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Media as a force mulitplier for a terror attack

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Media as a Force Multiplier for a Terror Attack
Terrorist groups have always been evidently motivated and given strength by four different force multipliers. According to Nel (2014) the force multipliers are technology, international support, the media, and religion. Of the four multipliers, the most effect is the media, which requires a lot of government involvement and consultation to manage. According to research conducted by Nel (2014) transnational support provides terrorist groups with similar interests, beliefs and ideologies with a means for the corporation in the funding, planning and carrying out terrorist attacks. The most challenging obstacle faced by law enforcement agencies, the military, and government institutions is transnational support. Terrorist groups are able to grow further and increase their influence when they are connected to each other, leading to a smaller group gaining more control of other smaller terrorist organizations and together they gradually become bigger, and their message transforms into a solid political icon.
Religion is regarded as a fearsome force multiplier that can increase the rate of obsessive assaults, such as the ones coordinated in the United States on September11, 2001. However, Nel (2014) contends that religion is not merely used by terrorist organizations to send a stronger political message. Terrorist groups use religion to reach out to willing participants to join them in the taking advantage of countries by triggering fear and panic.

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Most of the times, those who are recruited are not conversant with the message they are supposed to convey when they carry out terrorist activities. Religion plays a crucial role in coordinating the activities of different groups so as to share a similar cause.
The media has the capability of making terrorist groups have more political substance; nonetheless, this is more relevant to smaller organizations. However, the media is a great tool in helping terrorist groups with international support by providing them with a self-made resume, a message meant not only for the world but also to different terrorist groups. This point is best illustrated by Nel’s illustration of “us against them” ideology, in which comradeship signifies the acceptance of rebellious behaviour together with a corporate mission statement as well as a corporate agenda with the intention of conveying the message through terrorist activities.
Additionally, the government needs to invest a lot of resources in technological advancements to counter terrorist activities. It has been acknowledged that bombs have been in existence for a long time and have most frequently been used as an alternative by terrorists to pass on their message. There is a close relationship between technology and bombs. Initial bombs relied on sticks of dynamite to trigger an explosion, however, currently, they are more sophisticated due to technological advancements. Terrorists use technology in their activities by building and using weapons of mass destruction. They rely on the use of such simple techniques, the most prevalent of which is the utilization of bombs. The use of bombs is advantageous to terrorist groups as they present a means of circumventing law enforcers and accelerate their activities. Until they are in a better financial position to use more advanced techniques to build more advanced weapons of mass destruction, terrorist organization will continue their reliance on the use of bombs. It is even more challenging for governments and international organization to stop terrorist groups from acquiring the technology, and there are heavily coordinated and linked together in their operations, either secretly in distant nations or just under the nose of different governments (Gutierrez, Pradell, Molera, Smith, Climent-Font & Tite, 2013).
One of the terrorist organizations that has greatly benefited from constant media exposure is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Nel, 2014). The organization’s use of the social media platform has proved quite effective in their attempt to gain authority, influence, attract more recruits, and gain a strategic advantage over their rivals. Thus far, they have exploited social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ among others to convey their celebrations and make public their achievements in battles (Cronogue, 2013). While most people use social media platforms to stay in touch with their families and friends, share information, and generally make friends, the uses the same as a weapon to reach willing recruits, to broadcast their ideologies, and techniques. The organization has successfully used the platforms to shift the blame of the cause of the Middle East crisis from themselves to the government of the United States. Additionally, more than half of students at Harvard University hold the view that the United States presents a bigger threat to world peace in comparison to the ISIS. The organization is capable of using their significant knowledge of social media operations as a force multiplier to intensify their vicious capability to validate their activities to the world. They have so far proved their capability of utilizing the social media to increase their numbers and train recruits from several countries. They have equally shared their combat and registration clips through Facebook and Twitter. Their attack on Syria and Iraq was likely the initial flight operation that was streamed live through main social media platforms.
Likewise, the media has made efforts in recent past to minimize terrorist effectiveness and instead contribute to a positive effect. On the 15th of April 2013, there was an explosion that went off in the course of the Boston Marathon that was triggered by two pressure cooker bombs, leading to the death of three people and injuring more than two hundred (Davies, 2014). The media went to great lengths to show support for the victims of the blast and indicated that while the perpetrators were Islamists, their religion was not pertinent to the events and did not influence the attack in any way. While terrorist attacks are meant to affect victims’ psychology in a way that is greater than the physical damage caused, the media did its best not to convey the fear and panic that resulted in the other parts of the world. The actions of the media made it impossible for the planners of the terrorist attack to reap maximum return on their efforts, thereby minimizing terror effectiveness.
In conclusion, the social media plays a significant role in both enabling terrorist activities and thwarting it. Organizations such as the ISIS have achieved tremendous success in the use of social media to misinform and confuse the world as to who possess the greatest threat to world peace, views that have been mirrored even by university students. On the other hand, relevant agencies have also used the social networking to promote patriotism among citizens and to prevent the widespread of circulation of destructive ideologies being peddled by terrorist organizations such as the ISIS.
Cronogue, G. (March 01, 2013). State prosecution of terrorism and rebellion: a functional examination of the protection of civilians and the erosion of sovereignty.Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa, 46, 1, 121-165.
Davies, G. (January 01, 2014). Strategic Cooperation, the Invasion of Iraq and the Behaviourof the `Axis of Evil’, 1990—2004. Journal of Peace Research, 45, 3, 385-399.
Gutierrez, P. C., Pradell, T., Molera, J., Smith, A. D., Climent-Font, A., & Tite, M. S. (August 01, 2013). Color and Golden Shine of Silver Islamic Luster. Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 93, 8, 2320-2328.
Nel, W. (January 01, 2014). Prosecuting Islamic extremism – counteracting impunity for the armed Jihad of the Islamic State group through international criminaljustice.International Journal for Religious Freedom, 7, 55-76.

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