A threat given by a party is an intention in whatever form, written or spoken,
which augurs harm to the threatened party.
The party making such statements or
signals of harm obviously means ill will to the party receiving the threat.
Obviously, he must be feeling animosity
towards the other party or body to resort to such intimidation. The objective of
a threat is to make the threatened party comply with some action, or request or
unfortunate results may occur. For example, a simple threat by person A to
person B may be: "I will beat you up." In another form of a threat, he may say:
"I will beat you if you do not give me your money."
Threats can come in all forms. In a simple form, a bully may threaten to beat
up a small boy. It may also take the form of a nation threatening another
nation. A mighty country may threaten other countries by virtue of its military
might. If the other country refuses to comply with its demands, it may be
invaded. Countries commanding valuable resources such as water may threaten to
cut off the supply to the other countries who depend on it if their political
demands are not met.
Threats may come in written form such as letters, or the telephone or through
the Internet. Terrorists or gangsters have been known to broadcast their threats
live over radio or television, threatening damage to institutions such as
blowing up a bank or killing hostages.
Beyond inflicting bodily harm on a person, a threatener will also cause
mental stress and duress for the sufferer.
Terrorists may threaten governments that they would detonate bombs in public
places if the latter does not comply with their demands. Sometimes, superpowers
resort to threats. In the Cold War of the 1960s, the United States and Russia
were engaged in a race for military and political supremacy. When Russia under
Khruschev installed missiles in the Bay of Pigs in Cuba, which could be aimed at
the Americans, President Kennedy sent counter threats. Either the missiles were
removed or Russia would face swift counteraction. Russia complied in the face of
such a strong threat.
The world is getting more vulnerable to threats of a more
insidious kind on a wider scale with the
increase in technological and communication advances. Criminal elements can
learn how to make bombs through surfing the Internet. There are more poisonous
chemicals and gases which can be used by unstable elements to threaten harm on a
city's water supplies or transport network.
In recent years, threats have been received to harm people using trains or
planes. There was a case of a man who poisoned some snacks of a famous brand and
issued threats. The poor company not only had to comply with his demands but had
to remove all the items of the particular brand. It incurred great financial
costs. Such is the power nowadays of a few individuals who can hold mighty
bodies to ransom. It is no longer a simple case of kidnappers issuing death
threats to a person if their ransom demands are not met.
In the case of two parties involved in a personal dispute, it is not for us
to judge who is at fault, especially if we do not know the facts. However, when
one party issues a threat to the other, then the former is going against the
law. People who make threats go against the grain of an orderly society. Threats
are unpleasant matters, cause harm and should be firmly dealt with by everyone