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What are the hazards associated with terrorism?

There are many hazards associated with terrorism, some for the terrorists themselves, and some for societies and nations as a whole.

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Being involved with terrorism is a dangerous business by anyone's standards. Terrorists often deal with bombs, for example, by which they can easily be blown up. And even if they don't manage to get themselves blown up, terrorists are still subjected to a whole host of other hazards such as...

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Being involved with terrorism is a dangerous business by anyone's standards. Terrorists often deal with bombs, for example, by which they can easily be blown up. And even if they don't manage to get themselves blown up, terrorists are still subjected to a whole host of other hazards such as being arrested and imprisoned by the relevant authorities.

Terrorism is obviously a very serious criminal offense and most countries impose very stiff prison sentences on those convicted. Young men and women—and most terrorists are relatively young—risk spending the rest of their lives in prison for devoting themselves to what they believe to be a just cause, but which in actual fact involves inflicting death and injury on innocent people.

That brings us to the hazards associated with terrorism for ordinary civilians. There's no easy way to say this, but terrorism costs lives. It not only kills but maims and injures; it disrupts people's whole way of life. It makes it impossible for people to go about their daily business, which is, of course, one of the main reasons why terrorists use such tactics.

In carrying out their attacks terrorists want to disrupt normal life as much as possible in the hope that they will get what they want. Some terrorist groups, for example, believe that by resorting to regular acts of violence they will bring the relevant government to the negotiating table. From the terrorist's point of view this is a risky strategy, fraught with political hazard. Usually, governments don't want to be seen to be caving in to terrorists' demands, especially not at the point of a gun. For ordinary citizens, the hazards are even greater, as they are the ones likely to be the target of terrorist actions, with often tragic consequences.

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