Stress and Threats of Terrorism
Published 28 Dec 2016
As we all know, terrorism is by no means new phenomenon, as it first appeared with the dawn of the recorded history of the humankind. But with the development of the new technologies, such as scientific, social and economical, terrorism got an opportunity to escalate and expand the sphere of its agency. Terrorism is something more than a usual crime, which’s addressed against a particular person, or a group of people.
Sri Lankan former Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar noted that: “the terrorist act is seen as an attack on society as a whole, on democratic institutions. A terrorist attack is an act of war against society”. That’s why the recent boost in the development of terrorism troubles both the politicians and the ordinary citizens. Nowadays most terrorist organizations have their roots in the countries, where the religious beliefs are very strong, so that the common citizens, when called up to “defend” and promote their religious views, answer this call readily.
One of the distinguishing features of the contemporary terrorism is that it’s increasingly religious in nature. The leaders of the terrorist organizations, who chase their own goals, such as to satisfy their lure for power, or personal enrichment, had to develop a motivation to recruit the common members to their organizations, those who would accomplish all the dirty work.
Other researches consider the belief systems of the terrorists to be the reason for their agency. Martha Crenshaw noted that the terrorists’ actions are based on the subjective interpretation of the surrounding world, which’s dictated by their religious beliefs. Rex A. Hudson, the author of the report dedicated to the sociology and psychology of terrorism, notes that the belief systems of the terrorists are formed from the cultural traditions of their society, their political and social environment and the “internal dynamics of their clandestine groups”. He also states that regardless of the fact, that their actions often seem to be delusional and irrational to the members of other societies, “the terrorists may nevertheless act rationally in their commitment to acting on their convictions.”
There are many hypotheses on why Muslims become terrorists. The author of the article in Psychology Today that deals with the phenomenon of suicide terrorism suggests that young people become terrorists because of the despair and fear. The author also notes that one fourth of Palestinians, the dwellers of the country from which lots of terrorists emerge, are clinically depressed. They don’t have any point in life except for fighting, as there are no opportunities for them in their country destroyed by the continuous wars.
Before the recent development of terrorist movement occurred, those criminals had never had an access to the WMDs, as those were small groups, sponsored by some rich believers or organizations. Nowadays, the scale of terroristic movement has increased greatly, as they often get money and support directly from the governments of some countries, either Muslim or not.
Lots of politicians are sure that the terrorists have an access to the weapon of mass destruction, but they either are afraid to use it or wait for a suitable moment to do it. The accident which happened in Jordan, April 2004, when the Al Qaeda attempted to destroy the Jordan government and kill 80 thousand people with the chemical weapon, proves that the terrorists have the WMDs and are ready to use it. Luckily, their attempt failed, but who knows, whether the counterterrorist will be successful next time.
The authors of the book “Countering the New Terrorism” state that the motivations for the terrorists won’t change during the information age, but the methods used by them to destroy their enemies will. Terrorists will use the new opportunities, provided to them by the newly developed informational technologies.
Nowadays, together with the physical destruction of the enemy they begin to destruct the informational infrastructures of the opposing countries. Not to sound naked, let’s recall the The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s (LTTE) attempts to disrupt the E-mail communication systems of the Sri Lanka Government agencies, which took place in 1998.
Apart from the grief and pity the events of 11 September brought to millions of American people, it has also granted the U.S citizens the understanding that they are not safe living in isolation from the problems other countries experience. American government had always had “zero tolerance” policy towards terrorism, but after the 9/11 many of the politicians and the ordinary citizens understood that the U.S government had to act much more intensively to prevent other terroristic acts both on its territory and worldwide.
Martin A. Kalis in his article “A New Approach to International Terrorism” describes the four main principles of U.S policy towards terrorism. Those are: a). strike no deals with the terrorists; b). bring them to justice for their crimes; c). isolate and apply pressure on states that sponsor terrorism, to make them change their policies; d). bolster the counterterrorism capabilities of those countries that work with the United States and require assistance.
Terrorism is a terrible threat to the life of people worldwide. Living in constant fear that one, or his children, friends or relatives can become the victims of the religious fanatic is very stressful and straining. This is why measures should be taken to eliminate terrorism instead of trying to communicate with the leaders of the terrorist movement. The experience proves that religious fanatics are almost impossible to communicate with, as they are incapable of compromising.
In the same time measures should be taken for to prevent the emergence of new terrorist groups. As the research showed, it is often that young people become terrorists as they don’t have any perspectives in their countries destructed by war. To prevent further strengthening of terrorism the conditions of life should be changed in the Arabic and Asian countries to eliminate the reasons for which terrorists appear.
Unfortunately, sooner or later all the people die, and the terrorists are not an exception from this rule. Their groups continue their agency because every day new young people join them. If the U.S counterterrorist organizations would manage to ceil the flow of the youngsters to the terrorist organizations, than the terrorism would be defeated. It can be accomplished by the propaganda of the Western lifestyle among the Muslim children and teenagers, organizing academic and cultural exchanges to make them see that Westerners are the usual people, with their principles and values, in the same time respective to the moral and religious values of other people.
Terrorism is a very stressful phenomenon, as it makes people live in constant fear for their friends and loved ones. It should be eliminated for to bring peace into the contemporary world. The war with terrorism is not easy or quick one. It demands lots of time and strength to accomplish, but the results, which are the safety of our children and loved ones, and millions of people worldwide, are worth it.
- Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London. (1998) Global Terrorism, Lecture. by Lakshman Kadirgamar. Retrieved February 14, 2005
- Crenshaw, Martha. (1992). Current Research on Terrorism: The Academic Perspective. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 1-11.
- Lesser, Ian, Hoffman, B, Ronfelt, D, Zanini, M, Arquilla, J. (1999). Countering the New Terrorism. RAND Corporation.
- Kalis, Martin. (2001). A New Approach to International Terrorism. International Affairs Review. Vol .10, Num 2.
- Hudson, Rex. (1999). The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why?. Federal Research pision, Library of Congress. Retrieved February 14, 2005 http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/frd.html
- Perina, K. (2002). Suicide terrorism: seeking motives beyond mental illness. Psychology Today, 35 (5), p.15