9/11 was an attack that has negatively impacted the United States till this day. Thousands of people’s lives were taken and till this day, it still affects their health. After this attack happened, people were looking for answers as to why did this happen? Why was the United States targeted? Was there a way we could have prevented this heinous act of violence towards innocent civilians?
It all started with Osama Bin Laden, who is the founder of the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda. He announced Jihad which is an Arabic word for “holy war” which is a fight against those who are the enemies of Islam on America early as 1996. Bombing an embassy in the U.S was not enough to get their attention. Their matter of dealing with the bombing was to “scare” Al-Qaeda by shooting missiles but that was not successful. At the time of that there was no sense of what terrorism really and they weren’t aware how ignoring those attacks previously could affect them in the long run. The Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency and other U.S intelligence and law enforcement agencies had pieces of information before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that, had they been shared, might have led to the unraveling of Al Qaeda’s plot (The Center for Public Integrity, 2008). We can see that the lack of communication from the federal agencies is a factor as to why 9/11 was not prevented. Just two months prior to the attack, a former FBI agent left a memo to the bureau executives in Washington a warning that Osama Bin Laden might show some efforts to coordinate students from U.S pilot schools to become suicuide hijackers. They supposedly did not see the memo until after 9/11 had happened. That memo entailed that Zacarias Moussaui has jihadist beliefs and was a potential suicuide hijaker. He was later convicted of six felony charges for conspiracies.
Since 9/11, there have been drastic changes for law enforcement and for The Department of Homeland Security. Various laws and policies were passed post 9/11 to support the security of the United States. The Patriot Act is to unit and strengthen the United States of America by providing tools to hinder terrorism. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is to be able to obtain surveillance or information on what could be suspected terrorism. This act has helped tremendously since 9/11.
There have been also many immigration restrictions post 9/11 which created an out of proportion assumption that those who are Muslim, Arab, and Southern Asian are more likely to be terrorists. All though these laws and policies have helped from the United States from further tradegies of violence. But, it has also this put a rise into discrimination and hate crimes towards those of the muslim religion. To be called slurs, assaulted and have their sanctuaries of practice be vandalized or burned to the ground. Till this day there is still a barrier between law enforcement (local and federal) and with those of the middle east or who are of the muslim religion. Some sense of discrimination and bigotry is still being put out their by law enforcement officials which enables muslims to trust in the government.
The whole reasoning behind this piece of literature is how law enforcement lacked sharing information with us as people of the United States that there could be a possible threat of terrorism. In order to prevent this, federal agencies must not hesitate to be proactive when a threat or a message is brought to their attention. Now that they are well aware of what the consequences are and that we as civilians suffered them enough, to not take it lightly. The act of terrorism does not affect one person but it could as small as a group of 10 people or a whole nation. Information sharing gives us civilians clarity and that we have the right to know if we could be in potential danger. This is not the first heinous act that the federal agencies took lightly which led to a tremendous tragedy. Classmates of Kavanaugh were denied of their testimonies in regards to their sexual assault allegations and how they ignored the tip that came for the Parkland school shooter. The tip expressed concerns on how the shooter expressed his desire to kill people, strange behavior, and social media posts that correlate to his goal of shooting Parkland.
All around, federal agencies should take more precautions and are to be taught more strategies, more awareness, and more extensive training in what to do when there is a case of a possible threat and also how to react to it without giving off signs of weakness.
- Center for Public Integrity. (n.d.). Agencies failed to share intelligence on 9/11 terrorists.Retrieved from https://publicintegrity.org/federal-politics/agencies-failed-to-share-intelligence-on-9-11-terrorists/.
- Community policing post-9/11. (2017, March 23). Retrieved from https://www.vera.org/blog/community-policing-post-9-11-rebuilding-trust-with-amemsa-communities.
- Naylor, S. D. (2017, August 30). Government Terrorist Trackers Before 9/11: Higher Ups Wouldn't Listen. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/news/government-terrorist-trackers-before-911-higher-ups-wouldnt-listen.