In what ways and by what means has terrorism become a global phenomenon?

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In what ways and by what means has terrorism become a global phenomenon?

Terrorism is an excessively multifaceted phenomenon, involving a multitude of motives, strategies and means. The difference between terrorism, as we know it today and terrorism, as it used to be, lies in its ever-extending scope – it is becoming global, much more lethal and reliant chiefly on hatred and advanced technology. By reviewing sundry historical patterns and exploring some of the most significant changes, the following essay will draw attention on the phenomenology and the evolution of present-day terrorism. The critical discussion provided will present a useful insight in modern terrorist activity, as well as in the ways and means through which it has advanced into a global phenomenon.                                                        According to Whittaker (2004, p. 18), the scale of contemporary terrorism has escalated, just as its dispersion has expanded. Since the 1990s, a great number of authors throughout the world have been examining its origins, motivations, strategies and weapons which are becoming more effective in delivering fear to the global population. 9/11, as the most ominous example, seems to be representative for the undergone changes over the former decades. The attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon on September 11 confirmed, that terrorism not simply have altered, but it had acquired a ‘new face’ (Roberts, 2002), drawing advantage from the opportunities offered by today’s restlessly globalizing world. Despite this newly occurring ‘face’, terrorism is, beyond all doubt, not new, as several of its most significant features have already appeared in the past. "However much we may wish it were not so, terrorism has been common throughout history" (Davis, Paul K., 2002). Understanding this is useful as long as it is balanced with an awareness that while the basic elements identifying the act as ‘terrorism’ remain the same, the act itself continues to evolve in sometimes startling and often challenging ways (Combs, 2011).

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         “There has been a radical transformation, if not a revolution, in the character of terrorism” (Laqueur cited in Kurtulus, 2011). The process of technological development is a major contributor to this change and since the era of transnational terrorism, from the early 1990s, hijacking airplanes has become a common method through which terrorists successfully achieve their goals and ‘globalize’ their activity. Having incorporated planes in their arsenal, terrorists are not only aiming at the death of many people, they also target on an appreciable symbol of the interconnected world - the hijacking of the Israeli commercial flight in July ...

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