Terrorism involves the use of violence or other harmful acts against civilians to coerce, intimidate or for some radical ideological and political goals. Terrorists use violence or the threat of violence to create fear among civilians. However, the attacks are either covert or overt thereby making the detection of their extent and source difficult to ascertain (Bullock, Haddow & Coppola, 2013). Terrorists are increasing utilizing hazards as sources of terror to cause emergencies and disasters.
Chemical agents and explosives are examples of such major hazards that affect a large geographic scale, thereby posing a problem in collecting and managing information from the scene. Examples include corrosive, toxic, flammable and reactive chemicals. Terrorists use chemical agents to carry out their attacks because they are poisonous to people, plants and animals. Moreover, they can be sprayed from vehicles, aircrafts or released by bombs in addition to being tasteless and odorless thereby taking a short time to affect the target (Magnuson et al., 2012). However, chemical agents are difficult to make and cannot be delivered in lethal concentrations.
Explosives, on the other hand include improvised explosive devices, landmines and unexploded ordnance. They pose long-term hazards to survivors, for instance mental health effects and kidney infections. Explosives are preferred by terrorists because they are easy to carry and detonate, and information about how to make them is widely available (Khan et al., 2012). The United States citizens would be most vulnerable to an explosive attack, especially one delivered via a package. This would be possible since most people receive packages to their offices and homes on daily basis. The terrorist would pose as a courier worker to deliver the explosive. This explains why the anthrax attacks were successful before news spread that people were receiving anthrax virus enclosed in envelopes.