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Homeland Security and Terrorism


Terrorism has been a great concern in the current history of the world. Over the last 50 years different countries have developed different measures to prevent terrorist attacks. There are challenges facing these countries in curbing terrorism which differ from one country to another. Up to this day, the US and many other countries under threat from terrorism are focusing on military operations. Much focus should however be directed towards the root causes of the same. The US should focus on the cause of Islamic terrorism. Some of the changes necessary in dealing with terrorism are. (Paulson, 2008).

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The citizens should be alerted and motivated to help in preventing terrorist attacks. Two there should be intelligence collection and analysis which will assist in countering terrorism attacks, three there should be a close cooperation and coordination between foreign and domestic intelligence agencies in collecting and analyzing information and terrorism attacks. There should also be educational campaigns to educate and change the psychological views of the civilian population on the effects of terrorism. These are some of the policies which can bring about victory in the war against terrorism. However, there is a lot status quo in introducing these changes which makes the process of change difficult. (Paulson, 2008)

Terrorists need a lot of publicity for them to gain attention, inspire fear and respect, and secure some understanding of their mission. The work of the media is to cover the terrorist events from different perspectives and places. This covering may sometimes lead to gains to the terrorist groups. Media coverage is an important measure of the success of the terrorist acts. Margaret Thatcher once said that publicity is the oxygen for terrorism. Who else is to give the publicity if not the media? In fact it should be understood that the public perception is a major terrorism target. Terrorists need publicity, the press provides the publicity for free. This happens while the media tries to inform the public on what is really happening. An interview with an important terrorist personality is a boost to the organization. (Perl, 1997)

For example, the CNN interview with Osama Bin Laden in 1997 was a treasured price for the groups he leads. He tries to explain and justify what they are doing. They need finances and they will get sympathizers during these interviews with the media who will give them money and material support. They want to know how the government is working to save some hostages they are holding, they even want the governments to know that they have some hostages, they want to know of military retaliation. They seek to cause damage to their enemies-the governments. This is by amplifying panic, spreading fear, and facilitating economic loss by scaring away investors and tourists. They want the public to lose faith in their governments’ ability to protect them. The work of the media is to report incidences; they may not be driven by the needs of the terrorists. But at the end of the day they meet their needs and so terrorism thrives. (Perl, 1997)

Terrorism is as varied as the number of the animal species in the whole world. There is ethnic tourism and nationalist terrorism. Nationalist terrorism is the type of terrorism where a group wants to form an independent state against what they consider an imperial or an illegitimate state. The groups are seen as outcasts in their own countries and find terrorism as the only means of seeking recognition. Ethnic terrorism is the type of terrorism spearheaded by causes and issues related to ethnic hatred. It involves attacks to the minority groups. Examples of ethnic terrorism include the IRA in Ireland and the ETA in Spain. (Perl, 1997)

Some of the misconceptions the US has on terrorism have lead to losing in the war against terrorism. After the September 11 attack, the view was wide that the event be treated as a normal crime. And this has continued since then. The view that terrorism be dealt with as a crime not as war is a setback in fight against terrorism. The entertainment programs show terrorism as a criminal activity and that it can not be dealt with as war. Also, acts of crime should not be treated with crude means only; there can be better methods to approach this; Dialogue and identifying the real cause of the problem being the main in the list. (Tucker, 2003)


The thought that the crime is committed by a particular race is another setback. They forget that even the whites and the Americans can also take part in the crime related activities. If we want to win the war against terrorism, we should treat it as war, we should not think that a particular race is a terrorist group, and lastly we should think of diverse means to fight war rather than punishment only. (Tucker, 2003)


Paulson J, 2008, Crime and warfare in the U.S American narratives of violence, terrorism and retribution. Web.

Perl, 1997 Terrorism, the media, and the government. Web.

Tucker B, 2003. Strategies for Countering terrorism: Lessons from the Israeli Experience. Web.