The Threat of Terrorism

Efforts to protect America from terrorism are made by many government agencies (local, state and federal).  These agencies work together in task forces to improve intelligence and minimize the threats as well as making the nation less vulnerable to such attacks.

By U.S. Government [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) was formed in 2004 to serve as a center for joint planning and intelligence for several government agencies.  The intent of this is to ensure that related information is shared among agencies who engage in the common goal of defeating the threats of terror in the United States and abroad.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is responsible for investigating terrorist activities in the United States.  The FBI serves a role in the mission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to keep America safe.

Related goals of the DHS are to:

  • Prevent attacks
  • Prevent unauthorized use of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials
  • Reduce vulnerability to terrorist attacks and hazards

The FBI's role involves:

  •  Investigating
  • Gathering intelligence
  • Neutralizing terrorist cells and operatives
  • Cutting off support for terrorist activities

According to the FBI, since 9/11 the members in the task forces have multiplied.  This will likely improve identification of threats and prevention of such attacks.

Definition of Terrorism

Basically the United State Code defines this threat in two different categories, International and Domestic.  There is also a definition of acts classified as a Federal Crime of Terrorism.

International threats generally occur outside of the United States while domestic threats are within United States jurisdiction.  Both involve violent or dangerous acts that are against the law with the motivation of intimidation or coercion of civilians or government. 

Offenses categorized as federal crimes relate to attacks on federal facilities and officers and employees of the United States in an attempt to influence, affect the conduct or retaliate against the government.

Domestic and International Terrorist Threats

Wally Gobetz [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Despite the efforts of our local, state and federal agencies and legislative  initiatives of the United States and Allies, the threat of terrorist attacks continues and quite frankly, it always will. 

The fact that the 9/11 attacks occurred has resulted in anxiety of the American people with concerns directed to threats by Islamic Extremists.  This concern is justified considering the growth of terrorist groups that has occurred over the last forty years.

Other types of terrorist attacks occur as is recognized in the lists of threats from domestic and foreign organizations published on the FBI website. Recently, concern of threats from homegrown violent extremists (HVEs) has increased. 

Regardless of where the threats come from, American citizens are concerned and prepared for action to minimize the threats.  Whether international or domestic, prevention of terrorist attacks and minimizing the effects is top of the list for many organizations.  It appears that war on terror will be continuous for the United States and its Allies. 


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