On September 11, 2001, a devastating event took place that caused panic as lives were lost due to an unexpected terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, located in the lower region of Manhattan, New York City, United States. So what actions are being taken against terrorism? Due to the 9-11 attack, acts such as the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention act was formed, also known as (IRTPA).
This is one of many acts to combat terrorism in the United States. The IRTPA was first introduced by U.S senator of Maine, Susan M. Collins. The act was passed by both The Senate, The House of Representatives, and eventually got signed by President George W. Bush.
The act then took effect immediately on December 17, 2004 right after signing. After the events on September 11, 2001, there has been a trail of terrors happening in the United States, not all of them being conducted by foreigners. From mass shootings to bombings, a lot of events have occured since 9-11. The government and the people have been trying to think of ways to put an end to these terror attacks.Terrorism is the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. “The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 is a 235-page Act of Congress which was signed by George W. Bush that impacted the United States government terrorism laws” (Wikipedia). The main reason for the act to be created was because of the terror attack that took place on September 11, 2001 which took the lives of many and wounded thousands.
“2,996 people were killed (including 19 terrorists) and more than 6,000 others were wounded in New York City at the Twin Towers” (Wikipedia). According to Julia Zorthian in Time Magazines, the alleged mastermind behind the 9-11 attack was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who was captured in a raid in Pakistan by the CIA. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was an operational leader for the terror group known as “al-Qaeda.
” This organization of extremist was founded by Osama Bin Laden; the organization was to eliminate the Western presence in Arab countries and which opposed to Western foreign policy by depicting aggressive military action. The purpose of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 was to raise the intensity of security at airports so that all flights are guaranteed to be safe and that no attacks would be able to happen. The terrorists who conducted the attacks on September 11, 2001 were not searched so they were not seen as a threat and thus the attack was unexpected. The act deployed improved body scanners to airports that able to detect weapons and other objects under their clothes. 450 new full body scanners were deployed in airports by TSA in March of 2010.
People were outraged and believed that this new technology was a violation of the 4th amendment which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. In July of 2011, the D.C.
Circuit of Appeals ruled that the act was not unconstitutional. Before the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 was enacted, there was another act made before it to combat terrorism The USA Patriot Act of 2001 was made so that the government was able to search anyone’s business or home and they did not have to notify them until months later. This act was justified mainly for national security reasons but was taken advantage of more for drug cases and less than one percent for terrorism reasons. In 1986, the first NSL (National Security Letter) was made and the use of NSLs grew exponentially with the USA Patriot Act of 2001. The act allowed NSLs to gain personal information of suspects from internet service providers, banks, and other third parties without any judicial approval. All that is required is a certification from the FBI that information being requested is relevant to a case of terrorism. This was a very low standard to meet so the ability to request and receive personal information from private sources was widely abused.Another act that was passed against terrorism is the homeland security act.
What the homeland security act helps prevent terrorist attacks within the United States as well as lowering damage and aid for recovery from terrorist attacks. The homeland security act created the US Department of Homeland Security. Within the Department of Homeland Security lies many other organizations. These include the Federal Emergency Management Agency, US Coast Guard, US Secret Service, and finally the Transportation Security Administration.
The Department of Homeland Security requires a privacy office within a federal agency. The first person to be appointed chief privacy officer and chief FOIA was Mary Ellen Callahan in March of 2009. The main purpose of the privacy office is to evaluate privacy efforts in the department’s programs, systems, and initiatives. This overall helps America stay safe by responding, investigating, and addressing complaints of the privacy violations. Essentially, this is the main objective for the privacy office by assuring the public is in safe hands. The privacy office helps combats terrorism by protecting the American people by watching over the internet and subsequently allowing the people to feel safe by taking action against terrorism.
Domestic FBI operations have increased exponentially after the 9/11 incident. In 2008, the FBI’s domestic investigations guide allowed for racial profiling against Muslim-Americans in the most dense, ethnic communities and ethnic-oriented businesses and facilities. They conduct these investigations as a way to gather information of any known terrorists or potential future attacks on American soil. The FBI has been known to conduct their investigations in states such as California, Minnesota, and Michigan. There are some controversy surrounding the FBI, as the FBI secretly gathers information by invading people’s privacy and has received some backlash from the public that they serve for. However, this is how the American government believes is the only way to efficiently and effectively fight terrorism so that we may avoid or obstruct future terrorist attacks from occurring.When the Iraq war and Afghanistan war were at its peak eventually the United States military got involved. The United States Military would often carry out more than 12 special operations against not only Al Qaeda but other extremists groups as well.
The United States military would always be prepared with largely armed commandos and helicopter gunships. This was combating terrorism by the United States military fighting the terrorism and making sure that the terror won’t travel to the United States. It also combats terrorism by intimidating foreign countries with their military so that they will not attack again. Since September 11, 2001, terrorists have not pulled any stunts as big as 9/11 and have only been able to create attacks through the cracks. Catastrophes have not been nearly as big since then.As unfortunate as terrorism is, its effects does not only stop at civilians of those whose country was affected but also the foreigners whose nationality is the same as the terrorists. Due to terrorism, citizens of all races have become divided due to prejudices and blind hatred.
Hate crimes are committed and foreigners who are as innocent as the victims of a terrorist attack are subjected to cruel and unfair treatment which can sometimes escalate to something even fatal. This is why governments from all over the world work together to defeat terrorism so that they may unite the world, regardless of race and cultures.