Domestic Terrorism in the United States Americans Essay

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Domestic Terrorism in the United States

Americans view terrorism as a form of art and science with higher complications. Particularly, the actions of, 9/11, prompted a new face for terrorism. The place of terrorist activity and the origin of terrorists give the distinction of the profile of domestic terrorisms and that of international terrorism. International terrorism entails the terrorist activities that are foreign-sponsored by institutions outside of the United States. On the other hand, domestic terrorism entails all terrorist activities directed on population and facilities with the United States. Prior to the 9/11 attack, domestic terrorisms seemed less dangerous, but after the attack, a new era of terrorism found its way in the U.S. The distinction between international terrorism and domestic terrorism does not solely refer to the place where terrorist activity takes place, but the origin of the perpetrators of terrorist acts. As a result, this brief overview highlights the definition of terrorism, domestic and internationally terrorism. More so, the papers underline the history of domestic terrorism, forms of terrorism in the United States and strategies put forward to prevent domestic terrorism in the United States.


Terrorism is as an act of intentional inflict carried out to cause critical damage or death to people with a sole intention of intimidating or persuading an individual, an international or local institution or government to settle in to a preferred policy. Before 1960s, terrorism received delineation as confined to certain nations (Mark, 2009). More so, people viewed terrorism as localized in scale and intensity as well as restrained to certain regions given cross-border intrusions. Nevertheless, in the modern world, this description of terrorism has changed specifically during the retaliation attacks of PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) against Israel targets in foreign nations. This period led to a shift in terrorism and it now represents a civilization platform predominately utilized as a political tool besides a means of preventing injustices in the society. After the September 11 bombing of pentagon, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) described terrorisms as a sadistic action that puts at risk the health of human beings. More so, the FBI defined terrorism as an activity that flouts criminal bylaws of states and frighten a government, citizens or any other sector thereof for opinionated and social objectives (Norwitz, 2008).

Terrorism does not have to come from outside the country but can come from within the country. This amounts to domestic terrorism. Domestic terrorism is a risky act intended to threaten or pressurize civilians, manipulate government policy through influencing the actions of a government through kidnapping, assassination or mass destruction. Notwithstanding, the harm caused by domestic terrorists, the policies and laws, making the distinction between domestic and international terrorism strengthens the idea that domestic terrorists are less threatening.

The History of Domestic Terrorism in the United States

Most people contend that the September 11 attacks are the most defining moment in the history of terrorism in the Unites States. The attacks instigated the unleashing of a new era of terrorism. The new era of terrorism received the distinction through mass civilian casualties and guided against economic and symbolic targets. Together with the inspiration, to inflict mass casualties, the terrorist attacks prompted the specter that international terrorists would acquire and utilize mass destruction weapons. Nevertheless, the investigation of past occurrences, occasioned by the 9/11 attack, and committed by domestic terrorists of U.S. origin against U.S. people and interests within the United States, indicate that the 9/11 incidents are no different to prior terrorist actions committed by U.S. citizens. Perhaps, the most surprising thing is that, before the 2001 attack, domestic terrorism was ongoing in the United States. For instance, in 1920, American Anarchist Fighters, killed 30 and injured 300 people after placing a bomb in horse on Wall Street in New York, City (Norwitz, 2008). The Wall Street was a target because it was a symbol of economic, imperialist and financial strength of the United States. In 1954, extremists linked to Puerto Rican Nationalist opened fire in the United States House of Representatives gallery injuring five Congress members. The FBI considered this attack as a domestic terrorist action. The Senate of the U.S. has faced domestic terrorism twice. In 1971 and 1983, terrorists placed bombs in Senate, leaving massive damages but no deaths or injuries (Norwitz, 2008).

Domestic Terrorists

Notably, there is a belief that domestic terrorism are not diabolic compared to international terrorists. Perhaps, international terrorist groups appear more dangerous given that they function to cause indiscriminate mass injuries. However, considering the domestic terrorism committed over the past century, it is evident that domestic terrorists have beaten international terrorist groups. Religions, politics or single interests, compelled by certain goals, motivate domestic terrorists. While, gaining a social or political goal is a basic motivator for terrorism, terrorists, driven by religion, are the most predictable ones. Such members almost exclusively rationalize their actions, for instance the abortionist. However, radical Islamic groups are prime examples of religiously inspired terrorism and people believe that they pose a serious threat to the U.S. Yet, the U.S. has a host of domestically-based religiously inspired terrorist groups who believe that the world is at a point of apocalyptic war between God's people and allies of Satan. For instance, the white-supremacist Christian identity interprets the bible in different ways to justify killing in defense of God Laws, which condemn homosexuality, abortion and race mixing. In fact, a Phineas Priest, Joseph Franklin, killed more than eleven people who engaged in mixed-race associations. More so, in 1996, a group of Phineas Priests, mounted bombs at an abortion clinic. Eric Rudolph placed a bomb at the 1996 Olympics and later placed other bombs at two abortion clinic and homosexual nightclub, killing two people (Norwitz, 2008).

Most cases of domestic terrorism do not entirely involve horrifying and spectacular, massive destruction. Instead, they comprise of bank robberies, police shootings, attacks on abortionists, pipe bombing, planned and actual attack on national facilities, officials, and hate crimes. Predominately, pro-environmental radicals, racists' extremists, anti-abortion activists and animal-welfare are the common perpetrators of most cases of domestic terrorism in the United States. From this perspective, domestic terrorism in the United States has taken place throughout the history of the country, hitting valleys and peaks, and the country is presently experiencing domestic terrorism given the Sunday, August 5, 2012 mass shooting in Sikh Temple.

Domestic Terrorism and in the United States

Domestic terrorism involves terrorist action that takes place within a given state. The FBI leads accountability for investigations of terrorism in America at the national level. FBI depends on two most influential sources for definition of domestic terrorism. The code of Federal Regulations describes terrorism as entailing the illegal use of violence and force against property or persons to frighten or compel a government, the citizens for social or political objectives. With respect to the United States, domestic terrorism entails actions risky to human life as well as actions that involve infringement of criminal bylaws of the United States (Borgeson & Valeri, 2009). However, according to the FBI, domestic terrorism involves terrorists activities operated within the United States and those that lack foreign guidance. Therefore, domestic terrorism in the U.S. involves Americans attacking fellow Americans basing their attacks on United States extremist ideologies.

Domestic terrorism in America is a resultant of diverse populations, conflicts and issues that co-exist inside the nation. The U.S.A. is almost unique among other nations because of its capacity to hold a large number of people in virtual harmony. From this perspective, domestic terrorism in the history of America gets motivation from fully distrust of ideal democracy in America. Diverse people who claim benefits and loyalty to the United States system instigate domestic terrorism. Notwithstanding the terrorism expression variations, domestic terrorism in the U.S.A. is a violent claim perpetuated by whom or what is genuinely American. For instance, the August 5, 2012 mass shooting at Sikh Temple in Wisconsin is an act of domestic terrorism. This is because domestic terrorism entails widespread actions of cruelty committed by members of states towards other members of the same state. With respect to the Sunday 5th actions of Wade Michael Page, his actions and those of other suspects were acts of terrorism. Page, a white supremacist, killed six people. Page and the other suspect are domestic terrorists given that they committed acts of terrorisms within the homeland. They also drew motivation from United State's-based extremist movements and ideologies.

Another major and the most devastating domestic terrorist activity committed in American include the Murrah Federal bombing in 1995. This terrorist activity led to the death of 168 people while 400 people suffered critical injuries (Borgeson & Valeri, 2009). The Oklahoma bombing entailed homegrown actions considered as domestic terrorism. This is in view of the fact that terrorist actions encompass a predestined and politically prompted violence performed against unarmed nationals through the usage of mass destruction weapons. Notably, isolated individual or a large criminal's network can instigate and perpetrate acts of terrorism. Terrorists' plots and activities taking place…[continue]

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