By David M N James
Terror is designed to have psychological impacts outweighing the physical damage. The physical effort to inflict psychological pain is amplified by magnifiers which include population hysterical and panic reactions to attacks, media reports on attacks, and government security services responses to attacks. This is what has made terrorism in Kenya to thrive.
Mitigating Psychological Impact
One strategy to discourage terrorism is mitigating the psychological impact intent. Less media attention and downplaying terror significantly suppresses the value of an attack. In fact, governments should employ a public policy that entrenches the fact terrorism in Kenya like any other crime is part of human life and will not go away. Media hype that follows attacks and focus by social media glorifies terror further amplifying the psychological impact.
Terrorists aren’t Superhuman
Another way to mitigate the impact of terror is profiling the actors or perpetrators of terror as just any other humans’ beings, and not super humans. Acts of terror are not extraordinary or superhuman activities. They are simple and predictable plans executed by people who throughout the planning and execution stages are in deep fear. The planning and execution of terrorism in Kenya is done here in Kenya not anywhere else.
In fact, practising simple reaction awareness can as quickly demystify this discernible and predictable criminal works. Sustainable situation awareness can as easily weaken and pre-empt terror by denying it value and meaning to those who practice it. People should be made aware of the threat posed by terrorists to help them learn how to protect themselves from the violence.
Maintaining the Perspective
A third measure to pre-empt the psychological impact of terror is isolating terror attacks and profiling them for what they are. The population attacked must maintain the perspective that terrorism in Kenya is a vice and not superhuman rather cowardice and bigotry of people who cannot properly address socio-political issues even when proper channels are available.
These simple guides will go a long way to deny terrorists both glory and reason to continue pursuing violence as a means to attack innocent populations for apparently no reason.
David James is a web-based intelligence analyst. He has spent over 6 years studying terrorism trends, criminology, and intelligence analysis. He owns Strategic Intelligence and other online media.
You can contact the author by emailing him at [email protected]