Economic terrorism

The term “economic terrorism” should be strictly defined to indicate an attempt at economic destabilisation by a group. More precisely, in 2005, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy defined economic terrorism in the follow­ing terms: Contrary to “economic warfare,” which is undertaken by states against other states, “eco­nomic terrorism” would be un­dertaken by transnational or non-state actors. 

This could entail varied, coor­dinated, sophisticated, or mas­sive destabilising actions to dis­rupt the economic and financial stability of a state, a group of states, or a society (such as mar­ket-oriented Western societies) for ideological or religious mo­tives. These actions, if undertak­en, may be violent or not. They could have immediate effects or carry psychological effects, which in turn have economic consequences.

Terroristic attacks against ports and land borders force the imple­mentation of extra measures to ensure the safe arrival of prod­ucts. These measures force the cost of exporting and import­ing goods to increase. Emerging economies are the most affected because the slowing of exports and imports can affect the coun­try’s ability to combat poverty. An increase in poverty can lead to re­volts among the population and potential political destabilisation, further exacerbating poverty.



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