In the post I'm analyzing the author says, "Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons (CBRN) threaten American lives, both at home and abroad, and state actors aren't the only one with their fingers on the trigger." (For those of you who don't know what a state actor is, they are a person acting on behalf of the government: acting for the state)
This sentence creates an interesting mental image. It first sets the stage by trying to frighten you with scary weapon terminology, then paints an image of the people who act on behalf of our government poised and ready for battle. Not only this, but it leaves the lingering idea that there are many other countries who are just itching for a fight.
I think the author does this to make us believe that we are on the brink of a global war, and create the idea that everyone, everywhere is looking to start a fight. He is definitely trying to appeal to the audience on an emotional level because of the frightening terms he uses when talking about weapons. It effectively generates fear and concern for the safety of American lives, pulling his audience into the rest of his article.