This is a case study into the impetus of The Department of Homeland Security due to the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the increase awareness of terrorist attacks. This study will also cover the Oklahoma City and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and why it did not have the full impact or awareness of the 9/11 attack. Also, the study will try inject ways that the two earlier kinds of attacks could have been prevented according to the protection strategy in place today.
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The word terrorist and terrorism is synonymous in that they both are used as violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal. The 9/11 attack on The World Trade Center serves as a prime example to the type of terror that Americans have never witness before. It showed that our great nation was venerable to a new kind of attack where people do not value life but value their pursuit of life, liberty, and justice much more. These are the type of organization or people who will die for a justice cause. These very people lead to the Impetus of The Department of Homeland Security.
The main reason the 9/11 attack was so gruesome was the fact that the organization did not need weapons of mass destruction to accomplish it goal. The organized group of the Taliban or Al Qaeda, as known by some, was able to commandeer two 747 planes and launch an attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This was a strategic threat that was well plan and the funding of it leader Osama bin Laden. These types of suicide missions that were televised to the nation through the media signified the dawn of a new kind of threat and that a new kind of organization or rational think had to be formed. This formidable threat lead to the formation of the Department of Homeland Security with the expressed mission of keeping our people, cyber, and critical infrastructure safe from terrorists and natural disasters.
This is the third largest federal department that encompasses state, local, and the private sector. Of course this is not the first time that our soil has been threatened by extremist or terrorist groups. For example, on the morning of April 19, 1995, an ex-Army soldier and security guard named Timothy McVeigh parked a rented Ryder truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City(n.d.). He was about to commit mass murder. Inside the vehicle was a powerful bomb made out of a deadly cocktail of agricultural fertilizer, diesel fuel, and other chemicals(n.d.). McVeigh got out, locked the door, and headed towards his getaway car(n.d.). He ignited one timed fuse, then another. McVeigh’s anger with the federal government on how his colleagues was treated at the Waco incident cause massive destruction and the loss of 168 human beings lives.
Although, this was one of the worst home grown act of terrorist it did not gain that much dramatic impact from society and politicians because it was small scale and did not appear to have the funding to escalate to large scale terrorism. It also did not have the mass appeal of the 9/11 incident that was broadcast to the nation. Only the after mass was on display. Plus the ingredients used in making the bomb were your everyday garden variety, not weapons of mass destruction. Another example of the destructive nature of a terrorist group was the bombing of the Epicenter Parking Center under the World Trade Center. On Friday, February 26, 1993, Middle Eastern terrorism had arrived on American soil with a bang(n.d.). A small group of Islamic terrorist detonated a bomb that caused a massive crater killing 6 people and injuring thousands of others.
The intent was to topple one building into the other collapsing both. The Federal Bureau of Investigation had intelligence information on this group but did not foresee them as a threat. Again, this incident did not have the dramatic impact as the 9/11 attack because the group was small scale and did not have the funding to inflict the damage of weapons of mass destruction. There were no ties to a large terrorist group with unlimited funding and followers. In both of these examples as stated neither gain the grandeur nature of the 9/11 attack because of they were not televised live as the event occurred, they did not have the notoriety or followers as Taliban or Al Qaeda terrorist group, they not have the funding of group capable of amassing weapons of mass destruction, and they were not the all for nothing suicidal group that would have giving their life for a cause.
What we have in place today that could have thwart the attacks in the examples are different agencies are task with investigating specific areas and that is what they specialize in. For example, if one department had the responsibility of investigating the intelligent on the Islamic terrorist group they would have been more inclined to have arrested the group before they did any damage. The deployment of explosive sniffing dogs at critical infrastructure sites may have been able to detect the bombs before they were detonated. Surveillance camera located at critical location may a detected the vans being abandon for an undetermined time and helped to identify those involved.
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/famous-cases/oklahoma-city-bombing (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2008/february/tradebom_022608
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/famous-cases/oklahoma-city-bombing http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/famous-cases/oklahoma-city-bombing Gaines, Larry K., and Victor E. Kappeler. Homeland security. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2012. Print.