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Terrorism & War
Basic Information

Terrorism & War

Terrorism is the use of force or violence against persons or property in violation of the criminal laws of the country for purposes of intimidation, coercion, or ransom. Terrorists often use threats to:

  • Create fear among the public.
  • Try to convince citizens that their government is powerless to prevent terrorism.
  • Get immediate publicity for their causes.

Acts of terrorism include threats of terrorism; assassinations; kidnappings; hijackings; bomb scares and bombings; cyber attacks (computer-based); and the use of chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological weapons.

High-risk targets for acts of terrorism include military and civilian government facilities, international airports, large cities, and high-profile landmarks. Terrorists might also target large public gatherings, water and food supplies, utilities, and corporate centers. Further, terrorists are capable of spreading fear by sending explosives or chemical and bio...

Fast Facts: Learn! Fast!

What is terrorism?

  • Terrorism is the use of force or violence against persons or property in violation of the criminal laws of the United States for purposes of intimidation, coercion or ransom.
  • Domestic terrorism involves groups or individuals whose terrorist activities are directed at elements of our government or population without foreign direction.
  • International terrorism involves groups or individuals whose terrorist activities are foreign-based and/or directed by countries or groups outside the United States or whose activities transcend national boundaries.
  • Biological agents are infectious microbes or toxins used to produce illness or death in people, animals or plants. They can be dispersed as aerosols or airborne particles.
  • Chemical agents kill or incapacitate people, destroy livestock or ravage crops. Some are odorless and tasteless and are difficult to detect. They can have an immediate effect (a few seconds to a few minutes) or a delayed effect (several hours to several days).

For more information

How can people cope with terrorism and war?

  • The intensity of the process of grieving and working through feelings after an incident will likely be in relationship to how closely you have been impacted.
  • Those people most directly impacted by the violence and death are at heightened risk for experiencing trauma disorders. A trauma disorder occurs (in the broadest sense) when a person is not able to follow a normal process of grief through to resolution, and instead gets stuck in it, reliving the emotions and memories associated with the trauma over and over.
  • If you are a veteran or are caring for one, here are some mental health resources to make the journey a little easier.
  • Discover twenty ideas on positive ways to promote peace in our badly broken world.
  • Learn about some wartime stress survival tips.

For more information

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Related Topics

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Mental Disorders
Mass Violence