“Terrorism kills civilians, journalists, actors, thinkers, and professionals; it attacks universities, marketplaces, and libraries; it blows up mosques and churches and destroys the infrastructure of State institutions.”
Mr. Nuri Kamal Al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq, Statement, 62nd UN General Assembly, New York September 26, 2007.
For many the world changed on a day in September 2001 - 9/11 - the date when the USA was targeted in a series of co-ordinated terrorist attacks. 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked 4 passenger airplanes and used 2 of them to crash into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in Manhattan. A third plane was crashed into the Pentagon and fourth destined to target Washington DC crashed into a field in Pennsylvania due to the heroic actions of its passengers. Almost 3,000 people from over 90 countries lost their lives, US foreign policy shifted dramatically and Al-Qaeda and the hunt for Osama Bin Laden became the media's main focus.
Terrorism, the use of kidnapping, violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims, is not a new phenomenon, nor is it something concentrated in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan or the other countries that feature in news broadcasts. The US State Department lists 50 Current Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations including organisations from Ireland, Colombia, Spain and Kurdistan.
DNA profiling of key employees should be a key element of any crisis management planning - something alrerady implemented by a number of organisations operating in hostile environments.