The United States Policy Toward Terrorism Criminology Essay

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The terrorist act on September 11, 2001 has redefined the way society protects and raises their awareness on combating terrorism and changed history. The terrorist attacks that were launched on our country that day claimed victims from 88 nations, and from many countries, including the United States. That terrorist act also claimed the most lives of any terrorist incident in history. The attacks may have been conceived as a blow against America, but in reality they were attacks against all of humanity and civilization.

Terrorism is defined as "the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to instill fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological." They also seek to gain recognition and publicity such as the Bombing of Marine Barracks, Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, Oklahoma City bombing, Bombing of the Khobar towers, Attack on the USS Cole, and attacks on multiple embassies throughout the world. With all the different types of terrorism throughout history, terrorist seek to instill panic, fear, disruption, and violence. Terrorism is always growing and still remains a problem. To combat terrorism we as a society must have the training and increase our knowledge and awareness, and hopefully prevent these attacks in the future.

The policy of the United States on terrorism is all terrorist acts are criminal and not understood. Their motivation is to cause fear and the United States supports all measures to stop and prevent acts of terrorism and bring people responsible to justice. The United States will never negotiate with terrorist organizations, to do so would only invite more terrorist acts. When Americans are abducted overseas, the United States will look to the host government to exercise their own responsibility as a government to protect all people within its country, also to include successful and safe release of all hostages. The United States will maintain continuous contact with that particular government during the incident and will continue to develop international cooperation to combat terrorism. With the help of any host nation the United States welcomes any help from other countries that are genuinely prepared to work with the U.S., and will not relax our standards and continue to achieve our fundamental interests in establishing a world of democracy, opportunity, and stability.

Terrorism is any person who advocates, creates, or practices the use of terror for a means of violence. The characteristics and traits of terrorist may vary and it is difficult to point out one specific profile. Terrorists are typically intelligent and obsessed with starting changes, raised in middle class or wealthy families, and are in their early to mid-twenties. Terrorist's strategies are to commit acts of violence that draw the attention of the local people, the government, and the world. A successful attack for a terrorist is one that gains the greatest publicity and it becomes more effective with a larger reaction from the public or government.

Gaining publicity occurred in 1983 when Middle Eastern terrorists bombed the Marine Battalion Landing Team Headquarters at the Beirut International Airport. Their immediate victims were the 241 U.S. Marines and Sailors who were killed and over 100 others who were wounded. Their true targets were the American people and the U.S. Congress, this one act of violence influenced the decision to withdraw the Marines from Beirut and was considered a terrorist success. Terrorists do not see themselves as evil; they believe they are legitimate combatants, fighting for what they believe in, by whatever means possible.

Religion is one of the main reasons that drive's many of the violent acts in recorded history. Religious extremists often reject the authority of governments and view legal systems as illegitimate that do not follow their same beliefs. They often view modern society as corrupt and influences on their traditional culture. The most influential religious terrorist groups in the past have been the Al Qaeda network in Afghanistan and the Hezbollah in Lebanon. Al Qaeda has been responsible for some of the most noticeable terrorist attacks within the past 15 years. Their attacks have targeted Americans and other countries, as well as Jewish and Muslim governments that they think are corrupt. The Hezbollah (meaning "party of God") has been linked to a number of terrorist attacks against Americans, Israeli, and other countries.

Ultimately reducing your vulnerability and raising your personal security is important to our efforts to deter terrorist attacks. In some cases, the objective's that terrorist's are based on lengthy surveillance. Surveillance is continuous, terrorist seek a person, a place, or an object for gathering information. Terrorist plot and seek out objectives for the simple act of following or trailing whatever it is they are after. Through surveillance, terrorists hope to learn about our habits and assess where and when we are most vulnerable.

References:

Beirut (2002). Welcome to Seacoast Marines Beirut Page. Retrieved April 19, 2010, from http://

www.seacoastmarines.com/Beirut.html

Federal Bureau of Investigation, (1998-1999). Terrorism in the United States, Document 6,

Counterterrorism Threat Assessment and Warning Unit National Security Division,

Retrieved April 20, 2010, from http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB55/

index1.html#II

Knight, J. (2010), United States, Counter-Terrorism Policy. Retrieved April 20, 2010, from

http://www.espionageinfo.com/Ul-Vo/United-States-Counter-Terrorism-Policy.html

Koblentz, G. (2000). U.S. Counter-Terrorism Policy and Organization. Retrieved April 21, 2010,

from http://web.mit.edu/ssp/seminars/wed_archives_00fall/cressey.htm

The free Dictionary.com, (2010), FARLEX, retrieved April 21, 2010, from http://www.the

freedic tionary.com/terrorism.

Zalman, A. (Ph. D.) Types of Terrorism (2010). About.com:Terrorism Issues. Retrieved April

21, 2010, from http://terrorism.about.com/od/whatisterroris1/tp/DefiningTerrorism.htm

Zalman, A. (Ph. D.) FBI Definition of Terrorism (2010). About.com: Terrorism Issues.

Retrieved April 21, 2010, from http://terrorism.about.com/od/whatisterroris1/ss/Define

Terrorism_6.htm

Research Tool and Report

Part I - The Question

Research Question: Attempt to define terrorism. It is an attempt because there is no universally accepted definition for terrorism. Why is that?

Search Terms, Concepts and Brainstorming: Authority, military, conflict, global security, religion, and piece.

Linkages: Explosions, biological threats, chemical threats, nuclear blast, radiological dispersion device, and homeland security advisory system

Key Thinkers: W. A. Downing

Part II - Sources

Books:

Yousef, M.H., (2010, March 7). Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal,

Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices.

Sagemen, Marc. (2008). Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century

Peer-Reviewed Journals:

Hoffman, Bruce. "Rethinking Terrorism and Counterterrorism Since 9/11" Studies in Conflict &

Terrorism 25.5 (2002).

Rushkoff, D. (2006, December 4). Technology/Weapons&Security. DISCOVER, Peer Review

Fighting the Terrorist Virus.

Moghadam, Assaf. (2006). "Suicide Terrorism, Occupation, and the Globalization of

Martyrdom: A Critique of Dying to Win" Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 29.8.

Popular Magazines:

Finerman, H. (2010, January 6). Obama's Five Options to Turn the Tide on Terrorism.

Newsweek

News Articles:

Stanley, A. (2010, April 18). A Terrorist, Plain-Spoken and Cold. The New York Times. pp. C1.

Copland, L. (2004, November 14). Domestic Terrorism: New trouble at home. USA Today.

Retrieved April 22, 2010, from http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-11-14-domestic-

terrorism_x.htm

General References:

Organizational Websites:

Part III - The Data

Key Facts/Data and Source:

• Hoffman (1999) reported the useful insights into the tactics and technologies used by terrorist groups and the historical evolution of terrorism. As a result, the book is very much worth reading. On the other hand, Hoffman's definition of terrorism, typology of terrorist groups, and treatment of terrorists' potential use of weapons of mass destruction leaves something to be desired. Retrieved on April 22, 2010, from http://www.mepc.org/journal_vol6/eland.html

• Allhoff (2003, March 9) reported on how torture has not received a tremendous amount of discussion in the philosophical literature, though I suspect that the leftward slant of academia would, for the most part, ensure limited support for torture. Retrieved on April 22, 2010, from http://files.allhoff.org/research/Terrorism_and_Torture.pdf

• Feldstein (2008, January) reported on how terrorism has been a persistent problem in several European countries …global terrorism driven by radical Islam suddenly exploded in the 21st century with attacks in Europe, in North America and in Asia. Retrieved on April 22, 2010, from http://www.nber.org/papers/w13729.pdf

• Spring (2007, April) reported on how globalization has staked its claim to being the dominant conceptual framework for foreign affairs. (p. 10).

Part IV - The Answer

Introduction and Thesis statement: The terrorist act on September 11, 2001 has redefined the way society protects and raises their awareness on combating terrorism and changed history. The terrorist attacks that were launched on our country that day claimed victims from 88 nations, and from many countries, including the United States. That terrorist act also claimed the most lives of any terrorist incident in history. The attacks may have been conceived as a blow against America, but in reality they were attacks against all of humanity and civilization.

Body: Terrorism is defined as "the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to instill fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological." They also seek to gain recognition and publicity such as the Bombing of Marine Barracks, Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, Oklahoma City bombing, Bombing of the Khobar towers, Attack on the USS Cole, and attacks on multiple embassies throughout the world. With all the different types of terrorism throughout history, terrorist seek to instill panic, fear, disruption, and violence. Terrorism is always growing and still remains a problem. To combat terrorism we as a society must have the training and increase our knowledge and awareness, and hopefully prevent these attacks in the future.

Conclusion: Ultimately reducing your vulnerability and raising your personal security is important to our efforts to deter terrorist attacks. In some cases, the objective's that terrorist's are based on lengthy surveillance. Surveillance is continuous, terrorist seek a person, a place, or an object for gathering information. Terrorist plot and seek out objectives for the simple act of following or trailing whatever it is they are after. Through surveillance, terrorists hope to learn about our habits and assess where and when we are most vulnerable.

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