The federal role in the security of religious venues in America
Crockett, Michael L.
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Increasing Islamic extremist terrorist attacks against primarily Christian worship sites in the Middle East and Southeast Asia pose disturbing questions: Could terrorists attack places of worship or a religious icon in America, what security policies are currently in effect, and what would be the impact on the American People? This paper explores the potential consequences of neglecting the security of religious venues in America and how it could have strategic ramifications if ignored. Could a successful and highly visible terrorist attack on an American worship site have such an effect on the American Public that it could drastically alter the war on terror, re-draw battle lines by faith, and launch a modern day Crusades? What role does the federal government currently have in defending America's religious venues against the threat of an Islamic extremist terrorist attack? Are current security efforts adequate, and if not, what policies or new approach should be taken? The author ultimately proposes a federally-led layered security engagement strategy model for religious venues. This model utilizes an incentive-based federal resourcing approach to facilitate achieving optimal security while still preserving America's core social tenet of protecting and ensuring the religious freedoms of its citizenry from religiously-motivated Islamist terrorism.
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