For the past 8 years, we’ve witnessed some of the most horrific terrorist attacks across the globe. It’s becoming so frequent that the media has decided to stop comparing past terrorist attacks to present attacks for the respect of future terrorist attacks. Meaning no matter how gruesome, inhumane, and religiously motivated the next terrorist attack might be, it can never be considered to be worse than the past ones or the worst. This media routine of not taking terrorist attacks as serious than before -like they did with 9/11- brings a worrisome thought across all citizens of these frequently targeted countries. “Is terrorism being normalized?” is becoming a common statement that needs to be answered.
BBC host Katherine Kay has stated a very controversial statement regarding the recent Manchester terrorist attack on European soil; “As ISIS gets squeezed in Syria and Iraq, we’re gonna see more of this kind of attacks taking place in Europe, and Europe is starting to get used to that,” this statement is terrifying for most. Conservatives and liberals alike agree that getting “used to” bloodbaths every year will only influence terrorists to go bigger and less moral with their attacks. Political analysis has remarked that ISIS horrible acts on citizens of Europe are a display of strength rather than random blood baths. As terrorist attacks are becoming more and more structured and powerful; it’s obvious that ISIS are using European ground as practice.
With mass panic sweeping across the nation and more people are terrified of terrorist attacks, some might reason it could be the cause of WW3. However, many who believes this to be true are wrong. Like it or not, you should be more anxious about a massive cyber attack than a terrorist attack. While terrorist attacks are devastating, Katherine Kay controversial statement is mostly true except for one detail; we are already used to terrorist attacks. Terrorist attacks happen so much and are so random that pinpointing when, where, and how of the next terrorist attack is almost impossible. Also, it doesn’t do as much damage as many would love for you to believe, in reality, a terrorist attack doesn’t damage a country only its citizens peace-of-mind. Financially, economically, and politically, terrorist attacks are harmless. In a comparison of cyber attacks, huge first-world countries would rather have a thousand acts of terror than a huge cyber leak containing their valuable intelligence.
However, with numerous of precious, secretive files leaked almost as frequently as terrorist attacks happen you might wonder why a war hasn’t happened yet. The explanation to this is the absence of cyber-terrorism. 90% of all massive leaks -so far- has been done by someone within the affected country intelligence: think Edward Snowden, Chesla Manning, and Julian Assange. You can easily detect how violent it could get if these infamous whistleblowers had Muslim names. This also explains the mass hysteria of the current Russian investigation against Trump’s administration. While a small cyber attack of one computer -within the White House- might seem minimal, these leaks could contain some powerful information. It could contain important IP addresses that can be traced to other facilities in Washington D.C like the Pentagon or Congress giving the enemy a competitive edge. It also explains the vast controversy within the Hillary campaign due to Hillary’s email scandal. Those emails sent through public servers- if leaked- could contain who knows what.
Going back fifteen years from now, terror attacks were considered a definite recipe for war. America declared war with Iraq and Afghanistan for Acts Of Terror because of 9/11; nowadays, due to the frequency of these attacks and hard to trace suspects, terror attacks has been minimized to a small concern across first-world-countries. Some people- like stated before- are deeming terror attacks to be unfixable and should begin to be normalized, and cyber attacks are way worse politically devastating. Analysis reasons for why terror attacks are more devastating is that terror attacks are often acted out alone while cyber attacks take more skill and a much larger group. In addition, you are replacing a lone suicide bomber with skilled backward engineers with degrees from highly acclaimed universities. Meaning, once a large-scale cyber attack happens it’s extremely likely that someone within the group is an infamous outcast.
Should terrorism become normalized? Logically -while cynical- yes it should be. Violent physical terrorism is impossible to trace; 90% of the time, the terrorist is a lone bomber and was recruited sometime overseas through a recruitment video. However, digital terrorism could do just as much damage both short-term and long-term in compared to physical terrorism. Examples of short-term damage are disrupted missile launches, past military training videos, and leaked daily operations. Examples of long-term damage are nuclear launch codes, pre-election software leaks, and valuable government information. Luckily, cyberterrorism/cyber attacks can be prevented if the said country has the appropriate amount of digital protection. In comparison to physical terrorism -like stated before- can be completely random and the damage it causes can be fixed easily. Sadly, to answer the question physical terrorism is unavoidable and because of this, it should be normalized.