The Threat of Domestic Terrorism

7 July 2016

In the past 10 years or so, we have all observed many changes in the way domestic terrorism operates. For instance, left-wing terrorism was overtaken by right-wing extremism as the most dangerous terrorist threat to the United States in the 1990’s. In the last few years, special interest extremism has now surfaced as a serious terrorist threat. With that said, it is widely known that extremist groups are largely involved in activity protected by guarantees in the constitution and utilize rights like free speech and assembly to their own benefit.

The primary focus of United States policy regarding counterterrorism has been on jihadist terrorism since the attack by Al Qaeda on September 11, 2001. However, in the last dozen years or so, domestic terrorists – who have committed crimes within our homeland and found motivation in extremist ideologies or movements – have executed fellow citizens and destroyed property throughout our country. Although there are many criminals that have not been prosecuted under terrorism statues, I believe that domestic terrorists should be taken just as seriously as any other.

The Threat of Domestic Terrorism Essay Example

I’ve found in my recent study on this subject, that domestic terrorist organizations are not officially listed by the Department of Justice or by the Federal Bureau of Investigation but they have defined particular types of terror threats. Included in this are persons who commit transgressions concerning anti-government ideals, black separatism, white supremacy, anarchism, anti-abortion beliefs, environmental rights, and ideologies in support of animal rights to name a few.

I feel it is necessary to stress; however, that not all of these opinions are inherently malign but instead can be taken too empirically, consequently leading to a dangerous operation. Understanding extremists and exercising prevention measures against domestic terrorism is, in my opinion, of significant importance for policy makers. These issues are alive and well when you consider the level of terrorism activity as reported by watchdog groups in the last several years.

Since 9/11, domestic terrorists have been responsible for coordinating more than two-dozen incidents. It is for this reason that I think Congress should consider a number of things when addressing these concerns. Among these concerns would most likely be the fact that many domestic terrorist groups use nontraditional tactics. For example, a large number have been known to engage in activities such as vandalism, trespassing, and tax fraud, as opposed to airplane hijackings and suicide bombings.

Exploiting the internet has proven to be a huge resource for the more internet-savvy extremist in this day and age. When I was a member of the Intelligence Community, I was taught that many international terrorist organizations operated under a predictable cell structure. After doing some personal research, I have found that this is not at all the case for domestic-type terrorist groups known to use the concept of leaderless resistance. Even our prisons have become a haven for terrorist radicalization.

Although, the activity of convicts in gangs may be more driven by enterprises such as drug trafficking more so than radical belief. This is not to say that they are not terrorists as they exhibit extreme ideological dimensions and intend to coerce the government to further their social objective. In conclusion, I feel the desire to point out that the unfortunate reality of the matter is that that terrorism of any sort will never cease unless we address the very reason it exists.

These organizations have been consistent throughout the past and they will continue to carry on in the future with intent to spread terror and panic for the purpose of furthering their radical objectives. Bias, hatred, and prejudice seems to be what encourages the continued growth of the domestic terrorists. To that end, perhaps our efforts should instead be dedicated to establishing peace, fostering alliances and maintaining a nation free of discrimination.

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