The 9/11 attack led to the death of approximately 3000 innocent people and has resulted in unmeasurable social, political, and emotional harm for US citizens. This day marked the new beginnings in the roles of local, federal, and state law enforcement agencies. The roles had changed drastically when AG Ashcroft proposed the initiatives to combat terrorism and future terrorist attacks to be prioritized by law enforcers. Consequently, Ashcroft ordered all United States Attorneys to come up with an Anti-Terrorism Advisory Committee (ATAC), which signified the beginning of a whole new safety system. The ATAC’s main premise was ensuring effective coordination for the purpose of allowing the law administration to prevent future attacks. They were also to ensure that the communication system is efficient and it facilitates public agencies and private sectors to acquire the necessary information helpful in identifying and combating potential threats. Finally, they were to ensure that enough management strategies were in place in case of a terrorist attack. This certainly was the genesis of the law enforcement acts to counter-terror attacks.
The US Patriot Act was signed in 2001 after the attacks that motivated the US government to combat threats by implementing stricter safety measures (Schmalleger & Hall, 2017). The next initiative, which was signed a year later in 2002, was the Homeland Security Act. Based on this premise, different security and disaster-managing agencies consolidated to form an effective team able to provide resources and mitigate and confront the negative implications of terrorist attacks. Thus, the act ensures the communication, collaboration, and unity of all the entities included. Moreover, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act signed in the same year ensures the damages resulting from a terrorist attack can be covered through insurance. The act was later renewed in 2019 for the same purposes. The Real ID Act (2005) is another implementation that facilitates administrative safety. Thus, documentation and legal papers have become more regulated. It is certain that financial resources were allocated to mitigate the safety issue, as exemplified by the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (2007). It is also essential to mention the new amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (2008), which allows intelligence to use surveillance in case there is suspicious activity or individuals who are potentially dangerous.
The US Patriot Act
The Patriot Act (2001) was aimed at helping investigators address terrorist threats through access to different information and tools to combat the danger. The expiring provisions of the act were reauthorized by the USA Patriot Act Improvement and the Reauthorization Act of 2005. Moreover, the reauthorization happened multiple times due to the importance of the act itself and the investigative work facilitated through this legislation. With the new implementation, federal agents were less limited in tracking potentially dangerous individuals trained in avoiding detection. Moreover, the national security investigators acquired new tools which have been previously only used in criminal cases and were nuanced in mitigating national security issues. Law enforcement became entitled to obtain warrants without difficulties and obstacles, which helps monitor potentially dangerous entities and minimize the risks of terrorist attacks. Thus, the act itself allowed law enforcement to have more opportunities to combat some of the actions that have severely damaged America and needed to be addressed.
Homeland Security Act 2002
George W Bush, the former president of the US, approved the Homeland Security Act in 2002. This was undoubtedly facilitated by the threats and the direct attacks from 2001, which highlighted the country’s security problems. The formation of Homeland Security initiated the establishment of a new department in the executive branch. The department laid several measures that aimed at protecting the national security of the US. Apart from creating a new federal government organization with its own responsibilities, a cabinet-level secretary post, and multiple new jobs, the HS placed several agencies under the Department of Homeland Security wing. This ultimately allowed multiple services related to emergency preparedness, response, and national security to work as a unity and combat problems based on collective efforts.
Terrorist Risk insurance program Act of 2002
The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act was enacted into law in 2002 by Congress. This law facilitated entities and people who have experienced damages as a result of terrorist attacks to be able to receive compensation through insurance. The definition of acts of terrorism excluded acts of war, which means that only targeted attacks fall under the category. This law allowed insurance companies to expand the availability of terrorism insurance. This act expired in 2014; however, the program was renewed in 2015 by President Obama, which facilitated its continuation until 2020.
Without the Terrorist Risk Management Program Act, the rates of terrorist attacks targeting the US population would likely be higher. Despite Government officials’ efforts to reduce the possibility of such events damaging the USA, the risk has not been fully mitigated. Without this program, the insurance rates would be much higher, and the general population would not be able to safely protect themselves from possible damages due to the high costs.
Real ID Act 2005
The Real ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005. This legislative implementation initiated the minimum requirements for license production and issuance. It also bans certain federal agencies from regulating checks of driver’s licenses and other identification documentation depending on the state’s requirements. This act covers also covers certain regulations when it comes to the boarding of commercial planes and accessing nuclear power plants. Safe driver’s licenses and ID documents are important factors within the US national security layout. The real ID act reinforced the regulatory frameworks for handling such documentation in regard to issuing, identifying individuals, and checking for safety reasons. DHS is committed to ensuring that the Real ID Act is in accordance with the phased enforcement plans and regulatory time frames.
Department of Homeland Security Appropriation act of 2007
This act appropriated funds required to safeguard the United States against terrorism, protect the nation’s border, and help local and federal agencies in combating natural disasters. It was an act passed by Congress and signed by President Bush in 2006.
Enough funds were directed to the Department of Homeland security generally to aid in protecting the country from terror and to develop the facilities that would ensure proper coordination within the department to combat terrorism. The act also improved the abilities of the federal emergency management agency to respond to emergencies that need immediate action.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
The act signed in 2008 was an addition to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act implemented in 1978. The new initiative, which was supported by Congress, is designed to hand the intelligence agency more opportunities to combat possible terrorist threats and attacks. Thus, the agents are able to engage in surveillance through the approval of the court. The intelligence is then entitled to monitor possibly dangerous entities and act accordingly. Surveillance is an excellent tool for preventing such attacks rather than dealing with consequences. The impact of the implementation of this act is major since law enforcement has access to previously private data. This, however, has been a controversial addition to the legislation due to the possible infringement of privacy laws. However, it is certain that it is effective in minimizing potential danger and stopping terrorists even before the damage is already done.
Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019
This program was created as a temporary federal program to provide transparency in sharing private and public compensation for certain insured losses caused by certified acts of terrorism. It was signed by President Trump on 20th December 2019. This extension was proposed by NPRM, which also proposed additional modifications to the rules of the program. Since the act is not nuanced but rather a continuation of the previously signed and expired legislative addition, the initiative consisted of certain regulatory measures for ensuring safe insurance procedures in case of terrorist attacks. The focus was more on the specific amount of money people can be given and the ways in which this amount is counted by the company that provides the insurance services.
The enactment of laws against terrorism has resulted in a reduction in the number of terrorist attacks in the USA. This can be attributed to improved communication systems, management strategies aimed towards team effort of multiple agencies, and surveillance implementations. The Department of Homeland Security effectively minimizes, prevents, and adequately addresses terrorist threats, which ultimately leads to an overall safer environment for the entire population of the US. The law enforcers have the capability to counter safety compromises, including those originating within the country and from outside, as it is the core responsibility to mitigate both domestic and foreign threats. As time goes by, there is a need to review and modify certain regulations based on the current situation. However, it is inevitable that the impacts of ensuring an effective anti-terrorist system have saved many lives.
Schmalleger, F., & Hall, D. E. (2017). Criminal Law Today. Pearson.