United States and Terrorism
Terrorism has a variety of definitions such that even researchers on terrorism cite the U.S Department of state definition other than coming up with their own. According to the department, terrorism is the violence that is premeditated and politically motivated, targeting a noncombatant by clandestine agents, sub-national groups with the intention of influencing an audience. The sole goal of terrorism is to use fear tactics to influence political or social change that would affect their chosen ideologies positively. Many factors influence an individual’s decision to use these tactics, and in the end, the person picks violence as it over-weighs the other tactics in bringing the change they desire. The extremists believe that they have a problem with beliefs and ideas of the opposing different races, religions, ethnicity, and government. Therefore, they think that the individuals in the opposing categories to be their enemies. The extremists believe that their way is right, therefore, rush out in frustration and attack those with an opposing view (Lee, 2014).
The individuals that are recruited to these groups through radicalization are easily recruited due to their vulnerability in various aspects. Some of these include; the need to belong to something bigger than oneself, some seek revenge for what they believe is an injustice, and for the feeling of higher purpose in life. From various researches conducted on terrorism, it is evident that a combination of psychological, ideological, sociological and the alienation hypotheses on radicalization aspects play a part in influencing an individual to become a terrorist (Victoroff, 2005).
Currently, the type of terrorism that poses threats to the United States is the domestic terrorism. Other than the major transnational terrorist attacks like the 9/11 or the ones on various U.S embassies, the United States has not seen international attacks from international terrorist groups. Instead, most attacks that are seen are within the country by the citizen. An example of this is the attack on the gay nightclub in Orlando Florida. The attack was instigated by an American born individual who left 49 people dead (Ellis, Fantz, Karimi & McLaughlin, 2016). The recent attack on a church in Texas that left 26 individuals dead and more injured is an example of how far from safe is the United States (Kestler-D'Amours, 2017). The latter sparked the debate on Gun control a policy discussion where various people have different opinions. The issue cannot be categories as religious but a policy based contested issue. It is evident that the United States is far from being free from terrorist attacks. The threat that the country faces is external however attacks are from the inside considering that the individual who killed the people at the nightclub was American born however followed the teachings of ISIS.
The U.S has opened its borders to refugees from various Middle East countries. A lot of people may view this as a way of opening the borders to terrorists, but a lot has been put into this to make sure that the citizens remain protected. There is a strict screening of the individuals entering the country which ensures that no individuals from extremist organizations get into the country.
The United States is not any safer from terrorist attacks. Like other countries who have seen recent major attacks like France, United States face the same heightened threat considering that it is the powerhouse of the world’s economy. U.S is faced with threats of attacks more than any other country in the world.
Currently, the criminal justice system deals with potential threats by applying the Military Commissions Act of 2006 where an individual termed to be a threat to the national security may be detained (McKee, 2011). The Act also provides for the military commission to oversee the prosecution of the detainee. The application of this act has been faced with a lot of opposition, but despite that, this has always been used. Due to the strict provisions, the Act has been able to reduce the threats hence the proper usage of the government resources in protecting the citizens.
As a way of eliminating terrorism, instead of catching and doing away with the individuals doing the work on the ground, the federal agencies tasked in protecting citizens should use them to get to the leaders of the groups presumed to be a threat to the security. By doing this, it will be easy to do away with terrorism. Otherwise, by doing away with the individuals being used only exposes more lives to radicalization and consequently more killing whether on innocent citizens.
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