The suspect’s live broadcast of the New Zealand killings reveals such acts are always as much about instilling fear as inflicting violence
Terrorism is effective because it always seems near. It always seems new. And it always seems personal. Ever since the first wave of terrorist violence broke across the newly industrialised cities of the west in the late 19th century this has been true.
It feels personal because, although statistics may show we are many times more likely to die in a banal domestic accident, we instinctively conclude from an attack on the other side of the street, the city or, in the case of New Zealand, the other side of the world, we might be next.