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Possibility of domestic terrorism

1. Discuss the challenges in addressing the possibility of domestic terrorism. Be sure to include comments on preventing, preparing, and responding to domestic terrorism.
2. Are there any types of domestic terrorism that would be more difficult to deal with? Why?
3. What aspects of the American political system make it more or less difficult to deal with this issue?
4. How has the U.S. national/homeland security community reacted to this threat?
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In this particular task, you are being asked to do a number of things - explore ideas, concepts and topics of interest in relation to terrorism and US national security. I suggest that you use an outline to complete this task which I have provided you with, below. When tackling each question, plan out the ideas you will include. It's not the length of the answer - it's in the manner by which you present your ideas. So be concise but include details. I suggest this outline:

1. Domestic terrorism (300 words)
a. definition
b. challenges in addressing domestic terrorism
c. preventing, preparing & responding to domestic terrorism

2. Types of Domestic Terrorism (200 words)
a. types
b. the difficult type, add an example (see Boston bombing)

3. American Politics & Terrorism (200 words)
a. American politics & terrorism
b. politicking and terrorism prevention

4. Domestic Terrorism & the DHS (300 words)
a. the DHS & domestic terrorism
b. Concrete actions taken
c. example of events

This outline should yield around 1,000 words but of course, you can lengthen the resulting material by putting in more details, expanding the discussion, adding more ideas. You can also use the listed resources to further explore the topic. Just let me know if you need further clarification. All the best with your studies.


On Domestic Terrorism

Terrorism is the application and use of violence and terror to coerce a community, a group of people or a nation towards a particular goal. The operating element in terrorism is the element of fear and is often perpetrated because of political, ideological or religious goals. In the global community of nations, terrorism is seen as a persistent threat that perpetuates conflict and human suffering. Terrorists deliberately focus their efforts in harming civilians (non-combatants) and targets that can provide the most impact in forwarding their message. The 9-11 events that resulted in the collapse of the NY Twin Towers and the bombing of the Pentagon is an act of terrorism wherein the radical group Al Qaeda moved to channel their message of hate and fear by inflicting tragically violent loss of lives upon symbolic American targets. The United Nations condemn terrorism as determined in the 1994 UN General Assembly's description of what terrorism is -

"Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them."

Domestic terrorism meanwhile is a type of terrorism whereby the perpetrators of the terrorist act are 'home-grown' - citizens of the country intent in utilizing fear to forward their goals. The 2001 USA PATRIOT Act has formally set out domestic terrorism as such - "(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; (B) appear to be intended— (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States."

The most recent domestic terrorism event known as the 'Boston Marathon Bombing' is a terrorist attack carried on by 2 naturalized Americans who, to express and assert their aggression and frustrations with the larger US society set off a homemade pressure-cooker 'backpack' bomb which killed 5 people and injured 280 only took place last month, April 15, 2013. Motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs, the brothers Tsaernaev were part of a Chechnyan refugee family whose immigration to the US did not result in a better life for the family. Identification with a radical Islamic viewpoint moved the eldest of the brothers to orchestrate the act as 'retribution' for the US military action in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bombing of the marathon took the world by surprise - most especially the US authorities. The Tsaernaev brothers were unlikely candidates for domestic terrorism as on the outside, it appears as if the brothers were the typical second-generation migrant kids - making life work inspite of the challenges of 2 ethnic influences. This, I think is the greatest challenge. How do you identify ...

Solution Summary

The possibility of domestic terrorism is is analyzed. The challenges in addressing the possibility of domestic terrorism is discussed. Types of domestic terrorism that would be more difficult to deal with are determined.