Developing Exceptional People
07 August 2017

What is Terrorism?

​​​At Carlisle we believe safety in the workplace is paramount, but these days it’s not just about fire drills and first aid training – it’s also crucial for employees to be educated on extremism and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. 

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges with terrorism is defining it. It’s a common misbelief that the term refers solely to Muslim extremists, yet the issue is much more complex and wider reaching than that.

The Oxford dictionary defines a terrorist as: ‘A person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims’. This definition does not specify ethnicity, religion, culture, gender or nationality. A terrorist can therefore be anyone from anywhere with any agenda. 

It may sound like a hopeless cause, but terrorism can be prevented. While identifying a terrorist by looks alone is impossible, there are common behavioural patterns to look out for: 
  • Secretive/defensive attitude towards online activities 
  • Isolation 
  • ‘Us and them’ mentality 
  • Argumentative/domineering when giving opinions 
  • Sudden altered appearance 
  • Abnormal routines/travel patterns/aspirations
If you believe someone is behaving suspiciously at work it’s vital to report it. It’s much easier for the police to deal with potential terrorists before they are radicalised and have entered the ‘pre-criminal space’, which is defined below: 

​​Strength of political views​ ​Legal status
Mainstream ​Pre-criminal space ​
Radical ​
​Extremism ​Criminal behaviour ​
40% of terror-related arrests lead to persecution but there are currently over 3,000 people of interest in the UK. As it takes 36 surveillance officers to monitor just 1 person for 24 hours, there simply aren’t enough resources to investigate each individual suspect. Reporting relevant suspicions could save lives. 

To further your education on the prevention of terrorism, Carlisle have numerous free resources, programmes and contacts available to help you and your colleagues. Contact Service Development Director, Martin Woollam today on 07836 694156 for more information. 

Alternatively, you can read our whitepaper ‘Creating Safer Workplaces through Prevent’ by clicking here. ​