Criminal justice incorporates government institutional systems and practices that aim at combating and deterring crime, or sanctioning the law offenders through rehabilitation efforts or criminal penalties, all with a goal of upholding social control. The accused persons have entitlement to protection against any investigatory and prosecution power abuses, unless found guilty. Despite all these efforts, criminal activities within the globe has ever been at the peak of both national and international debates as law offenders continue multiplying and violating the laws. Nonetheless, no crime has ever been close to the terror activities or attacks of 9/11 in the dimensions of scope, impacts and loss of human lives. As a result, governments of diverse nations have been at the war front in fighting against terror activities within their areas of jurisdictions, as well as combating terror activities within the entire globe (Innes, 2006). This has been achievable through the criminal justice and policy reforms targeting the deterioration of criminal deeds and terror activities (Pickering, McCulloch & Wright-Neville, 2008). This paper thereby explores the impacts of domestic terrorism on policing, especially the terror attacks since 9/11.
The American department of justice delineates domestic terrorism as unlawful usage of violence or force by two or more individuals or groups (Spalek, El Awa & McDonald, 2009). This may be against property or persons, with an aim of coercing or intimidating the government, and/or the civilian population. Therefore, terror activities commonly share social or political objectives (Davis, 2004). In the study of domestic terrorism and strive to understand the motivations and intricacies that characterize terror groups, it is uneasy to clearly distinguish extremist groups from terror groups. However, the use of violent activities appears to be the distinguishing point of difference. According to Richardson (2006), terrorism is far much beyond the control through civil education or societal mobilization; hence should be pursuable and punishable via policing and law enforcement programs.
Today, the domestic terror attacks threaten many nations as they emanate from a collection of personalities ranging from radical separatist groups, violence-prone antigovernment extremists, and hate-fueled white supremacists to extremely destructive eco-terrorists (Davis, 2004). One precisely stealthy concern that traces all practices of domestic extremism is the "lone offender." This is a single individual propelled into hateful attacks by particular sets of beliefs without any group knowledge or support. Perhaps, these lone offenders struggle to join criminal groups but later quit the group only because they have a feeling that the group is not violent enough for them to stay in, or force themselves out by being too radical within the group. A number of reports from criminal research institutions elicit that many lone offenders carry out domestic terror attacks in order to promote their personal agenda and grievances.
According to Pickering, McCulloch and Wright-Neville (2008), with all forms of extremists, combating the homegrown terror attacks before maturity has been an overriding goal for many governments. Consequently, governments are always at the top, trying their best in applying their full suite of anti-terror tools together with their capabilities to eradicate threats from home-baked terrorism. These may include timed and tested investigative techniques, such as the use of informants and surveillance, emerging intelligence skills, as well as then cultivated information sharing channels since 9/11. Evidently, the American government established 103 joint terrorism task forces, which aim at amalgamating the national intelligence and law enforcement partners into a sole team, dedicated to address the terror threats of all forms. under to the task forces, the central government continuously communicate with the local, state, and the federal partners. This extends further to both international and neighboring partners who may have a hint on the activities of their communities. In case the partners has information about any threatening individual or group suspected to involve in terror activities, they opt to inform the task forces concerned (Davis, 2004). Similarly, the task forces are on their way to establishing an exemplary study targeting the identification of lone offenders using particular indicators and behavior predictors; tools which will be under the control of investigative departments for assessing suspects.
According to Innes (2006), extremists and potential groups of terrorists and their criminal activities infiltrate and negatively impact on the governmental administrative morale, as well as on the cohesiveness of military personnel/units. Political, religious and racial ideological differences persist among the active duty of government and military personnel. This primarily reflects the same case among the civilian society. This scenario thereby awakens the governments as the law/policy makers together with the anti-terrorism task forces to design effective strategies of limiting or combating domestic terror activities. For this reason, governments encourage an active involvement of the military personnel into their duty (Davis, 2004). This occurs through policy formulations and promotion of aggressive education and training of the military personnel at all levels. This is with an objective of empowering the military to overcome forces and threats from the terrorism plans and their activities. Domestic terrorism exists, and its influences are open and visible within the social and political structures of many countries.
With close reference to the American criminal justice systems, established to combat terror activities, the government greatly supports the establishment and development of the law enforcement agencies, which jointly serve to counter criminal activities, as well as terror threats (Spalek, El Awa & McDonald, 2009). The contemporary domestic terror criminals prove to be translational in reach and linked by erudite networks and adaptive systems. In response to this scenario, the local policing agencies and police departments are equally developing adaptive strategies and networks in order to compensate and overcome the developing skills in terror plans. Pickering, McCulloch and Wright-Neville (2008) elicit that the catastrophic terror events since 9/11 serve as a wake-up call with regards to the threats of terrorism. This appears to create and shift paradigms and responsibilities among the law enforcement agencies. Simultaneously, several changes within the federal government by law enforcement agencies are evidence of the impact of domestic terrorism on policing. Spalek, El Awa and McDonald (2009) elucidate that such changes include the establishment of the first-hand Department of Homeland Security and priority shifts within the federal bureau of investigation (FBI), as well as other law enforcement agencies within the federal government. Prevention of future terrorism activities and preparation for a comprehensive response operations thereby comes in as a national priority of law enforcement at all echelons for every nation (Pickering, McCulloch & Wright-Neville, 2008).
The changing priorities of policing and law enforcement brings in a question on the way in which traditional terror crimes were dealt. For instance, in America, the FBI has been at the forefront in playing crucial roles with both local and state law enforcement agencies, which aim at fighting against bank robberies and other financial crimes, drug trafficking, and organized criminal attacks (Richardson, 2006). One would imagine that the local and state law enforcement agencies are deeply involved in such efforts. Surprisingly, the federal grant programs directed towards these areas have been diminishing or dissolving as much of the efforts, currently, target the policing and determent of domestic and external terror threats. Consequently, many police forces serve within the domestic reserves and the National Guard continue being activated for external services within terror prone activist areas, such as in Iraq and Afghanistan (Spalek, 2005). They impose extreme personnel strain in these states in order to curb any further spread of terrorist into their nation, as well as other countries.
The local law enforcement agencies must assume that any terror attack that occurs within a remote location could be a fragment of global terror determinations with a local operational component. This attack could be a replication of local terror efforts, advanced and supported by local operators (Richardson, 2006). As well, it could be under the exploitation by local extremists who strive to advance their social beliefs and political agendas. It is thereby essential for the local law enforcement agencies to begin looking beyond their boundaries and/or areas of jurisdictions in order to limit any future terror threat. In order to combat the domestic terror threats, the United States established about 17 federal intelligence agencies and approximately 18,000 local law enforcement agencies that employ local law enforcement personnel. This system of decentralizing the law enforcement responsibilities poses a challenge to develop an effective, and long lasting coordination among diverse agencies. It also creates an opportunity for developing unique skills and expertise within the national law enforcement communities.
On related dimensions of terrorism prevention, the UK focused on anti-terrorism policies. Until today, it relates violence within their countries with ethno cultural effects of minority communities (Spalek, 2005). Since most of the terror groups commonly originate from Muslim communities, the UK's anti-terrorism policies and policing commonly focus on Muslim minorities, especially the Al Qaeda group who are known to inspire terrorism worldwide (Richardson, 2006). Spalek (2005) elicits that in Britain or within Europe, Muslim communities have been the focus of almost all anti-terrorism agencies. For this reason, policy makers, intelligence…