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Be Very AfraidThe Cultural Response to Terror, Pandemics, Environmental Devastation, Nuclear Annihilation, and Other Threats$
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Robert Wuthnow

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199730872

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730872.001.0001

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Weapons of Mass Destruction

Weapons of Mass Destruction

(p.90) Five Weapons of Mass Destruction
Be Very Afraid

Robert Wuthnow (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on how the 9/11 attacks merged with and animated the discussion of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). By the first anniversary of 9/11, public officials and commentators were focusing less attention on how or why the World Trade Center and Pentagon had been attacked than on the far more lethal and presumably prevalent danger posed by weapons of mass destruction. The truly terrifying danger that now faced the world, officials argued, was the likelihood that terrorists would use WMDs in order to inflict casualties on a larger scale than ever imagined. Over the next few years, concern about WMDs grew dramatically. WMDs acquired the same kind of cultural prominence as an abiding source of unease that nuclear weapons had gained during the Cold War.

Keywords:   terrorism, peril, threats, 9/11, terrorist attacks, war on terror, mass destruction

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