Designating domestic terrorist individuals or groups
Heller, David E.
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Terrorism is a crime committed by individuals with a political or social agenda designed to influence a government or its population. The U.S. government, state and local law enforcement agencies have, as a priority, the mission of protecting the homeland from the threats of terrorism-domestic or foreign. However, the U.S. government has not effectively defined what constitutes a domestic terrorist with the same processes and vigor used to identify international terrorists, gang members, or sex offenders. The lack of a workable definition and validation process for identifying a "domestic terrorist" places law enforcement and homeland security agencies in a position of having to balance the need to protect constitutional rights and the need to protect against the nation's security threats. To this end, this thesis will identify the problems associated with a lack of a comprehensive definition, address the safeguards required in a definition to ensure constitutionally protected rights are not impinged, and will offer a working definition and designation process.
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