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Terrorism In The United States


Introduction

Terrorism is the use of violence or the threat of violence to force a government or a people to give in to the demands of a group of people who are usually regarded as terrorists. These demands could span political, ideological, religious or economical aims. The United States of America has been the target of many terrorist attacks right from the colonial days up to the present time.

Early History of Terrorism in the United States

Right from the days when the U.S. was colonised by the British Empire, terrorist acts have been perpetrated on the American soil by different groups of people. In the days preceding the independence of the U.S., terrorist attacks were perpetrated by colonists against what was perceived as harsh or unfair economic exploitation by the British government as well as by white supremacist groups on blacks. For instance, the Boston Tea Party incident was an act of terrorism by some white colonists known as the Sons of Liberty against the Tea Act of May 1773. The harsh reprisal by the British government sparked a series of events which culminated in the beginning of the American Revolution two years later.

Nature of Terrorism in the United States

Terrorism in the United States of America may be regarded as an expression of her multi- cultural heritage and composition. The United States is somehow peculiar among the nations of the world as perhaps the only nation with a high degree of harmony among her multi-racial and multi-cultural populace. Despite this trend, America has not been totally successful in containing simmering tensions between the various racial elements within her borders. Many of the terrorist attacks carried out on the soil of the United States of America have been by various racial and ideological groups, some of them aiming to establish racial supremacy or fighting for racial equality.

Some Facts about Terrorism in the United States

Since 1970, the frequency of terrorist attacks has been on the decline. That is the first thing to take note of. Secondly, counter-terrorism units seem to have become more effective in thwarting attempted terrorist attacks because counter-terrorism intelligence has taken on greater importance, probably helped by better technology but the U.S. still cannot totally stop all attacks. If we accept the definition that terrorist attacks include those that involved fatalities as well as those that did not, then we can say that since 1970, terrorist attacks have been carried out in almost every part of the United States of America. Most of the recent terrorist attacks have been perpetrated by individuals and the groups responsible for them have become more varied. Other forms of terrorist attacks other than bombings have gained in popularity over the past decade. Notwithstanding these facts about terrorism in the United States, the country is less prone to terrorist attacks compared to other regions of the world.

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