The NEWS (Monrovia)

5 February 2013

Liberia: Preserving Future Generations From Terrorism

opinion

The issue of Terrorism is very dangerous to the world. Terrorism is the biggest atrocity faced by the whole world. Terrorist centers are equipped with most modern war equipments and systems.

Even though there is no authorized information whether they are having weapons of mass destruction, like nuclear weapons including nuclear bombs, it is a quite understood fact that influential terrorist groups possess nuclear bombs and weapons which are much more advanced than a country has. Terrorist use these weapons to attack civilians and non military areas.

Therefore, the prevention of terrorist attacks in any form, against the generation now and the future generation is very important and necessary, because the consequence of terrorist attack to be faced by any nation will be disastrous.

What is Terrorism?

Meanwhile, there are many definitions for terrorism, some of which are used in this article to give clear understanding of "what is terrorism?" The United States Department of Defense defines terrorism as "the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological."(International Terrorism and Security Research)

Within this definition, there are three key elements--violence, fear, and intimidation, and each element produce terror in its victims. The FBI uses this: "Terrorism is the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives." The U.S. Department of State defines "terrorism" to be "premeditated politically-motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience. (International Terrorism and Security Research)

But the most commonly accepted academic definition for terrorism is the definition produced by the United Nations in 1992; "An anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby - in contrast to assassination - the direct targets of violence are not the main targets."

The Strategy of Terrorists

The strategy of terrorists is to commit acts of violence that draws the attention of the local populace, the government, and the world to their cause. The terrorists plan their attack to obtain the greatest publicity, choosing targets that symbolize what they oppose. The effectiveness of the terrorist act lies not in the act itself, but in the public's or government's reaction to the act. For example in October 1983, Middle Eastern terrorists bombed the Marine Battalion Landing Team Headquarters at Beirut International Airport. Their immediate victims were the 241 U.S. military personnel who were killed and over 100 others who were wounded. Their true target was the American people and the U.S. Congress. Their one act of violence influenced the United States' decision to withdraw the Marines from Beirut and was therefore considered a terrorist success.

How can Future Generation be preserved from Terrorism?

To preserve future generations from terrorism, governments and nations in the world need to aim at preventing future attacks from terrorists and improved the ability to protect and defend people and institutions at home and abroad. We need to also stay a step ahead of terrorists.

Key to preventing future attacks of terrorism is the gathering of information about terrorist risks and threats and then ensuring that the information gets into the hands of those whose responsibility it is to protect communities and critical infrastructure. Nations needs to apply efforts to improve information sharing, and be well positioned in the current environment to build upon those past accomplishments as we move forward. Information sharing will better prepare to detect, prevent, and respond to terrorists actions. Moreover intelligence collection and analysis will help paint a more complete picture of the threat, and provide a greater capacity for coordinated and integrated action.

Meanwhile, State security, and local government agencies and the private sector, are the sources for possible prevention of terrorists attacks that need to form part of information sharing among themselves, in order to enhance Nation's ability to detect, identify, understand, and assess terrorist threats to and vulnerabilities of the homeland to better protect Nation's critical infrastructure, integrate emergency response networks, and link State and governments. Strong and effective cooperation in Sharing Information with Foreign Partners is also a vital component of the global war on terrorism.

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