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What are the effects of terrorism?

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Quick Answer

The effects of terrorism include the injuries, deaths and psychological trauma of the immediate victims; short- and long-term impact on the economy of the attacked country; and enhanced security, military and intelligence activities to deter future attacks. Terrorism also often creates publicity for the groups or individuals initiating the attacks, which is often their objective.

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Besides the injuries and deaths immediately brought about by terrorist attacks, survivors often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and major depression. The economy suffers an immediate impact due to building and infrastructure damage, but it also suffers long-term effects from trauma to financial markets, a rise in spending on security and defense, and the impact on supply chains of enhanced security at land, sea and air border crossings.

Equipping the military and police for retaliation and defense includes the passing of legislation that targets terrorists, deportation of unregistered aliens, granting of additional powers to police and military, fewer restrictions on the detention and interrogation of suspects, and possible direct military or police action to eliminate perceived threats. It also may include the creation of new agencies or enhancement of existing agencies to screen mail and other forms of communication and to guard essential national and local infrastructures.

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