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To carry out a new research, review of old related literature is an important factor for constructing a concrete and solid building of any research work. One should not neglect or leave even a minor thing only because it was of the past or should not be accepted without any concrete evidence because a new idea has been given by some one. It is considered essential to link previous knowledge or work of some one with the new thought. It means that it is considered obvious that to work on new idea or theme our earlier understanding on the subject must be kept in the mind. It is also essential for having done appraisal of the previous study on the subject before starting a fresh one because of reason that one could find new ideas and explore new avenues. Moreover the work of previous searchers would save ones time that he can avoid working on the same issue or idea. In this literature review an attempt has been made to take survey of studies, which has relevance to the presented problem. Sometimes it happens that the studies under considerations could not be classified into the required areas. This review has been intended to present a background to the studies conducted on effects of terrorism world wide in general and in Pakistan in particular, starting from incident of 9/11 to the date and to provide a launching pad for the formulation of hypothesis.


Terrorism has contaminated our society with a contagious disease that is spreading faster than any transmittable virus we have ever known in our country. It is not Anthrax. It is the effects of terrorisms and its related worries that coming out from the open wound inflicted on us by unpredictable brutal acts of terrorism. It is affecting our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. The more we are exposed, more we are affected by the act of terrorism and the longer the menace continues the more passionate and extreme our reactions will be.

As these attacks are deliberate, tremendously brutal, and involved huge amount of sufferers, there is possibility for many people to suffer long long-lasting and permanent psychological effects. Even those who only watched the events unfolding on TV may experience and suffer strong psychological disorders and reactions.

Many researches have shown that while most people are open to the traumatic events but do not have lasting problems associated with their exposure, many may experience mild stress reactions, and 20% or more may develop clinically significant psychological problems. If considerable distress continues for longer duration, becomes more severe over the period of time or it may interferes with one's ability to operate in day to day life.

After the incident of 9/11 a new era of terrorism has began. The acts of terrorism are increasing day by day; consequently the effects are showing its toll now, as people are focusing to study the effects of those stresses which are being created due to the act of terrorism. Initially it affected every common person and created tremendous pressures on them and now it has changed its direction and people from Special Forces / security are the main target of act of terrorism. Little studies have been carried out to study the effects of terrorism on them.

Terrorism is not a new subject, and even though it has been there in one or the other shape, since the beginning of modern history but it is still hard to define. Terrorism has been described differently as both a tactic and a strategy; an offense or a holy duty; a justified reaction to opposition and an unbearable hatred. Obviously, it depends upon whose point of view is being presented. Terrorism is used by a weaker side as an effective tactic in case of a conflict. As a form of conflict, it confers coercive power with many of the advantages of military force at a little cost. Due to the mysterious nature and small size of terrorist organizations, they often offer opponents no clear organization to defend against or to prevent. That is why preemption is being considered to be most important in this kind of war. Most of the time, terrorism has been a mean to take on a conflict without the opponent realizing the nature of the threat, taking terrorism as a criminal activity. Because of the uniqueness, terrorism has turn out to be more and more common among those pursuing unimaginative goals throughout the world. But despite its popularity, terrorism has remains a vague concept. The US Department of Justice defines terrorism as 'the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce the government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives'.

Pakistan is a country that has been flooded in the recent past with the acts of terrorism largely because Pakistani government has joint hands together with the United States in the global war on terror. Currently however, the biggest threat to the state and citizens of Pakistan emerges from killing of civilian people and security agencies like police, CIA, and all those related to providing security to achieve their political goals. Origination of terrorism can be attributed to General Zia ul Haq's Islamization policy in the 1980s. His tenure of government had seen Pakistan's involvement in Russia and Afghan War which led to greater influx of ideologically driven Arabs in Afghanistan in the tribal areas. The state and its intelligence agency ISA in alliance with the USA and CIA encouraged the ujahideen to fight the proxy war against the Soviet Union, most of which were never disarmed after the war. Some of these groups were later activated under the behest of the state in the form of Lashkar e taiba, and others were encouraged like Taliban to achieve state's agenda in Kashmir and Afghanistan. The same groups are now taking on the state itself.

The 9/11 incident has put USA under continuous stress. That one event has changed the face of USA and created a massive stress oriented society. Lot of studies were carried out only in USA to measure the effects of 9/11 terrorists attack on US soil. Few studies were carried out just after the incident; however, most of the studies were carried out to measure the post traumatic stress level and effects on the society as a whole. 53% increase in heart diseases and mental ailment was found.

After the incident of 9/11 Pakistani society has also been confronted by continual terrorism, including knife or gun attacks, drive by shooting, intrusions into homes, kidnapping, and the most likely and dangerous is the suicide bombing. If we go through the statistical data the sheer rate of speeding up of violence is an index of the constant increase. Before 9/11 Pakistan was a quite and calm country progressing slowly and gradually and making its way on the road of modernization. But since the incident of 9/11 whereby Pakistan became ally to the USA in the war of terrorism the doors of terrorism has opened and by 2003, Pakistan was embossed as a place of volatility and widespread dissension - total victims in terrorism-related violence were only 189. By 2004, this number rocketed to 863, fell marginally to 648 in 2005, but accumulated dramatically thereafter, to the extraordinary minimum of 6,715 killed in 2008, doubled in 2009 but shown drastic reduction in current year. The year wise data starting from 2003, of Institute for Conflict Management in Pakistan is reproduced below:-

Annual Fatalities in Terrorist Violence in Pakistan




Security Force Personnel
















































* Data till August 15, 2010

Source: Figures are compiled from news reports and are provisional.


The concept of terrorism and its effects has been widely studied in almost every corner of the world. Many studies have also been carried in Pakistan also, but results of those studies have never been brought to the surface due to the lack of interest of the higher authorities or slackness of the individuals but topic which has been a topic under discussion has never been touched upon by any one neither out side nor inside Pakistan. Many researchers and professionals have looked at the relationship between both concepts of which the large amount of literature in this domain gave evidence. Even in the last ten years, the terrorism research produced hundreds of articles and papers on different subjects.

The aim of this paper is to present a systematic review of the literature in the area of terrorism in general and its effects on the performance of professionals in particular, in order to find out whether there are relations between terrorism and its effects on the performance of professionals. First the main theoretical frameworks used in this domain will be discussed, and subsequently the empirical studies that were published will be explored. In order to achieve this aim an extensive summary of the various studies undertaken will be provided.

In total 65 articles have been scanned and found relevant. These articles have been screened as being relevant by reading the abstracts, and in cases of doubts, the whole article. A few papers were deleted because they obviously didn't match the purpose of the study. More-over, some articles showed up in both searches, and therefore appeared twice in the final data-base. The under mentioned key words were used find out the relevant articles and books.

Keywords used in the literature research Group

Key words

Key words related to terrorism and its effects on performance.


Stress and terrorism

Effects of terrorism

Coping with stress and terrorism

Psychology of terrorism


Islamic fundamentalists


Theoretical framework

The theoretical frame work indicates that the acts of terrorism increase the psychological, physical, economic and social effects on the people, which in turn reduces the performance.

As a researcher interested in the nexus of stress and terrorism, I have collected a number of thesis, articles and essays published within the field of rhetorical theory and criticism. To facilitate others work in this arena of narrative analysis, I offer this literature review of articles that I have found especially relevant to understanding the symbolic construction of stress and terrorism through discourse and subsequent rhetorical interactions. I have noted publication of discourse analyses of 9/11 and the Global War on Terrorism in journals directly associated with the communication discipline. The literature review also includes master theses, as applicable. Most of the works included were published after the 9/11 attacks.

The literature review includes only those items I was able to obtain directly through on-line resources or through Interlibrary Loan, courtesy of the LUMS and Superior University.

The purpose of this literature review is to hi-light the effects of stress due to terrorism on the performance of professionals. According to the terrorism model the professional's performance is adversely affected due to the acts of terrorism.

Few articles focus on the socio-psychological impacts of terrorism, war and other disasters on children and young people.

Barenbaum J, Ruchkin V, Schwab-Stone M. The psychosocial aspects of children exposed to war: practice and policy initiatives. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2004; have provided a particularly impressive review of the literature concerning children exposed to war. They bring together messages from published work on symptoms associated with war-related trauma and the prevalence and duration of symptoms and survey a range of 'additional considerations in planning the interventions'. They review the impact of ideology and hatred and provide an entry to the literature on child combatants.

Alexander DA. Early mental health intervention after disasters. Adv Psychiatr Treat 2005; In this article the authors has divided intervention into two sorts. The first, 'non-specific psychosocial interventions', covers resettlement after displacement, reestablishing psychosocial networks and coordination of psychosocial efforts. The second group, 'specific mental health interventions' deals with the roles of mental health professionals. In each case, the authors review what is known about the effectiveness of the interventions including evidence on individual versus group therapy. This two-level approach is replicated across the literature and policy advice and is not restricted to war scenarios.

Thabet AAM, Karim K, Vostanis P. Trauma exposure in pre-school children. Br J Psychiatry 2006; Recently published research has investigated the relationship between exposure to traumatic events in a war zone and behavioral and emotional problems in preschool children. The authors conclude that direct and non direct exposure to war trauma increases the risk of, often nonspecific, behavioral and emotional problems. The authors found that the total number of exposures to traumatic events predicted screening questionnaire scores. They observe that 'although the impact of trauma on children's mental health has been replicated across cultures, there are also differences in the perception of traumatic events and how these are processed' and that they are particularly important in the younger age-group as they can be mediated by cultural norms of parenting'.

Yehuda R, and Hyman SE. The impact of terrorism on brain, and behavior: what we know and what we need to know. 2005; Yehuda and Hyman found that 'far less research attention has been focused on the behavioral and psychobiological effects of terrorism' and they identify '...troubling gaps in our knowledge about the long-term effects of terrorism on brain, behavior, and physical health, the risk factors for predicting who will be most affected by terrorism, and interventions that might promote resilience as an individual and at population level'. The psychological responses to terrorism exert significant effects on mental and physical health and society because 'terrorism is about psychology ...it is about making ordinary people feel vulnerable, anxious, confused, uncertain and helpless'.

Yehuda and Hyman further identify in the above mentioned article that there are few relevant studies of the impacts of terrorism on children. Regarding predictors of chronic posttraumatic symptoms in children, they point out that the '...most important consideration appears to be the severity of the traumatic event and the developmental stage'. 'In addition to the dose or degree of exposure to the event, the amount of family support available during the experience and in the aftermath of trauma, the amount of life disruption, and the degree of social disorganizations are important predictors of mental health symptoms'.

Pine DS, Costello J, Masten A. Trauma, proximity, and developmental psychopathology: the effects of war and terrorism on children. 2005; Pine et al. provided a review of recent literature on trauma, proximity and the effects of war and terrorism on children's developmental psychopathology and some fundamental principles for understanding, researching and intervening to protect children in the face of terrorism. The authors' view is that few children will be directly exposed to terrorism, but a larger proportion of the child population will be indirectly exposed through the media and through other people's reports. They, however, observe that '...undermining of civil society may be more of a threat to children's mental health in the long-term than the distant trauma itself'.

Many texts have been published on trauma, terrorism and disaster and some focus on helping children (Greenwald R. Child trauma handbook: a guide for helping trauma-exposed children and adolescents. Binghampton, NY: The Haworth Press, Inc; 2005.). I select two general books related to people of all ages that, I think, are important reading. Both contain one or more chapters concerning children and young people. The first book provides an overview of research on the effects of the terrorist attack in New York on 11 September 2001, and deals with children of war, children at war, child victims of terror in Mozambique and the children of Oklahoma City(Ursano RJ, Fullerton CS, Norwood AE, editors. Trauma and disaster - individual and community mental health interventions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2003). It covers interventions in disaster and terrorism and includes a contribution on early intervention. Similar to other authoritative sources, formal debriefing is not recommended(Raphael B, Wilson JP, editors. Psychological debriefing: theory, practice and evidence. New York: Cambridge University Press; 2000). In this context, another article considers why researchers found no significant impact of a group intervention for children from refugee camps in Gaza (Thabet AA, Vostanis P, Karim K. Group crisis intervention for children during ongoing war conflict. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2005). The first book contains a number of chapters on the intersection of disasters and terrorism. The second book includes a particularly relevant chapter on 'Children, disasters and the September 11 World Trade Center attack'(Ursano RJ, Norwood AE, editors. Trauma and disaster responses and management. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2003)

These articles discuss the effects of terrorism in the society. In the first article the author Matthew B. Capell, B.A. 2002 highlights the future trend of suicide terrorism. He elaborates three things in this article. First, was that religiously inspired terrorist groups are more lethal, though not more indiscriminate. Second, that suicide bombing has had a significant effect on the number of terrorist related fatalities and the last was that non-religious suicide bombing is more lethal than its religious counterpart.

In the second article, Michael F. Steger University of Louisville had compared the acts of terrorism in two cultures: Stress and Growth Following September 11th and the Madrid Train Bombings in Spain. The author has beautifully compared posttraumatic outcomes, including both posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and posttraumatic growth (PTG) he has further examined the meaning in life as a correlate of both PTSD and PTG. The people from USA and Spain were examined and it was found that Spanish participants reported significantly more exposure than did American participants. American participants typically reported positive life change, whereas Spanish participants typically reported negative life change.

In the next article Dr. Randy Borum - University of South Florida discusses the root causes of terrorism in an International expert meeting in Oslo conducted by Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. In this article Dr. Randy Borum has defined terrorism as an act of violence deliberately done on civilians' non-combatants with the goal of acquiring ideological, religious or political objective. Their principal focus was on non-state actors. In this article it has been identified and analyzed that the scientific and professional social science literature having psychological and behavioral dimensions of terrorist behavior. The author has discouraged the idea and removed the blame that only Muslims are the terrorists and they can only form the terrorist groups and that Many other suicide terrorists in the world belong to other religions than Islam.

Next in the line is the qualitative research conducted by Amanda V. Cliff from University of Canterbury 2006 on Disinhibition and Terrorism. In this research a large number of theoretical concepts and ideas with the aim of working toward a thorough understanding of the problem of terrorism were considered to draw the conclusions on terrorism and to find out that what are the factors and psychological reasons which force a person to feel justified in attacking some person violently and hurting him. In other words, it looks at what motives force people to lower their inhibitions in order to act viciously.

Benjamin Daniel and Steven Simon in their book ''The Age of Sacred Terror'' have surfaced the rising threat of al-Qaeda. The two authors began writing the book a year before the attacks of 9/11. They had written this book to issue a descriptive warning about the new era of terrorism and an analysis of causes, including the forms of spiritual belief that drive followers to began hostility, and the situation that give rise to such people.

The next article which I have chosen is an important researched article which has been written in the back drop of how US dominated Pakistan and its political regime, and created the circumstances in which Pakistan was forced to drag by in to the war of terrorism. This article has two parts: In the first part author discusses the destabilizing policies which led to the war on terrorism and in the second part he has discussed the issues, how Pakistan was dragged into the war of terrorism. Actually he has explained that how USA has funded the Talibization in the Western part of the Pakistan and Usama Bin Laden has been trained by CIA and remained on the pay role of CIA for quite some time. He was prepared to fight war against Russia in covert operations. Lately he was declared a terrorist and war against was started to full fill their interests in Pakistan. The dragging of Pakistan into the war of terrorism has paid a heavy price. The Pakistani regime has not been able to control the maniac of terrorism. Since the day Pakistan has declared the war on terrorism with USA, the cases of suicide bombings and acts of terrorism has tremendously increased aiming on the innocent civilians and security staffs.

Jacob B. Goldstein, Emory University 2007 has study the impact of terrorism on the tourism industry of Israel. This study attempts to analyze the effects of terrorism on Israel's tourism industry between the years of 1991 and 2006. The findings from this study confirm the overall conclusions of this paper indicating terrorism's significant effect upon Israel's tourism industry, on both an overall and disaggregated level. Whether it is Pakistan or any other country, it is affected by the acts of terrorism. Israel is losing millions of dollars annually which he was suppose to earn by the tourist industry.

The next is a thesis of Adel Abdullah Al-Abed Al-Jabbar who has written his PHd thesis on Terrorism in Islam while perusing his studies from American University in London in 2005. This thesis has been written to clarify the concept of terrorism in Islam. He has explained the terrorism in the light of Sharia and Sunah.

In this thesis, Islam, Terrorism and the Strategy of Enlightened Moderation written by Major Irfan Ahmed Malik, Pakistan Army has focused on analyzing the ongoing acts of violence and radicalism by individuals associated with Islam, in the light of teachings and principles of this great religion of peace, which denounces terrorism. Tracing the roots of terror in almost all faith and beliefs, it suggested that violence is not a function of faith; rather it is politically motivated with more fundamental causes and reasons for such acts. After detailed analysis of all the related aspects, the study concludes that such acts in the name of Islam are not consistent with the teachings of Islam. More or less, since the happening of 9/11 terrorism has gained momentum al together despite the efforts are being made to tame this wild animal. Overall, Pakistan along with Afghanistan and Iraq is the direct victim of terrorism. As a researcher, I personally feel that, lot of work is required to be done on the subject especially the effects of terrorism on normal working of the people and workers.

Research shows that Stress is an individual process and the fact that stressors are additive means that the organizations have to consider the total sum stress an employee is exposed to. It further illustrates that stressed leaders create stressed organizations and employees. Workload was another source of stress and time was perceived to be a limit. This together created a feeling of insufficiency. Unclear leadership and the feeling of uncertainty were also the important stress factors (Ulf Månsson, Stress - The Middle managers everyday life).

Another work in the field of stress is done by Jennifer Kavanagh in 1981 in which he has expressed the stress and performance and its applicability to the military. He explained that when an individual comes under stress, his cognitive performance and decision-making is adversely affected. Particularly, under conditions of stress, individuals are likely to screen out, suffer from performance rigidity or narrow thinking, lose their ability to analyze in complicated situations and manipulate information. In addition to effects on the individual, stress has also been shown to negatively affect group functioning. When stressed, individuals are likely to yield control to their superiors and to allow authority to become more concentrated in the upper levels of the hierarchy.

The further research on stress finds that the marital status, family system, number of students, monthly income, age and job experience of teachers contribute significantly in teacher stress, job performance and self efficacy of school teachers (Hanif, Rubina (2004) Teacher Stress, Job performance and self efficacy of women school teachers) PhD thesis, National Institute of Psychology / Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.