26 January 2016
The recent terrorist attacks in Jakarta, though claiming fewer casualties when compared to earlier attacks in Indonesia, have nonetheless caught the attention of the global media and have become sensational news by now.
By virtue of grabbing the headlines, those who were responsible for the attacks have already succeeded in securing at least one of their objectives:to make their presence known and to be talked about. This puts the media and the global fraternity of security analysts in a difficult position, where discussing such attacks also means giving the perpetrators of violence what they want, which is publicity.
For several years now we have seen how acts of terrorism have evolved and adapted to the realities of the media age we live in, where almost everyone in any modern city would be equipped with some form of portable communications technology. The availability of such technology, and the fact that we live in a virtual age where almost everything – from the contents of one’s handbag, to what we eat for lunch – is photographed and instantly put on the Internet for the world to see, means that the urban landscape is more connected today than ever before. This is something that all radical groups, of whatever ideology or orientation, are well aware of. This has led to the evolution of a slightly different kind of terrorism, one that is a child of the media age we live in today.
… The writer is an associate professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.
GPO / Online / Print
Last updated on 26/01/2016