The History and Future of Terrorism Term Paper by Nicky

A discussion on terrorist activities.
# 146433 | 1,259 words | 5 sources | APA | 2010 | US
Published on Dec 26, 2010 in Hot Topics (Terror and 9/11)

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This paper provides a definition of the word terrorism and goes on to give a short history and explanation of terrorist attacks. It also explains the difference between soft and hard targets and how terrorism has now reached the world of technology, concluding with a warning of how future terrorist attacks could have catastrophic results.

Background and History
The Concept of Asymmetric Warfare
Hard and Soft Terrorism Targets and the Psychology of Fear
Cyberterrorism and Terrorism Recruitment in the Computer Age
Future Implications of Current Terrorist Threats

From the Paper:

''Terrorism directed at hard targets (i.e. those that are particularly high-value and highly protected from external threats) poses much greater challenges to execute successfully that terrorism directed at soft targets (i.e. those that are not particularly high-value and left comparatively vulnerable). In addition to the comparative simplicity, cost, and prospect of success of terrorism against soft targets, that tactic is also especially attractive to terrorists because it allows for nearly complete surprise. Furthermore, to terrorists, there is a dual value to the element of surprise: first, it dramatically increases the likelihood of tactical success because it is unopposed by threat prevention or mitigation measures; second, it increases public fear significantly (Hoffman, 2003;
Larsen, 2007).
''Terrorism against soft targets is, therefore, terrorizing precisely because it defies any possible precautions. People can protect themselves against terrorism against hard targets (such as government agencies and public facilities) by choosing to avoid those obvious potential targets. However, it is much more difficult (if not altogether impossible) to protect one's self from terrorist acts perpetrated against random soft
targets (such as shopping centers, restaurants, and movie theaters). That is one of several reasons that the World Trade Center terrorist attacks of 2001 were particularly terrorizing: the victims were ordinary civilians going about the most ordinary parts of their lives.''

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Allison, G. (2004) Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe. New York: Henry Holt
  • Dershowitz, A. (2002) Why Terrorism Works: Understanding the Threat, Responding to the Challenge. New Haven: Yale University Press
  • Dyer, C., McCoy, R., Rodriguez, J., Van Duyn, D. (2007) "Countering Violent Islamic Extremism" The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin; Vol. 76 No. 12, (pp. 3-9).
  • Hoffman, B. (2003) "The Logic of Suicide Terrorism: Lessons from Israel that America Must Learn" The Atlantic Monthly; Vol. 291 No. 5.
  • Larsen, R. (2007) Our Own Worst Enemy: Asking the Right Questions About Security to Protect You, Your Family, and America. New York: Grand Central Publishing.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The History and Future of Terrorism (2010, December 26) Retrieved February 28, 2024, from

MLA Format

"The History and Future of Terrorism" 26 December 2010. Web. 28 February. 2024. <>