5 Things Terrorist Actions Have in Common

With recent event is the US over the Christmas holidays and the potential terrorist attack on airplanes; I thought I’d post some information I found on terrorist actions.  It’s a brief excerpt and doesn’t get into too much detail but I think it has some points that are value.

All disasters aren’t just based on what a fire or flood will do to operations.  There are some disasters that are actually man-made – intentional – disaster, to try and disrupt corporate operations; even the operations of governments.  These can often be called terrorist acts; intentional malicious behaviour by people or groups to disrupt the normal operations of something – or someone – they don’t agree with or support.  All terrorism activities have things in common, this is what decides if there was a terrorist act or not.  Among them are the following:

  1. Innocent People – If there are two warring parties, and this don’t necessarily mean both parties are physically fighting or aiming rockets and bombs at each other, they will turn to hurting innocent people who aren’t part of the dispute for greater impact.  In fact they are in between the two parties and are the ones who are being hurt by the bombs and the actions of one of the groups.  Innocent people are exactly that; they have no part to play in the dispute and are not involved.  Terrorism brings them into the war or the fight in the hopes of having their suffering aid one side causes.
  2. Violence – Violent acts define terrorism.  It can be kidnappings, murders, beatings, raids on villages to scare the ‘innocent people’ and many other acts that inflict harm in one way or another.  An example, and sadly a well-known catastrophic example, is the destruction of the World Trade Centre in New York on September 11, 2001.
  3. A Target – A target can be anything from a person or group of people, a location or facility or town or can even be anything seen as non-favourable by the terrorist such as anything related to a corporation.  It is anything that a terrorist sees or believes will strike fear into people or will potentially harm or disrupt the other side’s daily lives.  This could be the assassination of a political leader without whom a country may become politically stable.  It could be the destruction of a facility such as a power plant, which if harmed in some way could bring havoc to an entire country, or just a section of a country’s daily working operations.
  4. The Creation of Fear – Fear helps bring others into the fold, on either side, and get people talking about the situation in hopes of having the terrorists get their way.  If a population is scared about what might happen to them they may pressure their leaders to give into the demands of the terrorist so that they will no longer live in fear or suffer from raids, bombs and killings.  Fear is what will drive some others into doing the will of the terrorist, as it can be used as a weapon itself.  As an example, if I threaten to kill your family and told you they will only live if you do ‘x’, out of fear you will do as I tell you to ensure the safety of your family.  That is fear.
  5. Profit (Economic, Social, Political…) – Profit is what drives terrorism.  Profit is the goal they wish to obtain to get what they want.  It could be the desire to see a government brought down so they can then mould it to their vision; their desires. Or it could be that they want to see a social change such as extremists who will attack facilities that perform product animal testing so that they can stop the testing – many times at the expense of other casualties.

Corporations must take into account the fact that terrorist acts will and can happen, even if the intended target isn’t their own corporation.  Terrorist acts can hamper and harm others that have nothing to do with the intended target, they just happen to be near by the target.  For example, the building and businesses that were harmed when the World Trade Centre towers were attacked and eventually fell.

Corporations must include some level of consideration and response should their facilities, people or technologies be interrupted and harmed by terrorist actions; including those that may occur next door at a competitors or neighbours facility.

An interesting point is made here about terrorist actions impacting others outside of the intended target.  With the recent airplane attack attempts, airports all over the globe are experiencing long lines and confusion, as new measures are put in place to address the current concerns and situations.  I know many passengers who have missed flights because of the delays but then again they’ve all said the alternative to a longer wait could be deadly.


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