The Disaster Recovery Handbook: A Step-by-Step Plan to Ensure Business Continuity and Protect Vital Operations, Facilities, and Assets

By Michael Wallace; Lawrence Webber | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 24
TERRORISM
The Wrath of Man

Terrorism: the systematic use of violence as a means
to intimidate or coerce societies or governments.

—WordNet® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University


INTRODUCTION

Terrorism has many definitions. In its simplest form, it is a violent action intended to inflict harm on some person or object with the intention of coercing someone in the future to act in a specific way. Terrorists function similarly to a publicityhungry cinema actress. They will create any spectacle or perform any action to gain attention for their organization or cause.

The other chapters of this book assumed you had some personal knowledge of the nature of the risks your company faced, such as a fire, a power outage, or severe weather. The issues surrounding terrorism are somewhat foreign to many businesspeople, so a brief history is provided. This may help you to better prepare a risk assessment and initiate mitigation actions to protect your employees and your company.

Some governments use terror as a coercive tool to manipulate their own populations. The French Revolution’s “Reign of Terror” and Stalin’s suppression of the Ukrainian farmers are classic examples. Other masters of this evil action include Hitler and Cambodia’s Pol Pot. This is known as state terrorism. Recent exposure of mass graves in Iraq vividly demonstrates that the practice continues in some parts of the world. This type of terrorism generally remains within its own borders. You must be aware of such activities when exporting goods or traveling internationally to such places.

Terrorism can be against property as well as people. Some animal lovers have splashed blood on people wearing fur coats. Although somewhat violent, this

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