What Is Terrorism?
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in the furtherance of political or social objectives.” This definition includes three elements:
Terrorist activities are illegal and involve the use of force.
The actions intend to intimidate or coerce.
The actions are committed in support of political or social objectives.
History Of Terrorism
Terrorism is not something new to this country or the world. The history of biological warfare began in the 6th Century BC, with the Assyrians poisoning enemy walls. In 1346 attackers on a city threw corpses over the city wall, they were infected with what is called the Black Death. The same plague-infected corpse tactics may have also been used again in 1710 against Sweden by Russia.
On several occasions smallpox was used as a biological weapon. The English gave Indians assisting the French smallpox-laden blankets during the French and Indian War of 1754 to 1767.
Biological weapons were used during World War I by the Germans, in 1937 and by Japan in 1940. The United States began research into the offensive use of biological agents in 1943, in response to a perceived German biological warfare threat. This research continued until stopped by a Presidential Order of President Nixon in 1969. Stockpiles of biological agents and munitions were destroyed in May of 1971 and May of 1972 as a result of the order.
In 1972, the United States and many other countries signed the convention on the Prohibition of the development, production and stockpiling of Biological and Toxic Weapons. This treaty was also signed by the former Soviet Union and Iraq. Testimony from Laos indicated attack planes and helicopters delivered aerosols in several colors. People and animals become disoriented and ill, some even died after exposure. These attacks were labeled the “Yellow Rain.”
In 1979, the former Soviet Union appeared to have an accidental release of anthrax, residents living downwind became ill and many died. The final death toll was estimated anywhere from 200 to 1,000. It was finally admitted to be an accidental release at a weapons plant after many years of denying the release ever occurred. In August of 1991 the United Nations inspection team found several biological weapons in Iraq after the Gulf War.
The Threat Is Real
We have seen that when properly motivated, terrorists do whatever they have to do in order to achieve their goals. Recent examples of terrorist attacks include the World Trade Center Disaster in 2001, the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the Tokyo Subway nerve agent attack in 1995, the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and the attack on the USS Cole in 2000.
All communities, especially those in free societies are vulnerable to incidents involving terrorism. Nearly all of those communities contain some high visibility targets. These targets usually are situated along routes with high transportation and access potential. Other examples of locations that may become targets for criminal or terrorist activity include:
mass transit systems.
places with high economic impact.
places with historical or symbolic significance.
An act of terrorism can occur anywhere, at any moment and, when you least expect it. No jurisdiction, urban, suburban or rural is totally immune.
What Is A Threat?
One way to look at it is to see threat as consisting of two elements:
There are many groups that possess both the motive and the ability and, the law enforcement community monitors these groups constantly to assess the level of threat.
The criminal component is the most important element separating a terrorist organization and its actions from a legitimate organization. However, any organization, legitimate or not, can resort to terrorist means to achieve its political or social agenda. Also remember that a terrorist can act alone.
What makes the terrorist event so dangerous is that it is intended to cause damage, to inflict harm, and in some cases to kill. Terrorists will go to great lengths to make sure the event has the intended impact, even if it means destroying a whole building and killing all of its occupants including children. Such was the case in the Oklahoma bombing case.
Categories Of Terrorist Incidents
There are five categories of terrorist incidents:
The acronym B-NICE is a simple way to remember the five.
Biological agents are microorganisms that can cause disease among persons, animals, or plants. They can also cause the deterioration of material. These agents fall into two broad categories-pathogens (usually called germs) and toxins. Pathogens are living microorganisms that cause lethal or incapacitating diseases. Bacteria, rickettsiae, fungi, and viruses are included in the pathogens. Toxins are poisons that plants, animals, or microorganisms produce naturally. Possible biological war-fare toxins include a variety of neurotoxic (affecting the central nervous system) and cytotoxic (causing cell death) compounds.
The biological agents that we will discuss are: bacteria, viruses and toxins. Each of the biological agents will be described with an overview of the agent, then identifying further the information on a specific target agent. The agent chosen will have information on its’ history, signs and symptoms, and medical management.
Anthrax, Cholera, Plague, Q Fever:
Bacteria are unicellular organisms. The bacterial agent can cause disease in humans and animals by means of two mechanisms: invading the tissues or producing toxins (poison).
Anthrax was developed by the United States as a weapon in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Iraq admitted to making anthrax into a weapon in 1995. Incubation period is 1 to 6 days. Fever, fatigue, cough, chest discomfort followed by respiratory distress. Shock and death occurs within 24 to 36 hours of severe symptoms. Although usually not effective after symptoms, high dose antibiotic treatment with penicillin, ciprofloxacin, or doxycycline would be in order. Supportive therapy may also be necessary.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT ANTHRAX
Anthrax can be an insidious and efficient killer. Its spores can survive for decades. If inhaled, they can kill in a matter of two or three days, doing its worst damage with symptoms that seem no worse than a cold. The military considers anthrax to be the most serious of all biological threats. But to be so dangerous, anthrax must be “weaponized,” manufactured in the form of fine spores that can be breathed deep into the lungs.
Here are answers to questions most often asked about this microbe.
Q: What does anthrax look like?
A: In its most destructive form – an aerosol sprayed into the air – it is invisible and odorless. Anthrax spores can only be seen through a microscope that magnifies 50 to 100 times. Scientists say it can be stored in bulk as a powder, liquid or paste.
Q: Would I know if I breathed anthrax?
Q: If anthrax is on the ground, can I get it from kicking up dust?
A: Probably not. The spores tend to clump together, so even if inhaled, they do not get deep into the lungs.
Q: How much anthrax does it take to make someone sick?
A: Roughly 10,000 spores.
Q: Where do anthrax spores come from?
A: Anthrax bacteria live in the blood of animals. When an animal dies, the bacteria form spores, which are released.
Q: What happens when a person breathes them?
A: The spores become lodged in the lungs. There, they are picked up by immune-system cells called macrophages, which carry them to the lymph nodes. On the way, the spores mature into bacteria.
Q: How do they make people sick?
A: The bacteria multiply in the lymph nodes and then enter the bloodstream. They produce a poison that causes the immune system to produce lethal doses of chemicals that are ordinarily useful to the body.
Q: What are the symptoms?
A: At first, they seem like a cold or flu: fever, ache and nonproductive cough. Plummeting blood pressure, swelling, hemorrhaging and other catastrophic symptoms soon follow.
Q: How quickly does it kill?
A: Typically within three days of the start of symptoms.
Q: How soon do symptoms start once people breathe the spores?
A: Usually around 10 days, but up to six weeks.
Q: Can it be treated?
A: It can be treated with antibiotics, such as Cipro or doxycycline, if given before symptoms start. Treatment usually fails once symptoms set in, since it does no good to kill the bacteria once they make large amounts of toxin.
Q. Isn't there a vaccine to prevent it?
A. The only vaccine is in limited supply and is now only available to the military.
Q: Are there other forms of anthrax disease?
A: Yes. By far the most common is anthrax on the skin, which forms inflamed bumps. It can be fatal but usually goes away on its own. This form most often infects people who handle livestock.
Q: How can anthrax spores be killed?
A: They can live for many years in the ground and resist drying, heat and ultraviolet light. They can be killed with a mixture of bleach and water or with vaporized formaldehyde.
Q: Where would someone get anthrax?
A: Anthrax is grown and maintained in cell cultures that are kept by research labs. It is not sold or otherwise legally distributed. Theoretically, anthrax could be isolated and grown from the remains of an animal that died of anthrax or from nearby soil. Several countries have produced large quantities of anthrax as weapons.
Q: How long has anthrax been around?
A: Anthrax is thought to have been one of the Egyptian plagues at the time of Moses. The ancient Romans recorded cases.
Q: How does it get its name?
A: It comes from the Greek word for coal. It's called this because of the black scab it leaves on the skin.
Viruses – Smallpox, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis, Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers:
Viruses are the simplest type of microorganism, they are smaller than bacteria, and they are intracellular parasites.
Smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980 by the World Health Organization. The United States stopped vaccinating its military in 1989 and civilians in the early 1980’s. It is still considered as a possible threat. The manifestation of smallpox is fever, vomiting, headache and backache. In 2 to 3 days lesions appear which later turn into blisters. The mortality rate can reach 30 percent. If smallpox occurs, it should be considered an international emergency. Quarantine is 17 days for all people in direct contact with the patient. Immediate vaccination should be undertaken. Airborne spread is controversial, close person-to-person contact is required for transmission to occur.
Pictures of Lesions on Smallpox Victims from CDC Files
Biological Toxins –
Botulinum, Staphycococcal Enterotorain B, Ricin, T-2 Mycotixins:
Toxins are substances that plants, animals, or germs produce naturally. These toxins are what actually harm man, not bacteria. Botulin, which produces botulism, is an example. Modern science has allowed large-scale production of these toxins without the use of the germ that produces the toxin. Toxins may produce effects similar to those of chemical agents. Toxic victims may not, however, respond to first aid measures used against chemical agents. Toxins enter the body in the same manner as germs. However, some toxins, unlike germs, can penetrate unbroken skin. Symptoms appear almost immediately, since there is no incubation period. Many toxins are extremely lethal, even in very small doses.
Ricin is a significant biological toxin. Ricin is said to be fairly easy to produce from the castor bean. Worldwide, one million tons of castor beans are processed to produce castor oil yearly. Ricin is said to have been used in the assassination of Bulgarian exile Georgi Markov, who was working for Radio Free Europe in London in 1978. He was attacked by a specially engineered weapon disguised as an umbrella, which implanted a ricin pellet into his body. He died in 3 days and the autopsy reveled the micro-ball containing ricin.
Weakness, fever, cough and pulmonary edema occur in 18 to 24 hours after exposure. This will be followed by severe respiratory distress and death in 36 to 72 hours. Treatment of pulmonary edema is needed along with respiratory support. Gastric decontamination measures are also needed if ingested. Other symptoms and effects may include: dizziness, mental confusion, blurred or double vision, numbness or tingling of the skin, paralysis, convulsions, rashes or blisters, coughing, fever, aching muscles, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding from body openings, blood in the urine, shock and death.
Biological agents are, by nature, difficult to detect. You cannot detect them by any of the five physical senses. Often, the first sign of a biological agent will be symptoms of the victims exposed to the agent. Your best chance of detecting biological agents before they can affect you is to recognize their means of delivery. The three main means of delivery are:
1. Bursting-type munitions. These may be bombs or projectiles whose burst causes very little damage. The burst will produce a small cloud of liquid or powder in the immediate impact area. This cloud will disperse eventually; the rate of dispersion depends on terrain and weather conditions.
2. Spray tanks or generators. Aircraft or vehicle spray tanks or ground-level aerosol generators produce an aerosol cloud of biological agents.
3. Vectors. Insects such as mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and ticks deliver pathogens. Large infestations of these insects may indicate the use of biological agents.
Influence of Weather and Terrain –
Sunlight contains visible and ultraviolet solar radiation that rapidly kills most germs used as biological agents. However, natural or man-made cover may protect some agents from sunlight. Other man-made mutant strains of germs may be resistant to sunlight.
High wind speeds increase the dispersion of biological agents, dilute their concentration, and dehydrate them. The further downwind the agent travels, the less effective it becomes due to dilution and death of the pathogens. However, the downwind hazard area of the biological agent is significant and you cannot ignore it.
Precipitation in the form of moderate to heavy rain tends to wash biological agents out of the air, reducing downwind hazard areas. However, the agents may still be very effective where they were deposited on the ground.
Protection Against Biological Agents –
While you must maintain a healthy respect for biological agents, there is no reason for you to panic. You can reduce your susceptibility to biological agents by maintaining current immunizations, avoiding contaminated areas, and controlling rodents and pests. You must also use proper first aid measures in the treatment of wounds and only safe or properly decontaminated sources of food and water. You must ensure that you get enough sleep to prevent a run-down condition. You must always use proper field sanitation procedures.
Assuming you do not have a protective mask, always try to keep your face covered with some type of cloth to protect yourself against biological agent aerosols. Dust may contain biological agents; wear some type of mask when dust is in the air.
A uniform and gloves will protect you against bites from vectors (mosquitoes and ticks) that carry diseases. Completely button your clothing and tuck your trousers tightly into your boots. Covering your skin will also reduce the chance of the agent entering your body through cuts or scratches. Always practice high standards of personal hygiene and sanitation to help prevent the spread of vectors.
Bathe with soap and water whenever possible. Use germicidal soap, if available. Wash your hair and body thoroughly, and clean under your fingernails. Clean teeth, gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth frequently. Wash your clothing in hot, soapy water if you can. If you cannot wash your clothing, lay it out in an area of bright sunlight and allow the light to kill the microorganisms.
Water procurement under biological conditions is difficult but not impossible. Whenever possible, try to use water that has been in a sealed container. You can assume that the water inside the sealed container is not contaminated. Wash the water container thoroughly with soap and water or boil it for at least 10 minutes before breaking the seal.
If water in sealed containers is not available, your next choice, only under emergency conditions, is water from springs. Again, boil the water for at least 10 minutes before drinking. Keep the water covered while boiling to prevent contamination by airborne pathogens. Your last choice, only in an extreme emergency, is to use standing water. Vectors and germs can survive easily in stagnant water. Boil this water as long as practical to kill all organisms. Filter this water through a cloth to remove the dead vectors. Use water purification tablets in all cases.
Food Procurement –
Food procurement, like water procurement, is not impossible, but you must take special precautions. You can assume that sealed containers or packages of processed food are safe. To ensure safety, decontaminate all food containers by washing with soap and water or by boiling the container in water for 10 minutes.
If you must use local food, select only healthy-looking plants and animals. Do not select known carriers of vectors such as rats or other vermin. Select and prepare plants as you would in radioactive areas. Prepare animals as you do plants. Always use gloves and protective clothing when handling animals or plants.
There are two fundamentally different threats in the area of nuclear terrorism. One is the use, threatened use, or threatened detonation, of a nuclear bomb. The other is the detonation, or threatened detonation, of a conventional explosive incorporating nuclear materials. It is unlikely that any terrorist organization could acquire or build a nuclear device, or acquire and use a fully functional nuclear weapon.
The greatest potential terrorist threat for a nuclear weapon would be to use such a device as a form of extortion.
The Nuclear Environment –
Effects of Nuclear Weapons –
Thermal Radiation –
Residual radiation consists of all radiation produced after one minute from the explosion. It has more effect on you than initial radiation. A discussion of residual radiation takes place in a subsequent paragraph.
An airburst occurs in the air above its intended target. The airburst provides the maximum radiation effect on the target and is, therefore, most dangerous to you in terms of immediate nuclear effects.
Thermal Injuries –
The heat and light the nuclear fireball emits causes thermal injuries. First-, second-, or third-degree burns may result. Flash blindness also occurs. This blindness may be permanent or temporary depending on the degree of exposure of the eyes. Substantial cover and distance from the explosion can prevent thermal injuries.
Bodily Reactions to Radiation –
External and Internal Hazards –
The symptoms of radiation injuries include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. The severity of these symptoms is due to the extreme sensitivity of the gastrointestinal tract to radiation. The severity of the symptoms and the speed of onset after exposure are good indicators of the degree of radiation damage. The gastrointestinal damage can come from either the external or the internal radiation hazard.
Countermeasures Against Penetrating External Radiation –
Time is important to you, as the survivor, in two ways. First, radiation dosages are cumulative. The longer you are exposed to a radioactive source, the greater the dose you will receive. Obviously, spend as little time in a radioactive area as possible. Second, radioactivity decreases or decays over time. This concept is known as radioactive half-life. Thus, a radioactive element decays or loses half of its radioactivity within a certain time.
Special Medical Aspects –
The presence of fallout material in your area requires slight changes in first aid procedures. You must cover all wounds to prevent contamination and the entry of radioactive particles. You must first wash burns of beta radiation, then treat them as ordinary burns. Take extra measures to prevent infection.
1. Caves and tunnels covered by more than 1 meter of earth.
2. Storm or storage cellars.
4. Basements or cellars of abandoned buildings.
Complete isolation from 4 to 6 days following delivery of the last weapon.
One exposure of not more than 1 hour on the eighth day.
In all instances, make your exposures as brief as possible. Consider only mandatory requirements as valid reasons for exposure. Decontaminate at every stop.
The times given above are conservative. If forced to move after the first or second day, you may do so, however, make sure that the exposure is no longer than absolutely necessary.
Water Procurement –
Although many factors (wind direction, rainfall, sediment) will influence your choice in selecting water sources, consider the following guidelines.
As an additional precaution against disease, treat all water with water purification tablets from your survival kit or boil it.
If little or no processed food is available in your area, you may have to supplement your diet with local food sources. Local food sources are animals and plants.
The extent of contamination in fish and aquatic animals will be much greater than that of land animals. This is also true for water plants, especially in coastal areas. Use aquatic food sources only in conditions of extreme emergency.
Plant contamination occurs by the accumulation of fallout on their outer surfaces or by absorption of radioactive elements through their roots. Your first choice of plant food should be vegetables such as potatoes, turnips, carrots, and other plants whose edible portion grows underground. These are the safest to eat once you scrub them and remove their skins.
Second in order of preference are those plants with edible parts that you can decontaminate by washing and peeling their outer surfaces. Examples are bananas, apples, tomatoes, prickly pears, and other such fruits and vegetables.
Any smooth-skinned vegetable, fruit, or plant that you cannot easily peel or effectively decontaminate by washing will be your third choice of emergency food.
You eat rough-surfaced plants (such as lettuce) only as a last resort because you cannot effectively decontaminate them by peeling or washing. Other difficult foods to decontaminate by washing with water include dried fruits (figs, prunes, peaches, apricots, pears).
An incendiary device is any mechanical, electrical or chemical device used intentionally to initiate combustion and start a fire. Incendiary materials are materials that burn with a hot flame for a designated period of time. Their purpose is to set fire to other materials or structures.
Incendiary devices may be simple or elaborate and come in all shapes and sizes. The type of device is limited only by the terrorist's imagination and ingenuity. An incendiary device can be a simple match applied to a piece of paper, or a complicated self igniting chemical device. Normally an incendiary device is a material or mixture of materials designed to produce enough heat and flame to cause combustible material to burn once it reaches its ignition temperature.
Each device consists of three basic components:
an igniter or fuse.
a container or body.
incendiary material or filler.
A device containing chemical materials usually will be in a metal or other nonbreakable container. An incendiary device that uses a liquid accelerator usually will be in a breakable container.
Chemical agents fall into five classes:
Nerve agents – disrupt nerve impulse transmissions.
Blister agents – cause severe burns to the eyes, skin and tissues of the respiratory tract.
Blood agents – interfere with the ability of blood to transport oxygen.
Choking agents – severely stress respiratory system tissues.
Irritating agents – cause respiratory distress and tearing designed to incapacitate.
Sight will help you detect chemical agents. Most chemical agents in the solid or liquid state have some color. In the vapor state, you can see some chemical agents as a mist or thin fog immediately after the bomb or shell bursts. By observing for symptoms in others and by observing delivery means, you may be able to have some warning of chemical agents. Mustard gas in the liquid state will appear as oily patches on leaves or on buildings.
If you cannot get water in sealed containers, try to get it from a closed source such as underground water pipes. You may use rainwater or snow if there is no evidence of contamination. Use water from slow-moving streams, if necessary, but always check first for signs of contamination, and always filter the water as described under nuclear conditions. Signs of water source contamination are foreign odors such as garlic, mustard, geranium, or bitter almonds; oily spots on the surface of the water or nearby; and the presence of dead fish or animals. If these signs are present, do not use the water. Always boil or purify the water to prevent bacteriological infection.
If you must supplement your combat rations with local plants or animals, do not use plants from contaminated areas or animals that appear to be sick. When handling plants or animals, always use protective gloves and clothing.
Explosives are defined fitting into one of two categories:
any substance or article, including a device, designed to function by explosion.
any substance or article, including a device, which by chemical reaction within itself, can function in a similar manner even if not designed to function by explosion.
70% of all terrorist attacks worldwide involve explosives. Therefore, it is apparent that bombs are the current weapon of choice among terrorists and terrorist groups.
Photo of the Alfred P. Murrah building after the bombing, such as this photo taken shortly after the blast, cannot adequately capture the scope of the tragedy according to search and rescue team members.
Department of Homeland Security Proposal of President Bush
(full report is 29 pages in Adobe Acrobat Format)
Patterns of Global Terrorism
United States Department Of State – Released January 2002
(full report is 204 pages in Adobe Acrobat Format which will does take time to load)
United States Policy On Counter-Terrorism
Terrorism is both a threat to our national security as well as a criminal act. The Administration has stated that it is the policy of the United States to use all appropriate means to deter, defeat and respond to all terrorist attacks on our territory and resources, both people and facilities, wherever they occur. Is support of these efforts, the United States will:
Employ efforts to deter, preempt, apprehend and prosecute terrorists.
Work closely with other governments to carry out our counter-terrorism policy and combat terrorist threats against them.
Identify sponsors of terrorists, isolate them, and ensure they pay for their action.
Make no concessions to terrorists.
Measures To Combat Terrorism
To ensure that the United States is prepared to combat terrorism in all its forms, a number of measures have been directed. These include reducing vulnerabilities to terrorism, deterring and responding to terrorist acts, and having capabilities to prevent and manage the consequence of terrorist use of nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons, including those of mass destruction.
Reduce Vulnerabilities –
In order to reduce our vulnerabilities to terrorism, both at home and abroad, all department/agency heads have been directed to ensure that their personnel and facilities are fully protected against terrorism. Specific efforts that will be conducted to ensure our security against terrorist acts include the following:
Review the vulnerability of government facilities and critical national infrastructure.
Expand the program of counterterrorism.
Reduce vulnerabilities affecting civilian personnel/facilities abroad and military personnel/facilities.
Reduce vulnerabilities affecting U.S. airports, aircraft/passengers and shipping, and provide appropriate security measures for other modes of transportation.
Exclude/deport persons who pose a terrorist threat.
Prevent unlawful traffic in firearms and explosives, and protect the President and other officials against terrorist attack.
Reduce U.S. vulnerabilities to international terrorism through intelligence collection/analysis, counter-intelligence and covert action.
To deter terrorism, it is necessary to provide a clear public position that our policies will not be affected by terrorist acts and we will vigorously deal with terrorist/sponsors to reduce terrorist capabilities and support. In this regard, we must make it clear that we will not allow terrorism to succeed and that the pursuit, arrest, and prosecution of terrorists is of the highest priority.
Our goals include the disruption of terrorist-sponsored activity including termination of financial support, arrest and punishment of terrorists as criminals, application of U.S. laws and legislation to prevent terrorist groups from operating in the United States, and application of extraterritorial statutes to counter acts of terrorism and apprehend terrorists outside of the United States.
Return of terrorists overseas, who are wanted for violation of U.S. law, is of the highest priority and a central issue in bilateral relations with any state that harbors or assists them.
To respond to terrorism, we must have a rapid and decisive capability to protect Americans, defeat or arrest terrorists, respond against terrorist sponsors, and provide relief to the victims of terrorists. The goal during the immediate response phase of an incident is to terminate terrorist attacks so that the terrorists do not accomplish their objectives or maintain their freedom, while seeking to minimize damage and loss of life and provide emergency assistance.
After an incident has occurred, a rapidly deployable interagency Emergency Support Team (EST) will provide required capabilities on scene: a Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) for foreign incidents and a Domestic Emergency Support Team (DEST) for domestic incidents. DEST membership will be limited to those agencies required to respond to the specific incident. Both teams will include elements for specific types of incidents such as nuclear, biological or chemical threats.
The Director, FEMA, will ensure that the Federal Response Plan is adequate for consequence management activities in response to terrorist attacks against large U.S. populations, including those where weapons of mass destruction are involved.
FEMA will also ensure that State response plans and capabilities are adequate and tested. FEMA, supported by all Federal Response Plan signatories, will assume the Lead Agency role for consequence management in Washington, DC, and on scene. If large scale casualties and infrastructure damage occur, the President may appoint a Personal Representative for consequence management as the on scene Federal authority during recovery.
A roster of senior and former government officials willing to perform these functions will be created and the rostered individuals will be provided training and information necessary to allow them to be called upon on short notice.
Agencies will bear the costs of their participation in terrorist incidents and counter-terrorist operations, unless otherwise directed.
NBC Consequence Management –
The development of effective capabilities for preventing and managing the consequences of terrorist use of nuclear, biological or chemical (NBC) materials or weapons is of the highest priority. Terrorist acquisition of weapons of mass destruction is not acceptable and there is no higher priority than preventing the acquisition of such materials/weapons or removing this capability from terrorist groups.
FEMA will review the Federal Response Plan on an urgent basis, in coordination with supporting agencies, to determine its adequacy in responding to an NBC related terrorist incident; identify and remedy any shortfalls in stockpiles, capabilities or training; and report on the status of these efforts in 180 days.
THE MIND OF A TERRORIST
The World Trade Center Attack in New York City on September 11, 2001 is the most recent and well known terrorist activity that has occurred, killing over 3,000 people and injuring thousands more. Did the suicide terrorists have sorrow and remorse? Prior to this incident, the Oklahoma bombing was the most recent and well known terrorist activity that had occurred.
The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building on April 19, 1995 killed 168 people. Did the bomber have sorrow and remorse? Did he have feelings of empathy for the families that have lost loved ones? No! He referred to the victims of the bombing as “collateral damage.”
People within the emergency services field have felt empathy for many of their patients. We have assumed an occupation where we help people. We are public servants. Therefore, we don't understand the mind of a terrorist. We just have a hard time with the killing of innocent victims by ruthless murders.
Researcher's for years have tried to understand the mind of a terrorist. The evil that is perpetrated by famous serial killers and terrorists are revolting to us. One of the key traits of many terrorists is: they lack the capacity for empathy. They can't feel the pain of others. They have no compassion and do not care what another feels. They lack some of the emotional make up that makes us into loving, caring, and compassionate people.
Another area that research has revealed from study of terrorists is the trait that allows a terrorist to slip further into evil acts. This particular trait is self-centeredness. They do not consider what another thinks as relevant. Their thinking is clouded and some even enjoy creating terror, injuring, and harming others. Their minds have become demented and abnormal.
Studies of sociopaths have found many have experienced abuse as a child. Evil behavior has been developed over years and has normally occurred early in their lives. Most of them become indifferent to other people. They have had emotional and physical abuse to such a degree that they no longer have concern towards others. The biological response of a cold-blooded killer has been to show no stress response. They do not act to stressful situations like other people. The do not have adrenaline rush, racing heart, and/or sweating.
Many of these terrorists have rationalized their behavior and have dehumanized their victims. Some have even become to view their victims as the enemy and have demonized them. Below are some sociopaths and killers:
Ramyl Yousef – Bombing of the World Trade Center – He was striking out against “The Great Satan”
Adolf Hitler – Killing of Jews – To develop a Master Aryan Nation by systematically slaughtering the Jewish Race
Pol Pot – Slaughtered the Educated – To rid the country of all modern influences to create a new communist society
Timothy McVeigh – Oklahoma Bombing – Avenging the deaths at Waco and striking against the totalitarian American Government
Ted Kaczynski – Unabomber – His manifesto stated “Out goal is only to destroy the existing form of society.”
These men felt that they were doing something that needed to be done. Their view of things are completely different than the ordinary person. A psychiatrist, Daniel Amen, has studied the living brains of 50 murderers and 200 other violent felons, through a process called SPECT. This process is an imaging technique that advanced the following in neuroscience:
Prefrontal Cortex – Seat of judgment and planning – They showed reduced activity.
Anterior Cingulate Gyrus – The brains gearshift, which allows one to move from one thought to another – This portion of the brain is overactive.
Left Temporal Lobe – Involves the mood and temperament control – They show abnormalities.
All those evaluated showed the same results without exception. Psychiatrist Amen concludes the following:
“If you have a left-temporal-lobe problem, you have dark, awful, violent thoughts. If you have a cingulate-gyrus problem as well, you get stuck on bad thoughts. If you have a prefrontal-cortex problem, you can't supervise the bad thoughts you get stuck on.”
The reasoning, planning, and thought process is abnormal. The mind set of a terrorist is abnormal. They do not have normal decision making skills and empathizing traits as others. Their character traits are completely different from ours.
Finally, we come to the mind of a terrorist. What has gotten them to become terrorists? Why do they kill people? If we were to list some possible factors they are:
Lack of Empathy
Innate Violent Behavior
No Moral Code
Avenging A Wrong Done
Lack of Compassion
Ideology of Racism
These individuals were people who were considered abnormal. These people committed terrible crimes against humanity, they seemed to personify evil and committed violence against others. Most of these people are without compassion and/or empathy. These people wanted to hurt others. Most of these people were self centered and believed in what they were doing, that it was for the greater good. Most believed they were morally justified with their crimes and were convinced of the justice of their cause.
Terrorist Group Profiles
Index Of Groups
15 May Organization
3rd October Organization
17 November Revolutionary Organization
Abu Nidal organization (ANO)
Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade
Al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI)
al-Qa'ida (The Base)
Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB)
Alliance of Eritrean National Force
Alliance pour la resistance democratique (ARD)
Allied Democratic Forces (ADF)
Anti-Imperialist International Brigade (AIIB)
Anti-Imperialist Territorial Nuclei (NTA)
Arab Revolutionary Brigades
Arab Revolutionary Council
Arewa People's Congress [Nigeria]
Armed Forces of Puerto Rican National Liberation (FALN)
Armed Islamic Group (GIA)
Armed Revolutionary Nuclei (ARN)
Armée pour la libération du Rwanda (ALIR)
Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA)
Aum Supreme Truth
Babbar Khalsa Force
Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
Bhinderanwala Tiger Force
Cambodian Freedom Fighters
Caprivi Liberation Front
Catholic Reaction Force (CRF)
CNRM National Council of Maubere Resistance
CNRT Timorese National Resistance Council
Committee for Eastern Turkistan
Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)
Conseil national pour la défense de la democratie (CNDD)
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP)
Democratic Karen Burmese Army (DKBA)
Devrimci Sol (Revolutionary Left)
Direct Action Against Drugs (DADD)
Eastern Shan State Army (ESSA)
Ejercito Popular Boricua (Macheteros)
Ejercito Popular Revolucionario (EPR)
ELA – Revolutionary People's Struggle
ELN – National Liberation Army — Colombia
Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement
Eritrean Liberation Front-Revolutionary Council (ELF-RC)
Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF)
Euzkadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) – Basque Fatherland and Liberty
FALINTIL National Armed Forces for the Liberation of East Timor
Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN)
FARC – Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
Fatah Revolutionary Council
Fatah Special Operations Group
Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils (FACT)
Fighting Islamic Group (FIG)
Forces armees du peuple (FAP)
ex-FAR (Forces armees rwandaises)
Forces nationales de liberation (FNL)
Forces de liberation nationale (FALINA)
Forces pour la défense de la democratie (FDD)
Free Aceh Movement
Free Papua Movement
FPM – Morazanist Patriotic Front
FPMR – Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front
FRETILIN Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor
Front contre l’occupation tutsie (FLOT)
Front pour la liberation nationale (FROLINA)
Fuerzas Armadas Liberacion Nacional Puertoriquena (FALN)
Gerakin Aceh Merdeka (GAM)
GRAPO – 1 October Antifascist Resistance Group
Gray Wolves [Sivi Vukovi]
Harakat ul-Ansar (HUA)
Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami (HUJI)
Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B)
Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)
Hawari Special Operations Group
International Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders
International Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders
International Sikh Youth Federation
Iraqi National Accord (INA)
Iraqi National Congress
Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Irish Republican Army (IRA) – Continuity
Irish Republican Army (IRA) – New
Irish Republican Army (IRA) – Provisional
Irish Republican Army (IRA) – Real
Isatabu Freedom Movement
Islamic Army of Aden
Islamic Group (IG)
Islamic Great Eastern Raiders Front
Islamic Armed Group (GIA)
Islamic Jihad [Egypt]
Islamic Jihad [Lebanon]
Islamic Jihad [Turkey]
Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
Islamic Movement Organization
Islamic Resistance Movement
Islamic Salvation Front / Movement (FIS)
Islamic Salvation Movement
Islamic Union (Al-Ittihad al-Islami)
Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya
Jemaah Islamiya (JI)
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF)
Japanese Red Army (JRA)
Kachin Defense Army (KDA)
Kachin Independence Organization (KIO)
Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO)
Karen National Union (KNU)
Khalistan Liberation Tiger Force
Khalistan Commando Force
Khalistan Liberation Front
Khalistan National Army
Kosovo Liberation Army [KLA]
Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM)
Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI)
Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
La Cosa Nostra
Lautaro Youth Movement (MJL)
Lautaro faction of the United Popular Action Movement (MAPU/L)
Lautaro Popular Rebel Forces (FRPL)
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)
Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)
Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK – Services Office
Malaita Eagles Force
Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front (FPMR)
Maoist Communist Centre (MCC)
Martyrs of Tal Al Za'atar
Mong Tai Army (MTA)
Mohajir Qaumi Movement [MQM]
Morazanist Patriotic Front (FPM)
Moro Islamic Liberation Front [MILF]
Moro National Liberation Front [MNLF]
Mothaidda Quami Movement (MQM)
Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO)
Mouvement de liberation congolais (MLC)
Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC)
MRTA – Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement
Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK or MKO)
Muslim Iranian Student's Society
Muttahida Jihad Council [MJC]
Muttahidda Quami Movement (MQM)
Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA)
National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU)
National Council for Resistance (NCR)
National Liberation Army (ELN) — Bolivia
National Liberation Army (ELN) — Colombia
National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA)
National Liberation Front Of Kurdistan (ERNK)
National United Front of Arakan (NUFA)
New Jihad Group
New Mon State Party (NMSP)
New People's Army (NPA)
Ordine Nuovo (New Order)
Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM)
Organisation of Iranian People's Fedaian (Majority) OIPFM
Organization of the Oppressed on Earth
Osama bin Laden
Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
Palestine Liberation Front (PLF)
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
Parti pour la liberation du peuple hutu (PALIPEHUTU)
Partido Democratico Popular Revolucionario (PDPR)
Party of Democratic Kampuchea
Party of God
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)
People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD)
People's Liberation Army (PLA) Ireland
People's Liberation Army Of Kurdistan (ARGK)
People's Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI)
People's Republican Army (PRA)
Peoples' War Group (PWG) [India]
Peuple en armes pour la liberation du Rwanda (PALIR)
PKK – Kurdistan Workers' Party
Popular Boricua Army (Macheteros)
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC)
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-Special Command (PFLP-SC)
Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR)
Popular Struggle Front (PSF)
Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA)
Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie (RCD)
Red Army Faction (RAF)
Red Hand Defenders
RENAMO – Resistencia Nacional Mocambicana
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
Revolutionary Council of Nigeria (RCN)
Revolutionary Justice Organization
Revolutionary Organization 17 November
Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims
Revolutionary Organization of the Toilers of Kurdistan
Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C)
Revolutionary People's Struggle (ELA)
Revolutionary Proletarian Initiative Nuclei (NIPR)
Revolutionary United Front (RUF)
Russian Organized Crime (ROC)
Rwandan Liberation Army
Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC)
Saheed Khalsa Force
Sendero Luminoso (SL)
Serb Volunteer Guard [SDG / SSJ] “Tigers”
Serbian Radical Party [SRS]
Shan Democratic Union
Sipah I Sahaba Pakistan
SLA – South Lebanese Army
Students of the Engineer
Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA)
Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)
Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI)
Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SAIRI)
Terra Lliure (TL) (Free Land)
The Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG)
Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA)
Uganda National Rescue Front
Uganda National Rescue Front II
Uganda Salvation Front/Army
Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
UDT Uniao Democratica Timorense
Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Union des forces vives pour la liberation et la democratie en RDC-Zaire (UFLD)
Union pour la liberation nationale (ULINA)
UNITA Union Nacional Por La Independencee Totale Do Angola
United Jihad Council
United Self-Defense Forces/Group of Colombia (AUC)
United Wa State Army (UWSA)
Vanguards of Conquest
Vigorous Burmese Student Warriors
West Nile Bank Front [WNBF]
World Tamil Association (WTA)
World Tamil Movement (WTM)
Zapatista National Liberation Army
World Trade Center – Twin Towers Building