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Homeland Security

February 13, 2009 • Volume 19, Issue 6
Is America safe from terrorism today?
By Peter Katel

Introduction

Al Qaeda terrorists crash United Airlines Flight 175 into the World Trade Center's south tower at 9:03 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, about 17 minutes after other hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 11 into the north tower.  (Getty Images/Spencer Platt)
Al Qaeda terrorists crash United Airlines Flight 175 into the World Trade Center's south tower at 9:03 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, about 17 minutes after other hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 11 into the north tower. (Getty Images/Spencer Platt)

Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the U.S. government created the Department of Homeland Security, giving it stepped-up power to shadow and detain terrorism suspects. Then-President George W. Bush credited these measures — and intelligence and military operations abroad — with preventing new attacks on U.S. soil in the nearly eight years since 9/11. But some intelligence experts argue that the new department failed to coordinate the nation's many turf-conscious intelligence agencies, and that continued U.S. military pressure has rendered Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network incapable of mounting new attacks within the United States. Moreover, jihadist cells that have wreaked havoc in Europe lack counterparts in the U.S., where Muslims are far less alienated, experts say. Still, the danger of a new attack remains. According to an emerging school of thought, Americans should learn to live with the possibility of an eventual attack, rather than expecting government to eliminate all danger.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Terrorism
Sep. 02, 2011  Remembering 9/11
Sep. 03, 2010  Homegrown Jihadists
Mar. 12, 2010  Prosecuting TerroristsUpdated
Nov. 2009  Terrorism and the Internet
Feb. 13, 2009  Homeland Security
Apr. 21, 2006  Port Security
Oct. 14, 2005  Global Jihad
Apr. 02, 2004  Nuclear Proliferation and Terrorism
Feb. 22, 2002  Policing the Borders
Oct. 12, 2001  War on Terrorism
Jul. 21, 1995  Combating Terrorism
Aug. 26, 1988  New Approach to Mideast Terrorism
May 30, 1986  Dealing With Terrorism
Oct. 08, 1982  Prospects for Peace in Northern Ireland
Mar. 27, 1981  Anti-Terrorism: New Priority in Foreign Policy
Dec. 02, 1977  International Terrorism
Jan. 26, 1973  Control of Skyjacking
May 13, 1970  Political Terrorism
Jul. 24, 1952  Red Terrorism in Malaya
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Terrorism and Counterterrorism
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