Combatting Terrorism

Some Policy Implications

by Brian Michael Jenkins

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Abstract

In this paper a strategy for combatting terrorism is outlined. For the United States, the problem lies mainly outside its borders, but it also faces the problems of domestic terrorism, and remotely, the possibility of single incidents of greater magnitude than terrorists have engaged in thus far. The world will not simply outlaw international terrorism. However, it may be possible to create a corpus of international agreements on terrorism each aimed at a specific terrorist tactic, and the United States should address its efforts in this direction. The primary responsibility for combatting domestic terrorism lies with local law enforcement and, at the federal level, the Department of Justice. It is possible that terrorists or other kinds of criminals will in the future escalate their violence and create events that are of greater magnitude. The emphasis in such cases would be on an assessment of the credibility of the threat, rapid deployment of prevention or mitigation measures in threats to public safety or vital facilities, restoration of services, or recovery.

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