Terrorism is a psychological “mind game” with terrorists and leaders of the targeted society competing to influence and control the terror generated. While terrorists look to maximize their terror, government and public health entities seek to blunt fear and adverse avoidance behaviors that may ensue amongst the public. Drawing upon case studies, the paper employs the risk perception matrix from the field of risk analysis to map and compare the degree of dread risk created by different types of terrorist attacks (CBRNE); and the interplay of terrorism and measures society can undertake to mitigate terror. Case studies include the Second Intifada in Israel, the 1995 Sarin attacks in Tokyo, the London 2005 transport bombings, and 9/11. The paper demonstrates how the risk matrix can provide the public and emergency planners with context to reduce dread, fear and associated adverse avoidance behavior, and how to use information from previous events to guide future planning to augment resilience.
©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston