Managerial and Organizational Challenges
New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 7: March 11, 2004, Terrorist Attacks in Madrid, Spain: Psychopathological Aftermath and Comparisons with September 11, 2001, NYC
Hector González-Ordi, Antonio Cano-Vindel, Iciar Iruarrizaga and Juan Jose Miguel-Tobal INTRODUCTION Traumatic events are mainly conceptualized by their capacity to evoke terror, fear, helplessness, or horror in the face of a threat to life or serious injury, as deﬁned by the American Psychiatric Association (1994). Among them, terrorist acts or attacks are human-made events that cause intentional interpersonal violence with the aim of provoking disruption to the experience of safety in communities (Fullerton et al., 2003). In addition, clinical and epidemiological literature have shown that often human-made disasters, such as terrorist acts, can be more disturbing and disruptive than natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, ﬂoods and so on (see Norris et al., 2002; Galea et al., 2005). Rather than merely an act of war in any traditional sense of destroying the material, technical or personal resources of an enemy, ‘terrorism is about taking strategic actions that incite terror and fright in civilian populations’ (McDermott and Zimbardo, 2007, p. 358). In this sense, as it is pointed out elsewhere, terrorism is fundamentally about psychology (Bongar, 2007). MADRID, MARCH 11, 2004: PERI-TRAUMATIC REACTIONS In the morning of March 11, 2004, Madrid, Spain, suﬀered the biggest terror attack in its history, which can be compared to the London terror attacks in 2005. Both were the biggest terror attacks that Western Europe 153 154 Impact of terrorism has ever experienced. The Al Qaeda group placed 10 bombs which exploded in four commuter trains during the rush hour when most people...
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