The FBI Construct Structures of Terrorist Groups
Preventing terrorist attacks remains the FBI’s top priority. The terrorist threat against the United States remains persistent and acute. From a threat perspective, we are concerned with three areas in particular: (1) those who are inspired by terrorist propaganda and act out in support; (2) those who are enabled to act after gaining inspiration from extremist propaganda and communicating with members of foreign terrorist organizations who provide guidance on operational planning or targets; and (3) those who are directed by members of foreign terrorist organizations to commit specific, directed acts in support of the group’s ideology or cause. Prospective terrorists can fall into any one of these three categories or span across them, but in the end the result is the same—innocent men, women, and children killed and families, friends, and whole communities left to struggle in the aftermath.
Anarchists and extremist socialist groups—many of which, such as the workers’ world party, reclaim the streets, and carnival against capitalism, have an international presence—at times also represent a potential threat in the United States. For example, anarchists, operating individually and in groups, caused much of the damage during the 1999 WTO ministerial meeting in Seattle.The third category of domestic terrorism, special interest terrorism differs from traditional right-wing and left-wing terrorism in that extremist special interest groups seek to resolve specific issues, rather than effect widespread political change. Special interest extremists continue to conduct acts of politically motivated violence to force segments of society, including the general public, to change attitudes about issues considered important to their causes. These groups occupy the extreme fringes of animal rights, pro-life, environmental, anti-nuclear, and other movements. Some special interest extremists—most notably within the animal rights and environmental movements—have turned increasingly toward vandalism and terrorist activity in attempts to further their causes. In recent years, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF)—an extremist animal rights movement—has become one of the most active extremist elements in the United States. Despite the destructive aspects of ALF’s operations, its operational philosophy discourages acts that harm “any animal, human and nonhuman.” Animal rights groups in the United States, including ALF, have generally adhered to this mandate. A distinct but related group, the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), claimed responsibility for the arson fires set at a Vail (Colorado) ski resort in October 1998, which caused 12 million dollars in damages. This incident remains under investigation. Seven terrorist incidents occurring in the United States during 2000 have been attributed to either ALF or ELF. Several additional acts committed during 2001 are currently being reviewed for possible designation as terrorist incidents.
The 9/11 terrorist attack greatly redefined and further strengthened the relationship between the federal, state and local government agencies and private corporations. Elmore, (2006) pointed out that the terrorist attacks of the 11 September 2001 led to a revolution between the federal, state and local homeland security as well as law enforcement and intelligence organizations. The report further mentioned that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created at the federal level. This eliminated the footraces between the intelligence and law enforcement. Such critical reforms had a significant impact on the state government and even in the local governments. The designated focal points connecting the federal intelligence community to the state and local intelligence collectors are the state and local fusion centers. However, to further strengthen security, it is necessary that the federal government ramps up its corporations with the interested partners including private corporations, state, and local governments.Right-wing terrorists are groups who hold the principle of racial supremacy, antigovernment and antiregulatory beliefs. Such groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Boko Haram, Aryan Nation, and so forth. Gage (2011) pointed out that throughout the twentieth century, right-wing terrorism has more than counterbalanced the violence of the left wing. However, since the right-wing terrorism is reactionary violence and being political, they play a very minor role in the literature on terrorism. Over the years, the guerrilla ideology has been employed in terrorist activities. This is usually politically motivated. The guerilla ideology terrorism involves irregular soldiers and often have a political objective such as overthrowing of a government. Moreover, the guerrillas oftentimes operate in units with the aim of harassing and carrying out sabotage.
Thus, this America First approach will harness the full span of United States power and use every available tool to combat terrorism at home, abroad, and in cyberspace. This includes military and intelligence op er at ions overseas, law enforcement actions at home and abroad, diplomatic engagement, and the use of financial tools. We will modernize and integrate existing counterterrorism tools so we can secure our borders through, among other things, more rigorous scrutiny of entry applications. We will also deploy new technologies precisely where they are needed and protect critical infrastructure in the United States from terrorist attacks.
Elmore, R. D. Air University, Air Command and Staff College. (2006). Terrorism in the United States: do we know enough? (AU/ACSC/9127/2005-06).
Gadek R., (2010). Terrorism: Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Russian Revolution.
Gage .B. (2011). Terrorism and the American Experience: A State of the Field. Retrieved November 18, 2014