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The January 2011 shootings--in which a lone gunman killed six people at a Tucson, Arizona, shopping center--served as a reminder of the threat posed by militant extremism in the United States. Similar acts of violence in the last few years--such as the suicide plane crash into an IRS building in Texas and the 2009 shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum--have brought renewed attention to the dangers posed by fringe political extremism. Although the frequency of these types of attacks has decreased in recent years, "lone wolf" violence is on the rise. The FBI is particula
"the FBI has reported that roughly two-thirds of terrorism in the United States was conducted by non-Islamic American extremists from 1980-2001; and from 2002-2005, it went up to 95 percent."
"However, after the September 11 attacks, the FBI shifted its directive (CNN) from law enforcement to terrorism prevention--returning its emphasis to proactive domestic surveillance. The public fear of another large-scale attack ushered in a new privacy-security paradigm, and with it came legislation aimed at broad national security reforms, such as the Patriot Act, the Homeland Security Act, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (PDF), and the 2008 FISA Amendment Acts. But despite this overhaul, CFR's Richard Falkenrath suggests, "The federal government has a quite limited domestic intelligence program and capability."
"Militant extremism in the United States continues to provide grist for the national debate on a number of policy areas. The shootings in Tucson revived the issue of gun control once again, highlighting some of the nation's controversial firearm legislation--like the Arizona law allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons without a permit. In addition, public discussion continues over the legal definition of domestic terrorism and whether it is applied equitably. Questions also remain as to whether the United States has lessons to learn from the counterterrorism experiences of other countries. For instance, should it create an independent domestic intelligence agency (PDF) similar to Britain's MI-5, which does not incorporate a law enforcement function like the FBI?"
Originally posted by v1rtu0s0
I'd like to see a graph that demonstrates the number of deaths caused by radical extermists versus those caused by car accidents, or cancers, or heart disease. This is something that is quantifiable, so compare it to all other dangers and threats and let's see how big of a deal it really is.
Is it really that important that we have to burn the constitution to worry about it? Really? Do you not think that someone who is determined enough will not be able attack whom they wish?
Let's get real here, folks.
a Syracuse University-sponsored watchdog organization compared the number of terrorism cases listed by three entities--the courts (310), the prosecutors (508), and the National Security Division (253)--and found that from 2004-2009 only 4 percent of cases were classified as terrorism on all three lists. This suggests that the agency that made the designation, not the facts of the case, determined whether a suspect was prosecuted as a terrorist and, therefore, may have received a harsher sentence.
Domestic Intelligence in the United Kingdom: Applicability of the MI-5 Model to the United States
May 19, 2003
Specialist in Domestic Intelligence and Counterterrorism
Domestic Social Policy Division
Intelligence failures frequently lead to calls for reforms in the United States Intelligence Community to remedy what are real or percieved functional, procedural, regulatory, systemic, and/or structural problems. While it can be debated whether the events of September 11, 2001 represent a tactical or strategic failure, it has been widely cited as a prima facie intelligence failure. One potential remedy that has been suggested in response to the events of September 11, 2001 is the establishment of a domestic intelligence agency akin to the British Security Service, aslo known as MI5. Some analysts maintain that because the British have had more experience with terrorism on their own soil and have a democratic form of government, there may be value in emulating the MI-5 organization and jurisdiction in the United States. During a recent visit to the United States, the British Home Secretary David Blunkett met with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and agreed to establish a Joint Anti-Terrorism Working Group, in part, to leverage the United Kindom's anti-terrorism experience.