Terrorism today, to most Westerners, refers to terrorism inspired by Islam. This radical shift to religious, or cultural, aspects of the terrorist act separates it from the 18th and 19th-century traditions of strictly political acts of terror. Although Islamic terrorism certainly has political aspects to it, it is still ideologically justified in the language of the Islamic faith. Tokens like the Quran, Allah, and Jihad are used to create support for what are actually political goals. However, Islamic terrorism exists within many different countries in the Middle East, as opposed to past examples like IRA or the RAF, which existed strictly in Ireland and Germany respectively. The distribution of this new kind of terrorism makes it difficult to defend against, especially as they infiltrate Western societies to both learn from them and to attack them.
The Patriot Act, a statute enabling the United States government additional surveillance tactics to “intercept and obstruct” terrorism, was enacted in October 2001. These privileges included eases on restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering, additional powers to regulate financial transactions, and increases in powers to conduct searches on the telephone and electronic communication without proper warrants (Chang). By expanding the official definition of domestic terrorism, the Patriot Act created a large umbrella of new powers for combating terrorism on American soil. However, these new powers were created only after severe terrorist attacks. ...Show more