Table of Contents
Contemporary world contains a diversity of processes formulating the social segment. It is impossible to imagine the world without tension and stress faced by overall the whole set of social levels, which build the whole construction. Different factors affect sustainability of the national security. It is impossible to establish a community without thinking about threats presented by the external environment. Terrorism is one of the phenomena, which represents a diversity of threats in the segment of social security. The USA faces numerous attacks on an annual basis with different intensity in the prospect of both domestic and international terrorism. However, it is essential to consider both types of terrorism in order to understand the essence of each type. In addition, it is important to consider every aspect of terrorism in order to take effective measures in the prospect of terrorism elimination. Finally, focusing on a specific type of terrorism will help to clarify the sources of violence and other triggers pushing terrorism to high rates in the social segment. The current paper discusses domestic and international terrorism on different levels of its influence. It reflects the historical facts about the evolution of terrorism and actions aimed at eliminating it within the borders of the USA. By the end of the paper, the reader will obtain enough information to justify the reason of combating terrorism primarily on the domestic level, which will promote overall safety of the society.
Terrorism is a form of violence, which can occur due to a wide number of factors in both external and internal environments of the country. According to Taddeo (2010), “Many scholars describe terrorism as the “sustained use, or threat of use of violence by a small group for political purposes such as inspiring fear, drawing widespread attention to political grievance and/or provoking a draconian or unsustainable response.” The USA has a long history along with tendencies of terrorist attacks throughout the establishment of social interactions within the nation. One of the facts circulating around the topic of terrorist attacks in the USA is that September 11 became an exception in the overall performance of the country, which did not face terrorist attacks in excessive amount since 1969. The recent research of the decade shows that there is the same declining tendency of terrorist attacks; however, it is possible to note that fatal terrorist attacks have a rising nature. An indicator is not alarming, but it is necessary to consider this fact in order to take appropriate measures aimed at combating violence and terrorism in general. According to Gage (2011), “Most specialists agreed that the term terrorism should be restricted to acts committed by non-state citizens — specifically, groups or individuals seeking to challenge existing governments.” It means that there is a need to implement preventive measures against letting individuals from the external environment of the USA to interfere those segments of its performance, which have no restrictions for access. It means that the USA needs to create a system of regulation, which can conduct an effective analysis of both immigration and travel flows crossing the country. The country’s identity and national unity should become the platform of implementation of any preventive measures aimed at combating terrorism along with its roots. In general, it is possible to discuss the diversity of options in terms of the governmental approach. However, the focus should be on travelling and immigration initiatives.
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The government should take care of combating threats present within the society based on both external and internal factors. In addition, it is necessary to establish an appropriate platform of response to terrorist attacks, which will help evaluate triggers of severity and will help take additional preventive measures promoting overall safety of the nation.
Another fact about terrorist activity, which threatens the safety of millions of Americans, is that law enforcements cannot be a guarantee of citizens’ safety. Law enforcement can be an essential improvement to the system of measures aimed at combating terrorism. However, this option cannot reduce terrorism at all. There are many cases when society suffers because some individuals find government inappropriate for the development of the nation. For example, there are numerous threats to the President of America, and the White House is mainly the target of terrorist attacks. It means that the nation cannot be safe, when political aspects become triggers promoting terrorism. It is impossible to predict social reaction at all levels when it comes to elections.
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In addition to the named above facts, it is important to mention that there is a tendency reflecting the notion that every state has lived through terrorist attacks since 1969. It means that the decline in terrorist attacks statistics does not mean that there is no chance of facing terrorism again. In addition, it is impossible to predict a target region of terrorism. Taking into account different factors influencing terrorism can become an essential option that would help prepare for an emergency. However, there is no other option rather than being ready to face any terrorist threat, which can occur regardless of obstacles and conditions of the external environment.
Finally, it is possible to mention some of the most famous terrorist organizations in the USA, which present a huge threat to social welfare and performance in general. It is necessary to remember the following organizations in order to protect society from their violence and life-threatening activity – Phineas Priesthood, Jewish Defense League, Earth Liberation Front, Army of God, Animal Liberation Front, the Crips, and the Klu Klux Klan. These organizations mainly focus on illegal immigration, racial, gender and sexual identities, which become criteria of selecting the next targets of assault. These organizations have committed over a thousand murders, which took place throughout their history. F.B.I. strives to combat the development of these organizations. However, the number of some terrorist organizations equals over 30,000 followers all over the world. This is the key term, which connects domestic and international terrorism. It is obvious that many international threats have their roots within the territory of the USA. Terrorist organizations may integrate into a single community or cooperate in order to follow the same goal. Many attacks are considered to be against political regime established in the USA, which generate through the lens of collaboration of domestic and global terrorist organizations.
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Terrorism is a significant part of the world’s criminal activity, which can be hardly combated as long as there are numerous terrorist organizations all over the world. In order to realize the significance of threats to the USA, it is necessary to remember the meaning of terrorism. According to Tams (2009):
As a working definition, ‘terrorism’ shall be understood to mean an activity intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.
It is an acceptable definition used by a respectable author who dedicated his article to the essentials of evaluating the tendencies of terrorism affecting both global and local environments. In general, the whole system of terms and concepts used in the discussion helps realize an initial sense of terrorism and its essence throughout the history of the USA and its current level of regulation. Terrorism is an act, which is performed by a number of people operating based on religious or ethical grounds. Indeed, the majority of terrorist attacks show that individuals express oppression to the diversity of social flows ranging from political structure, religious concepts, social principles, to various ideologies. The original intention of terrorism is to promote anarchism as terrorists see it as a source of freedom. However, such freedom can be harmful to the overall development of the society and its welfare in general. On the one hand, it is possible to claim that the original trigger of terrorism in the USA is jihadism. There are many sources supporting this idea, which at some point can explain intentions of terrorists in different types of terrorist attacks. However, terrorism emerged in the USA long before jihadism. Leon Czolgosz assassinated President William McKinley and started the trace of violence in the segment of terrorism threatening sustainability of the society. It is important to mention anti-government leaders in the USA who embraced a resistance model without leaders; such tendency existed long before jihadism started to emerge across the territory of the USA.
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The recent research also indicated that there are numerous attacks in the domestic segment, which need a special attention. These incidents are not usual and require taking into account the whole set of triggers in order to understand their essence and significance within social segment. There are different streams of radicalism, which took place in the history of the USA over two previous decades. For example, in 1995, a large truck detonated in Oklahoma City. It was built by anti-government extremists willing to break the principles of the existing regime. There were many booming campaigns following this accident, which proved that there was a need to take care of the governmental principles of regulation, which ought to protect social welfare and evaluate suspicious activity in order to prevent terrorist attacks. In addition, there are many examples of racial discrimination and discrimination based on gender identity. There were cases, when a terrorist killed a Filipino-American mail carrier and wounded five people, when a terrorist killed a gay couple or when a terrorist killed people because of their religion. These examples show that the problem of the society is in perception of human nature with the diversity of its peculiarities. Every individual should be free enough to choose his or her lifestyle and patterns of behavior. However, terrorists tend to adhere to this rule as well as other citizens. They tend to claim that they have the same right of oppressing the regime and behavior of others, which they find unacceptable.
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Another peculiarity of the domestic terrorism in the USA is that it is a cyclical phenomenon, which circulates within its history in different aspects. The history of the USA contains many peaks of terrorist activity. Mainly, these peaks are related to the period of elections, which reflects social disagreement with the results of these elections. However, cases of terrorist activity formulate a significant threat, which means that it is necessary to look into the roots of the problem. It is necessary to adopt elections to the principles of social protection, which will help prevent many extremist activities leading to fatal consequences. However, motives of domestic terrorism have a diversity of reasons, which explain the necessity of combating terrorism through the lens of a comprehensive system of measures.
Implications of domestic terrorism have a similar nature as international terrorism, which will be discussed later. First, it is necessary to understand that terrorism in general does not generate from a vacuum. It is critical for every individual to remember that terrorists prepare their operations long before they implement them. Today, there is a problem of reporting on suspicious activity noticed in the neighborhood or any other local area. Citizens live in fear of reporting on suspicious activity, as they do not want to put their lives and lives of their families under a threat of terrorist organizations. Regardless of ideology or motivation, terrorists follow the same cycle of operations, which will consequently lead to the attack. This cycle involves the same patterns of behavior, which are present in the segment of terroristic attacks on a regular basis. It is possible to detect suspicious behavior and evaluate individuals, which are planning to make a terrorist attack. For example, the Smith family, which has already occupied an important place in the history of USA along with their associates in terms of Louisiana shootings, is considered dangerous and suspicious. However, there was not enough action taken in the prospect of preventing the family from putting their terroristic plans into action.
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It is also necessary to take into account the fact that the government cannot protect all citizens from terrorist attacks in a physical way. It is necessary to make citizens aware about the rising threat of terrorists, who may hide in the neighborhood. Citizens are also responsible for acting appropriately in order to combat terrorism. In the domestic segment, there are many vulnerable places, which can be appealing for terrorists. Contemporary situation in terrorism rates in the segment of domestic terrorism indicates that there are problems among citizens regarding not only self-awareness about reporting on suspicious activity, but also practicing appropriate situational awareness on responding to the terrorist attacks. Citizens do not have contingency plans for their businesses and homes, which could help build an appropriate response to the terrorist attacks. This is a significant problem of the contemporary security measures.
The government strives to act in an appropriate way in order to combat domestic terrorism. It is important to remember some legal grounds of its intentions aimed at combating and preventing domestic terrorism. The earliest action taken by the government in the prospect of reducing terrorist attacks dates back to 1878. Posse Comitatus Act was a legal implementation, which separated police and military forces. Local authorities gained a default jurisdiction over federal authorities. This act became a significant step in working in the direction of combating terrorism. National Security Act (1947) is another step in reducing terrorism, which enhanced the protection of a nation through the lens of the Department of Defense. A new version of Act was implemented in 2002. Homeland Security Act became a significant step in integrating all federal agencies into a single organization, which consolidated the power and established appropriate initiatives in terms of combating terrorism. Military Commission Act adopted in 2006 is another regulation document that would help prevent future attacks. It helps penetrate citizens’ activity with justice during war. In general, there are many arguments related to the efficiency of these laws and their importance to the implementation of protection measures aimed at enhancing the development of appropriate initiatives within the social segment. However, it is possible to claim that the decreasing nature of terrorist acts on the local level explains the importance of creating an appropriate legal platform for further reduction of terrorism.
In the segment of domestic terrorism, there are different stereotypes regarding the sources of terrorism. Individuals potentially belonging to Islam formulate the target potential terrorists. However, Islamic and Arab communities present in the United States indicate that their activity has no connection to the terrorist activities or violence in general. There were only a few situations, which could have a relation to the global movement of jihad on the international level. Nevertheless, it is obvious that Native Americans tend to develop self-awareness concerning their behavior regarding Islamic communities in order to protect themselves.
Anti-abortion groups form another type of terrorism on the territory of the USA. As long as the USA is a country declaring that democracy is a key to the regulation of any conflict or problem, there is no right to prevent individuals from making their choices regardless of the sphere of choice. Anti-abortion groups tend to break in hospitals and damage hospital’s property in order to prevent the nation from abortions. On the one hand, this organization is pro-life. However, its activity is full of violence and terror, which is against rights and standards of living common for a normal citizen. Moreover, some members of these groups committed murders and assaults in order to prove anti-abortion ideology. Today, it is one of the most dangerous organizations, which threatens lives of thousands of people. As it is impossible to predict the next terrorist attack, hospitals and its patients should always be aware of the risk of being faced by terrorist acts within the walls of a medical institution.