Agents of Bioterrorism: Pathogens and Their Weaponization

By Geoffrey Zubay | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1
TERRORISM AND FEAR
HOW TO COPE

Geoffrey Zubay

Fear is the currency of terrorism. It comes in a variety of forms: fear of dying, fear of being crippled, fear of the unknown. To reassure Americans in a day of confusion after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt said they had nothing to fear but fear itself. Because ignorance and insecurity are prime ingredients of fear, the more we know about a particular terrorist event the lower its fear potential is likely to be and the sooner we are likely to find a constructive solution.

This book is dedicated to presenting a comprehensive picture of what bioterrorism is all about and how we can defend ourselves against it. Our belief is that knowing what we are confronting will help to minimize fear and encourage productive behavior.

An effective terrorist knows how to plan his acts of terror so that they have maximum impact. He must be highly motivated and willing to make personal sacrifices. It is hard to think of a more effective act of terror than was committed at the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, when a handful of terrorists brought down the symbols of American economic power and killed over 3000 people of different nationalities. More were killed by this small group than in the Pearl Harbor attack conducted by a naval battle group. Furthermore, the September 11 event produced enormous fear in the aftermath as we came to realize how vulnerable our society is to attacks of this nature, and we have since lived in fear of another attack. The World Trade Center terrorists were very effective; they had a workable plan and they were willing to die for it.


AMERICA AS A TARGET FOR TERRORIST ACTIVITIES

There are numerous reasons why the United States has become a terrorist target. Some are obvious, others more subtle. Among the factors are our great

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