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Terrorism & War


Terrorism & War

Terrorism is the use of force or violence against persons or property in violation of the criminal laws of the country for purposes of intimidation, coercion, or ransom. Terrorists often use threats to:

  • Create fear among the public.
  • Try to convince citizens that their government is powerless to prevent terrorism.
  • Get immediate publicity for their causes.

Acts of terrorism include threats of terrorism; assassinations; kidnappings; hijackings; bomb scares and bombings; cyber attacks (computer-based); and the use of chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological weapons.

High-risk targets for acts of terrorism include military and civilian government facilities, international airports, large cities, and high-profile landmarks. Terrorists might also target large public gatherings, water and food supplies, utilities, and corporate centers. Further, terrorists are capable of spreading fear by sending explosives or chemical and bio...More

Fast Facts: Learn! Fast!

What is terrorism?

  • Terrorism is the use of force or violence against persons or property in violation of the criminal laws of the United States for purposes of intimidation, coercion or ransom.
  • Domestic terrorism involves groups or individuals whose terrorist activities are directed at elements of our government or population without foreign direction.
  • International terrorism involves groups or individuals whose terrorist activities are foreign-based and/or directed by countries or groups outside the United States or whose activities transcend national boundaries.
  • Biological agents are infectious microbes or toxins used to produce illness or death in people, animals or plants. They can be dispersed as aerosols or airborne particles.
  • Chemical agents kill or incapacitate people, destroy livestock or ravage crops. Some are odorless and tasteless and are difficult to detect. They can have an immediate effect (a few seconds to a few minutes) or a delayed effect (several hours to several days).

For more information

How can people cope with terrorism and war?

  • The intensity of the process of grieving and working through feelings after an incident will likely be in relationship to how closely you have been impacted.
  • Those people most directly impacted by the violence and death are at heightened risk for experiencing trauma disorders. A trauma disorder occurs (in the broadest sense) when a person is not able to follow a normal process of grief through to resolution, and instead gets stuck in it, reliving the emotions and memories associated with the trauma over and over.
  • If you are a veteran or are caring for one, here are some mental health resources to make the journey a little easier.
  • Discover twenty ideas on positive ways to promote peace in our badly broken world.
  • Learn about some wartime stress survival tips.

For more information

News Articles

  • Mental Health Help Becoming Less of a Stigma in Military

    Active-duty members of the U.S. military are much more open to the idea of mental health counseling than veterans, a new survey finds. More...

  • Firsthand 9/11 Exposure Fueling Alcohol- and Drug-Related Deaths: Study

    People directly exposed to the World Trade Center terrorist attacks appear at increased risk of drug- and alcohol-related death, a new study finds. More...

  • AHA: Heart Health Research of 9/11 Survivors Slowly Realized, 17 Years Later

    Yet, 17 years after the world's deadliest terrorist attack, research has only started to uncover ways in which the aftermath has literally altered the hearts and minds of those affected. More...

  • Soldiers' Suicide Attempts Often Come Without Prior Mental Health Diagnosis

    Many U.S. Army soldiers who attempt suicide have no prior diagnosis of a mental health issue, new research shows, and such histories may not be a good predictor of a soldier's suicide risk. More...

  • Experts Warn of Synthetic 'Bioweapons' Danger

    The burgeoning field of "synthetic biology" research could lead to the creation of dangerous new bioweapons, and U.S. defense officials need to be alert to assess the potential threat. More...

  • 20 More
    • Another Foe for the U.S. Military: Skin Cancer

      For U.S. military personnel, deployment carries many dangers. And besides the well-known threats they face, these men and women are also at a higher-than-average risk for skin cancer, including potentially deadly melanoma, a new research review suggests. More...

    • Mild TBI Linked to Increased Dementia Risk in Veterans

      Even mild traumatic brain injury without loss of consciousness is associated with increased risk of dementia among veterans, according to a study published online May 7 in JAMA Neurology. More...

    • Time-Related Deployment Factors Predict Suicide Attempt Risk

      For soldiers who have been deployed twice, suicide attempt risk is associated with timing of first deployment and dwell time (i.e., length between deployments), according to a study published online April 18 in JAMA Psychiatry. More...

    • Weightlifting Injuries Common for Deployed U.S. Troops

      An "alarming" number of weightlifting injuries occur among U.S. military personnel in combat zones, according to a new study. More...

    • Terrorist Nuke Attack Could Overwhelm U.S. Medical System: Study

      The United States is ill-prepared to handle the myriad medical emergencies that would be unleashed by a nuclear attack by terrorists, a special report warns. More...

    • Nightmares Common Among U.S. Troops, But Seldom Reported

      Many U.S. military personnel are plagued by nightmares that put them at increased risk for mental health and sleep disorders, but few let doctors know, a new study shows. More...

    • Wounded Combat Vets Face Increased Risk for High Blood Pressure

      U.S. war veterans who sustained severe combat wounds and have chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at increased risk for high blood pressure, a new study says. More...

    • For Female Soldiers, Deployment May Up Risk for Premature Birth

      American soldiers who have babies after a recent deployment are at increased risk of preterm birth, a new study suggests. More...

    • Wartime Bomb Blasts May Lead to Memory Problems

      U.S. veterans who had close calls with bomb blasts during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are now having memory problems, a new study has found. More...

    • Therapeutic Horseback Riding Can Help Alleviate PTSD in Veterans

      For military veterans, therapeutic horseback riding may be a clinically effective intervention for relieving symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in Military Medical Research. More...

    • Long-Term Opioid Use Down Among U.S. Vets: Study

      Recent efforts by the U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to promote safe prescribing of opioid painkillers seem to be working. More...

    • Substantial Unmet Need for Mental Health Care for Veterans

      Many veterans are not accessing needed mental health care within or outside the Veterans Affairs health system, according to a report published by the Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Services. More...

    • Opioid Prescribing Trends in the VA Similar to Other Settings

      Opioid prescribing trends in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) from 2010 to 2016 followed similar trajectories as non-VHA settings, peaking around 2012 then declining, according to a study published online Jan. 29 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. More...

    • VA Health System Failing on Mental Health Care: Report

      Many U.S. veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars aren't getting needed mental health treatment for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or substance abuse, a national panel of experts says. More...

    • Nearly 30 Percent of Veterans Report Current Tobacco Use

      Overall, 29.2 percent of veterans report current use of one of five tobacco products, according to research published in the Jan. 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. More...

    • Tobacco's Grip on U.S. Veterans

      Nearly 40 percent of U.S. military veterans smoke or use some form of tobacco. More...

    • Intense End-of-Life Care Found to Be Less Likely for VA Patients

      Higher-intensity end-of-life care may be driven by financial incentives present in fee-for-service Medicare but not in the Veteran Affairs integrated system, according to a report published in the January issue of Health Affairs. More...

    • Prevalence of Diabetes Tops 20 Percent Among U.S. Veterans

      The overall prevalence of diabetes among U.S. veterans was 20.5 percent in 2013 to 2014, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease. More...

    • Another Legacy of Terror Attacks: Migraines

      Survivors of terror attacks may be at risk of developing frequent migraines or tension-type headaches, a new study suggests. More...

    • U.S. Soldier in Custody Following Slaying of 5 Americans in Iraq

      An American soldier has been charged with five specifications of murder and one of aggravated assault in Baghdad. More...

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