Terrorism is nothing new but what is new are the ways and means that terrorists are using in order to create chaos across the world. There are many forms of terrorism at the moment with the majority, and the most imminent threats, coming from the far right and from Islamic terrorists, wishing to create their own Muslim caliphate across the western world. James Feldkamp is a professor here at George Mason university where one aspect of his teaching is terrorism history. James Feldkamp has been kind enough to sit down with us and discuss the new threats which we are facing, threats which we are potentially not equipped to deal with.
For many years attacks would come from foreign nationals who would find ways of getting into countries like the USA illegally where they would commit their attacks. In many cases these people would come into the country inauspiciously many years ahead of their planned terror acts. What we are seeing now however is the radicalization of teenagers within the Muslim community through teachings and extreme views being pushed onto them by Imams around the country. This presents a very real and present danger as these atrocities become far easier to commit. Youths can be impressionable and with such extreme language and teachings being offered in some mosques, it sets a dangerous trend for the future.
The 9/11 attacks were one of the first times that we have seen commercial airliners used in kamikaze attacks and naturally the aviation industry were forced to tighten up all operations to avoid this happening again. Planes may not be able to be used now, at least not as easily, but there is another vehicle which James Feldkamp worries about, and that is cars. Car attacks have been seen already on home soil by far right terrorists in Charlottesville and countries like France and the UK have also seen horrific attacks such as this. There is little way to prevent this given the inconspicuous nature of a car on the road. A vehicle driven at top speed which ploughs into a group of pedestrians however can cause many deaths and injuries and these attacks are very much on the rise.
Many used to think that World War 3 would be a war that was fought using keyboard and code rather than tanks and bombs and we have already seen evidence that this could be the case. James Feldkamp believes that terror organizations are investing heavily into up-skilling their soldiers and contracting highly skilled hackers who have the ability to turn our computer systems against us. We have already seen examples of cyberterrorism and each time is more advanced and more audacious than the last. This may not be an attack which directly kills or injures people, but it can be used to shut down security systems and cause the kind of chaos which terrorists need in order to carry out physical attacks with ease.
For James Feldkamp these are the three areas which require the most attention with regards to anti-terrorism.