The Huffington Post

One Step Behind: Understanding the Shape of Terrorism

Government responses to terrorist tactics have focused mainly on type of suicide attack. Terrorist attacks on airports, for example, have been met with policy responses focusing on increasing flying security regulations and screenings. Responses to the 7th July London bombings concentrated on monitoring devices, homemade bombs, and tracking personal belongings, as well as amplified frisking and on-the-spot searches. Responses by governments, therefore, have fixated on addressing the effects of the attack, rather than the cause. Comments by Andrew Parker, head of the MI5 in the United Kingdom, warned that there is a growing gap between an increasing threat of terrorism and a decreasing availability of capabilities to address it. Across the globe, responses have prioritized information and intelligence in relation to breakouts or terrorist plots. India’s reaction to its 2008 attacks, for example, included an increased demand for self-defense, with private security firms pushing for the right to be armed. It is important in the long-term, however, to focus on challenging Islamist extremism as an ideology to increase our overall capabilities in addressing any threat of terrorist violence, writes Nikita Malik for The Huffington Post.

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