Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century: Challenges and Policy Conundrum
Terrorism has been around since the beginning of recorded history. What have changed are the dissident groups’ capability of inflicting harm on an ever-larger number of people, their ability to organize through the Internet, and, thanks to the media, a heightened concern, bordering on paranoia, among the populace about their own security. Domestically, nations, particularly in the West, are deeply concerned about the radicalization of the youth along the entire ideological spectrum. Increased migration from the war-torn areas and failed states is not only putting strains on the nations’ resources but is also fomenting xenophobic reactions among native populations. There are also fears of terrorist cells among immigrant minorities, isolated in their enclaves. To this volatile mix, we must add the internecine warfare with deep historical roots in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. This chapter argues for a measured approach that examines the threat in its proper perspective.