Combating paramilitary terrorism on the homefront: an examination of capabilities and limitations of U.S. response forces
Clees, Michael R.
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After the September 11 attacks, it was expected that terrorists would continue their innovations in tactics to eventually use high-tech weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Such a WMD attack has not occurred. During the past decade, however, law enforcement and military authorities in theUnited States and in other countries have faced a number of terrorist attacks carried out using more conventional paramilitary methods with devastating results. This thesis examines the paramilitary terrorist attacks that occurred in Beslan in 2004 and in Mumbai in 2008 in an attempt to understand the threat and to establish the criteria for an effective U.S. response to paramilitary terrorism. It is important to understand that a drastic difference exists between requirements for response to paramilitary terrorism and the more common active shooter protocols. This thesis examines the capabilities and limitations of law enforcement, the National Guard, and the active component (AC) of the military to recommend a response that could be uniformly achieved across the United States. It was determined that the AC of the military is the only capable response force. It requires additional planning, coordination, and cross-training with regional civilian counterparts for an effective response to a paramilitary attack to be established.
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