Most of the Islamic world view the West, especially the United States, as the foremost corrupting influence on the Islamic world today. The Hizballah have taken this further by labeling the Unites States as “the Great Satan.” This growing animosity the Islamic nations feel toward the Western world has been continually demonstrated by the increase in international terrorism. However, Muslims do not view their actions as acts of terrorism, but self defense and their religious duty.
Political violence may be endemic to the human condition, but we cannot tolerate terrorists who seek to combine the powers of modern technology and WMD to threaten the very notion of civilized society. The war against terrorism, therefore, is not some sort of clash of civilizations; instead, it is a clash between civilization and those who would destroy it. Given these stakes, we must persevere until the United States, together with its friends and allies, eliminates terrorism as a threat to our way of life. As our enemies exploit the benefits of our global environment to operate around the world, our approach must be global as well. When they run, we will follow. When they hide, we will find them. Some battlefields will be known, others unknown. The campaign ahead will be long and arduous. In this different kind of war, we cannot expect an easy or definitive end to the conflict.
Contemplating the specter of terrorism in this country is a sobering but critically necessary responsibility of government officials at all levels. It is a truly “national” issue that requires synchronization of our efforts “vertically” among the federal, state, and local levels, and “horizontally” among the functional constituent stakeholders. The individual capabilities of all critical elements must be brought to bear in a much more coherent way than is now the case. That fundamental tenet underlies our work over the last two years. We are impelled by the stark realization that a terrorist attack on some level inside our borders is inevitable and the United States must be ready. We are similarly convinced, however, that much of the legitimate fear associated with the prospect of a terrorist attack can be substantially reduced. Improving our ability to address the threat and reducing the fear of citizens and government leaders is possible if and only if we are willing to take bold action as a nation.
The Bush administration has begun to revise cold war rules governing national security information in order to counter terrorist threats to the United States. The president’s homeland security plan calls for new intelligence efforts to protect the nation’s borders, defend against threats within the United States, minimize infrastructure vulnerabilities, and improve emergency responses. Congress has given the new Department of Homeland Security responsibility for coordinating these strategies and assuring that accurate and complete information gets to those who need it. Policymakers must go further to build a new intelligence system to support transformed national security needs. Threats involving unknown perpetrators, methods, and targets cannot be countered with strategies designed for use by federal officials to combat more predictable adversaries. Today, state and local law enforcement, public health, and emergency response personnel are on the front lines of detecting and responding to terrorist threats; corporate managers are responsible for securing key infrastructure such as energy supplies, chemical plants, and telecommunications; and workers and neighborhood residents may hold information that can help prevent attacks.
Service Member’s Personal Protection Guide: A Self-Help Handbook to Combating Terrorism
Contemporary terrorists have made public transportation a new theater of operations. For those determined to kill in quantity and willing to kill indiscriminately, public transportation offers an attractive target. Because it is public and used by millions of people daily, there is necessarily little security. Passengers are strangers, promising attackers anonymity. Concentrations of people in contained environments are especially vulnerable to conventional explosives and unconventional weapons and attacks on public transportation, the circulatory systems of urban environments, cause great disruption and alarm, which are the traditional goals of terrorism. In order to effectively meet the threat posed by terrorism and other forms of violent crime, it is essential that transportation system operators have a thorough understanding of the security measures employed elsewhere, especially by those transportation entities that have suffered terrorist attacks or that confront high threat levels. This volume reports on the first phase of a continuing research effort carried out on behalf of the U.S. Department of Transportation. It comprises a chronology of attacks on surface transportation systems; four case studies of transportation security measures (in Paris, Atlanta, and New York, and at Amtrak); security surveys of nine additional cities in the United States; and an annotated bibliography of current literature on the topic.
Terrorism is a multi-faceted problem: It’s a police problem, a military problem, a public safety problem, a political problem, and a public policy problem. As we have learned, international terrorist groups have a support infrastructure within the United States, giving them the capability to attack us virtually anywhere they choose any time they choose. In a free country such as ours, it is easy for terrorists to operate and extremely difficult to cope with them. There is rarely a terrorism event which affects only one area.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing for and will respond to terrorist threats from weapons of mass destruction. Weapons of mass destruction are “weapons or devices that are intended, or have the capability, to cause death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people, through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic poisonous chemicals; disease organisms; or radiation or radioactivity.” Because of its inherent role in protecting human health and the environment from possible harmful effects of certain chemical, biological, and nuclear materials, EPA is actively involved in counter-terrorism planning and response efforts.
People who exercise violence in the pursuit of what they hold to be just causes are alternately known as “terrorists” or “freedom fighters”.
List of victories in the War on Terror
Devastating acts, such as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, have left many concerned about the possibility of future incidents in the United States and their potential impact. They have raised uncertainty about what might happen next, increasing stress levels. Nevertheless, there are things you can do to prepare for the unexpected and reduce the stress that you may feel now and later should another emergency arise. Taking preparatory action can reassure you and your children that you can exert a measure of control even in the face of such events.
Bin Ladin’s Terrorism Bible
Founded in 1996, the Terrorism Research Center, Inc. (TRC) is an independent institute dedicated to the research of terrorism, information warfare and security, critical infrastructure protection, homeland security, and other issues of low-intensity political violence and gray-area phenomena. The TRC represents a new generation of terrorism and security analysis, combining expertise with technology to maximize the scope, depth and impact of our research for practical implementation.
Jane’s Intelligence Watch Report and Jane’s Terrorism Watch Report
Overreaction to Terror
Detailed research reports on terrorists and terrorism
From the University of Michigan Documents Center
The Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism is a nonprofit organization made up of American Muslims and Arabs of all backgrounds who feel that religious violence and terrorism have not been fully rejected by the Muslim community in the post 9-11 era.