Discussion Questions on Terrorism

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1. Federal Bureau of Investigation's definition of terrorism.

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Terrorism according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is the unlawful use of force against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population or segment to promote social or political objectives.

2. List and discuss the three categories of international terrorist threats.

There are some categories of international terrorist threats. Foreign sponsors of international threats involve countries that are designated as sponsors, and they view terrorism as a tool of foreign policy. They organize, network and fund formal terrorist groups and extremists.

Formalized terrorist groups are autonomous organizations that have their infrastructure, finance, personnel and training facilities.

Loosely affiliated international radical extremists do not represent a particular nation, but they may pose the most urgent threat to another nation because they are unknown to the law enforcement agencies.

3. List and discuss the practical and legislative means of dealing with domestic terrorism.

There are various ways to address domestic terrorism. Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the use of the military to execute the laws domestically. They are only called to provide personnel and equip for certain special support activities like domestic terrorist events that involve weapons of mass destruction.

National incident management system- It provides an approach for the levels of governments to work together and address domestic incidents.

USA Patriot Act - It provided tools for protecting mass transportation systems and seaports from attack. It also assisted in closing the loopholes to prevent terrorist financing.

Military Commissions Act of 2006 - In this Act, President is authorized to sentence defendants to death and defendants are prevented from invoking the Geneva Conventions as a source of rights during commission proceedings.

4. Discuss cyber terrorism and the Asian threat.

Cyber terrorism comprises activities such as identity theft, Internet auction fraud and attacks against computer data and systems. It is one of the fastest growing areas of crime. The most challenging and disastrous form of cybercrime is cyber espionage, which is by Chinese hackers to the United States. The Asian threat is estimated to be responsible for the theft of 50%-80% of all American intellectual property, and they have compromised the nations most advanced sensitive weapon systems.

List and discuss the various types of police abuse of authority according to David Carter.

Physical abuse and excessive force-It results in substantial public scrutiny. At times, it can lead to the death of a victim or serious body injuries.

Verbal and psychological abuse- officers inflict verbal and psychological abuse on citizens by belittling them or use of profanity.

Legal abuse and violations of civil rights-police at times violate citizens constitutional rights. They can harass them, arrest them and imprison them falsely.

5. Discuss use of force on persons with mental disorders.

Findings to determine the extent to which officers encounter people with mental disorders suggest that police believe that dealing with such people is dangerous because they are likely to be violent. The police use more force on these people because of their aggressive behavior and can use pepper spray against them to calm their behavior.

6. What new approaches are now espoused with active shooters?

Mass killings and changes in police responses are the new approaches to active shooters.

7. Discuss contract and consolidated policing.

Contract policing is where a community contracts with an outside unit of government to provide its policing services while consolidated policing is where two or more city or county law-enforcement agencies merge into a single entity.

8. Discuss the legal and psychological challenges of police uniforms and appearance.

When a neophyte officer puts on the uniform, his or her world changes and it sets them apart from society. There are regulations that govern their looks such as length of hair and beards for male officers. It is a violation of the officers right to the freedom of expression. The use of uniform identifies a person with powers to arrest and use of force, however, there is conformity to the ranks of all the officers, which suppresses individuality.

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