In the course of its history, the United States of America has faced a number of terrorist attacks. Terror attacks have had a significant impact on the country’s political, economic, and social life. For instance, the 9/11 attack attracted global response even though it occurred on the American soil. The attack was well-planned to cause mass destruction. Moreover, the effects of terror activities have pushed the American government to enact tough anti-terrorism laws usually referred to as War on Terror. However, despite this move, the terrorists have continued to improve on the elements of attacks through an evolutionary process.
One of the significant elements of terrorism is based on their targets. In most cases, the terrorists target unarmed civilians in attempts to cause death, destruction, and other psychological effects (Coaty 10). On this note, terrorists usually target areas such as airports, train and bus terminals, and large commercial buildings. In some cases, terrorists launch attacks against diplomatic facilities in a mission to target American citizens on other territories. This element qualifies terrorism to be the most violent form of psychological warfare (Coaty 15).
Another element of terrorism involves the use of weapons of mass destruction. For a long time bombing has been used as a common tactic because of its simplicity. For instance, a bomber can have time to escape before the bomb blows up (Coaty 33). However, since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the terrorist have sought more complicated weaponry. These are efforts to accomplish the evolving methods of terror. Terror activities have evolved from simple bombings with crude bombs and gun shooting to sophisticated attacks. In order to cause a higher number of casualties, terrorists are using rockets and mortars to launch an attack from a distance (Coaty 45).
The terror activities have continued to evolve; terrorists are also starting to launch cyber attacks ranging from defacing of websites to interrupting electricty in a major strategic area (Coaty 75). Moreover, the theft of information regarding national security can be used to plan deadly attacks. Other cases of cyber attacks involve the theft of massive numbers of credit cards from online vendors. Such act can lead to significant financial loss (Coaty 90). Terrorists use it to reduce the willingness of customers to engage in E-commerce with the Americans, particularly after the attack on the World Trade Center in September 11, 2001.
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The evolution of international terrorism is growing with the spread of extremist ideologies. These are complex networks of terrorist organizations that share a common ideology. The groups are ready to use terrorism and violence in order to achieve their goals (Coaty 103). There are unique characteristics that the terror groups have been using to attack the US and other parts of the world. For one, random launching of attacks is supposed to instill a sense of uncertainty. In this way, the government and the citizens will live in fear of becoming the next target. Secondly, the terrorists have created a sense of vulnerability with their attacks (Coaty 117). Therefore, there is a mindset that a terror attack can take place anytime making all citizens feel vulnerable. In this conviction lies a unique element of helplessness. The citizens are afraid that the security forces and policies cannot prevent the attacks. In other words, these are efforts of embarrassing the governments with the fact that they cannot provide comprehensive protection to their people (Coaty 138). In addition, there is an aspect of paying a disproportional price. Illustratively, there is a very high price that individuals should pay due to government policies against terrorism such as War on Terror. Therefore, with this realization an individual must act towards changing the policies in a way that will serve the objectives of terrorism (Coaty 199).
Of particular interest is the fact that vengeance is a unique characteristic that has evolved dramatically; it is being used by terrorists in the most of their global attacks. Fundamentally, the citizens are forced to suffer due to the government’s actions against terrorists and the sympathizers (Coaty 246). And for this reason it is in the best interest of the citizens to pressure the government to avoid the fight against terrorism. Besides, terror attacks aim at creating anxiety among the target group or country. However, these aims are at a level disproportionate to the actual capabilities of terrorists. Terrorism forces members of the target population to shift their concerns from national security to personal security (Coaty 260).
The target population believes that the threats are influenced by the government policies towards terrorism. Consequently, this is an element to mount political tension and criticism against the government on (Coaty 305). The public will pressure the policy makers to change their policies in a manner that will favor the interests and goals of the terrorist organizations. The public may also call for a change in administration that will establish policies more favorable to terrorism (Coaty 392). Interestingly, to create this effect of fear, terrorists conduct their activities in a manner that shock the public. For instance, the terror attacks like bombings are purposed to attract international media coverage; this is the central strategy of terrorism. Without the media coverage, terrorists have little opportunity to spread their ideology, let alone scare the target population (Coaty 405).
In conclusion, terrorism presents a continuing threat to the United States of America. The attacks from well-organized terror groups will increase their commitment to using methods that will cause destructions on a large-scale basis. Although the government has developed an anti-terrorism approach that has been successful, terrorists are also improving their methods. The extremists will continue to focus on attacks that will result in significant destruction, public anxiety and high numbers of casualties.