Begin Main Content Area

Terrorism is a type of blackmail used to threaten or intimidate.

Terrorism might target:

  • national policy
  • a local community
  • business
  • ethnicity
  • members of any specialty group

The goals of terrorism are usually political, social, or religious in nature. Terrorists truly believe they are working toward a better world.

They may want:

  • To influence policy decisions
  • Their own homeland or some type of independence
  • Special privileges
  • Exemption from rules
  • To overthrow an existing government, believing it to be non-representative, authoritarian, corrupt, or immoral

Terrorists often use threats to:

  • Create fear among the public.
  • Try to convince citizens that their government is powerless to prevent terrorism.
  • Get immediate publicity for their causes.

Acts of terrorism include:

  • threats of terrorism,
  • assassinations,
  • kidnappings,
  • hijackings,
  • bomb scares and bombings,
  • cyber attacks (computer-based), and
  • the use of chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological weapons.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has emergency response plans in place to deal with chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive events, as well as other disasters. These plans involve the coordination of multiple departments and agencies at the city, county, regional, state and federal level, involving all our public health preparedness partners. Additionally, the Department of Health is improving rapid detection systems which will assist in the early detection and investigation of disease outbreaks at the first indication of a biological attack. Stockpiles of antibiotics and medications that are effective against the most likely terrorist agents are already in place locally and will be made available in the event of an attack.

Please see the links below for Fact Sheets on possible terrorist agents.



Emergency Preparedness Planning Fact Sheets