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The Impact of Terrorism to Homeland Security

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The Impact of Terrorism to Homeland Security


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            Terrorism has been a worldwide concern of countries in view of the increased attacks causing destruction to lives and properties of hundreds of people. It does not discriminate on race, sex and gender nor does it respect human rights, and it seems its purpose is to gain international exposure. As to what is their purpose, who are the terrorists, when do they attack, nobody knows except the terrorists themselves. Aside from bomb attacks, and terrorists’ activities such as airplane hijacking, the magnified incident of the World Trade destruction took everybody in great terror Added to this was the missed attempt to Washington, an area which is supposed to be closely secured is beyond anyone’s imagination that it could happen to the mighty United States.

The reality is here, it is near and terrorism is felt now more than ever. In this sense, the effect of terrorism to public safety, health and children will be reviewed to find out the measures done and the readiness for such incidences.

Causes of terrorism

              What is really the cause of terrorists in pursuing these activities; why are they so determined to cause destruction? Some reports identified the root cause as tribalism and hopelessness, while the international community could not arrive at an acceptable definition due to various concerns. One of the reports showed an opinion that terrorism is a consequence of tribalism and considered it to be one of the most powerful force on earth, not matching even the combined powers of US, Russian and Chinese, and that the Word Trade Towers incidents is only one of the powers that they could show. Same report continued to state that this kind of terrorism will continue and have an effect to a large number of people in the years to come. It has pointed to the reasons of war and terrorism inside nations as culture and ideology, tribal group conflicts and loyalties, rather than war for national interests and that these terrorism designs are expected to continue in spite of the US response and that of the other countries. (Dixon, n.d.) What is feared of is the retaliation of the terrorists that uses the most forceful weapons of attacks, as in biological warfare they employed in Taliban-Afghanistan, and the sudden attacks to commercial centers, transport buses, trains and aircrafts.

            The Impact of terrorism on security, children, and health

            This situation could not remain untended as the impact on security is a worldwide concern. In the homeland, both people and the government have adopted measures for counter attacks as a consequence of the incident. Health, safety and protection are the foremost worries of almost everybody in this matter. The impact for health has been reported to be psychological in nature. In this situation, children are the ones mostly affected because they do not understand the world situation. Children often experiences fear and distress when they have been the subject of the terrorism themselves, much more if it is a prolonged one, such as kidnapping cases. Fear grips the child when she becomes witness to the injury, when she sees the attacks herself whether actual or thru television, and as such would think same thing would happen to her loved ones. The child may come to a state of depression when death comes to the family because of terrorists, and this incident will stay in her mind for so long, and may lead to mental agitation. This being so, the child’s mental health is at risk for seeing the terrorism activities on television, on the neighborhood and from their own experience. According to the APA report, children who have been exposed to this traumatic experience are prone to have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (APA briefing sheet)  It is a term used to describe a state in mind that arises upon seeing or having experienced a threatening incident that provokes a feeling of fear, of being helpless or terrified.

             The APA study showed several occurrences of PTSD on students who had experienced terrorism. The study points out that after 9/11 more than 70,000 fourth and twelfth grade students, from the public schools, and others who were not direct witnesses had suffered from post mental stress disorder. Other related symptoms that could be seen in children suffering from this type of disorder are loss of consciousness, intense sadness, sleeping and eating pattern change and too much cognitive impairment. (“APA briefing sheet, 2007)

               Two authors. agreed on some measures to apply for children under this stressful condition and help them adjust to the situation   Understanding the child is a basic measure that should come from the family, the school and friends.  The child looks to family members for support and care for her condition.  Further to this, all instances should show how to understand the trauma of the child in order to reduce level of anxiety and depression. In the part of the teachers, training is suggested in preparation for any emergencies, and to be able to teach the child to understand the situation according to her age level. Health is something that should be looked upon to, especially the needs traumatized children who are helpless to care for themselves in this situation. In this aspect, a research finding suggests among others, implementation of mental health interventions such as encouraging children to open up, and discuss how she feels about her sad experience. in a problem solving style, and in cases where children are heavily affected, professional care should be enlisted for their care (“APA briefing sheet”, 2007).

              In a brief article prepared by Kennedy, suggestions were made directed to teachers and parents to help the child in stress to cope up with the situation, in that, teachers should remain calm as children look for elders on times like these for guidance. Questions should be answered for they are too young to understand the complexity of issues that bothers them. Kennedy suggests that parents should not allow children to watch disastrous event on TV, or parental guidance is needed when watching the news in order to provide answers to most likely questions. He agrees with APA that parents are the ones to know if professional help is needed for the child to ease away their fear and agitation. (Kennedy, 2007).

Public response in general

            Terrorists are not sleeping on their job and do not make any forewarnings. In this, people should remain alert and keep in mind the counter-terrorism and domestic defense measures to follow in case of emergencies. Although there is counter-terrorism measures and powerful defense mechanism developed over the years to adopt in cases of emergencies, author Mariani said that the most powerful defense comes from people, who are the front liners. Mariani explained that people can observe what is happening around and has direct communications for reporting. From observation, and knowing the various tools used by terrorists, people can report to the authority’s suspicious activities that they see. In knowing the various tools used by terrorists, they could be of great help in reporting to the nearest authority any signs of terrorism, international or domestic wise. For instance, when someone is in possession of tools like surveillance equipment and weapons. Be conscious upon seeing someone having too many weaponry, ammunition and explosives, enough to put down an army, or to topple down building or a community area. People should be alarmed when he sees someone carrying an unusual large amount of money, different kinds of travel papers, and identification problems which the terrorists may use in buying his paraphernalia. People should be more than aware if they found someone carrying poisonous chemicals, site aids, such as location maps, site plans and target sketches. There are more included in the list, but the most important lead is the signs seen in the person as in nervousness, contradictory information, hesitation, resistance and other contact warnings. (Mariani, 2007).

Response to terrorism in schools

              The news of school bombing attacks in several areas has heightened the anxiety of parents as well as the whole the community. To prevent this fear, the National School Safety and Security Services responded by preparing guidelines, conducted trainings and seminars to educate the school administration and parents towards handling an emergency situation. Although the design of security varies from each community and schools, alertness and preparedness are key issues seen in the guidelines. In emergency situations, school children look forward to teachers for calmness and guidance. In this sense, the NSSS suggested educating teachers and staff on what to do during emergency situations, evaluating and testing the security plans of the school, and finding its appropriateness through exercises, as some measures for preparedness. School personnel are advised to be aware and conscious for questionable activity and inform the authorities at once. For instance, report should be done if there are suspicious vehicles, doubtful persons, unclaimed mails and packages, and persons taking photographs. There may be other ways that the school, parents and authorities could develop, but as stated above, there is no uniform safety measure designed to all schools (Trump, 2007).

Other measures of alertness

             The government, in its effort to come up with defense against terrorism came out with the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) implemented on March 11, 2002. The HSAS is some kind of an alert system that is going to warn everybody about the risk of terrorist attacks in the United States. The HSAS was subjected to several criticisms after it made several advisories that did not materialize. Some of the criticisms in the report, is that when the warnings failed, trust of the public on the warning system is somewhat affected. Another thing, is that the HSAS failed to give directives as to the type of attacks, time, or place, and just made instructions to prepare, and that the HSAS is said to be just instilling reactions of fear (Huang, 2002). Conclusion

           In conclusion, it is not enough to keep the knowledge on defense attacks in mind, but should always be aware and alert for terrorism attacks, because it could come like a thief in the night. With reference to alert system, the HSAS may be likened to the proverbial “the boy who cried wolf” that when real disaster comes, they would not believe. But I think, it is better that way that nothing extraordinary had happened. Continuous alertness and common sense should be the mandate for counter terrorism measures. And I agree with the tips Mariani has recommended for people to follow, for to be complacent in times like these is exposing our lives to risk. And I share these tips, to be remembered for points of security. Being alert for routine crimes would not cost the people a dime, but would mean a lot for lives of people in the end. Develop an information brigade in the community and among the local merchants, manufacturers, neighbors and friends for a kind of “watch for it”, any system will do, as this is also one way of fostering camaraderie and knowing one another. Inside the family, school and church where people gather together, an emergency plan should work well on hand Individual preparedness and mind set on your own plan of action should keep one stay calm in the face of reality. In the workplace, drill and exercise for preparedness should be done, as in school; exercise drill for fire prevention is practiced. And of course, we, as members of a global community should continue with being a watch dog for potential terrorist’s activities, as sometimes whispers of this kind, are heard from all over. Time can be both a friend and an enemy. If it is used to prepare for action, it can be priceless. If it’s allowed to corrode your tactical edge, it can be extremely dangerous.


APA Briefing Sheet.  The impact of terrorism and disasters on children.  APA Online Public      Policy Office.  Retrieved  23 Jun. 2007 from            http://www.apa.org/ppo/issues/pterroroonchild/html

Dixon, Patrick.  War on terrorism.  Terrorism – War on Terrorism.  Retrieved 22 Jun. 2007        from http://www.globalchange.com/terrorism.htm.

Huang, Reyko. (2002).  Terror alerts: the homeland security advisory system. Center for             DefenseInformation.  Retrieved 22 Jun. 2007 from http://www.cdi.org/terrorism/homeland.cfm

Kennedy, Robert.  Causes of terrorism. Your Guide to Public Schools. Free Newsletter. Retrieved 22 Jun, 2007 from       http://privatescgiiks,about.com/od/history/a/terrorism_2htm?terms=causes

Mariani, Cliff.  7 Patrol level tips for maintaining terrorism awareness.  Police One.Com –          Terrorism Prevention and Response. Retrieved  22 Jun. 2007. from             http://www.policeone.com.terrorism/article/1281526

Trump, Kent.  (1996-2007).  Terrorism and school safety.  Schools and Terrorism: School          Terrorism Preparedness.  Retrieved. 23 Jun. 2007.  from         http://www.schoolssecurity/org/terroristst_response.html

Cite this The Impact of Terrorism to Homeland Security

The Impact of Terrorism to Homeland Security. (2016, Jul 08). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-impact-of-terrorism-to-homeland-security/

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