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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77550 Find in a Library
Title: US Government's Response to Terrorism (From Political Terrorism and Business - The Threat and Response, P 175-183, 1979, Yonah Alexander and Robert A Kilmarx, ed. - See NCJ-77538)
Author(s): C A Graves
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Praeger Publishers
Westport, CT 06881
Sale Source: Praeger Publishers
88 Post Road West
Westport, CT 06881
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The United States Government's response to terrorism is described and assessed.
Abstract: Overall, the Government's response to terrorism has been a series of unrelated actions and enactments which lack a coordinated locus. The tightening of airport security has greatly reduced but not eliminated skyjacking. The lack of airport security in other countries makes at least 40 percent of American planes vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Better protection of American diplomats is being provided, but protection is still inadequate. The Government's policy of no ransom and no prisoner release in cases of terrorist hostage-taking has been stated but not put to the test. Knowledge gained about terrorism indicates that it can be combatted through sophisticated and thorough intelligence, making places and people secure, and the apprehension and punishment of the terrorist. An extensive intelligence system is required to learn of planned terrorist activities. The United States lacks such a system. Congress must enact enabling legislation to authorize the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies to apply wiretaps and other methods of collecting evidence. These methods, which are currently prohibited, offer the only hope for anticipating terrorist activities. Although law enforcement agencies have violated certain civil rights of citizens over the years, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Congress have overreacted to the point of seriously weakening intelligence-gathering operations. The physical security of places and people has improved over the years, but existing measures are inadequate to counter sophisticated terrorist strategies. The key to apprehension and punishment of the terrorists is international standards and cooperation. Only a few countries have established relations in this area, and no international stance exists regarding the method of reaction or amount of punishment. Thirteen notes are listed.
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Counter-terrorism intelligence; Counter-terrorism tactics; Diplomat security; Judicial decisions; Legislation
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