Terrorism attacks and their aborted plots have dominated world news headlines. It has become a worldwide threat, which every Nation has set up measures to combat. One of the most severe effects of terrorism is psychological. These effects vary in many ways. Actions of terrorism affect the society psychologically directly through the physical harm caused and through the expansive media coverage. Frequent occurrence of fatal terrorist actions affects the society population and represents a psychological warfare against the targeted society. The society population is subjected to live under fear in its heart. Suicide terrorism in particular is terrifying to the society because of its impression, which makes the act imminent.
One of the common psychological effects of terrorism is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which is a crippling condition for an individual in society to be free in life again. It is a psychological disorder that is characterized by the victims in society to avoid any situation or factor that remind them of the disturbing experience instigated by the terror occurrence. This condition creates a big change in the way members of the society behave at all times. Both the threat and actual bombing terror activity affects members of the society psychologically. Most of the acts are documented and their threat has the same effect as the real action.
Many countries do not give into negotiating with terrorists when there are hostages involved despite the consequence attached by terrorists. The question of whether there should be negotiations with terrorists is a subject under deliberation. The only advantage of negotiating with terrorists is the release of hostages back to the society for family reunion.
Negotiations with terrorists are not a good option because of the unrealistic demands attached, which make it pointless. A good example of demands by the hostage takers are the freedom of Islamists from Algerian prisons and a safe entry to Mali boarder for the release of Algerian hostages. The effect would be obvious should the Algerian government give into the demands, release them, and strike a different target for another demand. The people to be released are also terrorists, which was another side factor.
Another negotiating platform by terrorists is ransom payment, which is heavy as seen in the East Coast of Indian Ocean by Somalia Pirate terrorists. The terrorists use this as an opportunity to get both incomes to fund their activities.
In as much as the decision is hard to families held hostages by terrorists, negotiating with them is a subject that should be out of question. It only enhances their activities because it is an opportunity for them. Negotiation with terrorist should be out of context at all cost.
Counterterrorism refers to all operations and undertakings used to prevent, triumph, and respond to terrorism activities and actions. Counterterrorism activities are not static but they differ with regard to the nature of extremism hazard. Most of the terrorists worldwide are adaptive and change tact, which calls for elaborate and all inclusive steps to eradicate and defeat all terrorist organizations. These measures are carried out in two codes, which are counterterrorism policies and operations.
One of the counterterrorism is the military model. This involves the fight against terrorists using the full force of military action. The military terms that fight terrorism is war directed towards the enemy by a given country or nation. This is the most common and effective method used in the world today, such as Somalia through a combined African Union Troops. The US also used the same style in Afghanistan. This direct combat move disarms and weakens the terrorists’ activities and their operations.
Another counterterrorism method is the criminal justice model. This upholds the rule of law and democracy in dealing with terrorists’ actions and activities. The law establishes strict rules and regulations, which give a soft spot to terrorist activities, which are more prevalent in Western countries. This method is not quite effective.
Media is a dominant instrument in humanity. With regards to terrorism, media plays an important role, especially in covering the brutal activities, which are informing. The media is also an outreach tool used to fight terrorism through enlightenment and educating (Poland, 2011).
On the other hand, media has also been used to favor the activities of terrorism, especially in instilling fear and psychological torture. Recent study shows that terrorism casualties are on the rise. Terrorists’ organization use media platforms to endorse their agendas (Poland, 2011). For instance, graphic images from the Islamic State displayed on the internet have had a positive impact of labelling the group to dreaded brand. This is one way in which the media has made the group gain much publicity and affecting people’s psychology, especially those affected through their brutal actions.
In as much as the media plays an important role in informing the society about what is happening, there should be a change of tact in reporting terror activities (Poland, 2011). Sensational coverage of terror activities should not be given much weight, which gives an impression that terrorists are the ultimate winners. Images and graphics of such incidences should also be controlled not to have an intense feeling to the public (Poland, 2011). Terrorists should also not be allowed to post anything on the free media platforms, which instill fear and psychological torture to people like the beheading in the ISIS.
Poland, M., J. (2011). Understanding Terrorism: Groups, Strategies, and Responses. (3rd Ed.). Boston: