Employees within an organisation that has experienced a terrorist act in the past face fear of a repeat experience, maybe in a different form, and this adds to existing stresses at the workplace. This additional stress, both on the employees themselves as also those who protect them, reduces efficiency and has myriad negative effects on the individual and the organisation.
Empirical literature shows that although terrorist attacks can kill and injure thousands of people and cause immense damage to property, the essence of terrorism, as the name implies, is not destruction but terror: destruction is a means to the end and the end is a psychological effect. Terrorists use terrorism in order to demoralise businesses, the public and the government of the target nation to promote their own political goals. Because the terrorists' weapon is fear, the response to terrorism must make fear the object of special concern (Posner, 2002:02).
Traditionally the essence of terrorism and the goal of terrorists have been to create fear. The killing of innocent victims by surprise and at random for political reasons gives terrorism a particular and heartless character. This and the spectacular drama of bombings, aircraft hijackings and other major terrorist attacks create a unique physiological impact and sense of collective vulnerability. The fear and disruptive impact that terrorism creates, more than the modest number of casualties it causes, makes terrorism such a threat to the security and well-being of any organisation (Smith, 2001:61).
At the fringes of all political processes, terrorism has always existed and probably always will (Colvard, 2002: 327). While those who actually suffer directly from terrorist attacks are very few but the affect they have through intimidation are huge for the public. The attacks themselves serve as propaganda by deed and "they reinforce a group's identity, morale and belief in their potency. They act as recruiting posters (Palmer, 2007:291).
Terrorism is not a new phenomenon but has been exceptionally difficult to define for academics, journalists and even legislators. One reason for the difficulty has to do with the politically charged nature of the word. Terrorism is hardly a value-neutral term. Few individuals, groups, organisations or states wish the term to be applied to their own activities. To apply the term is, in effect, to condemn the entity to which it becomes linked. For example, the Israeli government condemned as 'terrorist' virtually all the violent activities of the Al-Aqsa Intifada. In response, Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip now refer to the actions of the Israeli government in seeking to repress the uprising as manifestations of Israeli terrorism. When the United States uses military force against the Taliban and followers of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan or Iraq, it does so in order to destroy a terrorist threat. On the other hand, spokespersons for the Taliban in the Muslim world condemn American actions as, of course, terrorism (Pedahzur and Weinberg, 2003:03).
Defining terrorism is even more difficult if confused with