Terrorists want a lot of people watching, not a lot of people dead. (Jenkins, 1988) Discuss.

The past decade has witnessed a dramatic transformation in the nature and use of terrorism. (Bongar, 2007) The word ‘terrorism’ was first popularized during the French revolution (Hoffman, 2006; 3) and had positive a connotation. However, since that time the word has undergone many changes and is now associated with a more negative outlook. The meaning of the world has changed over time to accommodation the political changes in society. Terrorism has numerous definitions and as a term is politically loaded. (Karayotis, 2010) ‘Historically, terrorism has been seen as a tactical phenomenon which fluctuates according to geography and culture and so can not be strictly defined.’ (Gearson, 2002; 10) In 1988 Jenkins made the claim that ‘terrorists want a lot of people watching, not a lot of people dead’. (Jenkins, 1988) Although this statement at the time could be held as true, the changing nature of terrorism has caused the statement to be challenged.
In this essay I intent to look at the meaning behind what Jenkins had to say and analyse it. I also intent to look at whether or not the statement could have been applied to terrorism at one point throughout the years and if so does this remain to be true in today’s society.
Firstly, I will discuss what Jenkins was trying to convey by his quote. In an interview with adnkronas international in 2006 he explains that he said those words in response to those who saw terrorists as ‘bent upon mindless murder’ (Adnkronos international) and also highlighted that since those who are labelled terrorist did not do what they were technically capable of doing there must be self-imposed constraints. (Adnkronos international) Therefore, he was making clear that he believed that terrorists were capable of doing a lot more, but did not, and restrained themselves for many reasons, i.e. to receive public sympathy. However, later on in the...