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The Threat Of Terrorism For Australia

1675 words - 7 pages

Terrorism can be defined in many ways. In the context of this essay, terrorism is defined as the calculated use of violence or the threat of violence to evoke extreme fear in the community or to intimidate governments in the pursuit of political goals.POST-MODERN TERRORISMWith the decline of communism, terrorist groups, which promoted leftist ideologies, have increasingly been isolated and lacking popular support. Left wing and anarchist violence has been declining, while religious and right wing violence has been increasing. There has also been an increase in terrorism related to nationalist and ethnic separatist struggles. Ethnic terrorists have more staying power than ideologically ...view middle of the document...

5 In the Middle East, after the crushing defeat of the Arabs armies in the 1967 Six-Day War, the Palestinians finally despaired of conventional miliary methods. They turned completely to guerrilla and terrorist strategies and moved the main focus of their attacks to targets outside Israel, mainly to Europe.The 1970s and 1980s saw a spate of aircraft hijackings. But as security at airports increased, so terrorists turned their attention more to the seizure of embassies and other buildings, and the capture of hostages with whom to bargain for various concessions. The mid to late 1980s also saw a spate of kidnappings of Westerners. The West was largely impotent in being able to counter this activity because of problems in locating the hostages. Throughout this period, there has been a steady growth of assassinations and indiscriminate killings.6 Bombings account for the highest percentage of terrorist activities. This is because it is easier for bombers to escape and bombings attract media attention. Vehicle bombs have proven a particularly attractive medium for terrorists, in part because the trend in recent years has been toward high casualty, indiscriminate targeting, and in part because of ease of manufacture and delivery.One of the first uses of a chemical nerve agent in a terrorist attack, by the Aum Shinri Kyo cult in Tokyo in 1995, has been widely viewed as the crossing of a threshold. It is a theory reinforced by evidence uncovered that Osama bin Laden is interested in chemical and biological weaponry. The Tokyo attack raises a number of concerns:a. some terrorists may now consider public indifference to be such that a more spectacular incident involving a higher casualty rate is necessary to attract attention;b. the effectiveness of improved security measures may prompt terrorists to seek different methods of attack;c. a group may have reached a stage of frustration and sense of impotence that it will pursue any avenue to achieve its goal.d. independent action by individuals with extreme beliefs, especially those associated with cults, may resort to chemical, biological or nuclear radiation devices.10. The use of nuclear weapons remains the least likely scenario, given current levels of security and the reluctance of any state to support the use of such a weapon for terrorist purposes. The dispersal of a radioactive substance in a terrorist incident remains a possibility. Nonetheless, despite the seemingly advantageous potential of nuclear, chemical or biological methodology, conventional weapons are still considered to be favoured by terrorists, principally because of familiarity and ease of use.Society has become vulnerable to a new kind of terrorism as it becomes more dependent on the electronic storage, retrieval, analysis and transmission of information. Defence, police, banking, trade, transportation, scientific work, government and business are on-line. That exposes enormous areas to sabotage, which could render a country unable to...

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