Events of the September 11 attack in New York City completely shook the United States and the larger international society into delving much more into the concept of terrorism. It was unbelievable that a terror group had the audacity to strike one of the most developed and liberal countries in the world. If the United States was a target and successfully experienced a terror strike, then no other country in the world was safe. Consequently, scholars in social sciences and criminal psychology delved into understanding the context of the attack and the factors that could have motivated the perpetrators into gaining sufficient courage to launch an attack on American soil. However, in as much as the different stakeholders looked outwards into the international society, there were factors within the American boundaries that may have influenced the development. Most importantly, the United States has had people revolting and trying to cause a rebellion since it was declared a country in addition to the existing mass acculturalization and disagreements.
Terrorism in the American Context
The United States has experienced significant strife throughout its history, primarily because of diversity and differences in culture. For instance, the Civil war of 1861 was primarily based on differences in opinions of the Northern and Southern States, resulting from the multicultural nature of the American Citizens (Miller and Schofield 250). Although residents of the American society for more than a generation, the African Americans were continuously deprived of their rights and calls to improve their situation were met with significant opposition. Most recently, the internment camps during the Second World War targeted Americans of Japanese origin, irrespective of their loyalty and length of stay in the United States. In essence, the two cases highlight some of the most widely acknowledged cases of strife within American society, attesting to the existence of internal strife in the country's history. Therefore, although there could be concerns over the external aspects that led to the existing challenges related to terrorist activities, it would be important to note that the country has often experienced strife resulting from multiculturalism.
Notably, one of the best ways to understand the context of terrorism in contemporary American society, given the country's history of internal challenges, would be to understand the modern definition of the term. According to Title 22 of the American Code, terrorism includes "politically motivated violence perpetrated in a clandestine manner against noncombatants" (Ruby 9). Therefore, the civil war may not have been termed as terrorism as it occurred between two armed combatants, despite being politically motivated. However, the Attacks in New York would qualify as terrorism, since the attack was launched against civilians involved in their personal business within the city. Notably, an array of factors, ranging from social, economic, to religious issues have often exposed the United States to the aggression of other state and non-state actors leading to activities that the contemporary world would term as acts of terrorism.
Firstly, it would be important to acknowledge that the United States faces significant terror threats, necessitating the necessary attention to deter or thwart such terror activities. The September 11 attacks significantly improved the level of awareness on American vulnerability and exposure to terror activities leading to the President's decision to sign a bill that identified critical infrastructure and a myriad of ways to protect the homeland (Uhl, 281). This bill identified areas of potential vulnerability and gave preference to such areas in terms of federal protection, which would reduce the chances of a terror activity significantly affecting the American welfare. Consequently, this marked a significant development in the country, serving as an acknowledgment that the United States was not as indestructible as it had been perceived to be post-cold war period. However, the government's actions helped assure the public that it was keen to deter catastrophe similar to that experienced with the attack in New York.
Secondly, the American position in the global society has been a source of concern for most leftist communities. History attests to the significant role played by leftist communities in perpetrating acts of violence, whose primary intention has always been stalling the advances made by the United States and western countries in advancing a westernized culture (Borgeson and Valeri 1). While the American society views it as a positive development whenever it successfully manages to influence the culture within a particular region, enough to spark up progress and development, some of the leading members in these communities prefer to remain in their traditional social environments. For instance, Osama Bin Laden was categorical that he would oppose American advances and the spread of westernization in the Middle East as much as possible, which explains the consequent attacks by Al Qaeda in New York. Ultimately, as long as the United States a global leader of the free world, then the country is bound to experience as much opposition that could include unwarranted attacks on civilians with the hope of demotivating and distracting the country's efforts.
Ultimately, the situation and parties involved in the terrorist activities infer that the United States primarily experiences terrorism attacks from parties opposed to the advancement of the western culture. People and organizations opposed to the principles of American society and activities in which the government indulges will always be a threat to the country's security. Most importantly, the sources of such terror attacks do not have to be international actors or allied to international terror organizations, but could also be Americans dissatisfied of the government's activities and response to issues. For instance, the Oklahoma City bomber was an American dissatisfied with the government's activities, which prompted him to act against his fellow citizens with the hope of getting the government's attention. In essence, a society as large and progressive as the United States may always have to deal with issues related to its principles. However, understanding some of the most common forms of terror threats and potential activities in the country would be critical to a successful implementation of any plan to address potential adversities.
Modern Terror Threats to the United States
The threat of bombs, shootings, and industrial attacks The United States is without a doubt one of the most progressive countries in the world. However, it is also the most liberal democracy, with people having access to information and products that they would hardly access in other developed economies. This exposes the country to vulnerabilities, with a high potential for assembly and creation of instruments that one could use in terror activities with ease. Consequently, as long as there exists limited limitation to access to weapons and resources that one could use in the creation and deployment of such weapon systems, then the country remains vulnerable to domestic terror threats. An international or local actor disgruntled with certain activities by the state or non-state actors could simply purchase products to assemble material that he or she could use to cause devastation to the American society.
The Oklahoma City bomber did not outsource any products from outside the country but used ammonium nitrates he bought within the country's borders and mounted the bomb on his truck for delivery. According to him, his was a noble course against a government that had increasingly become tyrannical, effectively affecting the lives of the citizens adversely (Ward and 4). Consequently, the decision to make and deploy the bomb was legitimate, and he thought that people would rally in his support against the government. However, he ended up killing more than a hundred people, a significant number of whom were children, and a critical observer could easily end up holding the government liable for the events. In any case, the existence of proper security measures would have appropriately helped reduce the chances of the individual accessing enough products to successfully construct and deploy a bomb of such magnitude.
In essence, the threat to America from a modern perspective lies in ease in the availability of material that could cause potential harm to the citizens. As recent as October 2018, packages believed to have contained possible explosives were sent to different targets, including politicians and news outlets, with the intention of creating possible panic, or even actualizing on the terror threats and exploding creating mass casualties and death or injury to the different individual targets of the packages (De Vries et al). Were it not for the level of vigilance by the security forces, some of the packages may have successfully gone off. In essence, the modern American society faces challenges related to terrorism from the existence of material that could aid in such terror activities presence within the American society. As long as the material that could successfully make bombs is available, then suspicious packages may be mailed: As long as guns are easily accessible, then the level of deterrence to mass shootings remains minimal.
Global power and international policy In addition to the existence of the necessary resources that terrorists could easily use in their terror activities, the United States is a significant global power and its policy on an array of issues has often resulted to significant opposition from state and non-state actors. For instance, its position on Israel's relations with the Palestine government has often attracted significant reproach from countries in the Middle East allied to the Palestinian government. Consequently, with most terrorist organizations basing their arguments on the position taken by the West on religious issues and their intent to spread Islam forcefully across the world, the United States ends up being a primary recipient of the terrorist threats and activities, both in the homeland and in its interests overseas.
Notably, not all Americans agree with the government's international policy, which has led to the terror activities by lone wolf attackers in the country. For instance, research and investigations conducted on lone wolf attackers often reveal radicalization by the teachings of international clerics to be one of the primary factors that lead them to engage in the acts of terrorism (Spaaji 855). Hence, the government has often made an effort to address issues related to radicalization by appropriately handling issues related to the at-risk population in the country. As long as the risks are addressed, then the chances that they could be radicalized decrease significantly, ultimately deterring the potential for them to engage in terror activities within the country. However, although such threats are appropriately deterred, the American foreign policy remains a primary cause of concern particularly in a society where anti-westernization has often taken a violent approach.
It would be important to note that some of the primary sources of influence on terror activities in the United States are often organizations living in conditions that one could term as third world country conditions. Consequently, the argument on the American political power and influence appropriately explains the terror threats experienced in the country, since such individuals and organizations often seek to create an environment in the United States similar to that in their local societies. Destabilizing the Ameri...
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