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Difficulty of Predicting Terror Attacks in the United States - Essay Example

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Difficulty of Predicting Terror Attacks in the United States Author Institution Abstract Today, terrorists are more organized, possess massive resources, and have better coordination compared to the past. Over the years, terrorists have mastered tactics of altering their identity, camouflaging their operations, and behaviour, and can now blend into any background…
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Difficulty of Predicting Terror Attacks in the United States
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Download file to see previous pages The paper explores the reasons that make the prediction of terror attacks in the United States a difficult affair. Difficulty of Predicting Terror Attacks in the United States Introduction Modern times have witnessed a transformation of terror groups into barbaric and more determined groups. The present terrorism model differs from the previous models as it is characterized by loosely articulated political objectives, indiscriminate attacks, and efforts to attain maximum psychological and social disruption. The differentiations between the present and past models have left serious gaps in preventing and disrupting terror attacks. This has come in the backdrop of a growing Islamic resentment of the United States, which has become entrenched within the world. The significance of understanding terrorism in the United States was heightened in the wake of 9/11 attacks. America’s sense of immunity to large-scale terrorist attacks within its own borders suffered a massive blow with 9/11 attacks. The attacks were a traumatic awakening to America. The success of the 9/11 attacks was grounded in three prominent capabilities that terror organizations such as Al-Qaeda still retain. These include the capability to exploit vulnerabilities of the enemy, effective employment of deception, and the application of suicide attacks to enhance success (Bullock, Haddow & Coppola, 2012). Despite the focus, little is known about general patterns of terror attacks within the U.S. Terrorists have honed their capability to gather intelligence, employ technology, and identify security gaps. As a result, predicting terrorist activities has become a tall order. Making assessments on future likelihood or consequences of terror attack is in essence an elusive undertaking (Pillar, 2011). This is mainly compounded by the fact that there are limited statistical data detailing terrorist attacks from which to parameterize terrorism risk. Besides, relevant variables influencing terror undertakings such as target type, weapon type, and target (geographical) location are hard to pin point. Terrorist threat is perpetually changing in ways that make it dangerous and difficult to counter. While most terrorist activities were traditionally confined in conflict- prone areas, especially in the last decade, terrorist activities have attained a global dimension. The main focus of terror attacks centre on inflicting massive civilian casualties and causing lasting economic damage. This propels the urgency in attaining capability to predict and pre-empt such attacks (Forest, 2007). The impact of terrorist attacks in the society has been so severe to the extent of becoming imperative to predict and disrupt the attacks. Most of the successful terrorist attacks exhibit common features such as meticulous long-term planning, cautious target selection, access to destruction means, and effective support in terms of logistics. The overriding question in those circles is not if but when. Irrespective of the mode and scale of attack, few Americans doubt that time is quickly running out. Nevertheless, this view tends to be contestable and may even be exaggerated. It is difficult or even impossible to predict terrorist intentions. Indexing of potential terrorist attacks is based on criteria such as motivation of terrorists, presence of terror groups, efficacy of the groups in undertaking terror acts, the scale and frequency of previous ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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