The emerging threat of domestic terrorism: a systematic review of evolving needs, threats, and opportunities
Wright, Lynn M.
Smith, Paul Jonathan
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The domestic terrorist threat in the United States is active and complex, with ongoing threats from violent left- and right-wing extremist groups, and radicalization and recruitment efforts by international terrorist groups. In response, domestic intelligence agencies, at all levels of government, have instituted reforms and improvements since 9/11, but there are still gaps in information-sharing and community engagement. For example, a review of the Boston Marathon bombings uncovered that important risk-based information was not shared with local law enforcement. Concerning domestic terrorism, the United States may, once again, be failing to connect the dots. This thesis synthesizes existing studies, reports, and expert testimony concerning domestic terrorism and the roles of domestic intelligence agencies, law enforcement, and the public, and proposes the development and implementation of a formal, national counterterrorism (CT) doctrine. The CT doctrine, in conjunction with a counter-radicalization strategy, should focus on bottom-up intelligence/information-sharing, training to strengthen and focus intelligence collection efforts, and culturally sensitive and engaging messaging on social media and the Internet to counter extremist propaganda.
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