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Thereis no single universal definition of the word terrorism. Differentauthorities and legal institutions have advanced differentdefinitions to the word, but they have never agreed on a singledefinition given the complex nature of the issues that motivateterrorism. However, the most common definition used by manyinstitutions is that it is the use of threat, violence, or force inorder to coerce people into a political, ideological, or religiouschange. From this definition, it can be perceived that the act ofterrorism is both illegal by legislation and immoral and wrong fromthe societal perspective.
usually solicits contentious political and emotional reactions fromthe citizens as well as the government that provides a wide number ofcircumstantial definitions. An example of terrorism was the bombingof United States embassies in Nairobi Kenya and Dar es Salaam in1998. Truck bombs carrying high explosives estimated to be 17 tonswere detonated simultaneously within minutes in both Nairobi and Dares Salaam embassies. This was an act of terrorism linked with anextremist group known as The Egyptian Islamic Jihad. While the terrorwas targeting American personnel and property, the vast number offatalities was the indigenous citizens of the two nations. In theend, 12 Americans were killed leaving both embassies severelydamaged. This terrorism attack killed 303 people leaving 4954 otherswith serious injuries.
Inthe event of a terrorist attack it is imperative to respond veryurgently to minimize damage and save lives. An emergency responseteam is normally dispatched to the crime scene to facilitateevacuation, save lives and mitigate damage. In doing so, it isimportant for the people tasked with this noble duty to be aware ofthe risks they are exposed to and take reasonable measures to ensurethat they do not fall victims. Some of the associated risks foremergency responders include: secondary explosive devices which areexplosive devices strategically placed meant to cause injuries toemergency personnel response team.
Anotherrisk that the response team is exposed to is chemical hazards in theevent the terrorism involved chemical terrorism. Biological hazardsare another risk the response team is exposed to, these are virus andbacteria meant to incapacitate people. Given the bombs used byterrorists are radioactive radiation is another threat that theresponse teams are likely to face. Explosions, collapse of buildingsand fire normally release some airborne particles that may haveimmediate or delayed health implications to the emergency responders.Further they could be a structural instability, this means that theemergency responders face the risk of having these unstablestructures collapsing on them (Julian, et al, 2014).
Whereasterrorism is the use of violence or threats in order to instill inothers with an aim of achieving a political or religious goal.Criminal activity refers to an act committed in violation of the lawor morality. Terrorist require a great deal of finance and otherresources in order to function and accomplish their missions,therefore to get these resources they often engage in both domesticand international crime. This is the main link between terrorism andcriminal activities. Acts of terrorism are supported by proceeds fromcriminal activities that include international organized crimes, drugtrafficking, poaching, money laundering and illicit movement offirearms (Pearl, 2007).
Thereare many instances where terrorism activities have been traced toorganized criminal gangs around the world. For instance theproduction of opium in Afghanistan has been found to be the singlemost lucrative source of financing for the Taliban. Other crimes thathave been linked to terrorism include human trafficking and cargohijacking. There are clear differences between terrorism and criminalactivities. However, it is important to note that criminal gangs canemploy the use of terrorist tactics to accomplish their objectiveswhile at the same time terrorist groups can also engage in criminalactivities.
Inan event of a terrorist attack, the actions taken in the initialminutes in response are very crucial. The first responder shouldfacilitate evacuation of people from the scene of crime in order tosave more lives as possible. The local response team will carry outthis process since they are the group that will be first on to arriveon site. Consequently the first responder will survey the incidentbefore providing full and accurate information to the nationalemergency response unit to dispatch the right responders andequipment to remedy the situation. In the meantime the firstresponders will join hands with other trained employees to administerfirst aids with an aim to save more lives (Richard, 2010).
Accordingto emergency response plans, the main priority in an event ofemergency is always life safety, followed by bringing the incidentunder control that is making it stable. These are aimed at mitigatingdamage and a number of actions can be performed contain a situation.In case of fires, fire extinguishers can be used to put out fire whenit is a small fire or on identified locations. In addition to these,the ability to contain chemical spillages and the utilities withinthe building can play a great role in mitigating damage.
Julian.T., Marius. R., Hans. M.L. & David. L. (2014). Risks to EmergencyMedical Responders at Terrorist Incidents: A Narrative of the MedicalLiterature. Retrieved from.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4422304/
Pearl,R. (2007). International terrorism: Threat, policy, and response.Retrieved June 21, 2010 fromhttp://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RL33600.pdf
Richard.E. (2010). : How To Respond. Retrieved September 15, 2010from