Catching up with terrorists
Terrorism is both an ultra-modern and a very traditional conspiracy. Suicide bombers are revered before and after their deaths, pushed into the act with celebrity status and with a promise of paradise, as we have seen time and again with Islamist jihadis. But, despite their repeated attacks, the world is still trying to cobble together a uniform strategy. A central reason is that one man’s terrorist is still another man’s freedom fighter. Take the case of the Islamic State. It is the creation of the western powers and their Arab allies, seeking a regime change in Syria. But, like Frankenstein's monster, it has turned on its benefactors, leaving the world perplexed with what terrorists of the IS do, rather than what they stand for.
Terrorists are often at “war” with a government or an ideology—especially multicultural societies that challenge their dogmatic narratives—and they will attack innocents, so that people will put pressure on politicians to alter a policy. And, surprise is their best weapon. In fact, a key lesson from past attacks, like 9/11, 26/11 and now 13/11, is that the state is unable to guarantee a citizen complete protection, allowing terrorists to play on the insecurities of societies. Unfortunately, much of the world has, since 9/11, mistaken a technique of conflict for a type of conflict, confusing an age-old tactic of many wars with a new species of 21st century warfare.