REAL DO YOU THINK THE TERRORIST THREAT IS TO THE COMMERCIAL SECTOR?
With the current wave of terrorist's activities and attacks, terrorists' threat is incredibly real to the commercial sector. Since 2008, terrorists target commercial organizations such as hotel that accommodate huge numbers of people. For instance, in 2009, terrorists bombed the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia leaving 9 people dead and 42 injured. While terrorism has been around in geographical isolation, for scores of years, 20% of terrorists' acts affect the business community (Levene 2007, p.7). The contemporary history is full of horrific incidences carried out by extremists for divergent reasons. Indeed, terrorism is the plague of a contemporary and civilized society, and it is real and detrimental to the commercial sector.
Numerous countries across the globe experience terrorism triggered by different reasons; ideological, social, religious among other causes. The effects of terrorists' attack and threat negatively affect businesses. The IRA attack on London transport paralyzed the commercial sector while the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center destroyed and disrupted over 14, 500 businesses in the New York (Press and Public Affairs 2005, p.11). The attack caused significant loss of tax revenue, drop in tourism, and fall in values of property and serious effects on the leisure and hotel industries. This paper highlights the effects and threats of terrorists' attacks to the commercial sector, the vulnerability of the sector to terrorism, and how this sector, in collaboration with the government agencies can dissuade effects of terrorism.
The Definition of Terrorism
Although there lacks a universally acceptable description of terrorism, defining terrorism is crucial. This is because it helps people in understanding terrorist actions through understanding definition of offences carried out by terrorists (Jackson 2011, p.5). Defining terrorism allows security agencies to handle terrorist properties, cordon off areas affected after terrorist attacks, arrest terrorists' suspects, proscribe organizations, question and detain people suspected to be terrorists in major entry points. Terrorisms is refers to actions of deliberate inflict perpetuated to cause serious destruction or demise to persons with the aim of daunting or convincing an individual, global or local government or organization to adopt a certain policy (Jackson 2011, p.5). Terrorism is a vicious activity that jeopardizes the health of human population, destroys properties and contravenes criminals' rules of a state, scare citizens, governments, commercial sector or other sectors for hidebound and collective objectives (Gill 2005, p.67).
The Nature and Effects of Terrorist Attacks and Threats in Commercial Sector
Most organizations deem that they operate in a considerably dangerous world. Business leaders show major concerns for threats from terrorists' attack and other types of political violence and their impacts on their business organizations (Levene 2007, p.7). For the increasing numbers of organizations functioning on the international arena, the danger of being involved in political violence is real. A report by Levene (2007) indicates that business leaders trust that the risk of political violence is real and increasing. According to the findings of the report, seven percent of organizations in the international arena suffered collateral damage from political violence act while five percent of organizations suffered direct attack on their facilities located in their home countries.
Most business leaders believe that the commercial sector is presently a target of attack just like the government (Levene 2007, p.3). They estimate that political violence will continue to rise internationally over the coming years with conflict and terrorism set to be a huge issue than common crimes. Terrorists' threat targeting the commercial sector prevents business organizations from investing in the country or place of choice. In fact, instability and conflict are key impediments to foreign investments with political violence causing thirty seven percent of organizations to stop investing in foreign markets. This is according to Lloyd's report, which also states that four major threats are emerging with the increasing rise of political violence (Levene 2007, p.3).
One of these threats is a risk to the supply chain. Most companies receive collateral destruction from indirect attack that affects energy supply and supply lines. Companies also experience threats from cyber-terrorism that directs to their IT systems. In this regard, scores of company invest on IT security to prevent cyber-terrorism (Levene 2007, p.3). . Homegrown terrorism also compels businesses to uphold and strengthen their security measures in operations' locations and in employee vetting. Moreover, business leaders perceive chemical, biological, nuclear and radioactive risk as a significant threat to their businesses, an aspect that makes them to develop and test stability plans to cover this type of risk.
Terrorists' threat in the commercial sector is real. The United State and the Middle East are the most prone regions to terrorists' threats. Middle East is prone to jihad terrorism, inter-state wars and local revolutionary movements (Levene 2007, p.10). The United States is prone to both domestic and international terrorism attacks such as the 9/11 attack which was the worst terrorist attack in the history of the United States. Companies are increasingly becoming terrorists attack targets because of what they represent. Apparently global brands can sometimes assume a symbolic significant for terrorists. For instance, the McDonald's restaurants experienced 24 terrorists' attacks between 1993 and 2005 in their major centres around the world. The inspiration for attacks entailed anti-globalization, Marxism, religion and nationalism (Levene 2007, p.11). The attackers viewed McDonald's restaurant as a symbol of America, and not a supplier of goods. Moreover, corporate behaviour, familiarity of the business organization to the public and its size was a determining factor whether a firm would suffer terrorist attack prior to the 9/11 attack. Evidently, business targets and not government sites and facilities are easier to hit (Wilkinson 2006, p.205).
While jihadists are point of reference to prospective terrorism, the modern technologies facilitate terrorists' attacks to the commercial sector. Terrorists are able to monitor businesses and the global community watches corporate behaviour to ascertain areas of weak governance thereby bringing reputational considerations to the limelight. The society monitors the operations of companies by use of IT systems (Wilkinson 2006, p.205). Companies benefiting from poor labour standards become targets for terrorism. Moreover, natural aspects such as augmented shortages of natural facilities instigate political violence threats that affect the commercial sector and the general society. Companies that use natural resources are inevitable targets for terrorists' attacks as they prompt conflicts in division of natural resources.
The Responsibility of the Commercial in Preventing and Deterring Terrorist Attacks
According to Wilkinson (2005), terrorism is the systematic utilization of injury, destruction and murder or threat to build up a terror climate to publicise a cause as well as to intimidate a broad target into agreeing to the aims of the terrorists (p.6). Criminal activities that provoke terror state in the public or coerce an international organization to do or stop any activity, threaten the commercial sector. Wilkinson (2005) asserts that to win against terrorists group, such as Al Qaeda, businesses and the governments require winning the intelligence war and utilization of law enforcement agencies across the global (p.25). Organizing cooperation in the civil aviation industry, finance sector, private and public sectors, is a strategy that assisting in curbing terrorists' attacks. Wilkinson (2005) stresses that the private sector organizations, involving industry and businesses, must make significant contributions towards preventing, combating and deterring terrorists groups specifically networked groups such as the Al Qaeda (p.26).This is because Al Qaeda intentions are to frustrate and attack the economic infrastructure.
Private sector companies that form part of the crucial national infrastructure are direct targets of terrorists. A company's country of origin and the nationality of the company's staff or management also make businesses to become major targets of terrorists attack (Wilkinson 2005, p.25). A business's temperament and its trading links are also major contributing factors to terrorists' attacks and threats. A firm may also become an oblique target to terrorist attack because of its location that is prone to terrorists' attacks. From this prospective, all business notwithstanding their size have interests in preventing more terrorists attacks such as the Madrid train bombing and the 9/11 attack (Press and Public Affairs 2005, p.11). This is in the view of the fact that increased deaths and injuries instigated by terrorists' attacks negatively affect the commercial sector. For instance, following the 9/11 attack the business community suffered 11.0 billion dollars loss while destruction of property amounted to 9.6 million dollars. Well-informed business organizations understand very well that any terrorists' attacks pose critical dangers to the commercial sector because of the effects of these attacks. Apparently, the government alone cannot prevent everything and therefore, it is the responsibility of the organizations in the private sector to meet the cost of improved security as well as the contingency plans (Wilkinson 2005, p.25). The military offers advice and guiding principles in collaboration with businesses.
The aerospace and the airlines and tourist industries related to civil aviation suffers from terrorists attacks. When terrorists attack hits one sector, the other sectors experience an increased downturn (BENS 2003, p.6). When terrorists' attacks lead to mass destruction and…