Terrorist attacks become one major threat to human being because the occurrences are not predictable and could happen at any places, which causes death to tens to thousands of people. Although terrorist attacks have happened many times since the World War II, the 9/11 attacks, named after the date of terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, becomes a catalysts to the birth of global counterterrorism.
The 9/11 Commission Report presents potential threats that put American at risk. In addition, the report also reveals the failure of US intelligence agency in carrying out the counterterrorism. Another important thing that is identified after the 9/1 attack is the need for a reliable system that is responsible for the preventive action on any possible terrorist attacks, preparation, and quick response once the terrorist attacks occur (Muhlhausen and McNeill, 2011).
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The US Department of Homeland Security that works hard to develop the preventive system faces tough challenge as terrorist invents more effective way to massively destruct U.S. major properties. Muhlhausen and McNeill (2011) reveal there are 38,345 terrorist attacks that occur in the world during 1969 and 2009. About 7.8% (equals to 2,981 incidences) occurs at US facilities while the rest 35,364 incidences (92.2%) occur in other parts of the world.
As terrorists’ targets are intended to U.S and its allies, the reasons could be described due to the US involvement in many battlefields around the world and its act as the police of the world. This means as long as the U.S. military forces still exist in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other Middle-East countries, it seems terrorist attacks will still occur in the U.S. and its allies like U.K. and Spain, which in turn will hurt the countries’ economy.
Concerning this issue, this paper will discuss about several topics of terrorism including the general definition of terrorism, different type of terrorism, the role of cyber media and internet, Islam and terrorism, and the new method to prevent any terrorist attacks in the future
General Definition of Terrorism
As already happens in many terrorism incidences, terrorists do not only intend to destroy vital facilities like military facilities but also in larger view they aim at damaging a country’s economy by providing fears (See Figure 1). This interminable action will force government to conduct several economy-healing actions once the attacks occur. While the country’s government is dithered by the attacks, unemployment starts rising as the result of low consumption and productivity, which further causes the declining economy. Therefore, as the economy of U.S. now gets strong again, it is important that the U.S. government strengthen their national security by cooperating with other nations not by invading and threatening them.
Considering the several incidence of terrorism, in simply words, terrorism refers to any forms that aim at causing threats to peace and security. The terrorism acts are considered criminal by any measures and unjustified in spite of underlying motivation (United Nation. 2011).
Different Types of Terrorism
As the actors behind any terrorism can be elaborated in terms of individual or group, the terrorism emerges to have many types. The first type of terrorism is state terrorism, which refers to the use of state power and force to intimidate peaceful countries. This definition points out the situation in Germany when Nazi rules the country (Zalman, 2011).
Another type of terrorism is conducted in organization level that considers the non-member including ruling government as enemies. Several examples of this type of terrorism are IRA (Irish Republican Army). IRA that is formed by Irish republican revolutionary military forces aim at rejecting the Anglo-Irish Treaty.
Meanwhile another group that is also considered as terrorist is Ku Klux Klan or KKK. This extremist reactionary current intends to raise the white supremacy and white anti-immigration by giving terror to black communities in the US.
Meanwhile, another group that is considered as terrorism is Al-Qaeda. The main target of this group is the U.S facilities and its allied nations due to US military aggression in Muslim countries especially in Middle East. One famous attack that are proclaimed to be Al-Qaeda’s responsibility is the 9/11 attacks that involves heavily the air transportation industry causes serous fear on Americans in taking air traveling. The incidence also causes serious impact on U.S aviation industry since it experiences a great suffer since some industries experienced great losses and slow growth afterwards. University of Southern California reveals a significant finding of their research, revealing that 9/11 attacks cost the air travel industry and its associated business about $200 billion. Furthermore, they also predict if similar attack happens, it could cost the industry to lose around $214 billion to $420 billion (Kjelgaard, 2007).
Another type of terrorism is bioterrorism, which use biological weapon to kill hundreds to thousands people (Zalman, 2011). Some examples of bioterrorism is Aum Shinrikyo’s use of the nerve agent ‘sarin’ in Tokyo. The incidence that happens in 1995 causes 12 death and 5,500 people get injured. This bioterrorism also happens in the use of anthrax spores in the US by similar groups.
How the cyber media and internet contribute to terrorists
Several incidences that utilize aircraft have raised security concerns in the aviation industry. In line with the concerns, standards of security are increasing within most airports, the entire system of security and safety precaution had changed rapidly during the last four years (Choe, 2007). However, behind the capability of terrorism in attacking vital facilities lies the internet where terrorist use Internet as a communication media between the attackers to finalize the preparation until the day comes.
Islam and Terrorism
The terrorists’ attacks in the past two decades, which carried out by Muslim, have provided a perception that Islam supports the terrorism. While in fact, as major religion in world, Islam is in contrast to what the terrorists believe. However, unfortunately, the attacks by Al Qaeda and other organizations under ‘Jihad’ or Muslim holy war have caused people to discredit Muslim all over the world.
While US foreign policy following the 9/11 attack seems to focus on giving the right information about the U.S. stance on military actions in order to winning the hearts and minds of Muslim all over the world, it seems the efforts are grounded. It is because most of Muslim and Arab world still ire to the U.S. because the U.S. support on Israel on the Palestinian – Israel conflict (Zaharna 2003).
New approaches to preventing terrorism
In order to provide more effective counterterrorism, the inter agency coordination is important. Some techniques of counterterrorism are also introduced in intergovernmental and interagency level as following
- Focus on terrorism where DHHS and CDC organize all government agencies to strengthen the intergovernmental and interagency efforts on terminating terrorism.
- Improved training techniques. It is important, as terrorism is a special crime, which needs special training on handling the matter.
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