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The Victims of Terror - Article Example

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The author of this paper states that in recent decades the definition of terrorism has included activity as wide-ranging as the people who flew the airplanes into the world trade center to eco-terrorists that hammer spikes into old-growth trees to impede the efforts of loggers…
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The Victims of Terror
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Download file to see previous pages When a terrorist target is focused and isolated, such as when the Unabomber attacked University faculty, there is a little public outcry for compassion for the victims. Yet, when the country is faced with the graphic images of the Twin Towers disaster and the massive loss of life, the social agenda focuses on caring for the victims and the survivors. Modern terrorism has presented the world with a new definition of terrorism and is in search of a new definition of victimization.

Modern terrorism has its roots in the 1970s and the wave of airline hijackings during that period. This was a move away from attacking strategic targets to the taking of innocent hostages as victims in an effort to create a threatening public display (Rapoport 421). The hostage-taking at the US embassy in Tehran presented a new dynamic to the American people. The media provided an endless stream of pictures of Americans being held captive and the terrorism became more personal as the public was able to relate to the victims. Religious extremism became even more apparent in the 1980s as numerous Middle East countries that facilitated terrorist organizations began to directly threaten the security of the US at home and abroad (Shuggart 29). However, until the turn of the 21st-century foreign attacks against Americans would remain overseas. Because they were out of the public eye, they remained largely out of the public consciousness. The attacks were sporadic and seemed to have no logical target. This was in keeping with the characteristic of terrorism of focusing on an indirect and innocent target that could be used as negotiating power.

September 11, 2001, forever changed the way Americans would view terrorism and the way that they would perceive the victims. The 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was the first time that the public would mobilize to generate aid for the victims of terrorism ("A Nation Challenged: Oklahomans Questioning Sept. 11 Aid"). It paled in comparison to the donations collected after the 9/11 bombing, but it was a significant change in thinking. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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