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The Effects of Terrorism

Terrorism has occurred throughout history, but today the world is experiencing a global rebirth of attacks. Today it no longer affects only small societies, such as isolated third world countries who fell victim to regular terrorist attacks, but the whole world is becoming more familiar with Arab and Muslim names. The terrorist violence that is on the rise today has informed citizen all over the world about different types of terrorism. Also with the resurgence the world is experiencing of terrorism, the Nation's have been to do what they can to eliminate terrorism.

All terrorist acts involve violence or the threat of violence. These violent acts are usually committed by nongovernmental groups or individuals who are either part of or officially serving in the military, law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies, or other governmental agencies of an established nation. Terrorists attempt not only to create panic but also to weaken confidence in the government and the political leadership of the target country. Terrorism therefore is designed to have psychological effects that reach farther beyond the impact on the immediate victims of an attack. Terrorists mean to frighten and therefore scare a wider crowd, such as a rival ethnic or religious group, an entire country and its political control, or the entire international community. Terrorist groups are generally small and have few members, limited firepower, and other resources. For this reason they rely on intense bloody and destructive acts of hit-and-run violence to attract attention to their group and their cause. Through the media they are able to create a larger voice for themselves and create hostilities among people.

What has caused terrorism can be a mystery for many reactionary groups, but for other groups the main causes can be historical, cultural, religious, economic, social, and psychological. Generally democratic countries have been proven to be grounds for terrorism because of the open nature of their societies. In such societies people have fundamental rights, civil liberties are protected, and government control and constant surveillance of the people and their activities are absent. Also by through the same reasons repressive societies, where the government closely monitors citizens and restricts their speech and movement, have often provided more difficult environments for terrorists. But even countries with strict police-enforced laws have not been immune to terrorism, even though they limit civil liberties and are against free speech and rights of assembly.

One the most commonly seen forms of terrorism have been Suicide terrorism, otherwise known as psychological warfare. "While suicide bombers are often portrayed as lone mad zealots, they are in fact pawns in large terrorist networks that wage calculated psychological warfare. The suicide bombers often do die while attempting their terrorist acts, hence the name, but the bombers do wish to live to see how the tragedy has affected their victims. The wide range use of suicide terrorism is because it is simple and low-cost, guarantees mass casualties, guarantees the act will succeed, suicide bombers have no fear to surrender information, and the intense impact on the media. "The relatively high number of casualties guaranteed in such attacks, which are usually carried out in crowded areas, ensures full media coverage. Thus, suicide terrorism ranks with other spectacular modus operandi such as blowing up airplanes in mid air or the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction as a sure means to win maximum effect." Some of the most recent act of suicide terrorism in the U.S. was the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.

"Suicide terrorism is defined as a politically motivated violent attack perpetrated by a self-aware individual who actively and purposely causes his own death through blowing himself up along with his chosen target. The perpetrator's ensured death is a precondition for the success of his mission. Today's suicide terrorist attacks are obviously different from ones of ancient times, but also the mode of warfare has changed. Modern suicide attacks are often for the purpose to inflict both physical and psychological damage to the population. Another popular form of terrorism is Bio-chemical terrorism, which is one of the most deadly types. Bio-chemical terrorism can be defined as a group that threatens or attacks their target with the usage of a chemical that is very harmful and can be fatal.

The effects that chemical and biological weapons have had on US troops started after the Persian Gulf. When the end of the war came and tens of thousands of troops returned home they came down with an illness. The symptoms included chronic fatigue, severe joint pain and headaches, intestinal track problems, internal bleeding, and memory loss. These symptoms have been classified as "Gulf War Syndrome."

"Information warfare is "an electronic conflict in which information is a strategic asset worthy of conquest or destruction. Computers and other communications and information systems become attractive first-strike targets. Information warfare is becoming a popular form of terrorism these days. With the growth in computer software and other technologies, information warfare is becoming easier. The threat of info war means that computer systems would have to be protected from an "Electric Pearl Harbor". Information warfare is essentially superior conventional strength. Not only are US weapons better than any other military's but advances in computer and communications have led to a method of integrating conventional forces so well that a new type of fighting emerges. Since this type of terrorism has grown to such a vast strength, it can become one of the most commonly choice for warfare. The terrorist can hack into a computer system that is so far away that the hacker will be in no danger, making this one of the more popular terrorism tactic.

Terrorism is a major problem that is reoccurring over the globe in many different forms. The US alone spends about $5 billion dollars a year combating terrorists. The treats of bio-chemical, Suicide or psychological warfare, and information warfare are on the rise in today's societies as more political argument and groups emerge. Along with the rise of terrorism is also the increase in Counter-Terrorism acts. Even though most counter terrorist groups are kept secret, the increase of terrorism has also countered balanced. Throughout the years many radical and reactionary groups have been the cause for terrorist attacks throughout the world, but the ones that will always remain the most important to you are the ones that happen in your home nation.





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