One of the initial challenges that faced the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the days immediately following 9/11 was to identify the nature of the terrorist threat. Suddenly, everything became a target and scores of known terrorist groups became potential enemies threatening imminent attack. Nuclear generating plants, chemical industries, water systems, the electrical grid, the food supply, and the information network all have value as a potential terrorist target. In general, terrorists will target "high-value symbolic targets" such as the world trade center, "high-value human targets with the goal of assassination", and "deliberately lethal attacks specifically targeting the public" (Hoffman, 2006, p.167). Delivery may come from airplanes, vehicular bombs, planted explosives with a remote control detonator, or individuals carrying a bomb in a vest or backpack designed for manual detonation (Hoffman, 2006, p.166). The device may be a weapon of mass destruction, nuclear, biological, or chemical. This illustrates the comprehensive concerns that security had to focus on and attempt to reduce to a workable security policy. Over time, security agencies have been able to make certain facilities more secure, such as airports, but have also been met with some resistance in other industrial settings.
One of the important trends that has characterized the face of foreign terrorism in the past 20 years has been the increasing role that private groups, rather than governments, have played (Pillar, 2001, p.ix). ...Show more