Terrorism has no single definition. However, it can be termed as organized acts of terror, mainly unleashed through unlawful activities, and which is intended to create fear and intimidation to a particular individual, organisations or a state.
Terrorism is carried out with various motives, including political, religious and ideological motives. The acts of terrorism may target governments, non-governmental organizations or even individuals. Terrorism in governments involves attack of the government leaders, or other economic or social institutions. The acts can also involve attack of civilians.
Terrorism is inspired by many reasons, which mainly include philosophical, racial, and ideological or religious believes. Other reasons may include desire for social solidarity and desire to seek attention and recognition from various institutions and governments. On the other hand, the use of force and intimidation by some governments and authorities to obtain political, social or economic benefits is also perceived as terrorism.
There are many things that act to encourage terrorism attacks. One of them is vulnerability. This is a state of being exposed to acts of terrorism, or the likelihood of being a terror victim. One may be vulnerable to terrorism in many dimensions like physical vulnerabilities. Physical vulnerability can either be in terms of geographical location.
One is likely to be more vulnerable to terrorists’ acts depending on the region or state where they live as posited in (Hulnick, 2004). Countries that are terrorists’ camp sites have high incidences of terrorists’ attacks. Many groups and organisations of terrorism cause direct and personal threats to many individuals. In many incidences, innocent civilians have lost their properties and lives from acts of terrorists.
Physical location also determines one’s political, and also the belief system. If such systems are contrary to terrorists’ desires and wishes, then you are more likely to be vulnerable to their attacks. Various regions and states of the continents have different degrees of terrorism vulnerability. Some States and countries that are more powerful and influential either socially, economically or politically, are at times major targets of terrorists (Ginges, 1997).
This is because terrorists seem to perceive that such countries and states may use their positions and wealth to fight back the terrorists’ acts and plans they propagate. The location vulnerability of terrorism can be reduced by being selective in terms of where one lives. Terrorists’ acts may also target various cities and streets. Therefore, selecting physical location in terms of operations and resident will reduce the chances and exposure to terrorism.
Physical vulnerability may also involve structural systems. These include buildings and other physical systems. High rise buildings with many floors are more likely to be attacked by terrorists than low rise buildings. Buildings that are used by governments, anti-terrorists organisations or agents are at high risks of attacks from terrorists’.
Various governments’ agencies, corporations and ambassadors may be vulnerable to terrorism depending on such governments’ stands and reactions towards terrorism. The knowledge of terrorism will be helpful in reducing chances of attacks. If one understands the relation of a government with terrorists, he/she can make decisions that involve less risk exposure and therefore, this makes one less vulnerable as a target of terrorism.
Resources distribution is also another physical cause for vulnerability with terrorism. Communities and societies that have less resources might feel segregated, which creates a need for such communities and societies to find means to create more resources and recognition. Lack of fair political or economic mechanism to distribute natural resources may also cause terrorists threats. This means that the class or group that is segregated may use terror to fight for equitable distribution of resources.
Therefore, equitable distribution of resources and proper political and economic mechanisms will help in mitigating vulnerability to terrorism. In conclusion, hardening against vulnerability to terrorism has to involve knowledge about geographical location, structural systems and resources allocation and distribution. This knowledge will be vital in adjusting accordingly to terrorism threats, and taking decisions that reduce the risk of attacks from terrorists.
Ginges, J. (1997). Deterring the terrorist: A psychological evaluation of different
Strategies for deterring terrorism. Terrorism and Political Violence, 9, 170-185.
Hulnick, A. (2004). Keeping Us Safe: Secret Intelligence and Homeland Security.