Category: Research

What is Terrorism

Terrorism is the policy of the impact on the state and people through intimidation which is a violence-based process. Under the terrorism should be understood criminal act that combines the use of violence or threat of violence against persons or group of persons, accompanied by frightening the population and the deliberate creation of the climate of fear, depression, tension, with the aim of influencing on decisions favorable to terrorists and that have increased by the public danger and the public nature of its commission.

Terrorism today is a powerful weapon, a tool used not only in the fight against the authorities but very often by the authorities themselves in order to achieve their goals. Modern terrorism takes the form of: international terrorism (terrorist acts that have an international dimension); the internal political terrorism (terrorist actions against the government of any political groups within countries, or with the purpose of destabilization of the internal situation in the country); criminal terrorism that pursues purely selfish goals (Alexander 2010).

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Terrorism has a long history as a specific phenomenon of social and political life. The modern terrorism has no longer it's previously romanticized by itself ideological shell and directivity. The motives of most modern terrorist organizations, groups and individuals are very, very far from the "high ideals." Today, the U.S. paid a lot of public and scientific attention to the problem of terrorism; a lot of books are written, specialized journals are published. However, it should be noted that the state, facing off with the practical terror, has been forced to develop strategies and tactics to deal with it. Organizations such as FARC and al-Qaeda exert a strong and active political and social impact on the country, and in the conditions of such a terrorist activities government just need to take any action (Hart 2008).

Main Idea 

In 1964, a young Colombian Manuel Marulanda Velez, nicknamed "Tirofijo» (Spanish: Sureshot) created an armed organization Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarios de Colombia, or FARC, The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. At the turn of the '80s-'90s, when U.S. attention was focused on the dramatic collisions that occur in Eurasia, FARC secretly and this is even more unexpectedly, turned into the extremist group, which has since become an enduring problem for Washington (Durnan and Peceny 2006).

At the epicenter of the problem was unremarkable and undemanding shrubby plant named coca. Obtained as a result of the processing of coca leaves a substance was called cocaine, originally used in medical and first of all anesthetic purposes. However, in the second half of the twentieth-century coca showed itself from a completely different side as a potent drug. The object of desire of a growing number of drug addicts, cocaine was also the center of the activities of criminal groups in Bolivia, Peru, and especially Colombia. FARC annually received 10% of the coca crop for the force cover of operations of Cali, Medellin Cartel, North Valley Cartel, and then from the many fragmented groups formed on their basis. Thousands of couriers provided a decentralized supply of small quantities of "goods" through the distribution nodes in Miami, New York, San Francisco and other big cities (Alexander 2010).

Out of 580 metric tons of "coke" produced in Colombia by chemical treatment in 2012 (up to 80% of the world production of this kind of drugs), not less than 80% has received in the USA. In the aggregate indicators of criminal, health and economic character, annual damage caused the U.S. by drug abuse exceeds $ 150 billion; one of the leading roles in it belongs to Colombian cocaine. The other income of the Organization remains racketeering and kidnapping. Only for the 2006-2011 militants groups were taken hostage 3,439 people, including 74 U.S. citizens. Ransom for the release of some of them was 110 million dollars. Most of those who have not paid have not returned back (Saab and Taylor 2009).

October 18, 2012, in Oslo peace talks, began between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and the next part of the talks was held in Havana in November 2012. Long-term U.S. interests in the region is providing all the support to Colombia in the fight against insurgents, and helps in achieving security, stability, and prosperity in the South American country, thereby increase control of drug trafficking in Colombia and decrease in it exports to the United States, which would entail a reduction in the influence of the FARC for the U.S. government (Hart 2008).

U.S. economists widely believed that exactly the destruction of the "human potential," first of all deaths of people posing the greatest damage to the rest of cascading economic spheres and systems. As Osama bin Laden said, the terrorist attacks 9/11 provoked an unprecedented financial crisis in U.S. history. Material damage that America has undergone in the loss of about 2,000 highly qualified specialists in various fields of economy, estimated at 1 trillion dollars. Additionally, terrorist number one stated that there was a sharp drop in the stock exchange: the dollar collapsed, airlines have been paralyzed. According to him, the American system of globalization that destroys the world is also gone to the past.

Terrorist acts essentially transform the activity of entire sectors of the economy, thus significantly reducing their activity. According to estimates APEC attack on September 11, 2001, led to a decline in traffic of 20% and a loss of jobs for 200,000 men (MacDonald and Yaser 2010).

Analysts are dividing the influence of Al-Qaeda on the infrastructure into two central issues: the reduction of budget revenues and the increase in the expenditure side. Reduction of budget revenues due to the following adverse events: loss of life, reduction in demand, reduction in traffic volume; downturn trade of products and services, reduced investment and jobs, tourist trips, the destruction of the tax base, etc. The increase in the expenditure side of the budget is directed to unproductive sectors of the economy. The rescue operation and the subsequent cleaning of the area subjected to acts of terrorism have cost the U.S. $ 11 billion, that is, slightly more than 0.1% of U.S. GDP in 2001. Furthermore, it should highlight other phenomena providing an increase in the expenditure side of the budget: funeral services, payments, insurance payments, restoration work (buildings, infrastructure), the development and introduction of new security tools, restoration ecology, etc. (MacDonald and Yaser 2010).

The phenomenon of terrorist attacks has had a negative impact on the tourism industry up to 2000. So, the loss for the period totaled $ 57 billion (in 2006 they accounted for 5% of industry revenue). It can be noted that the attacks directly influence the choice of tourist routes and thus have a negative impact on the economy of the USA. In addition, terrorist attacks may have a negative impact on the tourism sector in neighboring countries. However, according to several prominent American economists, unresolved issue is whether the concerns of tourists to terrorist acts seem to be adequate or not (Hart 2008).

Bin Laden was able to turn terrorism from means of protest and resistance into the universal tool to combat the influence of Western ideologies on the Islamic world. In fact, Al Qaeda has shown that one organization has been able to be equal or nearly equal to the total resist the military, political, financial and ideological power of the leading states of the world. At the same time, al-Qaeda was the first terrorist organization that has never taken responsibility for a terrorist act and preferred to stay in the shade. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that al-Qaeda was able to establish control, or completely subjugate many previously independent terrorist groups, hitherto operated independently of each other (Stohl 2006).

In addition, Al-Qaeda for the first time gave special attention to the ideological and psychological preparation of its fighters. Their deaths in a combat mission ceased to be perceived as a loss and were considered as a privilege. Al-Qaeda has brought to the regular practice of terrorism and mass suicides, which is why, now, some U.S. residents are often suspicious of Muslims dressed in traditional Islamic clothing, behind which (to their minds) can be hidden explosive devices. Such thoughts have become a stereotype, and so many American Muslims are unfairly criticized and charges. According to analysts of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the emergence of Al-Qaeda can be considered as the funeral of globalization (Alexander 2010).

Previously it was thought that the spread of information technology and the free flow of information around the world will increase the level of education and tolerance of people that will lead to a decrease in the number of inter-state, inter-ethnic and interdenominational conflicts. However, this did not happen. Despite the fact that Al-Qaeda is against globalization, it is like no other organization is actively using the latest achievements of civilization - satellite phones, laptops, complex patterns of exchange of information through the Internet. Back in 1998, Bin Laden used a satellite phone that was rare even for the wealthiest special services of the world (MacDonald and Yaser 2010). This organization is actively trying to acquire control of weapons of mass destruction and even hired nuclear physicists from Egypt and Pakistan to develop nuclear weapons based on nuclear materials.

It is impossible to prepare for the act of terrorism in advance, so you should always be on guard. The main rule: avoid without having to visit the regions, cities, places, and events that can attract the attention of terrorists. Typically, they are:

  • Regions of the North Caucasus;
  • Israel, Middle East countries, Iran, Iraq, the countries of former Yugoslavia;
  • A crowded event with thousands of participants;
  • Popular entertainment.

General advice for preparing people from terrorist attacks:

  • Pay attention to suspicious people, objects, on any suspicious stuff. Report all suspicious to law enforcement authorities;
  • Do not accept packages from strangers and bags; do not leave the luggage unattended;
  • The family should have a plan of action in an emergency; all members of the family should have phone numbers and email addresses;
  • It is necessary to appoint a meeting place where you can meet with your family in an emergency situation;
  • In the event of an evacuation, bring a set of essential items and documents;
  • Always ask where the back exits from the premises;
  • In the home, the entrances to the basements and attics must be strengthened and down and sealed; install intercoms, remove stairwells and corridors of the cluttering objects;
  • The duty to the residents of your home Must be organized, which will regularly bypass the building, watching everything is in order, paying special attention to the appearance of strange faces and cars, unloading bags and boxes;
  • If there have been an explosion, fire, or earthquake, do not use the elevator;
  • Try not to panic, whatever happened.

Every family should have a finished and packaged set of essentials. It can greatly help survival in the event of an emergency evacuation or terrorist attacks to ensure the survival of the family if the disaster has overtaken it in the house. Probably, it will never need to your family. But it is better to be prepared for any eventuality. Use the package of things fastened on the "zipper" bags, best waterproof. The kit should be as compact as possible so that it's easy to bring along (Borgeson and Valeri 2009).

Public transport in recent years becomes a frequent target for terrorist attacks. Therefore, it is necessary to pay constant attention to personal security.

  • You cannot sleep while driving a vehicle;
  • Pay attention to any suspicious persons and suspicious objects; in case of their detection inform the driver, duty officer of the station or the police;
  • Do not stand at the edge of the platform, go up to the door after a stop and exit of passengers, try to sit in wagons in the center of the train, they are generally less affected by the accident than the front or rear;
  • If there has been an explosion or fire, close your mouth and nose with a tissue and lay down on the floor of the car interior or not to suffocate;
  • Dress neutral, inconspicuous, avoid military clothing colors, shapes and a lot of jewelry;
  • Do not talk about politics, do not read pornographic, political or religious publications, to avoid becoming a justifiable target for terrorists;
  • Do not drink alcohol;
  • In the case of seizure of the vehicle, observe all instructions of terrorists, do not look them in the eyes.
  • If you feel that the assault is imminent, try to stay away from the windows so as not to interfere with the snipers shoot at the terrorists. During the assault, it is important to lie down on the floor and do not move until the operation is complete.
  • Do not grab a gun thrown by terrorists: a group of capture can take you for one of them (Borgeson and Valeri 2009).

In the capture of hostages try not to panic. Think about salvation. Do not lose faith in a happy outcome. Use every opportunity to talk with yourself about your hopes, about a family that is waiting for you. Being in captivity, it is important to observe good personal hygiene and, if the situation allows, do exercises, calm down and relax through meditation, solve an imaginary problem, try to remember a poem that had been taught in school. Religion helps believers. Also, optimism and a sense of humor have a lot of meaning to help deal with apathy and depression (Borgeson and Valeri 2009).


Summarizing the research it should be noted that such terrorist organizations like the FARC and al-Qaeda have a strong influence on the infrastructure of the United States and the struggle against terrorism is a priority of the USA, which are the most important member of the transatlantic security in particular. Moreover, the evolution activity of terrorist organizations forces the U.S. government to qualitatively new changes in the strategic planning of anti-terrorism policies, which will undoubtedly take place in the near future.

As for the practical tactics and techniques for fighting terrorism, there should be:

  • Blocking of terrorism at an early stage and prevent its formation and development of the structures;
  • Prevention of ideological justification of terror under the banner of "protecting the rights of the nation," "defending the faith" and others;
  • Transfer of anti-terrorist activities to the most reliable security services with non-interference in their work of any other governing bodies;
  • No concessions to terrorists;

There should be not a single terrorist act with impunity, even if it is worth the blood of the hostages and random people because experience shows that the success of any terrorists provokes further growth in the number of victims of terror.

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