Current Level of Terrorist Threat to the United States

In your estimation, what is the current level of terrorist threat to the United States involving technology, and based on your response, what are some of the measures you would incorporate to guard against such a threat? Do they represent a significantly different strategy from that of Discussion 1? Why or why not?

In my estimation the current level of terrorist threat to the United States involving technology is high.  This is in part due to the growing number of people who are well trained in the uses of technological marvels like the computer and the Web.  In the 1970’s and 1980’s computers were the language of a specialized industry, where few knew the future success of this widespread device.  Then, the Web was merely a project for communications designed by the U.S. government and later institutionalized by universities across the country.  Times are different now and what one person dreamed of 20 years ago, millions of people live by it today.

The prevalent increase of computer literate people opens up doors for Cyberterrorism attacks, as the more people are involved the smoother the operation can be executed.  The Internet serves as a “playground” for millions of people worldwide and each day, just like on our city streets, crimes occur.

The proclivity for well orchestrated terrorist campaigns over the Internet is continuously rising, even with the aid of the Patriot Act of 2001. This is in part due to the fact that many other countries have different security measures pertaining to the use of the Web, and some have virtually none at all.  Additionally, it has been my experience that people that reside in the United States do not adhere by lawful standards on the Net either.  To some of the Cyberspace law breakers the Internet is just an imaginary world where they can live out their fantasies and feel unaccountable for their actions.

Besides Cyber Terrorism there are other technological advances which increase the range of attack by terrorist organizations.  Cell phones, satellite phones, GPS navigation, faster modes of transport, and instantaneous wire transfers are just few examples that illustrate the progress of technology.  This increase also serves as a feeding ground for transnational support, where terrorist organizations have the capability to implement world wide campaigns and an opportunity to hide or move based on the rapid enhancement of intelligence gathering techniques (White, 2006).

Technology makes life easier, now more than ever, but it also makes the life of a terrorist group much easier, too. Therefore, I feel that my previous post (Week 4 – Discussion 1) has a lot of credibility at present.  My “not so ideal” solution seems practical enough to curtail such terrorist activity by utilizing international support to its fullest.

Sanctions should be placed against the countries that harbor terrorists and allow for terrorist organizations to operate freely.  The support of other nations in the fight against terrorism can hinder efforts of terrorist organizations.  This can be done by revamping the policies on the use of the Internet in their respective countries, and allow for monitoring of possible and credible terrorist and criminal activity.  Additionally, the international collaborative efforts can pay off with screening telephone calls of probable and absolute terrorists.

Resource

White, J.R. (2006). Terrorism and Homeland Security. Belmont, CA: Thompson Wadsworth.

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Article written by Radek Gadek

Radek holds a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University. He is currently doing consulting work and runs this blog to provide relevant information on criminal justice degrees, colleges and related careers.

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