Everyone thinks they are the Good Guy: Counter Terrorism and the CIA

One of my recent posts talked about why I was comfortable with travelling internationally in Europe following a terrorist attack in France. Terrorism is a complex issue, and isn’t as simple as that people are waging wars on each other ideology.

This video talks about a CIA agent’s counter terrorism work overseas. It’s a short video – only 3.03 minutes.  In it, Former Undercover CIA Agent Amaryllis Fox says ‘If I learned one lesson from my time with the CIA, it is this: Everyone Believes They Are the Good Guy’.


I certainly don’t believe blowing people up, and I certainly don’t believe it is right, however understanding something it key to working out how to prevent it from happening.

What’s the difference between War and Terrorism?

War is a part of life – one of my most formative trips was when I went to the Manchester War Museum when I was 19. When I was there, I thought – it seems to never end does it? Everywhere around the world, someone is fighting over something.

What I think is unique about terrorism are the modern ways of inflicting warfare to gain maximum media attention.

In 2004, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1566 condemned terrorist acts as:

“criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act, which constitute offences within the scope of and as defined in the international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, are under no circumstances justifiable by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other similar nature,”

Terrorism is essentially a tool used by people and groups to instill fear, or coerce people and/or governments into doing what they want. So terrorism can be thought of as an extension of fear of crime. This is important as research shows that fear of crime is enough to prevent or provoke people into doing things, which is a important psychological weapon.

Next week I’ll talk more about fear of crime and its societal impact. I hope you enjoyed the video, and feel free to post any questions!

Emma x


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