Terrorism as Military or Law Enforcement Issue

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“Terrorism is the calculated use of violence or the threat of violence against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through coercion, intimidation, or instilling fear (Sarkesian, Williams, and Cimbala, 2008).” Terrorism can be a law enforcement issue, a military issue, or both. The FBI defines a terrorist incident as “a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any state, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social goals.” Efforts in dealing with terrorism differ not only within the United States, but throughout the world, to include Europe. Determining whether Terrorism is a law enforcement issue or a military issue is very trick, in fact it could be one or the other or even both at the end of the day. Law enforcement and military agencies approach terrorism in different ways. There exists laws of, but it is prudent that one understand that war; even with laws can and never will be clean and moral. Now we face a new war, the War on Terrorism. In this war we hope to not cause deaths to civilians and/or non-combatants, while the enemy attempt the exact opposite. Additionally the enemy hides among civilians and non-combatants, thus mitigating the advantage that America and its Allies have regarding firepower and resources. This method also allows them to operate purely within the civil population. In theory, law enforcement is a reactive force, whereas if no law is violated then there is nothing to enforce. Therefore, law enforcement cannot react or have any power until laws are broken. Throw into the mix foreign terrorists on U.S. soil and things are further complicated by jurisdiction, when and where terrorists will be tried, whether or not

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