The Terrorists’ Problem

Subject: Sociology
Type: Problem Solution Essay
Pages: 8
Word count: 2247
Topics: Terrorism, Public Policy, Social Issues


Over the recent years, many countries have faced terrorist attacks which have resulted in catastrophic effects. Due to the impact of terrorism, the United States which faces high risk of terror remains on high alert. There are various places in the country where terrorists are likely to attack. Terrorists look for areas where there will be the highest number of casualties and also send the strongest message to other nations. In recent years terrorists have been targeting shopping malls and financial institutions. Targeting malls and financial institutions is aimed at creating catastrophic attacks which will send a strong message that the terror groups are winning. Terrorists are no longer using strangers to execute their plans which make them hard to trace. In some cases, they use insiders working in an institution who make their work easier. This paper will provide a specific place in the United States where terrorists are likely to attack and the implications of such an attack. The reasons for targeting the specific place will also be given in the paper. The target for terrorist will assist in the preparation of a preparedness plan which would assist in preventing such an attack and if not minimizing the number of casualties (Melnick, 2012).

The high-value target for terrorists in the United States

The New York stock exchange is a high-value target that terrorists are likely to attack. New York stock exchange is located in the lower Manhattan, and it’s the country’s economic hub. Targeting the New York stock exchange will give the terrorist mass casualties if the attack is successful. Not only would such an attack lead to mass casualties but it would also lead to economic sabotage given that new York stock exchange is an economic hub in the country. The terrorists’ attacks that have occurred over the recent years, attacks on financial institutions have the most complex repercussions. An attack on the New York stock exchange would create a bubble on the financial market and the economy of the nation. Since the attack on the New York stock exchange would create adverse effects to the nation, terrorists are likely to have such an attack. The New York stock exchange is the country’s leading financial market which is bolstered by authorities preventing such an attack. Terrorists are, however, resourceful and connected which makes the New York stock exchange a high-value target (IAEA, 2012).

Terror attacks have become prevalent over the ears. The impact of terror varies depending on the type of attack and the area that the attack is executed. Some terror attacks may not have such a huge impact on the economy of the nation while other will have devastating results. An attack on the New York stock exchange would, however, impact both the local and international markets. A terror attack on the New York stock exchange would spike volatility in both domestic and international markets. Attacking the New York stock exchange would send a shock wave to the global financial systems which makes terrorists interested in such an attack (white, 2017).

The New York stock exchange is characterized by many financial transactions by many people representing various financial institutions in the country. Terrorists have this in mind, and therefore it would help them send a strong message if they carried out such an attack. An attack on the stock exchange in Manhattan would not only result in mass casualties but will also create uncertainty in the market which will, in turn, affect a wide range of investment portfolios in the country. There has been attempted terror attacks on the New York stock exchange before. The fact that terrorists have tried before to attack means that they are carrying out more research to coordinate an attack that will create more victims (June, 2011).

Another reason that makes the New York stock exchange such a high-value target is its effect on the global economy. The dollar is the accepted global currency, and by shaking the American economy, the dollar would significantly reduce in value thereby adversely affecting the American economy. The global market would be destabilized, and that would create a long term economic crisis. With the increasing levels of global trading in securities, an attack on the New York stock exchange would create a spillover effect where an unusual market behavior would be observed as a result. Terrorists are interested in creating harm and which makes the New York stock exchange an ideal place to send such a message. A preparedness plan is required to assist in mitigating such an occurrence, and in the case, it happens, fewer casualties and fewer effects would be experienced (Kapur, 2013).

New York stock exchange has proved to be a security market with market resilience. To be able to affect the global economies the terrorist are aiming at weakening the resilience exhibited by capital markets. A terror attack would enable the terrorists to accomplish their goals and therefore the need to have a comprehensive preparedness plan that will protect the people working in the stock exchange and also billions of dollars that can be lost in the event.

The preparedness plan for a terror attack on the New York stock exchange

A terror attack on the New York stock exchange is likely to affect both the economy and the people who work and trade in the building. There is need to have a high level of security at the building and also have a preparedness plan to ensure there are no or minimal casualties in such an event. The department of homeland security has continued to issue advice to citizens on how to respond to terror in case it happens. The preparedness plan should take care of biological, nuclear and chemical weapons. Any form of attack would adversely affect the people and the economy. However, a nuclear attack at the New York stock exchange would have the worst results. Not only would such an attack lead to a huge number of casualties but it would also destroy any hope of operations due to the effect of radioactive materials. For that reason, it is very crucial to have a comprehensive preparedness plan to prevent such an attack from happening.

A preparedness plan should involve all the stakeholder operating on Wall Street. A terror attack on the New York stock exchange is likely to destroy nearly twenty million square feet of office space. Thousands of people work in this area. Without an effective plan on how to prevent and manage the occurrence of such an attack, the impact could be devastating. Since the attack at the World Trade Center is close to the area, there is need to learn more about what went wrong at the WTC to come up with an effective plan. If an attack on the New York stock exchange would occur billions of dollars would be wasted. Replacing and setting up of equipment would take huge sums of money. The vital issue would be the loss of staff working at the center and other people who could be doing financial transactions when such an event happens.

Since it is possible to have a terror attack, it is crucial to have a preparedness plan in anticipation of such. The operations of NYSE should not be concentrated in a single building, with the operations being centralized, terrorists will have accomplished their objectives. Trillions of dollars are traded in the NYSE, and therefore it is important to ensure that in case of a terror attack not everything would be destroyed. The plan should ensure that the central computers be moved to secure location. The New York stock exchange should also plan different levels of backups for different operations in the building. Such backups would ensure that in case an attack carried out, important data would not be lost thereby minimizing the loss incurred. To minimize the number of customers in the NYSE, it is important to rationalize that the trading could be done in some banks in the city. Trading at the NYSE should be in a vast distributed network in different works stations in the state all connected through points of presence (POPS). The POPs would connect the transactions as opposed to having trading floors at the NYSE (Davis, 2012).

The preparedness plan for the NYSE should address not only the immediate response but also the long-term recovery. If a terror attack happens, the recovery process is a complex undertaking that requires a systematic approach. Preparedness of a terror attack on the NYSE should include plans to save lives and also prevent further destruction of property. Responding to terror attack would be testing the preparedness of the NYSE. Since the building hosts different financial activities, there should be a response team ready to assist in case of any eventuality. Firefighters and specialists trained on nuclear should be stationed not far from the building to be able to respond to any terror attacks. All emergency exits in such an attack should open to allow the people inside to vacate the building (Erickson, 2013).

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All workers and traders at the NYSE should be sensitized on emergency response. In times of an emergency such as a terror attack, the well-being of an individual is entirely dependent on the person’s preparedness. It is therefore vital to ensure that in the case of a terror attack on the building most of the workers will be prepared and will do everything possible to survive the attack. Emergency response training should also be introduced to enhance emergency response skills. With emergency response skills, workers and traders at the NYSE will be able to act responsibly and safely thereby protecting themselves and their colleagues. Taking cover and holding on during a tremor which could be as a result of an explosion and moving to the basement is one of the ways in that could help an individual survive a terror attack.

A preparedness plan is as important as the stakeholders involved. An emergency response plan works if all the stakeholders involved do their part. In the case of a preparedness plan at the NYSE, the workers and traders, security departments and other security agencies in the country should fulfill their emergency responsibilities. If the attack happens, voluntary organizations also have a crucial responsibility. In an attempt to minimize the risks and number of casualties that could result from a terror attack, it is the responsibility of the local government in New York to identify the risks associated to terror and potential risk to the community and the entire nation. This would involve the economic risks that could emanate from such a terrorist attack. It is the role of the local and state government to determine the capability of the organization to mitigate against terror attacks, prepare, respond and recover from possible terror attacks (Alexander, 2014). 

The local and state governments should also identify and employ different mechanisms that could assist in improving the organizations emergency management capabilities. Some of the ways in which the government can assess the capabilities of the New York stock exchange response to terror is through assessing the staff and tools set aside in case of such an eventuality. The government should ensure that the NYSE has efficient resources, improved coordination, and cooperation with other disaster management agencies.

The New York stock exchange should work closely with the local authorities and the department of homeland security to establish mitigation measures that would involve building codes and zoning ordinances that would assist in a terror attack. New York stock exchange should coordinate preparedness plans with all the agencies involved to make the work easier. Since the New York stock exchange is a high-value target, the institution should partner with other security agencies to establish warning systems within the premises. Warning systems are very useful to institutions, especially during the terror attack. Sometimes an explosion might be discovered, and the warning systems could help in evacuating the people. Stocking emergency supply and equipment is also critical. The New York stock exchange is a large building that requires medical supplies and other emergency supplies to cater for the people affected in times of a crisis (Martin, 2012).

The government together with the relevant agencies should educate the public on emergency training. If the terror attack has already happened, the government is responsible for assessing the risk as the institution affected goes with a recovery plan.  After the victims of a terror attack are rescued the government together with other agencies should assist those victims affected to return to normal life through counseling.

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Terrorists have revolutionized their methods of attacks which makes it hard to detect their operations. Over the past few years, there have been terror attacks in different parts of the world. Most of these attacks are aimed at sending a message to different government bodies by causing maximum harm. New York stock exchange is one of the high-value targets that the terrorists would consider. NYSE is the economic hub of the country where trillions of dollars circulate in hours. The area is full of activities that involve the elite and matters to do with the economy. This makes it an ideal place for the terrorists. To avoid terror attacks on the building, it is crucial to come up with a preparedness plan that will cater for mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery from a terror attack. The government and the institution are important in ensuring the terror attack does not result in many casualties nor destruction of property in an unfortunate event.

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  1. Alexander, D. C. (2014). Business confronts terrorism: Risks & responses. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
  2. Davis, L., Alfred & P. Sloan Foundation. (2013). Individual preparedness & response to chemical, radiological, nuclear, and biological terrorists’ attacks: A quick guide. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Public Safety and Justice.
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  5. June, D. L. (2011). Terrorism and homeland security: Perspectives, thoughts, and opinions. Boca Raton [Fla.: Taylor & Francis.
  6. Kapur, G. B., & Smith, J. P. (2011). Emergency public health: Preparedness and response. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
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  8. Melnick, A. L. (2012). Biological, chemical, and radiological terrorism: Emergency preparedness and response for the primary care physician. New York: Springe
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  10. White, J. R. (2017). Terrorism and homeland security. Boston. Cengage Learning.
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