National security has become one of the country's most pressing concerns since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The following are facts that every American should know about domestic counterterrorism.
Contributing to this story was John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, and Denny Powers, interim chair for Criminal Justice at South University.
8 Things You Should Know About Domestic Counterterrorism:
- The FBI is the nation’s lead agency in countering domestic terrorism, Powers says.
- Domestic counterterrorism covers a wide variety of activities, ranging from National Security Agency monitoring of telephone conversations to local police monitoring of persons of interest, Pike says.
- Domestic terrorism has been carried out from groups ranging from white supremacists, eco-terrorists, anti-government extremists, and radical separatist groups, Powers says.
- Countering violent hate groups and their attacks before they are hatched is an overriding goal of the FBI, Powers says.
- Aviation security is still considered to be an important domestic counterterrorism issue, Pike says.
- There are many initiatives underway to make potential targets of terrorism less prone to attack, Pike says.
- Counterterrorism efforts are substantially larger today, than they were before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Pike says. The laws and regulations have also changed, substantially reducing the differences between domestic and international intelligence activities.
- Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a Cabinet-level agency, the Department of Homeland Security, has become devoted to the challenge of fighting terrorism, Pike says.
Author: Laura Jerpi