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The use of terror and fear are the primary weapons of the terrorist. Violence becomes the medium through which the terrorist spreads his fear. To the terrorist the threat of violent acts and atrocities become their means of communicating with the rest of the world. The spread of terrorism and the technological revolution in communication and transportation have run hand in hand. The introduction of jet aircraft in the 1950s and early 1960s gave the terrorist a degree of mobility and a field of operations undreamed of by their most dedicated and skillful predecessors. The use of modern aircraft has provided the terrorist a means to spread his violence worldwide within a matter of hours. In conjunction with the advancement in transportation, the development of modern weapons has provided the terrorist the means to conduct a new type of armed conflict. This presents a magnitude of problems when governments decide to counter this modern threat.
The terrorist has a wide range of modern weapons at his command to employ against a variety of lucrative targets. These weapons range from the use of death threats as we have seen used against the author of "The Satanic Verses," Salmon Rushdie, to the latest generation of deadly explosive devices known as the Ibrahim-type bombs." With their high rates of fire and penetration power, firearms have become the weapon of choice of the terrorist. These weapons allow the terrorist to maintain a high degree of mobility, are inexpensive and easy to conceal. Small caliber rifles, such as the M-16 with high velocity rounds are very popular due to the weapon?s ability to use explosive and toxic ammunition. Today perhaps the most popular weapon among individual terrorists is the 9-millimeter submachine gun. Because of the current availability, low cost and the penetration power of its ammunition, the 9-millimeter submachine gun has become the universal weapon of the terrorist.
Explosives, with more destructive power, are effectively employed by the terrorist. These weapons were used by terrorist in England as early as 1605. These weapons tend to have a great deal of shock power and draw more attention to the deed. Nearly 70 percent of all terrorist attacks involve explosives in some form or another.3 The reason for their extensive use is that they magnify the destruction and slaughter that one individual can inflict. Explosives provide the indirect means of killing and poses less a threat to the attacker. Explosives and the means to set them off are only limited to the imagination of those using them. New plastic explosives have added a new dimension to the terrorist arsenals of explosive weapons. Plastic explosives have commonly been referred to as--God's gift to the terrorist.4 These explosives can be used to destroy a variety of targets. These targets range in size from automobiles to aircraft and buildings.
The 1970s became the beginning of the future of the most destructive weapons utilized against human targets. From the use of shoulder mounted, wire guided missiles to the possible use of chemical and biological weapons, the terrorist now has the means to hold the entire world as hostage. The terrorist has elevated death and destruction to a fine art. The present advances in weapons such as lasers and microwaves as weapons have the future possibility of bringing about an amount of destruction that would be mind-boggling.
If I may, I would like to add a personal note to this paper. Since I began my studies in the area of terrorism, I have realized that the terrorist threat is very real. We as Filipinos have been lulled into a false sense of reality in that we take the security that our modern airports provide too lightly. The terrorist, with his training and modern weapons, has the ability to easily spread his violence within the Philippines. It is my hope that it doesn't take the fire bombing of a local elementary school to make us aware of the possibility of our hometowns becoming targets of terrorism. With our reliance on telecommunications centers and electrical power plants which all lie virtually unprotected, attacks to these type facilities are very probable and make our larger cities very vulnerable. With the possibility of the use of biological and nuclear weapons, the terrorist could bring about destruction within the Philippines as we?ve never witnessed. The very thought of terrorist utilizing such weapons should emphasize the urgent necessity to find
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Definitions of terrorism, International law, Terrorism, Nuclear weapon, Weapon, Weapon of mass destruction, Rationale for the Iraq War, salmon rushdie, caliber rifles, penetration power, velocity rounds, small caliber, modern weapons, high velocity, terrorist violence, violent acts, armed conflict, satanic verses, submachine gun, jet aircraft, weapon of choice, technological revolution, death threats, millimeter, explosive devices, atrocities, predecessors
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