moment.
Likewise, when it has suited the US and the UK, they have funded and armed jihadi groups and organisations - just as they funded and armed Saddam Hussein. In Afghanistan, the Taliban grew out of the mujaddin groups funded by the US to fight the Russian occupiers (who were building roads and schools and opening up education and employment to women ...). As recently as 2013, David Cameron asked Parliament to enter the war in Syria against the Assad regime and ... on the side of the jihadis.