Business Continuity and Homeland Security, Volume 1
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Business Continuity and Homeland Security, Volume 1

The Challenge of the New Age

Edited by David H. McIntyre and William I. Hancock

A practical and timely study on how businesses need to prepare for natural and man-made disasters. What should businesses consider in preparing for terrorist attacks, natural disasters, pandemic illnesses and other emergencies? What steps can a business take to ensure continuity during and after a crisis? What can we learn from past success?
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Chapter 7: The Threat of Terrorism

Fred Burton


Fred Burton Courage in danger is half the battle. (Titus Maccius Plautus, Roman Playwright, 254–184 BC) Mankind today is on the brink of a precipice, because humanity is devoid of those vital values for its healthy development and real progress. (Sayyid Qutb) INTRODUCTION In an ideal world, one could set out to write a chapter on ‘the threat of terrorism’ by defining, first, exactly what that threat consists of: the actors, the targets, the goals and the recommended countermeasures. But as we all know, the world we are living in is far from ideal. There is no single, monolithic ‘terrorist threat’, but rather a universe of actors – ranging from al Qaeda to regional insurgencies, separatist movements, grassroots criminals and ‘lone wolves’ – who may or may not represent a terrorist threat to a particular government, business or traveler of a certain nationality at any given point in time. Terrorist threats are not static; they are fluid and prone to evolutionary cycles. Grasping this principle is the first step toward effective security. However, this chapter is being written in the midst of – and in the context of – the US– jihadist war. While there is no universal terrorist threat, there is a universally recognized terrorist threat, stemming at this moment from al Qaeda. But for the psychological blow that was struck in the United States on 11 September 2001, it is highly unlikely that the book you hold in your hands would have come into being – or indeed, that the need for...

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