Terrorism 3 Essay, Research Paper
Imagine this scenario: You and another fifteen thousand hockey fans decide to spend the night watching the Washington Capitals take on the Philadelphia Flyers. You get your tickets, your food, and your program and you sit down in your seat. You can barely wait for the game to start, let alone end, because you have so much money riding on this game. The 7:00 face-off begins exactly at 7:00, and thousands of eager hockey fans sit back to watch the game. Shortly after the face-off, terrorists trigger an explosive charge that showers poisonous chemicals over you and the rest of the crowd. The new stadium has become a hellhole of death and confusion. People all around you reel in all directions as others push their way to clogged exits. Fans are falling to the ground choking and coughing. Their skin blisters instantly. Other attempting to help become victims themselves after breathing the poisoned air. The city’s 911 emergency lines flood with calls for help and medical assistance. Police and fire fighters arrive within minutes and set up a staging area upwind, but keep their distance. No one knows yet what sort of lethal chemical the terrorists have exploded upon you. Authorities block off the neighborhood, seeking to contain the contamination from the rest of the city. Because of the new rules of procedure, emergency professionals normally trained to risk danger have to wait until you and other victims find your way out of the stadium, where they can be decontaminated.
This horrifying scenario is what many people have had to live through, and many more will probably live through in the future. Terrorism is a problem of the past, but it seems it will be a problem of the future, too. Terrorism is once again a hot topic, but this time it’s not only about the devastation it causes. It seems terrorists have added a new twist to their killing sprees: chemical ad biological weapons. Terrorism is now, yet always was, a serious problem in our society. And it’s not just affecting the U.S., it’s affecting many countries of the world. Bombing and chemical/biological warfare are two excellent examples of what terrorists use to create mass destruction. What causes these terrorist acts is something that some know and many others would like to find out. If we were to look into what causes terrorism, maybe we could figure out a way to diminish terrorism or possibly terminate it altogether. All it would take is a little time and effort, and we could get rid of one of the scariest massacres of our time. The only thing that really counts is the people and the effort they put into. The more we try, the more we can do. The first step is learning about the problem.
Bombing is one terrorist act that has been around it seems forever. It affects not only the victims, but their family, friends, co-workers, and etc. Bombs are used by many terrorists because of the ease in which they can be used. They are extremely easy to make these days, and instructions are simpler than ever to come across. Because of the internet, it’s possible to type one word, hit one key and find hundreds of different bomb sights. They show the ingredients of any kind of bomb, how to make them, how big the explosion will be, and many other interesting facts that any terrorist-to-be would love to know. This makes it very easy for anyone, especially young, curious internet surfers, to create a bomb and all the destruction it causes. In fact, the most common explosive device encountered in the USA is the pipe bomb, which is easy to build and just as easy to detonate. (Explosive Statistics)
Another reason bombing has been chosen by so many terrorists is because it’s extremely easy to get away with. In the old days, pushing down a lever that was only a small distance away would set off bombs. Nowadays, because of a timer being invented, someone could set a bomb and be 3,000 miles away waiting for it to explode, which would give him or her a chance to build the perfect alibi. Many terrorists have been identified in the past, but now because of the sophistication of intelligence, the bombers can walk away unknown. The timer also allows the bomber to set a bomb to go off whenever he would like it to, whether it’s at 5:00 a.m. or 4:30 p.m. Hence, it lets the bomber choose whether to kill thousands of people during the busiest time of the day or to only kill a few nighttime workers.
These factors show many of the things the bomber gets to decide for himself, which is very scary to think about. For example: if someone were to upset the bomber before his attack, he may change the explosion time in order to kill more people. These factors also show why bombing is the “most frequently used terrorist method in the United States”. (Fema) Another reason it’s commonly used is because it creates a massive explosion that causes anything from injury and death to property damage and disruptions in services such as electricity, water supply, public transportation and communications. (Fema) These destructions are important because the more devastating they are, the more panic they cause which means a greater amount of media will be involved. If a terrorist bombing makes front-page news worldwide, more people will know why it happened.
Biochemical warfare is another terrorist act that is extremely dangerous and equally frightening. Biochemical warfare is the use of biological and chemical weapons. They can be silently sprayed from an aerosol can, sprinkled from a small plane, or dispersed from the exhaust of a car passing through town. They may inflict days of swelling pain, then death. Their effects can be devastating. Some cause people to choke, gasp and vomit as intense pain knots their stomachs; nerves numb, muscles contract, fever grips the body, blisters and ulcers lace the skin. Others kill almost instantly, leaving no time for medics to distribute treatments. (Terrorists Find New Tools) These chemicals can be what you least expect them to be. In Ohio, authorities arrested a man for ordering vials containing the bubonic plague. The destruction he could’ve caused with this plague could have been enormous. (Litke, Mark) Although chemicals can’t create as much damage to surrounding properties as bombing can, they aren’t any more preferable.
Biochemical warfare is another inexpensive way to cause massive destruction. They are now called “poor man’s nukes”. Information on how to make and use these weapons is also easy to find on the internet, and ingredients can be purchased through the mail. (Terrorists Find New Tools) This means that anyone could find this information; anyone whose curiosity takes over may decide to build and use a weapon like this. These are not the kind of weapons you would use to kill off two or three people; such weapons are thought to soon become tools of choice in a new age of terrorism where killers seek to threaten large numbers of people. (Terrorists Find New Tools)
In Oregon, investigators now believe an outbreak of salmonella food poisoning in Portland salad bars that made more than 700 ill and hospitalized dozens was the work of a religious cult hoping to sabotage voter turnout on Election Day. (Smithson, Amy) The frightening thing about this story is the convenience of the weapon. It’s a lot easier to carry a vial of food poisoning into a public place than to carry an atomic bomb inside. It’s not only easy and convenient to use chemical weapons, but it’s much safer for the terrorist. If they use them to contaminate food or water, they because a lot more difficult to detect Stories like this create media hypes that create panic and cause worry throughout the world.
Many people would probably quit dining out after hearing a story like this. That’s why terrorism is such a problem today. It affects so many people in so many different ways that it may someday cause the end of the world as we know it. The only to begin to get rid of terrorism is to find out what it is caused by.
Terrorism is a basic attempt to get a point across. The death and injuring of others isn’t cruel to terrorists, it’s finally getting the attention they’ve been craving. “There’s an incremental creep away from terrorism as solely a political act aimed at getting attention.” This quote sums it all up. Terrorism has nothing to do with the victims personally; they’re just the unlucky ones who have become victims just so someone could get the attention of the world. This need of attention has caused a whole new problem with terrorism. “Instead of wanting to get a lot of people to watch, there are those who now want a lot of people dead.” This is frightening considering that the younger generations have been softened to murder and purposeful destruction, which means that the less they think it’s wrong, the more they’ll start doing it. The terrorists today most likely grew up with the idea that death was bad and only bad people did it. Many kids today have the same thoughts, but they are a few who may believe there is nothing wrong with killing because it’s just an expression of anger. For example, the Columbine massacre was the result of two kids who saw nothing wrong with murder and decided to show it to the world. We should consider what the future will be like when these kids group up and gain access to much more than just the internet. Considering all this, kids still aren’t the main worry today; it’s cults and other groups that are being watched for any terrorist activity.
“Many view the cult Aum Shinrikyo as a group seeking to bring on the end of the world. The religious organization, officially recognized in Japan, harbored plans to attack the United States with biochemical agents. The cult leaders planned to produce enough to annihilate a large Japanese city by spraying it from a Russian helicopter they purchased. Cult members let loose a bag of low-grade sarin nerve gas after poking it with umbrellas on a Tokyo subway in 1995. The attack killed a dozen people and left thousands ill. Investigators subsequently discovered the leaders of the international, 10,000-member cult had been stockpiling anthrax and botulin toxin, two of the world’s most deadliest germ-warfare agents. Aum Shinrikyo had offices in New York and an estimated $1.5 billion in assets. It has now been linked to two biological and five chemical attacks, including a 1994 incident that killed seven and injured 500. But the group’s activities took the FBI and CIA by surprise. At Senate hearings, CIA and FBI officials admitted they were unaware that Aum Shinrikyo had been developing chemical and biological weapons. They first heard about the cult’s goal for igniting a cataclysmic war between Japan and the United States from reports in the news media.” (Willing to Kill) The scariest part about reading this story is thinking of how many other cults there are with the same connections and the same plans to destroy the world. Cults are formed because two people who think alike convince others to join their group and think like them. It’s as if cults think that whatever they believe should be the way it is, and since it’s not, they’re personally going to do something about it because if they don’t, who will? “They think they talk to God and it’s a god that seems to encourage violence. They may turn to extreme violence and weapons of mass destruction because they believe the Armageddon is coming soon.” (Stern, Jessica) These awful distortions of what life is/should be are what drive cults, terrorists, and etc. to do disgusting things in order to get their way. Something needs to be done about this soon. The only way to begin to end this problem is to fight it until it is no more.
On May 19, the US District Court in the Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment against Ali Mohammed, charging him with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals overseas. Ali, suspected of being a member of Usama Bin Ladin’s al-Qaida terrorist organization, had been arrested in the U.S. in September 1998 after testifying before a grand jury concerning the U.S. Embassy bombings in East Africa.
In May of 1998, Abdul Hakim Murad was sentenced to life in prison, without parole, for his role in the failed conspiracy in January 1995 to blow up a dozen US airliners over the Pacific Ocean. Murad received an additional 60-year sentence for his role and was fined $250,000. Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, who was convicted previously in this conspiracy and for his role in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, is serving a life prison term. (1999 Global Terrorism) Stories like these help show the people of the world that something is being done about terrorism, and the first step to putting an end to a problem is beginning the fight. The world may have already begun the fight to end terrorism, but it has a long way to go.
Efforts are also being made to stop terrorism before it starts. The commanding general of the U.S. Army Chemical and Biological Defense Command, Maj. Gen. George Friel, has coordinated a federal effort to train 120 cities across the country to learn about terrorists. (Terrorists Find New Tools) That program is just one of more than 40 different initiatives the federal government is now spending billions on to defend citizens. In January, Friel met with 200 local and federal emergency workers in Washington, D.C., where they spent a week preparing for possible terrorist attacks in the nation’s capital. (Terrorists Find New Tools) These are excellent preparations to make, but when do you actually use them? It’s tough to know which phone call, e-mail or fax to worry about, and which to ignore. The only thing we can do is use wise judgement to the best of our ability. The real fight is in us. If nobody participates in the fight to end terrorism, how is it going to stop? We need to apply ourselves until the job is done. We can’t start and give up halfway; it’s a tough war that may continue for ages, but if we begin the process and carry it out, we’re doing the best we can.
Terrorism is destroying our world, and we need to do something about it. Bombing and biochemical warfare are just two examples of what terrorists are using to gain attention to themselves and/or their groups. The need for the attention of many people has been distorted in many terrorists and now brings them the need for many people to be dead. It’s disgusting to think about, but the only way to stop this cruelty is to understand the problem and begin to fight it. Starting the fight against terrorism is the first step in putting an end to all terrorism. We got to fight in the little battles to be able to end the war. And the only way to do that is to stick to it without thinking of giving up. If we would’ve started sooner, we could have stopped the deaths of 741 and the injuring of 5.952 in this past year. We could’ve got rid of all the fear and pain that many people have had to live with because of terrorism. But if we fight now, we could end up stopping the horrifying bombings and deliberate spread of diseases that our future holds. It’s all up to us; all we have to do is fight.
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