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What Is A Terrorist Attack?

Free World War Armageddon photo and picture

The first step in prepping for a terrorist attack is to know exactly what one is! In short, a terrorist attack is an attack by an enemy that wants to put an end to the western way of life. They are often perpetrated by religious or political extremists and are designed to create a culture of fear that stops people from being able to live their life in the way that they had planned. Terrorist attacks are seen as the most cowardly form of warfare as the enemy hides in the shadows, waiting for a moment to enact their violent goals.

It’s also important to note that most terrorist attacks are fuelled by the desire to cause the most destruction and chaos possible with their attacks. They can work alone, but more often than not, a terrorist is part of a cell of terrorists that plot together and work on plans that will damage iconic monuments and cause as many civilian casualties as possible.

The reason that terrorism is so hard for governments to stop is that it is not an open warfare in which we can see our enemy. Terrorists hide behind political parties, ideologies and religious institutions, leaving people confused about who and what they can trust. A terrorist’s work is done when they are successful in turning groups of people against each other and leaving people feeling vulnerable in their own homes.

The war on terror still wages across the world and with historical incidents in cities like London, New York and Manchester, many people are worried about survival and preparing for events that may come in the future. It’s true that most governments disavow terrorist attacks, yet they still struggle to clamp down on the insidious plots and locate the ring leaders that threaten our way of life.

As a prepper, being ready for all eventualities is hugely important, especially when you have family and friends to care for. However, rather than becoming obsessed with the worry of potential threats, it’s wise to divert your energy into finding ways to get ready for anything so that you can get going the minute you know something is going on.

In this survival guide, we will share all we know about potential terrorist attacks and share a wealth of survival tips for any British prepper that wants to get a head start on being ready for all eventualities. Take your time to read through this information and then start prepping with a purpose – you’ll be glad you did!

What Kind Of Terrorists Are There?

Despite the current media opinions, there are a number of different types of terrorists that are not all fuelled by religion. Some of the most well-known terrorists include:

  • Political Terrorists – political terrorist works to undermine what the government is working towards and tries to put forward a different agenda for people to follow. Most political terrorists fall at the far edges of left and right-wing agendas and believe that their view of what the world should be is the only way to resolve the issues that the world is facing.
  • Ideological Terrorists – an ideological terrorist is focused on promoting a particular ideology that most people would not agree with. These terrorists feel that their terrorist activities are fully justified as they are a way to promote their thinking and get their cause noticed by the population. Most ideological terrorists are in a fight against governments that they feel marginalised by.
  • Religious Terrorists – religious terrorism is often the most talked about type of terrorism, with people being led to believe that certain religions are in direct conflict with the way that people live. They are usually fuelled by the desire to instil their extreme views on others and implement a strict regime for living.
  • Racial Terrorists – racial terrorism focuses on minority groups and aims to either eradicate them or remove the power they are perceived to hold. Throughout the course of history, there have been plenty of terrorist attacks against different races, helping to fuel racism and racial discord in countries across the globe.

What Are The Biggest Terrorist Attacks Of All Time?

September 11 attacks - Wikipedia

With so many terrorist attacks going on around the world, it is easy to get lost in them all. However, there are some that have caused mass destruction and damage to countries and we’ve listed the top deadly terror attacks ever below for you to read about:

  • ISIS September 11, 2001 – when ISIS (Al Qaeda terrorists) decided to declare war against the US, they accessed aircraft and flew them into the twin towers, causing destruction and death. The attack was shown on live TV and was designed to target the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. There was also a third plane that was hijacked, but this crashed before it could reach its final target. The attacks were responsible for the death of nearly 3000 people, causing physical injury to more than 6000 and leaving many more with mental health conditions such as PTSD.
  • Al Qaeda Followers July 7, 2005 – when extremists witnessed the destruction caused by the 9/11 attack, they were motivated to try and replicate the carnage caused but in London instead. On 7/7, three bombs went off on public transport across the city – underground and on a bus. They killed more than 50 people and injured nearly 900 others, causing panic and raising the terror attack warning level before being claimed by Islamic extremists who stated that they wanted to teach the UK a lesson.
  • ISIL May 22, 2017 – during an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, a terrorist set off a bomb that killed over 50 people. It was seen as a horrific and cowardly attack that targeted young people as they watched the concert. ISIL claimed that the attack was instigated by them and performed by Salman Abedi who died in the bombing. As a result, the terror attack warning was raised in the UK, and the military was put on standby should further attacks take place.

While these three attacks form part of the top deadly attacks ever, there have been many other attacks across the globe, causing the death of innocent people and destruction.

What Is The Deadliest Biological Weapon?

The use of a bioweapon is one of the most concerning threats in modern times, with many extremists threatening to start biological warfare to make their point known and to cause bioterror in civilians. In reality, there are plenty of biological weapons that terrorists could use, with some of the most threatened including:

  • Smallpox
  • Ricin
  • Plague
  • Ebola

However, the most deadly bioweapon around to date is Anthrax, a type of bacteria that not only poses a deadly risk to human beings but can also kill animals and plants, destroying entire areas and spreading easily from person to person.

Anthrax attacks have happened in the past in both the UK and the USA, as well as in other parts of the world. In Britain, Anthrax has never been used on a wide scale but it has been sent inside letters that have been addressed to senior UK political figures. Luckily, with the checking processes in place, the Anthrax that was posted never managed to cause deadly harm or spread to others.

Sadly, people have lost their lives due to an Anthrax attack in the USA back in 2001, causing widespread bioterror in many countries. Letters were sent to officials as well as media personalities and infected people who later became very ill, with five deaths. This attack made the international headlines and prompted countries to agree on a plan to prepare for future attacks as well as working on ways to reduce production and supply channels that criminals were using.

Are Biological And Chemical Weapons Banned?

Yes! Britain has strict policies on both biological and chemical attack, in a bid to reduce the access terrorists have to items that can cause harm. To show the importance of this commitment to avoiding a biological or chemical attack, there is legislation in place that allows anyone who tries to make or distribute these types of weapons to be tried under the raft of anti-terror laws that are currently in place.

Other ways that the British government works to avoid chemical attack and biological warfare is to ensure tight control around imports and exports as well as active surveillance of anyone that is at risk of being radicalised or is suspected to be a terrorist. Looking for some chemical terror attack examples? Check out some of the possibilities below:

  • Spread of Chemicals in Air Supply – adding gasses to an air supply can induce respiratory distress. This is one of the easiest ways to cause harm as a simple chemical such as chlorine can have devastating effects.
  • Spread of Chemicals in Water Supply – adding toxic chemicals to a water supply could work to poison a large group of people with very little effort. Some of the chemicals that would be considered good for this type of attack include ricin and anthrax.
  • Spread of Chemicals in Confined Spaces – the third of our chemical terror attack examples include letting off toxic chemicals in a confined space and refusing to let people escape before they die. This type of warfare was seen in WWII and continues to be one of the most worrying ways that a chemical attack could take place.

In reality, the British authorities can’t be in every place at once and there are many would-be terrorists that are not currently on their radars, which makes the threat of chemicals distasteful so frightening. Rather than waiting to become part of one of the top deadly terror attacks ever, it is wise to start prepping now so that when the SHTF, you are ready to react in a way that keeps you and your loved ones safe.

What May Indicate A Radiological Attack?

Members assigned to the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain Emergency Response Team, lead contaminated victims of a simulated Chemical, Biological, and Radiological attack to be treated. - PICRYL - Public Domain Media

As a British prepper, it is important to be aware of all types of SHTF terror threats, including those of a radiological attack. Radioactive contamination, or a dirty bomb, is one of the most horrific types of attack around as it requires the collection of radioactive material that is then packed inside an exploding device that explodes and contaminates an area and all the people in it. Many terrorists combine other items in a dirty bomb to cause the most harm, leaving people to die in pain and ensuring they suffer as much as possible.

If you are keen to be aware of the signs of radioactive contamination then check out our list below:

  • Increased Levels of Radiation – it may sound obvious but one of the best warnings that a dirty bomb has been deployed is an increased level of radiation. When prepping, adding a device that can monitor radiation levels to your survival kit will help you to escape an area before the radiation takes effect.
  • Evidence of Radioactive Materials – another key indicator that a radiological SHTF event has taken place is noticing radioactive material littered or dumped in the vicinity. Typically, these will be dumped in high-traffic zones such as transport hubs and shopping centres so that they can cause the most damage, reducing everyone’s chances of survival.
  • Radiation Sickness – another key radiological terror attack warning includes developing signs of radiation sickness. This can look like sickness, burns on the skin and waves of nausea that do not disappear. Should you show signs of radiation sickness, it is imperative that you seek urgent medical care as soon as possible, even in a survival situation.

How Would A Terrorist Attack Affect The UK?

Preparing for a SHTF event such as a terrorist attack is essential to your survival, but it is also important to think about what the attack or chemical disaster could look like so that you are able to prepare adequately.

The first thing that you should remember is that terrorist attacks are usually targeted at one specific area rather than the entire country in one go. This means whether you live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, there is a chance that you could become a victim of the attack.

Once the chemical disaster or violent attack has taken place, the economy of England and the other three nations would be impacted, with people and businesses entering into panic mode and working to stay safe. In addition, the government would increase the threat level to critical as people work to discover whether another attack could take place.

Emergency services would also be put on high alert across the country, with all staff and reservists required to report for duty and support areas that have been victim to the attacks. Many civilians would find themselves questioning what to do in a terror attack and start trying to formulate a plan to keep themselves and their loved ones safe (unless you are a prepper and you are already good to go!).

The type of panic that a terror attack would create could lead to runs on banks and shops as people try to scramble everything they need together to be able to survive. Sadly, this type of behaviour could result in them becoming a target of another attack as the shops and banks would be busier than ever.

Finally, there would be a lot of international interest from both allies and enemies as the world waits for a terrorist organisation to take credit for the attack. This would see a huge increase in social media usage with opinions from both sides of the issue bubbling over and causing threats and hate speech to be shared during the chaos. As a prepper, it is essential that you are ready to move or bug in during a terrorist attack so avoiding getting involved in the situation as it develops is vital to your safety.

What Scenarios Could Result In A Terrorist Attack

One thing that every prepper will want to know more than what to do in terror attack, is what scenarios should they look out for that could result in a terrorist attack. As terrorists are so incredibly secretive and are happy to wait many years to bring their plots to light, it can be difficult to specify exact scenarios that could be the catalyst they are looking for. However, there are some things that may happen that could encourage them to act, including:

  • War Against Their Home Country – if the terrorists do not identify as British then there is a chance that England or other western countries could go to war with the place they refer to as home. In these cases, terrorists will often strike to show their displeasure at the war and to try and intimidate countries to stop them from attacking their country.
  • Political Elections – in the case of political terrorism, if a government is elected that they do not agree with it could inspire terrorists to act to create instability as the new government takes over. They may also act before the elections are finished in a bid to try and frighten people into voting a specific way.
  • Speaking Out Against Them – should a person that is held in high regard globally start speaking out against terrorism, they may find that they become the target of the terrorists. This is done to try and silence speech that shows what they are capable of and tries to make the spokesperson look like the problem, not them.
  • For Fun – many terrorists enjoy creating chaos and fear and so attacking people and places is not only a good way to promote their agenda but also provides them with a source of entertainment and allows their cause to become front page news.

What Are The First Signs Of A Terrorist Attack?

Island response teams 'leapfrog' a simulated chemical attack - NARA & DVIDS Public Domain Archive Public Domain Search

Sadly, in most SHTF terrorist attacks, there are very few signs that it is going to happen. This is a deliberate attempt by the terrorists to go unnoticed for as long as possible so that they can cause maximum damage. However, there are some things that you can look for when you are out and about if you are worried about a terror attack taking place:

  • Be Aware of the Threat Level – in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, there is a terror threat level that lets you know how likely a terror attack is. Being aware of the current terror level will help you to assess the danger before you go out.
  • Different or New Activity – one of the biggest giveaways that something is going to happen is when you notice something different or new to the norm. It could be a parked car with someone sitting inside for hours on end or people who look bulkier than you’d expect them to, especially if they are wearing long coats to cover what they have on underneath.
  • Media Threats – sometimes a terrorist cell will put out threats in the media and on social media channels warning people that they are going to attack in order to create a sense of fear. These threats will not name the location or the intended plot but they usually name the country they are going to attack and share their reasons for doing so.
  • More Police – if the government get intel that a terrorist attack is going to happen, they will increase the level of security in the area they are concerned about. If you notice more police, armed police or even military in your area, you may be at risk of getting caught up in a terror-related incident.

As a prepper, you are likely to be aware of your surroundings and able to tell when something just isn’t right. Don’t ignore your gut instincts but also try not to panic; instead, get your survival guide out and get to work.

How To Prepare For A Terrorist Attack

Having a survival guide and survival tips to help you prepare for a terrorist attack not only enables you to get everything together that you will need but also helps to provide you with information you may not have considered. To help you get ready, we’ve shared our advice on how you should prepare for a terrorist attack:

  • Know the Threat – living in an age where terrorism is a real threat can be daunting, but it is wise to keep up to date on the different terrorist organisations and what they want. To do this you can read the news or even wats a terror attack documentary, as long as it is up to date.
  • Make Plans – being a prepper means that you are probably a fan of a plan! Use this skill to come up with a plan that you can use should you find yourself in a terror situation. Involve your loved ones when making the plan and agree on a course of action that everyone can use to know what to do in terror attack situations.
  • Think About What Could Happen – as terrorists are keen to create the highest level of damage and destruction, you will need to consider all the possible eventualities so that you can ready yourself with medical, location and safety knowledge.
  • Don’t Be a Hero – many of us like to think that we have the skills to save the day when an emergency comes around. However, being a prepper is the only skill you should be thinking about. If you are in the midst of a terror situation, don’t be a hero! Instead, focus on getting the people you love out of harm’s way as quickly and painlessly as possible.
  • Share Intel – finally, many people will have an opinion on your life as a prepper but do not let this stop you from sharing vital information that could share lives. If you are concerned about terrorism or have some intel that could be valuable, share it with the people that need it so that they can work to reduce the impact of any potential attack.

What Can Be Expected To Happen During A Terrorist Attack?

The idea of a terrorist attack is frightening to many people, including the prepper population. To help you get to grips with what may go on, we’ve shared some of the things that are likely to happen during an attack:

  • Panic – one of the first things that you will notice during and just after a terrorist attack is sheer panic and chaos all around you as people try to process what has happened and whether they are ok or not. Trying to keep your cool will help you to make a plan and get to safety rather than leaving yourself vulnerable to any follow-up attacks that may be planned.
  • Injuries – as terrorists want to cause as much damage as possible, they will aim to injure as many people as possible. Therefore, it is important that you are ready to handle any injuries in order to survive.
  • Local Lockdown – if the terrorists are able to escape the scene, law enforcement may issue a lockdown order that requires everyone to stay in their homes until the terrorists are found. This can scupper your plans to bug out, but it is unwise to go head-to-head with police after a lockdown order is issued.
  • Media Swarms – once the attack has ended, you will find that that area will quickly become overrun with media outlets that want to provide full coverage of the attack to their audiences. This type of chaos isn’t all bad and can help to provide you with clear cover as you flee the area.

What Are The Main Hazards Of A Terrorist Attack?

HD wallpaper: city, fire, smoke, building, destruction, disaster, sky, blast | Wallpaper Flare

Every terror attack documentary ever shown tells you that coming face to face with a terrorist is possibly the most dangerous hazard that you can encounter during a terrorist attack. However, there are a number of other hazards that can happen as a result of the attack, including:

  • Swarming People – as an attack takes place, people will be rushing in every direction to try and escape but this can lead to pile-ups, making them all vulnerable to secondary attacks. If you are in this situation, stay away from the crowd so that you can escape more quickly.
  • Car Crashes – many terrorist attacks take place in cities where there are cars, buses and motorcycles. Should the attack cause a car crash or stop the road from functioning, you may need to consider leaving your car behind and escaping on foot.
  • Injuries and Death – the reality of terrorist attacks is that they cause a lot of injuries and loss of life. Be prepared to witness this while focusing on making your escape to safety.
  • Falling Buildings – if the attack has damaged a building, you will need to be aware that the building could fall and cause further injury, making it important that you get as far away from the scene of the attack as possible.
  • Debris – bombs cause significant damage and there will be debris around that could be harmful and dangerous. Even in this moment of panic, you will need to be careful where you are going and what you are stepping on.
  • Terrorist Sympathisers – most terrorists will have sympathisers in the vicinity of the attack, seeing the destruction and ensuring the plan was fulfilled. Be aware of these people as they may pose a further risk to your life if they choose to get involved.

Things Not To Do During A Terrorist Attack

If you find yourself in the midst of a terrorist attack, there are some simple things that you must avoid doing wherever possible. Firstly, do not attempt to engage the terrorists or talk them down; they will be armed, potentially have explosives on them and will be willing to die for what they believe in – all of this means bad news for you.

It’s also important to never run towards the devastation in the hope of finding survivors or fighting back as many attacks have secondary plans in place to injure those that do. Remember, there will be well-trained emergency response services on their way to help and get any survivors the help they need.

If a terrorist attack has happened near you, there will be a range of emergency services on the scene very quickly. It is important that you follow the instructions of these services and stay away from any areas that they say are out of bounds. Failing to follow these instructions could result in arrest or even injury if you are mistaken for one of the terrorists.

Finally, steer clear of sharing what has happened with mainstream media channels as they often cause panic and fear across the country. Instead, share your intel via your trusted prepper network so that you can ensure that the right information reaches the right people.

How To Prepare Your Home For A Terrorist Attack

File:Flint and slate house in Barham - geograph.org.uk - 1778122.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Whether you’ve watched a terror attack documentary or have first-hand experience of being near a terrorist attack, you will know that the element of surprise is the most important part of the attack. This can make it hard to know what to prepare – however, there are some things that you can do in your own home to get it ready for an attack:

  • Reinforce Windows and Doors – should an attack take place near your home, your windows and doors are most likely to be blown in. Take some time to reinforce them so that they can handle the blast and keep you safe.
  • Pack a Go Bag – being ready to go is of vital importance, especially if an attack is taking place nearby. Have your go bag ready with clothes, medications, first aid supplies, legal documents and survival gear.
  • Have a Lookout Spot – one of the biggest indicators that something is going on is when people start acting differently than normal. Set up a lookout spot that you can use to keep an eye on what is going on in your neighbourhood.
  • Keep Your Home Secure – locks and other security measures should be checked regularly to make sure they are in good working order and up to the job. Choosing to install CCTV will also make it easier for you to keep an eye on what is happening in the vicinity.
  • Recall the Plan – once you’ve made an emergency plan with your loved ones, take the time to recall it and discuss it regularly. This way, everyone will know exactly what to do should a terrorist attack happen.

Essential Prepping Items For A Terrorist Attack

What to know which items you need to have on hand should a terrorist attack take place? We’ve got you covered with this handy list:

  • First Aid Supplies – as a terrorist attack is focused on creating the most damage and injury, it is imperative that you have a well-stocked first aid kit so that you can treat yourself or anyone else that needs your help.
  • Water – if an attack happens and causes a burst main, you will need access to drinking water without leaving your house. Stock up on bottled water to help you prepare for this event.
  • Go Bag – once you have packed your go bag, keep it somewhere that is easy to get to so that you are ready to leave at a moment’s notice if required.
  • Weapon – should you come face to face with a terrorist, you will want to have a weapon that you can use to defend yourself.
  • Sheets/Tarpaulins – if you are made aware that a terrorist attack is imminent, you may want to cover windows and doors with sheets or tarps so that if they get broken, the glass doesn’t fly everywhere.
  • Multipurpose Tool – having a multipurpose tool will be handy in all eventualities as it will give you support for a wide range of tasks without having to carry a toolkit with you.

Top Survival Tips For Surviving A Terrorist Attack

Living through a terrorist attack may seem impossible, but many people do live to tell the tale. Follow our tips to help you survive:

  • Stay Away From Windows and Doors – as an explosion could cause your windows and doors to shatter, it is important to stay well away from them to ensure your safety.
  • Avoid Large Groups – as terrorists will target the most densely populated areas, it is wise to steer clear of crowds so that you do not become a target too.
  • Do Not Confront Attackers – if you are able to see a terrorist attacker, do not go up to them or try to tackle or apprehend them. Instead, share the location with the emergency services and get yourself to a safe location.
  • Do Not Panic – there’s no denying that a terrorist attack is frightening, but it is important to stay calm and stick to your emergency plan so that you don’t end up making errors as you try to survive.
  • Find a Safe Location – once an attack has happened, you must get to the nearest and safest location you can find until the all-clear has been given. If this is away from your loved ones then it’s also important to stay in touch with them as much as possible so that you can be sure that everyone is safe.
  • Listen to the News – use whichever news channel you trust the most to stay abreast of what is happening so that you know when the threat is over and what damage has been done.

Should You Bug Out Or Bug In For A Terrorist Attack?

As a terrorist attack is generally a surprise event, it can be difficult to know whether to bug in or bug out. With this in mind, we would advise you to have both a bug in and bug out location ready to use so that you have options that you can choose from when the attack happens. Terror attacks don’t happen in small neighbourhoods, they generally take place in public so you shouldn’t really have to bug out unless you live in a large city. 

If the attack isn’t near your location, then bugging in is probably the best idea as you will have access to all your belongings, energy and water. It is also a good idea when you have locked ones as everyone will know where to convene should the worst happen. If choosing to bug in, stay vigilant and keep up to date with the news so that you know what is happening and whether the threat is moving towards you.

If the attack is in your area, then bugging out may be the better decision, especially if you have a survival shelter that is away from densely populated areas. Remember that your bug out plan will need to factor in your transport so that you can get there safely. In a terrorist attack, public transport will unlikely be running, so securing your own method of transport and having it prepped and ready to go is important.

In reality, the decision to bug in or bug out will need to be taken once you have access to all the facts of the terrorist attack that is taking place. So, make sure you stay in touch with your comms network and keep your plans updated and reviewed.

Will Life Return To Normal After A Terrorist Attack?

The point of a terrorist attack is to spread fear and worry, stopping you from resuming normal life and making you scared to carry on as normal. This means that for many people, recovering from a terrorist attack with take a lot of time and sadly never let them feel the ease that they felt before the attack happened.

As an attack unfolds, there will be panic, increased security and lots of surveillance in place to try and look out for clues about the attackers as well as being vigilant about further attacks. The issue with increased surveillance is that it can also be a threat to our normal way of life, leaving innocent people feeling concerned that they will be targeted or scapegoated.

In relation to the economic impact, there will be a lot of money needed to restore the damage that has taken place and money to cover the increased security and surveillance. This all takes time to put into place, making it harder for people to get back to normal after the attack has ended.

Businesses often report problems with sales after a terror event too as people are too scared to venture out, worried that it may happen again. While we know that the only way to challenge terrorists is to live well and normally, the impact of a terrorist attack has far-reaching consequences that will last a lifetime.

Best Movies About A Terrorist Attack

Sometimes the best way to learn about terrorism is to watch documentaries and movies that have been made about them. We’ve shared our top three choices so that you can start viewing them right away!


United 93 (2006) – this docudrama/thriller works to tell the story of what happened on the United 93 flight that was hijacked by terrorists. It retells how the hijackers may have behaved and the plans to overcome them and regain control by passengers before the plane crashed far from its intended target, killing everyone that was onboard. The film was made with the permission of many of the families who lost loved ones on United 93.

United 93 (2006) - Decent Films


The Year London Blew Up: 1974 (2005) – this document-drama is all about IRA attacks in Britain in the seventies. The storyline comes from the book ‘Timebomb’ and shows how the police worked to try and find members of the IRA while under attack. It also provides you with facts and details about the attacks as well as uses some of the footage from them to help explain exactly what happened. It’s really powerful viewing.

The Year London Blew Up: 1974 - Blast! Films


Munich (2005) – this film was directed and produced by Steven Spielberg and tells the story of the terror attacks on the 1972 summer Olympics. The group Black September were responsible for the attacks and killed 11 people – all of whom were on the Israeli team. The movie was dedicated to those killed in the attacks and was a well-received depiction of what happened.

Munich (2005) directed by Steven Spielberg • Reviews, film + cast • Letterboxd