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:

  • public assembly.

  • public buildings.

  • mass transit systems.

  • places with high economic impact.

  • telecommunications facilities

  • 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:

  • motive.

  • ability.

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:

  • Biological

  • Nuclear

  • Incendiary

  • Chemical

  • Explosive

The acronym B-NICE is a simple way to remember the five. 

Biological Incidents

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.

Bacteria –

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.


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?

A: No.

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

Germs are living organisms. Some nations have used them in the past as weapons. Only a few germs can start an infection, especially if inhaled into the lungs. Because germs are so small and weigh so little, the wind can spread them over great distances; they can also enter unfiltered or non-airtight places. Buildings and bunkers can trap them thus causing a higher concentration. Germs do not affect the body immediately. They must multiply inside the body and overcome the body's defenses, a process called the incubation period. Incubation periods vary from several hours to several months, depending on the germ. Most germs must live within another living organism (host), such as your body, to survive and grow. Weather conditions such as wind, rain, cold, and sunlight rapidly kill germs.
Some germs can form protective shells, or spores, to allow survival outside the host. Spore-producing agents are a long-term hazard you must neutralize by decontaminating infected areas or personnel. Fortunately, most live agents are not spore-producing. These agents must find a host within roughly a day of their delivery or they die. Germs have three basic routes of entry into your body: through the respiratory tract, through a break in the skin, and through the digestive tract. Symptoms of infection vary according to the disease.

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.  

Detection of Biological Agents –

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.
Another sign of a possible biological attack is the presence of unusual substances on the ground or on vegetation, or sick-looking plants, crops, or animals.

Influence of Weather and Terrain –
Your knowledge of how weather and terrain affect the agents can help you avoid contamination by biological agents.  Major weather factors that affect biological agents are sunlight, wind, and precipitation.  Aerosol sprays will tend to concentrate in low areas of terrain, similar to early morning mist.

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. 
Shelter –
You can build expedient shelters under biological contamination conditions using the same techniques described in the nuclear threat section. However, you must make slight changes to reduce the chance of biological contamination. Do not build your shelter in depressions in the ground. Aerosol sprays tend to concentrate in these depressions.
Avoid building your shelter in areas of vegetation, as vegetation provides shade and some degree of protection to biological agents. Avoid using vegetation in constructing your shelter. Place your shelter's entrance at a 90-degree angle to the prevailing winds. Such placement will limit the entry of airborne agents and prevent air stagnation in your shelter. Always keep your shelter clean.
Water Procurement –

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.
You should consider supplementing your rations with local plants or animals only in extreme emergencies. No matter what you do to prepare the food, there is no guarantee that cooking will kill all the biological agents.  Use local food only in life or death situations.  Remember, you can survive for a long time without food, especially if the food you eat may kill you!

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.
Cook all plant and animal food by boiling only.  Boil all food for at least 10 minutes to kill all pathogens. Do not try to fry, bake, or roast local food. There is no guarantee that all infected portions have reached the required temperature to kill all pathogens.  Do not eat raw food. We may never have an encounter with Biological Weapons, however, we have to prepare for the event if it does occur.

Nuclear Incidents 

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 –

Prepare yourself to survive in a nuclear environment.  Know how to react to a nuclear hazard.

Effects of Nuclear Weapons –
The effects of nuclear weapons are classified as either initial or residual. Initial effects occur in the immediate area of the explosion and are hazardous in the first minute after the explosion.  Residual effects can last for days or years and cause death.  The principal initial effects are blast and radiation.
Blast –
Defined as the brief and rapid movement of air away from the explosion's center and the pressure accompanying this movement.  Strong winds accompany the blast.  Blast hurls debris and personnel, collapses lungs, ruptures eardrums, collapses structures and positions, and causes immediate death or injury with its crushing effect.

Thermal Radiation –
The heat and light radiation a nuclear explosion's fireball emits. Light radiation consists of both visible light and ultraviolet and infrared light.  Thermal radiation produces extensive fires, skin burns, and flash blindness.
Nuclear Radiation –
As stated above, nuclear radiation breaks down into two categories – initial radiation and residual radiation.
Initial nuclear radiation consists of intense gamma rays and neutrons produced during the first minute after the explosion. This radiation causes extensive damage to cells throughout the body. Radiation damage may cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even death, depending on the radiation dose received.
The major problem in protecting yourself against the initial radiation's effects is that you may have received a lethal or incapacitating dose before taking any protective action.  Personnel exposed to lethal amounts of initial radiation may well have been killed or fatally injured by blast or 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.
Types of Nuclear Bursts –
There are three types of nuclear bursts – airburst, surface burst, and subsurface burst. The type of burst directly affects your chances of survival. A subsurface burst occurs completely underground or underwater. Its effects remain beneath the surface or in the immediate area where the surface collapses into a crater over the burst's location. Subsurface bursts cause you little or no radioactive hazard unless you enter the immediate area of the crater. No further discussion of this type of burst will take place.

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.
A surface burst occurs on the ground or water surface. Large amounts of fallout result, with serious long-term effects for you. This type of burst is your greatest nuclear hazard.
Nuclear Injuries –
Most injuries in the nuclear environment result from the initial nuclear effects of the detonation.  These injuries are classed as blast, thermal, or radiation injuries. Further radiation injuries may occur if you do not take proper precautions against fallout.  Individuals in the area near a nuclear explosion will probably suffer a combination of all three types of injuries. 
Blast Injuries –
Blast injuries produced by nuclear weapons are similar to those caused by conventional high-explosive weapons.  Blast overpressure can produce collapsed lungs and ruptured internal organs.  Projectile wounds occur as the explosion's force hurls debris at you.  Large pieces of debris striking you will cause fractured limbs or massive internal injuries.
Blast over-pressure may throw you long distances, and you will suffer severe injury upon impact with the ground or other objects.  Substantial cover and distance from the explosion are the best protection against blast injury.  Cover blast injury wounds as soon as possible to prevent the entry of radioactive dust particles. 

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. 
Clothing will provide significant protection against thermal injuries. Cover as much exposed skin as possible before a nuclear explosion. First aid for thermal injuries is the same as first aid for burns. Cover open burns (second-or third-degree) to prevent the entry of radioactive particles. Wash all burns before covering.
Radiation Injuries –
Neutrons, gamma radiation, alpha radiation, and beta radiation cause radiation injuries. Neutrons are high-speed, extremely penetrating particles that actually smash cells within your body. Gamma radiation is similar to X rays and is also a highly penetrating radiation. During the initial fireball stage of a nuclear detonation, initial gamma radiation and neutrons are the most serious threat. Beta and alpha radiation are radioactive particles normally associated with radioactive dust from fallout. They are short-range particles and you can easily protect yourself against them if you take precautions. 
Residual Radiation –
Residual radiation is all radiation emitted after 1 minute from the instant of the nuclear explosion. Residual radiation consists of induced radiation and fallout.
Induced Radiation –
It describes a relatively small, intensely radioactive area directly underneath the nuclear weapon's fireball. The irradiated earth in this area will remain highly radioactive for an extremely long time. You should not travel into an area of induced radiation.
Fallout –
Fallout consists of radioactive soil and water particles, as well as weapon fragments. During a surface detonation, or if an airburst's nuclear fireball touches the ground, large amounts of soil and water are vaporized along with the bomb's fragments, and forced upward to altitudes of 25,000 meters or more. When these vaporized contents cool, they can form more than 200 different radioactive products.
The vaporized bomb contents condense into tiny radioactive particles that the wind carries and they fall back to earth as radioactive dust. Fallout particles emit alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. Alpha and beta radiation are relatively easy to counteract, and residual gamma radiation is much less intense than the gamma radiation emitted during the first minute after the explosion. Fallout is your most significant radiation hazard, provided you have not received a lethal radiation dose from the initial radiation. 

Bodily Reactions to Radiation –
The effects of radiation on the human body can be broadly classed as either chronic or acute. Chronic effects are those that occur some years after exposure to radiation. Examples are cancer and genetic defects. Chronic effects are of minor concern insofar as they affect your immediate survival in a radioactive environment. On the other hand, acute effects are of primary importance to your survival.
Some acute effects occur within hours after exposure to radiation. These effects result from the radiation's direct physical damage to tissue. Radiation sickness and beta burns are examples of acute effects. Radiation sickness symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, and loss of hair. Penetrating beta rays cause radiation burns; the wounds are similar to fire burns.
Recovery Capability –
The extent of body damage depends mainly on the part of the body exposed to radiation and how long it was exposed, as well as its ability to recover. The brain and kidneys have little recovery capability. Other parts (skin and bone marrow) have a great ability to recover from damage.  Usually, a dose of 600 centigrams to the entire body will result in almost certain death.  If only your hands received this same dose, your overall health would not suffer much, although your hands would suffer severe damage.

External and Internal Hazards –
An external or an internal hazard can cause body damage. Highly penetrating gamma radiation or the less penetrating beta radiation that causes burns can cause external damage. The entry of alpha or beta radiation-emitting particles into the body can cause internal damage. The external hazard produces overall irradiation and beta burns. The internal hazard results in irradiation of critical organs such as the gastrointestinal tract, thyroid gland, and bone.
A very small amount of radioactive material can cause extreme damage to these and other internal organs. The internal hazard can enter the body either through consumption of contaminated water or food or by absorption through cuts or abrasions. Material that enters the body through breathing presents only a minor hazard. You can greatly reduce the internal radiation hazard by using good personal hygiene and carefully decontaminating your food and water.

Symptoms –

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 –
Knowledge of the radiation hazards discussed earlier is extremely important in surviving in a fallout area. It is also critical to know how to protect yourself from the most dangerous form of residual radiation – penetrating external radiation.
The means you can use to protect yourself from penetrating external radiation are time, distance, and shielding. You can reduce the level of radiation and help increase your chance of survival by controlling the duration of exposure. You can also get as far away from the radiation source as possible. Finally you can place some radiation-absorbing or shielding material between you and the radiation.
Time –

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.
The rule of thumb for radioactivity decay is that it decreases in intensity by a factor of ten for every sevenfold increase in time following the peak radiation level.  Even an untrained observer can see that the greatest hazard from fallout occurs immediately after detonation, and that the hazard decreases quickly over a relatively short time.  As a survivor, try to avoid fallout areas long enough for most of the radioactivity to decay, you enhance your chance of survival. 

Distance –
Distance provides very effective protection against penetrating gamma radiation because radiation intensity decreases by the square of the distance from the source.  Thus, when you double the distance, radiation decreases to (0.5)2 or 0.25 the amount.  While this formula is valid for concentrated sources of radiation in small areas, it becomes more complicated for large areas of radiation such as fallout areas. 
Shielding –
Shielding is the most important method of protection from penetrating radiation. Of the three countermeasures against penetrating radiation, shielding provides the greatest protection and is the easiest to use under survival conditions. Therefore, it is the most desirable method.  If shielding is not possible, use the other two methods to the maximum extent practical. 
Shielding actually works by absorbing or weakening the penetrating radiation, thereby reducing the amount of radiation reaching your body.  The denser the material, the better the shielding effect.  Lead, iron, concrete, and water are good examples of shielding materials.

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.
Your body will be extremely sensitive to infections due to changes in your blood chemistry. Pay close attention to the prevention of colds or respiratory infections.  Rigorously practice personal hygiene to prevent infections.  Cover your eyes with improved goggles to prevent the entry of particles.
Shielding Materials –
The thickness required to weaken gamma radiation from fallout is far less than that needed to shield against initial gamma radiation. Fallout radiation has less energy than a nuclear detonation's initial radiation. For fallout radiation, a relatively small amount of shielding material can provide adequate protection. 
Generally, the denser or heavier the material, the better shielding it offers. The degree of protection afforded by a fallout shelter is expressed as a “protection factor,” or a “transmission factor.” The protection factor is simply the fraction of available radiation dose which penetrates the shelter and reaches those inside compared to the radiation received by an unprotected person.
Thus, a protection factor of 2 indicates that an individual in the shelter receives one-half of the radiation dose they would receive if unprotected.  A protection factor of 100 (associated with about six half-value thicknessess) indicates that only 1/100 or 1 percent of the radiation dose reaches those inside.  Transmission  factors are expressed in percentages, or in decimals.  Either refers to that fraction of the ambient unshielded dose that is received by personnel within the shelter.  

Shelter –
Expedient Shelters Against Radiation – In many cases it will be unnecessary to construct field expedient or other types of fallout shelters. There are many structures and terrain features available that afford a degree of fallout protection. Tunnels, caves, culverts, overpasses, ditches, ravines, and man-made structures are examples of existing fallout shelters.  The best existing shelter is basements.
The figure below shows typical shelter protection provided in different buildings. Windows can be sandbagged or covered with dirt from the outside to provide additional protection. As stated earlier, the shielding material's effectiveness depends on its thickness and density. An ample thickness of shielding material will reduce the level of radiation to negligible amounts.
The primary reason for finding and building a shelter is to get protection against the high-intensity radiation levels of early gamma fallout as fast as possible. Five minutes to locate the shelter is a good guide. Speed in finding shelter is absolutely essential. Without shelter, the dosage received in the first few hours will exceed that received during the rest of a week in a contaminated area. The dosage received in this first week will exceed the dosage accumulated during the rest of a lifetime spent in the same contaminated area.

The basements of masonry and light steel buildings provide protection from the effects of nuclear weapons.  Existing natural and man-made terrain features, such as caves, ditches, ravines, culverts, overpasses, tunnels, and empty bunkers, can be used as expedient shelters.
While an underground shelter covered by 3 feet or more of earth provides the best protection against fallout radiation, the following unoccupied structures (in order listed) offer the next best protection:

1.  Caves and tunnels covered by more than 1 meter of earth.

2.  Storm or storage cellars.
    3.  Culverts.

4.  Basements or cellars of abandoned buildings.
    5.  Abandoned buildings made of stone or mud.
Decontaminate any materials you bring into the shelter. These materials include grass or foliage that you use as insulation or bedding, and your outer clothing (especially footgear). If the weather permits and you have heavily contaminated outer clothing, you may want to remove it and bury it under a foot of earth at the end of your shelter.  You may retrieve it later (after the radioactivity decays) when leaving the shelter. 
If the clothing is dry, you may decontaminate it by beating or shaking it outside the shelter's entrance to remove the radioactive dust.  You may use any body of water, even though contaminated, to rid materials of excess fallout particles.  Simply dip the material into the water and shake it to get rid of the excess water.  Do not wring it out, this action will trap the particles.
If at all possible and without leaving the shelter, wash your body thoroughly with soap and water, even if the water on hand may be contaminated. This washing will remove most of the harmful radioactive particles that are likely to cause beta burns or other damage.  If water is not available, wipe your face and any other exposed skin surface to remove contaminated dust and dirt.  You may wipe your face with a clean piece of cloth or a handful of uncontaminated dirt.  You get this uncontaminated dirt by scraping off the top few inches of soil and using the “clean” dirt.
Upon completing the shelter, lie down, keep warm, and sleep and rest as much as possible while in the shelter.
When not resting, keep busy by planning future actions, studying your maps, or making the shelter more comfortable and effective.
Don't panic if you experience nausea and symptoms of radiation sickness. Your main danger from radiation sickness is infection. There is no first aid for this sickness. Resting, drinking fluids, taking any medicine that prevents vomiting, maintaining your food intake, and preventing additional exposure will help avoid infection and aid recovery. Even small doses of radiation can cause these symptoms which may disappear in a short time.
Exposure Timetable –
The following timetable provides you with the information needed to avoid receiving serious dosage and still let you cope with survival problems:

Complete isolation from 4 to 6 days following delivery of the last weapon.
A very brief exposure to procure water on the third day is permissible, but exposure should not exceed 30 minutes.
One exposure of not more than 30 minutes on the seventh day.

One exposure of not more than 1 hour on the eighth day.
    Exposure of 2 to 4 hours from the ninth day through the twelfth day.
    Normal operation, followed by rest in a protected shelter, from the thirteenth day on. 

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 –
In a fallout-contaminated area, available water sources may be contaminated. If you wait at least 48 hours before drinking any water to allow for radioactive decay to take place and select the safest possible water source, you will greatly reduce the danger of ingesting harmful amounts of radioactivity.

Although many factors (wind direction, rainfall, sediment) will influence your choice in selecting water sources, consider the following guidelines.
Water from springs, wells, or other underground sources that undergo natural filtration will be your safest source. Any water found in the pipes or containers of abandoned houses or stores will also be free from radioactive particles. This water will be safe to drink, although you will have to take precautions against bacteria in the water.
Snow taken from 15 or more centimeters below the surface during the fallout is also a safe source of water. Water from streams and rivers will be relatively free from fallout within several days after the last nuclear explosion because of dilution. If at all possible, filter such water before drinking to get rid of radioactive particles. The best filtration method is to dig sediment holes or seepage basins along the side of a water source. 
The water will seep laterally into the hole through the intervening soil that acts as a filtering agent and removes the contaminated fallout particles that settled on the original body of water.  This method can remove up to 99 percent of the radioactivity in water.  You must cover the hole in some way in order to prevent further contamination.
Water from lakes, pools, ponds, and other standing sources is likely to be heavily contaminated, though most of the heavier, long-lived radioactive isotopes will settle to the bottom. Use the settling technique to purify this water. First, fill a bucket or other deep container three-fourths full with contaminated water. Then take dirt from a depth of 10 or more centimeters below the ground surface and stir it into the water. 
Stir the water until you see most dirt particles suspended in the water.  Let the mixture settle for at least 6 hours.  The settling dirt particles will carry most of the suspended fallout particles to the bottom and cover them.  You can then dip out the clear water.  Purify this water using a filtration device.

As an additional precaution against disease, treat all water with water purification tablets from your survival kit or boil it.
Food Procurement –
Although it is a serious problem to obtain edible food in a  radiation contaminated area, it is not impossible to solve. You need to follow a few special procedures in selecting and preparing rations and local foods for use.  Most processed foods you may find in abandoned buildings are safe for use after decontaminating them. These include canned and packaged foods after removing the containers or wrappers or washing them free of fallout particles. 
These processed foods also include food stored in any closed container and food stored in protected areas (such as cellars), if you wash them before eating.  Wash all food containers or wrappers before handling them to prevent further contamination. 

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.
Assume that all animals, regardless of their habitat or living conditions, were exposed to radiation. The effects of radiation on animals are similar to those on humans. Thus, most of the wild animals living in a fallout area are likely to become sick or die from radiation during the first month after the nuclear explosion.
Even though animals may not be free from harmful radioactive materials, you can and must use them in survival conditions as a food source if other foods are not available.  With careful preparation and by following several important principles, animals can be safe food sources.
First, do not eat an animal that appears to be sick. It may have developed a bacterial infection as a result of radiation poisoning. Contaminated meat, even if thoroughly cooked, could cause severe illness or death if eaten.

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.
All eggs, even if laid during the period of fallout, will be safe to eat. Completely avoid milk from any animals in a fallout area because animals absorb large amounts of radioactivity from the plants they eat.

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.
The effectiveness of decontamination by scrubbing is inversely proportional to the roughness of the fruit's surface. Smooth-surfaced fruits have lost 90 percent of their contamination after washing, while washing rough-surfaced plants removes only about 50 percent of the contamination.

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).
In general, you can use any plant food that is ready for harvest if you can effectively decontaminate it. Growing plants, however, can absorb some radioactive materials through their leaves as well as from the soil, especially if rains have occurred during or after the fallout period. Avoid using these plants for food except in an emergency.

Incendiary Incidents

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 Incidents

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.

Detection of Chemical Agents – The best method for detecting chemical agents is the use of a chemical agent detector. If you have one, use it. However, in a survival situation, you will most likely have to rely solely on the use of all of your physical senses. You must be alert and able to detect any clues indicating the use of chemical warfare. General indicators of the presence of chemical agents are tears, difficult breathing, choking, itching, coughing, and dizziness.
With agents that are very hard to detect, you must watch for symptoms in fellow survivors. Your surroundings will provide valuable clues to the presence of chemical agents; for example, dead animals, sick people, or people and animals displaying abnormal behavior.
Your sense of smell may alert you to some chemical agents, but most will be odorless. The odor of newly cut grass or they may indicate the presence of choking agents. A smell of almonds may indicate blood agents.

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.
Irritation in the nose or eyes or on the skin is an urgent warning to protect your body from chemical agents.  Additionally, a strange taste in food, water or cigarettes may serve as a warning that they have been contaminated. 
Shelter – If you find yourself in a contaminated area, try to move out of the area as fast as possible. Travel crosswind or upwind to reduce the time spent in the downwind hazard area. If you cannot leave the area immediately and have to build a shelter, use normal shelter construction techniques, with a few changes. Build the shelter in a clearing, away from all vegetation. Remove all topsoil in the area of the shelter to decontaminate the area. Keep the shelter's entrance closed and oriented at a 90-degree angle to the prevailing wind. Do not build a fire using contaminated wood as the smoke will be toxic. Use extreme caution when entering your shelter so that you will not bring contamination inside.
Water Procurement – As with biological and nuclear environments, getting water in a chemical environment is difficult. Obviously, water in sealed containers is your best and safest source. You must protect this water as much as possible. Be sure to decontaminate the containers before opening.

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.
Food Procurement – It is extremely difficult to eat while in a contaminated area.  The safest source of food is  sealed food.  Food in sealed cans or bottles should be safe. Decontaminate all sealed food containers before opening, otherwise you will contaminate the food.

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.

Explosive Incidents

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

June 2002

(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.

Deter –

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.

Respond –

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 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:

  • Personality Disorders

  • Childhood Abuse

  • Lack of Empathy

  • Paternal Violence

  • Media Violence

  • Innate Violent Behavior

  • No Moral Code

  • Avenging A Wrong Done

  • Self-Centerness

  • 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)

Aceh Merdeka


Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade



al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya

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)


Amn Araissi

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)

‘Asbat al-Ansar

Aum Shinrikyo

Aum Supreme Truth

Babbar Khalsa

Babbar Khalsa Force

Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)

Bhinderanwala Tiger Force

Black September

Brigate Rosse

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)

Dal Khalsa


Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP)

Democratic Karen Burmese Army (DKBA)

Devrimci Sol (Revolutionary Left)

Dev Sol

Direct Action Against Drugs (DADD)

Eastern Shan State Army (ESSA)

Ejercito Popular Boricua (Macheteros)

Ejercito Popular Revolucionario (EPR)

ELA – Revolutionary People's Struggle

Ellalan Force

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

Executive Outcomes

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)

Force 17

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

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)

al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya

Gerakin Aceh Merdeka (GAM)

God's Army

GRAPO – 1 October Antifascist Resistance Group

Gray Wolves [Sivi Vukovi]

Grey Wolves


Harakat ul-Ansar (HUA)

Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami (HUJI)

Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B)

Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)

Hawari Group

Hawari Special Operations Group

Hizballah [Lebanon]

Hizbullah [Turkish]


Hizb-i Wahdat



International Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders

International Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders

International Sikh Youth Federation

Iparretarrak (IK)

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

Jamat-E- Islami

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)

Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM)

Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya

Jemaah Islamiya (JI)


Jamaat ul-Fuqra


Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF)

Japanese Red Army (JRA)

Jihad Group


Kachin Defense Army (KDA)

Kachin Independence Organization (KIO)

Kahane Chai

Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO)

Karen National Union (KNU)

Khalistan Liberation Tiger Force

Khalistan Commando Force

Khalistan Liberation Front

Khalistan National Army

Khmer Rouge


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)

Les mongoles

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


Middle-Core Faction

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 Brotherhood

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)

Northern Alliance

Nucleus Faction

Orange Volunteers

Ordine Nuovo (New Order)

Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM)

Organisation of Iranian People's Fedaian (Majority) OIPFM

Organization of the Oppressed on Earth

Orly Group

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)

Real IRA

Red Army Faction (RAF)

Red Brigades

Red Hand Defenders

RENAMO – Resistencia Nacional Mocambicana

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)

Revolutionary Council of Nigeria (RCN)

Revolutionary Justice Organization

Revolutionary Left

Revolutionary Nuclei

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

Shining Path


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)

Talaa' al-Fateh


Terra Lliure (TL) (Free Land)

The Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG)

Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA)

Turkish Hizballah

Uganda National Rescue Front

Uganda National Rescue Front II

Uganda Salvation Front/Army

Uighur militants

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]

White Eagles

World Tamil Association (WTA)

World Tamil Movement (WTM)

Zapatista National Liberation Army

In Memoriam 

In Memoriam

World Trade Center – Twin Towers Building

New York City

Destroyed By Act Of Terrorism September 11, 2001


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