Terrorism. It is a word that strikes fear into many. Terrorism has been around since the beginning of time, and has caused empires to rise, fall, and allowed people to gain power. Terrorism is a growing problem in this unstable world. A simple act of terrorism can cause tensions to break between two countries, as seen with Israel and Palestineas conflicts due to religious beliefs and territory disputes. Among the various potential threats are wars with neighboring countries, missile attacks on cites, biological and chemical terrorism, suicide bombings, and hostage taking. In an April 1999 survey the most feared terrorism was bombings on US soil. (Cole, 1) There are many ways to combat terrorism. First, would be an international team that is always on call to respond to terrorist threats, and retrieve hostages with minimal loss of life. The second is gun control, which would limit the weapons accessed by potential terrorists. The last thing is to recognize terrorist organizations before they have a chance to attack.
Terrorism has been around since the days of ancient Egypt. People have been killing leaders of countries to try and overthrow the government, and for the past one hundred and twenty years terrorists have had new weapons of mass destruction, such as bombs. Many political figures in the past were assassinated: King Tut in Egypt, who was poisoned and hit in the back of the head by a political rival, the members of the Roman Senate and Brutus, his best friend, killed Caesar. John Wilkes Booth, a southerner who was angry about the way the Civil War turned out assassinated Abraham Lincoln; and Lee Harvey Oswald killed John F. Kennedy.
But terrorism in revealing itself in new forms in this modern world, such as massacres, hijackings, attacks on U.S troops, and hostage taking. But there is a difference between a criminal and a terrorist. A criminal is after money or drugs, while a terrorist is after the long-term disruption of life in a country, and to attempt to overthrow its leaders. (Kingsley, 13) There are many causes of terrorism, hate, religion, politics, and power.
One way to combat terrorism is with a team that is specially designed to go into buildings, planes, or any other place hostages are taken, and rescue the hostages, and neutralize all of the terrorists. This would help not only to prevent terrorism, but save the lives of the hostages. On the morning of September 5, 1972, eight Arab commandos broke into the Olympic compound in Munich, West Germany. They shot and killed two Israelis outright, one a wrestling coach, the other a weight-lifting coach. The commandos then took nine others of the eighteen-member Israeli Olympic team hostage and settled into the compound for a siege.
Throughout the day, West German officials negotiated with the Arab commandos over their demands. These demands included the release of two hundred Arab guerrillas being held in Israel and safe passage out of West Germany for themselves and their hostages. The Tunisian Ambassador and the representative of the Arab League from Bonn tried to help the West Germans negotiate with the commandos, but to no effect. The Israeli side also did not budge from its position; Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir repeatedly refused to release any guerrillas being held in Israel. At one point, two West German ministers of the interior even offered themselves as replacement hostages for the Israelis. The Arabs refused. New York Times, 2)
Convinced that negotiation over the release of hostages would not work, West German officials focused on trying to get the Arabs and their hostages out of the Olympic village where West German sharpshooters could “control” the commandos. The West Germans did not intend, however, to be embarrassed for both letting the Arab commandos onto their soil and then letting them leave scot free, and they had already rejected the idea of storming the compound as potentially dangerous to the Israeli hostages and other athletes.
The West Germans negotiated until shortly after 9:00 p.m., at which point the Arab commandos agreed to leave the compound with their hostages for the Furstenfeldbruck military airport, some fifteen miles away from Munich. The Arab commandos were well trained and knew how to control their hostages; they split the hostages into two groups and tied and blindfolded them. They also knew how to avoid two potential traps the West Germans set for them. (Ibid, 3)
The West Germans then set up their sharpshooters along the path the Arab commandos had to walk their hostages from two helicopters that had flown them from Munich to a waiting jet. It was the only opportunity left them to prevent the Arabs from leaving the country. As the first group of Arabs and hostages walked to the jet, shots rang out. It is unclear whether West German sharpshooters or Arab commandos opened fire first. Whichever side opened fire first, when West German sharpshooters fired or fired back, the first group of commandos began shooting their hostages. The second commando group had barely left their helicopter. One commando fired into the helicopter, another threw a grenade into it, killing the second group of hostages.
When the shooting was over, all nine Israeli hostages had been killed, five Arab commandos had been killed, and three had been wounded. (Idid, 3)
Had there been a trained team to handle the threat, the nine hostages would not have died. It was the fault of the under-trained German police that the hostages were killed. Had there been a team specially trained to handle the situation the nine athletes would not have lost their lives.
Another way to prevent terrorism is gun control. Gun control will prevent terrorism by reducing the number of weapons accessible to terrorists. aViolent crimes and urban terrorism has dropped over 33% since the introduction of the background check.a (Philips, 15)
Something as simple as having a waiting period at gun shows can help reduce terrorism. It is possible for a group of people to go into the show separately, and purchase three or four weapons, and then use them to rob a bank, or take hostages. Currently at gun shows, as long as you are 18, you can buy a variety of weapons, and ammunition. Although a full ban on guns would not stop weapons from coming into this country illegally, it would limit the guns accessible to criminals and possible terrorists.
Many times on TV after a terrorist-attack the news will announce that this person had terrorist connections in the past. Now if they had terrorist connections why were they allowed to live freely, where they could plan terrorist attacks? If the government had a monitoring service to keep track of people with suspected histories of terrorism, or possible connections to terrorists, the FBI could make a careful watch of a personas communications. This would help prevent terrorism from happening by not allowing correspondence between the suspect, and the organization. Although the person would not be a prisoner, he would be aon parolea so to speak, so he could lead a normal, productive life. But if he made a large purchase of any possible bomb making materials his house would be searched. This can help prevent attacks because the person would not have any opportunities to plan any attacks.
There are some other preventive measures that can be taken to stop bombings from occurring. One way is to put two-foot concrete pillars around federal buildings to prevent drive up bombings. But there are other ways to cause mass killings.
Biological warfare is one of the most feared forms of terrorism in the world. Capable of killing thousands within a few days, and constantly spreading, it is the most aeffectivea form of terrorism there is. (Gaines,15) All it takes is some one with a small flask of anthrax in a powdered form to get on a subway, and spread the virus, and get off. In the powdered form the dust would spread into a fine dust, and than would be breathed in by hundreds of passengers. (Snow, 15) Now some things like that can not be prevented, but a way to keep the people from getting sick is to make sure everyone born has vaccinations for any disease that can be spread, such as anthrax, and ebola. But there are not enough shots to go around. There is only one dose of anthrax vaccine per four people. The government needs to produce enough vaccine for everyone in the country.
Terrorism against the United States in other countries continues to be a serious problem. The United States has not been able to effectively deal with terrorism directed at its embassies, personnel, or military installations.
The United States has put up concrete barriers around its embassies to protect Americans from suicide bombers. In many cultures religion and politics are intertwined, it is a great honor to die for your country on a suicide mission. It happened during World War II with the Kamikaze pilots and it happened again most recently with the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. The suicide bomb is most often used in the Middle East.
The sailors on board the Cole thought the small boat coming towards them contained a couple of local fisherman. When a naval vessel arrives for a port-call there is always a lot of interest, and local people often sail out to look at the ship. The sailors on the Cole certainly did not expect a suicide bomb, but a couple of local fishermen interested in looking at the ship. The United States is going to have to work with other governments and make sure naval vessels are allowed to dock in secure locations. The crew must be vigilant against all people, which can lead to the killing of innocent civilians. Security against terrorism abroad is an area the United States must take a closer look and try new measures.
Terrorism can be reduced with prevention, detection, and action. The problem will not go away if people just sit there and not take any action against it. Society needs to create a team to counteract terrorism, have better gun control, and monitor high-risk people. With these simple steps we can reduce terrorism.