Could terrorists acquire the needed supplies and hardware necessary for a terrorist strike within our own country?

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Utilize external resources such as online searches, journals, texts, and archived newspapers in answering these question sets. Be sure to give proper attribution by referencing and citing any borrowed work that you utilize in answering these question sets and follow the MLA or APA style for your works cited page and in-text citations. Utilize 12 point font, preferably Times New Roman or Arial. Your work should be single spaced and your ideas broken up into appropriate paragraphs. You may use 1 inch margins all around. There are 10 broad question sets that need to be answered. Utilize approximately 1/2 to 1 page worth of material for each question set, therefore your assignment should be about 5-10 pages in length.
Secondary Attacks (Part 1)
A fairly recent terrorist trend has been the application of “secondary devices” during terrorist strikes. This a phenomenon where terrorists launch a large scale attack such as a mass shooting or truck bombing and then set off a secondary explosive device or devices when law enforcement, fire, and emergency rescue personnel arrive on the scene to assist the dead and wounded. The first attack could have been used as a means of luring in the first responders for the real attack, or the secondary attack could have simply been an attack of opportunity since the terrorists know that civilians will need to be treated and evacuated from the first attack. There have already been domestic terrorism examples where secondary explosive devices have actually been used right here within the United States. Almost all of Eric Rudolph’s abortion clinic bombings had secondary devices planted to injure or kill emergency personnel, with one secondary attack injuring 7 rescue workers. The Hutaree Militia of Michigan was allegedly plotting to set off a secondary bomb during a law enforcement funeral after their first proposed attack. The tactic of secondary devices was used in the Bali bombings of 2002 in Indonesia. It has been used by Chechen separatists in Russia and by the offshoot of Al Qaeda in Algeria. This method of surprise attack has also been quite frequently used by the Taliban in Afghanistan against coalition solders as well as in Iraq by insurgents, Baathist loyalists and Al Qaeda in Iraq members against our combat troops. Additionally, ISIS/ISIL members have been known to utilize secondary attacks in order to maximize the number of those killed or wounded from their missions. Most of this has been happening in Syria and Iraq, as well as in other countries under their control. But it has also happened in Europe when ISIS/ISIL started to focus their attention on those countries. Since the use of secondary devices is primarily occurring overseas, first responders here in the US may not be as quite familiar with the possible dangers as our soldiers fighting overseas are.
1) Are first responders in the United States aware of or concerned enough by the threat potential of secondary attacks? If not, how could this awareness level be raised?
2) Is the threat of secondary attacks real enough to mandate training on how to respond to potential terrorist attacks with this potential in mind? Should the scene of a terrorist attack be secured by law enforcement and EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) teams before first responders enter the area?
3) How could first responders be trained to be aware of, and be on the lookout for, secondary attacks? Should documented cases of secondary attacks be researched and studied to find recurring trends among terrorists that could be used by first responders to mitigate the dangers?
4) What are some other types of secondary attacks that may not necessarily involve explosive devices? How could first responders plan and prepare for these types of unforeseen scenarios?
5) Should battlefield engagements be referred to when training first responders here in the United States? What are some of the lessons to be learned by the engagements of our soldiers in the field?
Attacks on Law Enforcement (Part 2)
Law enforcement in the United States is not used to combat like situations. With the exception of a few rare cases in history, the most law enforcement have really ever encountered in the US is a lone gunman robbing a store or a suspect in a drive-by shooting. The shootout between Los Angeles’ SWAT team against the barricaded SLA (Symbionese Liberation Army) in 1974 and the North Hollywood Bank of America shootout of 1997 are probably the worst situations ever encountered by our law enforcement in the US.
Today, most foreign terrorists are associated with some sort of war. Chechan terrorists are fighting in Chechnya, FARC terrorists are fighting in Columbia, Islamic terrorists are fighting in Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Algeria, Morocco, and Afghanistan, Kurdish PKK terrorists are fighting in Turkey, Iraq, and Iran, Hezbollah is fighting in Southern Lebanon, Hamas and even Fatah fighters are fighting in Israel/Palestine and there are countless other past wars with essentially combat veterans fully trained under combat conditions. ISIS/ISIL is now targeting Western Countries and has been bringing combat techniques that they have learned in their fight against Bashar al Assad’s regime in Syria and through their fighting in Iraq and other places.
Global terrorists are being trained by individuals in these war zones through training camps in Somalia, Yemen, and Afghanistan and they are learning the lessons and tactics that have proven useful against our soldiers in the field. This is a very dangerous reality since we here in the United States are not ready for such battlefield tactics. Imagine if a terrorist group was to launch a rocket or artillery strike on Washington DC from the forests of Virginia or Maryland. EFP’s (Explosively Formed Penetrators) could be targeted against our fuel supply depots or water towers. This threat of militaristic type terrorist attacks was closely averted when the Fort Dix New Jersey attack plot was unraveled. The intended target was the military base and unarmed US Army soldiers were going to be gunned down with machine guns while in uniform formation on base. The nation’s capitol already experienced battlefield like conditions when under the treat of the Beltway Snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were US Army combat veterans and used their military experience to help build the bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on April 19, 1995. The devastation of the 2008 Mumbai India attacks demonstrated how vulnerable city centers are to heavily armed and trained terrorists.
Also, law enforcement in America has come under fire in recent years from a number of individuals who have been angry at perceived injustices being committed by law enforcement officers, particularly against the African American community in general. We have seen officers attacked, and killed, in places like Dallas and Baton Rouge, among other places.
1) Should battlefield conditions be studied and trained for by our nation’s first responders in case we ever come under attack by hardened Al Qaeda or ISIS/ISIL soldiers? How vulnerable is the United States to combat-like attacks?
2) How could our nation’s law enforcement prepare itself against war-like conditions in the case of a large scale coordinated terrorist strike?
3) Given that law enforcement is supposed to be friendly and approachable by the public because of their position as role models and public servants and the recent push for community policing principles, could preparing for a potential terrorist strike run counter to this image? Could the image of officers dressed in black tactical gear, Kevlar vests, helmets, boots, masks, and goggles and riding around in armored personnel carriers with rifles and submachine guns turn off the average citizen and reduce their willingness to cooperate or approach law enforcement?
4) Could “target hardening”, or the beefing up of physical security around a sensitive location reduce the likelihood of terrorists attacking that specific building or location?
5) Is it likely that the next attempted or successful terrorist strike in the United States will come from outside of our border or be homegrown domestically right here in the United States? Would it be easier or harder for law enforcement to spot and stop potential terrorist attacks being planned within the US? Could terrorists acquire the needed supplies and hardware necessary for a terrorist strike within our own country?

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