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Terrorism and Technology: Threat and Challenge in the 21st Century (From Terrorism: Defensive Strategies for Individuals, Companies and Governments, P 101-108, 2001, Lawrence J. Hogan, ed., -- See NCJ-192066)

NCJ Number
Oliver Revell
Date Published
8 pages
This chapter describes the threat of terrorism to American interests on a global basis.
The terrorist threat is changing and increasing due to several factors. The motivation and objectives of terrorist groups has changed. They now have access to massive databases concerning the entire United States infrastructure. Terrorists can now obtain weapons of mass destruction. Islamic extremism has spread to where it now has a global infrastructure. State sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran, Syria, and Libya, continue to fund, motivate, support, and train terrorists. The “new” terrorists seek an immediate reward for their acts, and their motivations and objectives range from rage, revenge, hatred, mass murder, and extortion. Some of the most difficult groups to track today are the domestic militia-type extremists. Terrorists are motivated by government actions or inactions. The proliferation of knowledge and technology has enabled these groups to build skills in state-of-the-art communications and weaponry. They are achieving new global links and support from one another in cooperative ways. The barriers to inflicting mass casualties seem to be falling. One of the outcomes of the globalization of economies and technologies is the new linking and intermingling of disparate crime and narcotics organizations with terrorists. This has allowed terrorists a new means of making money and has provided them with a marketplace to purchase sophisticated weaponry and other high-tech equipment. As organized crime groups become increasingly international in the scope of their activities, they are also less constrained by national boundaries. This allows them to establish new operational bases in commercial and banking centers around the globe.