Disasters and Emergencies
Terrorism is the use of violence or the threat of violence to attain political, religious or ideological goals. Terrorists accomplish this through intimidation, coercion and instilling fear.
Acts of terrorism include assassinations, bomb scares and bombings, cyber attacks (computer based), hijackings, kidnappings, and the use of chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological weapons.
Terrorists often choose targets in areas with relatively easy public access that offer little danger to themselves. Foreign terrorists look for visible targets where they can avoid detection before and after an attack, such as:
- Government facilities (military and civilian)
- International airports
- Large cities
- Major international events
- High-profile landmarks
Terrorists might also target large public gatherings, water and food supplies, utilities, and corporate centers. They are also capable of spreading fear by sending explosives or chemical and biological agents through the mail.
Learn about the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s If You See Something, Say Something Campaign.
Learn about different types of terrorist attacks and how to prepare for them.
It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, an event that devastated our nation and changed the course of history forever. The 9/11 terrorist attacks took nearly 3,000 lives and had a profound impact on millions of others. On the 20th anniversary of the attacks, four members of the HSEMD staff, now and then, speak about how the tragic day shaped them, how it has affected them both personally and professionally, and reflect on the events 20 years later.