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Terrorism in America. Is it real and should we be concerned?

Terrorism in America. Is it real and should we be concerned?
In America today we live in a country where the poor are taken care of, the rich live in luxury and the average citizen lives without fear. The American citizen can vote, drive from state to state for no reason whatsoever and can choose their friends, what they will eat for dinner and which religion they will worship. American’s are not faced with cars exploding and individuals who believe that their God wants them to kill hundreds of people in his name by strapping an explosive device to their body and detonating it in a crowded mall. This person is commonly called a terrorist.
What is a terrorist? A terrorist is defined as “a radical who employs terror as a political weapon; usually organizes with other terrorists in small cells; often uses religion as a cover for terrorist activities”. (The Free Dictionary.Com, 2009) American’s were faced with accepting the fact that their freedom may be at risk when terrorists flew several commercial aircraft into numerous buildings on September 11, 2001. That should have been a “wake-up” call for the citizens of the United States of America.
When thinking about terrorists, some think of a radical person, who, at all cost will try to prove his point or make his opinions known by whatever reason. This could include explosives, weapons of mass destruction, chemical agents or taking the lives of innocent people.
The terrorist which Americans should be concerned about is commonly called a domestic terrorist. A domestic terrorist may not have been born in another country, may have ties to many American citizens and live within the United States. In fact “The last twenty years of the twentieth century and the first years of the twenty-first century saw some changes in the types of groups willing to use terrorism. The period was a witness to some dramatic terrorist attacks: the destruction of a federal office building in Oklahoma City”. (Lutz, 2007)
Even though their existence may offend some and bother others, the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) could be considered a form of domestic terrorist, a supremacist group. All of their members were born and raised in America; they stand for one idea and are willing to enforce their opinions on others by using whatever means possible. Granted, the KKK only targets a certain group, however they are extreme in their beliefs and will injure and/or kill innocent bystanders to prove their point. “1990s saw an increase in both the number of white supremacist groups” (Lutz, 2007)
Again when thinking about a terrorist groups, one does not necessarily have to think radical groups who invoke their ideas and thoughts about human nature and religion. One group, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), was first founded in Europe but has chapters in America. They believe that animals should not be used for research and they will attack laboratories, research facilities, trappers and farms which use animals for research. ALF has claimed that they were the reason for the fur trade to come to a halt. Some ALF members would throw paint, bleach or other chemicals on the person and the fur the person was wearing. Most people believed that they were fighting for a good cause; however, this could be considered a form of domestic terrorism.
Terrorism is typically broken into two schools of thought: the Right-Wing, who supports the traditional social orders, free market and Capitalism. The other, is the Left-Wing, whose supporters are often called liberal. However, they will use radical measures to effect change in politics, equality, freedom, and the well-being of the citizens of a state.
Right-Wing violence has been part America history and began after the American Revolutionary War. It started by a tax on whiskey, which provoked riots and general disorder. The KKK is a Right-Wing group. However, “the appearance of the modern Right-Wing extremism came to fruition around 1984 and has remained active since that time”. (White, 2009) “The various right-wing groups have usually found it difficult to cooperate with each other, although they often have an ideological affinity with each other. Many individuals drift from one group to another. The multiplicity of groups provides individuals with access to this sometimes-violent strand of American political ideas”. (White, 2009)
If there are terrorists in America, were do they live and where are they trained? It may be surprising to learn, that many Al Qaeda type and Islamic groups have set up camps and are training individuals right here in the United States. It appears from many investigations and inquires, that many groups have set up “terrorist training camps which are equally diverse, and range from various locations in rural, sparsely populated areas to abandoned warehouses in urban areas. Regardless of the individuals involved in such training or the location of the combat training, the motivations are the same, and should be considered as potentially dangerous as the more established camps that existed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other remote regions of the world”. (McLeod, 2007)
It is hard to accept that the idea that a terrorist training facility maybe located next to your school, your home, or down the street from the mall. According to the Christian Action Network, a group of terrorist has been found training in York, South Carolina. Also, it appears that the Federal Government is aware of this threat and has attempted to conceal this information from the American People. “Footage from Soldiers of Allah was confiscated by the FBI and locked away. The public would never have become aware of the tape. Even a 2006 Justice Department document exposing 35 terrorist compounds in the U.S. was marked "Dissemination Restricted to Law Enforcement." One copy was hidden by a government official and given to CAN so they could warn the public. CAN released the footage in a DVD entitled Homegrown Jihad: The Terrorist Camps around the U.S”. (Frazier)
When thinking of terrorist, common thoughts are: Islamic groups, Muslims and radical groups who have political agendas to prove. A terrorist could be anyone: Timothy McVeigh, Army of God, Robert Goldstein, Eric Rudolph, Robert Goldstein, just to name of few. All of these are born and raised in America. These individuals are termed: Homegrown Terrorist. “Someone who means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”. (Terrorist Planet)
Should American’s be concerned? Yes, terrorist do not only live and train in the United States they are brought in from other part of the world. Many think these groups are training in the open, were they can be tracked by satellite, the FBI or local law enforcement. In fact, many groups have become “transparent” and have adapted to their surroundings, which is to say, they blend in with their environment. These groups have been labeled “Sleeper Cells”. “A sleeper cell is a dormant, on standby, group of individuals that were smuggled in, arrived legally or possibly born in the country that is the point of attack. The members live among the general population and participate within the guidelines of that society attempting to blend in and to not draw any unwanted attention until the time when the cell is to carry out a terrorist attack. The Hijackers of 911 were operating as a sleeper cell before they acted that day. Effective terrorist cells are usually very small and tightly managed, generally comprising three or four people and rarely involving more than ten or twenty. When they get bigger, cells become much more vulnerable to penetration by law enforcement or detection by alert citizens. (Terrorist Planet)

Bibliography
(n.d.). Retrieved November 5, 2010, from Terrorist Planet: http://www.terroristplanet.com/americaterrorcells.htm
Frazier, S. (n.d.). Terrorist Training on American Soil. Retrieved November 5, 2010, from Christian Action Network: http://www.christianaction.org/node/15
Lutz, J. M. (2007). Terrorism in America. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
McLeod, J. (2007, June 11). While caution sleeps. Retrieved November 5, 2010, from Canada Free Press: http://www.canadafreepress.com/2007/cover061107h.htm
The Free Dictionary.Com. (2009). Retrieved 11 8, 2010, from TheFreeDictionary.Com: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/terrorist
White, J. R. (2009). Terrorism and Homeland Security. Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.…...

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