File Name: what is terrorism and its causes and solution .zip
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Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. The targets of terrorist attacks are multiple and diverse. This fact constitutes an advantage for terrorists, because it is one facet of the uncertainty on which they capitalize—where and when will an attack occur and what kind of attack will it be? Some targets of terrorist attacks are human beings themselves, for example, assassinations, the bombing of large human assemblies, and biological and chemical poisoning and contamination.
Others do not attack humans at all but aim to disrupt some vital economic or institutional functioning, for example, disruption of financial institutions or computer networks. No matter what the attack, however, there is always a human response to it. In this chapter we summarize much of what is known about these responses from research in the behavioral and social sciences.
Throughout its history, the American nation has been relatively free from anxieties about attacks on its homeland, except for a few wartime situations including the cold war. This is especially difficult to dispel, largely because of the irreducible quotient of uncertainty involved. A condition of high anxiety, moreover, leaves a population skittish and prone to extreme reactions, mainly rumors and exaggerated fears.
A few comments on the middle three measures are in order. On one hand, the attractiveness of the at-the-source alternative is that, if successful, it prevents all sorts of terrorism. In addition, even if eradicated, terrorist activities and organizations can regrow. Finally, aggressive ferreting poses certain perils of unilateralism and the peeling away of allies and friends if the pursuit appears to them to be too aggressive.
The attractiveness of along-the-way strategies is similar in that they intercept persons with a possible diversity of purposes, but in this case as well, both the cost and the impossibility of completeness are evident, given the mass movement of things and people that global commerce and tourism entails.
The attractiveness of the end-of-the-line strategy is security but, given the multiplicity of targets and the adaptive capacity of terrorists to change them and invent new ones, it also raises the questions of cost and the impossibility of completeness. Considerations of strategic prudence and the force of national public opinion probably dictate that the country will pursue all three lines of prevention.
Preparedness for attacks should be organized at two levels—responsible authorities and the general population. At the level of government and community officials, preparation should be both exhaustive and contingent—anticipating every kind of.
These measures will also call for new levels of cooperation among government, the media, schools, businesses, hospitals, churches, and other types of organizations, as well as households. Applied research, conducted in advance, on all these aspects of preparedness is necessary. At the level of the populace the effort is both educational and instructional. As much unambiguous information as possible should be disseminated about the nature of different kinds of attacks—information that is clear, placed in context, repeated, and authoritative Mileti et al.
Training and drills for behavioral responses for each generally increase the sense of mastery and reduce anxiety before the attack and reduce both chaos and human death and suffering in the event of attack. Readiness and preparedness involve a number of delicate equilibria, however. If attacks do not occur for a long period of time, public apprehension diminishes and knowledge about responding properly erodes. Recall the high-profile, sometimes hysterical movement to protect against fallout in the wake of a nuclear attack in the s and s.
The desired equilibrium is to keep public consciousness high without whipping up public anxiety. Overtraining and overdrilling, moreover, can generate public indifference, irritability, and criticism of responsible authorities.
Warning systems also create a delicate balance. Authorities should strive to make warnings free from ambiguity, directed to all those at risk wherever they may be , and communicated through multiple channels public warning devices such as sirens, radio, television, and Internet National Science and Technology Council, False alarms and misdirection of warnings to people not at risk, however, tend to generate public apathy and hostility Dow and Cutter, Behavioral and social science research carried out mainly, but not exclusively, during World War II U.
Strategic Bombing Survey, and the civil defense era of the s and s e. We detail below a typical scenario:. A wildfire spread of information, both factual and fictional mainly rumors as a part of the process of comprehending and assigning meaning to the events; much of this is by word-of-mouth and telephone if possible , but over time the mass media have taken over a decisive role in the structuring of cognitive and emotional reactions.
The appearance of a mix of intense emotional reactions, including fear, anxiety, and terror, as well as rage, guilt, grief, and serious mental disturbances in a small proportion of the affected population; some research Wolfenstein, indicates that many of the extreme reactions occur among individuals already suffering from mental disorders.
Research on hurricane disasters has shown that, even when warned, households make their own assessments of risk and actively decide whether or not to evacuate, depending on such factors as level of risk perceived, job circumstances, concern for personal property, and family situation Dow et al.
One of the most common vulnerabilities of responses to disaster is the uncertainty of mission and communication among different response agencies Tierney et al. The development of a notable social solidarity, including a pulling-together of the affected community to respond to the crisis; altruistic and heroic behavior; an increase in trust of other individuals, groups, and authorities; an augmented spirit of cooperation and good will; and the spread of euphoric feelings as a kind of collective offset to the negative emotional responses.
The simultaneous appearance of scapegoating reactions, directed primarily at individuals believed to be responsible for permitting the disaster to occur and for failures in responding to the crisis. A gradual return to the routine and the normal, including the management and diminution of intense affective reactions by way of adaptive processes akin to mourning; the restoration and recreation of broken social ties, a return to familiar rounds of activities, and the completion of recovery and reconstruction efforts.
In the aftermath of the catastrophic events of September 11, , every one of these ingredients appeared. It is more complex than these, calling for a correspondingly increased complexity in efforts to comprehend and respond to it. To begin with the most basic differences, terrorism involves intended and manipulated disasters, as contrasted with acts of God and accidental misfirings in complex systems of industrial, transportation, and economic organizations.
This element of deliberateness, moreover, involves maximizing the surprise, uncertainty, novelty, and diversity of assaults, thus limiting the effectiveness of discrete efforts to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to single types of terrorist attacks.
The contemporary terrorist situation thus dictates that one abandon any conception that there is a single and unified disaster syndrome and incorporate complexity, contingency, and continual adaptation and revision of thinking about, readying for, and preventing terrorist events and situations.
As we now understand it, terrorism involves great variations along the following, overlapping lines:. Discrete types of targets, including buildings, food and water supplies, electrical and other energy systems, transportation systems, information and communication systems, large human populations including bombings as well as chemical and biological poisoning , currency and financial systems, and governmental structures.
Degree of localization e. Degree to which targets are symbolically charged rail-road tracks at one extreme, sacred symbols such as the Statue of Liberty at the other.
Whether the agent of attack is known, suspected, ambiguous, unknown, or unknowable. As should be evident from this listing, the mix and multiplicity of responses in the ideal-typical disaster syndrome is highly variable.
Localized attacks, especially if they involve the closing of escape routes, are more likely to occasion collective panic reactions. Generalized attacks, such as contamination and poisoning, are likely to cause reactions of mass hysteria but not localized panics.
Widespread terror—a generic objective of terrorist attacks—is more likely to occur when attacks are dispersed, multiple, unpredictably recurrent, and by ambiguous or unknown agents. And converging rescue and relief operations are qualitatively different for localized bombings than they are for attempts to poison or sicken large numbers of people.
Finally, the mix of reactions will differ widely according to whether human casualties result from the attack and whether the attack is immediately recognizable or is perceived as having invisible or unknown dimensions. It is instructive to comment on the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in this context. Widespread terror was not the most salient feature of the immediate response to the events. Rather, September 11 created an intense reaction of moral outrage against a readily identifiable and.
In that limited sense, the attacks present an appearance of miscalculation. The sense of uncertainty created by the assaults, however, has generated a persistent level of anxiety in the population. Some insights about the anthrax mail episode a few weeks later can be generated as well. As passing and amateurish as those events seemed to be, they nevertheless had a potential to be very terror-inducing.
This lay in the many kinds of uncertainty surrounding the episodes. The agents were unknown. The fatal effects of widespread exposure could be extensive. And mail, like currency, is something that everyone regularly handles. The episode left room for feelings of danger for everyone—that it could strike anywhere, any time—however unrealistic such fears may have been. The press also played a role, scarcely deliberate, in magnifying the threat, bringing what were essentially a series of highly localized events to the attention of a vast population of viewers and readers.
As indicated, the natural history of recovery from disaster involves a diminution of emotional responses, the setting in of a certain denial of the possibility of recurrence, and a return to routine activities, events, rhythms, and conflicts.
These are, by and large, reasonable and adaptive responses on the part of a population because of the rarity of specific kinds of catastrophic events in life. It is not psychically economical for people to worry about them all the time.
Discrete acts of terrorism, if not soon repeated, should be expected to show the same tendency toward routinization. Indeed, there were messages from government and public leaders exhorting the public to return to normal activities in the wake of. Should additional major attacks on the homeland occur, the whole routinization process would be thrown in the air and a new situation created. Many of the emotional and behavioral symptoms of the disaster syndrome would recur, but in a different context of public memory of the earlier attacks.
Scapegoating of governmental and other agencies and persons singled out as lax or irresponsible would become more salient because of expectations that vigilance and security should have increased as a result of the previous attacks. Subsequent attacks would also probably lead to even more tightening of homeland security, along with all the psychological and political consequences that would ensue. If, down the line, a dreadful scenario of multiple, repeated, and continuous terrorist attacks should unfold, one would expect the emergence of, among other things, a certain routinization of disaster reactions, including an inuring and hardening of public outlooks and behavior reminiscent of what has been witnessed over time in places like Northern Ireland, Israel, and Lebanon.
Because the attacks of September 11 were such a dramatic and profound wound to the nation, they qualify as what social scientists and humanists recently have been calling a cultural trauma. In the wake of the events, the nation has simultaneously experienced both deep mourning and a not altogether expected season of celebration.
A cultural trauma of this type can be expected to manifest a number of known characteristics:. It is sacred, not in any specific religious sense, but as a monumental instant in the history of the nation;. There are deliberate efforts to remember the event and its heroes collectively, through commemorative ceremonies, pub-. There is sustained public interest in the remembering process, including, down the line, some contestation among politically interested groups over how the remembering should be concretized.
These are a few of the threads involved in the process of public normalization. More will emerge in the final two sections of this chapter on political and economic aspects of terrorism. A post-attack development of political solidarity parallels the burst of social solidarity noted above. Citizens experience an increase in trust and support of political leaders, which can endure for long periods of time if a sense of crisis continues and it is perceived that leaders are dealing with the crisis well.
The most dramatic evidence of this effect is the report of polls of black Americans in late December , which revealed a figure of 75 percent support for President George W. Bush among a segment of the population that had cast only 10 percent of their votes for him one year earlier.
Such support does not last indefinitely, however, as the fate of President George Bush after the Gulf War demonstrates. Political leadership also pulls together in such times of crisis, particularly if the crisis involves an attack on the nation as a whole.
This effect is not necessarily seen in other types of crises—such as an economic collapse of the domestic economy and major political scandals—which typically set off both class and party conflicts. Partisan politics are quick to return, however, even in areas that have some connection with the crisis. It was less than two months after September 11 when Democrats and Republicans split along recognizable lines over the issue of whether airline security personnel should be federal employees or remain as private-sector employees.
Terrorism , the calculated use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective. Terrorism has been practiced by political organizations with both rightist and leftist objectives, by nationalistic and religious groups, by revolutionaries, and even by state institutions such as armies, intelligence services, and police. Definitions of terrorism are usually complex and controversial, and, because of the inherent ferocity and violence of terrorism, the term in its popular usage has developed an intense stigma. It was first coined in the s to refer to the terror used during the French Revolution by the revolutionaries against their opponents. The Jacobin party of Maximilien Robespierre carried out a Reign of Terror involving mass executions by the guillotine. Although terrorism in this usage implies an act of violence by a state against its domestic enemies, since the 20th century the term has been applied most frequently to violence aimed, either directly or indirectly, at governments in an effort to influence policy or topple an existing regime.
Although the growing terrorist threat in Iraq and Syria has replaced coverage of this extremist group on the front pages of international newspapers, Boko Haram remains a deadly force that must be confronted. Nigerian terrorism did not develop in a vacuum. Islamic activism in Muslim Nigerian towns and villages in the north in the late s and early s was driven by the feverish competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran. I visited those areas during my government service and witnessed the growth of Islamic activism and radicalization first hand. I spoke to dozens of Islamic activists in the region about the so-called root causes of their activism.
Hello everyone and welcome to week 3. This week we will discuss the foundations of terrorism and the nature and geography of terrorist groups.
Richard Parncutt March , revised July There are many possible causes of terrorism. But none of these points can explain why some terrorists make the "ultimate sacrifice", overcoming their strongest natural desire - the desire to live - and committing suicide.
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