Reply to peer 1: “Post- 9/11 legislation created by the U.S. government has enable counterterrorism agencies to better detect, prevent, and disrupt terrorist activity”
The Department of Homeland Security and other security agencies have effectively thwarted 230 terrorist and violent plots in the U.S since 9/11 (Dahl, 2021). Between 9/11 and the end of 2020, 81 terrorist attacks in U.S. has caused death. Many of the terrorist attacks were from homegrown terrorists. The U.S. have not a terrorist attack, that was as catastrophe as 9/11, but some of the terrorist plots that have succeeded were, (1) Chapel Hill, NC. (2006), on the campus of the University of North Carolina, Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, an Iranian native drove his SUV into a crowd of students, injuring six people. His reasoning, treatment of Muslims people around the world. (2) Fort Hood, TX (2009), a U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan shoots and kills 13 people and wounds 32 people. Later, it was found out, he was motivated by Yemeni Al-Qaeda leader, Anwar al-Awlaki. (3) Little Rock, AR (2008), Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad (aka, Carlos Bledsoe) came to an U.S. Army recruitment office stated shooting into the office killing one person, wounding another person. A convert Muslim, he became a self-radicalized homegrown terrorist with a group of other people. Became anger over the treatment of Muslim people around the world. (4) Cambridge, MA (2013), during the annual Boston Marathon, two brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and Tamerlan Tsarnaevs planted two pressure-cooker bombs along the marathon route. When the bombs exploded, three people were killed and more than 260 people were injured. The brothers were self-radicalized and was motivated by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 9/11, the U.S. have improved its counterterrorist capabilities a great deal. The creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2002, which bought together different federal agencies under one umbrella, some of these federal agencies are (U.S. Immigration, and Customs (ICE), U.S. Secret Service (USSS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Federal Air Marshals, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), and Federal Protection Service (FPS). The creation of states Fusion Centers, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force, where FBI Special Agents, cities and states police departments officers are assigned to work with the FBI. Bringing in the private sectors partners to help improve the coordination, and communication of the private sector and homeland security. Getting the public involved with the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign. Better and increase security at U.S. airports, by adding explosive trace detection, advanced x-ray technology, explosive detection system, and bottled liquid scanners, are some ways that airport security has improved. Better information sharing on terrorism between federal, city and state law enforcement agencies. The sharing of intelligence information on terrorism plots, and organizations between the U.S. and its’ allies’ countries have greatly improved. It’s impossible to prevent 100% terrorist attacks. One reason is the person who has self-radicalized themselves and becomes a lone-wolf terrorist. “Homegrown violent extremists (HVE), who operates primarily with the U.S. and who are inspired by foreign terrorist organization but are not acting at their direction” (Dahl, 2021). Homegrown terrorists are the harder one to prevent, usually, they act alone, there no communication with anyone else, their terrorist plot is not hard to plan, and not much money is needed. “Of the 230 unsuccessful domestic terrorist attacks or plots since 9/11 that I have documented, 28 were directed by foreign, terrorist organizations, 118 were committed by homegrown violent extremists and 84 were committed by what the U.S. government terms domestic terrorists” (Dahl, 2021). When protecting U.S. citizens, the U.S. government did not consider, is the warning that Al-Qaeda gave plenty of warnings, that they wanted to kill Americans in large numbers, and U.S. knew Al-Qaeda was planning a big terrorist attack, but not know when. The U.S. should have been on high alert, specially at the airports, and after the terrorist attacks by Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda against the U.S. (World Trade Center/NYC, 1993), (Military Housing Complex, Khobar, Saudi Arabia, 1996), (American Embassies, Nairobi, African and Dar es Salaam, African, 1998), (Adan Harbor, Yemen, 2000) and (World Trade Center, NYC, 2001), the U.S. should have gone after Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda network a lot more aggressively, in an attempt to greatly wreaked or dismantle Al-Qaeda. The U.S. has shown, it has greatly improved it’s gathering of intelligence on terrorist plots and going after the individual(s) more aggressively.
Dahl, E. (2021). Assessing the effectiveness of the Department of Homeland Security, 20 years after 9/11. Watson Institute International & Public Affairs, Brown University. Retrieved July 8, 2022, from https://www.watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/paper/2021/HomelandSecurity
Reply to peer 2: While there has been notable terrorist attacks since the birth of Department of Homeland Security such as the Pulse Shooting in Orlando, Florida, the Boston Marathon attack, etc., post 9-11 legislation created by the U.S. government has enabled counterterrorism agencies to better detect, prevent, and disrupt terrorist activity such that TSA prevented further airline hijackings and other forms of airline attacks, commence the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to detect and prevent cybercrime pertaining to minors. However, that does not equate to a significant decrease of violence and terrorism in the United States, per se.
In light of the new presidential administration, it is only logical to conclude that the U.S. government is not currently protecting its citizens. For example, President Joe Biden and his administration have unconditionally welcomed more than one million illegal aliens that have known criminal records for rape, violence, trafficking, etc. (Arthur, 2022). In so doing this, this has greatly contributed to the increased rates of violent attacks in the United States.
Furthermore, while the government should bear the responsibility of complete prevention of any terrorism, it unfortunately impedes on constitutional rights such as privacy laws (Fourth Amendment), as well as other legal factors such as reasonable suspicion. With this criteria, it creates a lack of the government’s ability to “connect the dots”. (Martin, 2019).
Pre-911, the aspects of protecting U.S. citizens that the government did not supposedly initially consider due to oversight was the utilization of internet technology to detect any suspicious terrorist activity. Hence, making the prevention of terrorism or attempted terrorism more complex. In addition, societal norms were considerably different in comparison to today’s society in the age of paranoia, violence, and knowledge pertaining to previously executed acts of terrorism.
Arthur, A. R. (2022, June 17). Disclosures: Biden has released nearly 1.05 million SW border migrants into the U.S.Center for Immigration Studies. Retrieved July 10, 2022, from https://cis.org/Arthur/Disclosures-Biden-Has-Released-Nearly-105-million-SW-Border-Migrants-US
Martin, G. (2019). Understanding Homeland Security (3rd Edition). SAGE Publications, Inc. (US). https://mbsdirect.vitalsource.com/books/9781544355825