For many years scholar have attempted to come up with universally accepted definition of terrorism with little success. This is so because the concept of terrorism is so wide that it encompasses quite a number of issues. It is because of its wide nature that there has not been a universally accepted definition. There are some issues that some scholars feel ought to be part of the concept of terrorism while other feel that some things ought not to be incorporated.
This paper will attempt to define what terrorism is and the level of terrorism in the United States of America.
Terrorism is a method where fear is used as a means of coercion to force a person or a particular group of people to do or fail to do a particular thing. One definition that is commonly used for terrorism and emanated from the Rome community is the killing of innocent people by a group of people in such manner that the killings attract the attention of the public.
According to a report released by the Federal Bureau of Investigations cases of terrorism in the United States are not common. However as years have progressed cases and incidents of terrorism in the United States have continued to increase with the FBI estimating that at least 200 incidents of terrorism take place every year. Terrorism is differentiated from other acts of crime so that there are laws that specifically govern terrorism. According to the prevailing law in the United States, an act of terrorism is one that:
i) That is a threat to human life and is in contravention to the criminal laws of the U.S or any other state.
ii) That tends or intended to intimidate a society or its government or coerce the government into doing or failing to particular things.
There are a couple of organizations that have since been identified as to be involved in acts of terrorism and the government has put various measure to curb incidents of terrorism. Some of these organizations include The Weathermen which was established sometime in the year 1964 only to collapse 6 years later in 1975. The group’s main aim for its establishment was to overthrow the then government of the United States. Just before their collapse their bombed a number of military and police targets.
Other organizations that have been highly suspected of being involved in terrorism acts in the United States include The Ku Klux Klan, The Symbionese Liberation Army, The Army of God, Animal Liberation Front and Earth’s Liberation Front. Some of the major acts of terrorism that have taken place in the United States includes bombing of the Times building in Los Angeles. This took place in the month of October 1910. This terrorist attack left at least 21 people dead. The Times building belonged to the Los Angeles Times and the terrorist who bombed this building were two brothers who sought to have the paper unionized. Another major terrorism incident in the US was one that took place in 1920 in the Financial District of New York City killing 38 instantly and leaving more than 400 victims nursing serious wounds. This came to be known as the incident of Wall Street bombing. Other incidents include Centennial Olympic Park bombing which is said to have been carried out by Eric Rudolph who was a fundamentalist of the Christian religion, Oklahoma City bombing and Unabomber attacks.
However perhaps of all the terrorist attacks that have taken place in the United States the most memorable would be one that took place in September 1st 2001. This is not just because it is one of the most recent attacks in the U.S but more so the damage caused during this terrorist attack. The terrorism which caused major destruction on the pentagon and the World Trade Center and which was believed to have targeted the White House but missed is one terrorist attack that cannot be easily erased from the minds of citizens of America.
One major issue that have proven to be somewhat challenging in all the governments that have governed the United States is the issue of terrorism. All administrations that have been leadership in the U.S have all attempted during their tenure in office to come up with various strategies to combat terrorism in the country. Reflecting back at the administration of Reagan
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Terrorism in the United States. (2017, Feb 02). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/terrorism-in-the-united-states/