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Counter-Terrorism and the Patriot Act Essay

Recent acts of terrorism have not escaped the notice of the department of homeland security. Through the Patriot’s Act, the United States uses the provisions of this law to fight terrorism. A major concern of late to the department of Homeland Security is domestic terrorism, combating terrorism via agencies such as the FBI; DEA has been effective to some extent.

The Patriot Act provides for the government to use as such resources as possible in combating terrorism, it also has provisions which allow for wider security actions by government agencies (Purpura, 2007).

The powers given to agencies such as the FBI allow them to conduct searches, surveillance without requiring a warrant. Therefore these agencies have been effective in identifying and eradicating terrorist groups within the United States.

The Patriot Act has several provisions covering on aspects such as cyber-terrorism, money laundering and border patrols. Through the Patriot Act, United States has been able to tighten security within the United States in all spheres.

The act has been effective in fighting terrorism, because provisions like the anti-money laundering has enabled the government to seize funds believed to be funding terror acts against the United States (Bullock, 2008). The Patriot Act has been successful in instilling a sense of patriotism and as a result many Americans have taken up the call to protect their country against acts of terrorism.

The drafting and implementation of the Patriot Act has been one of the most successful strategies in combating terrorism due to the underlying reasons that the United States is now more aware and prepared to fight terrorism (Smith, 2010).

Success of the Patriot Act

Concerns over the success of the Patriot Act has been a major discussion point recently, tradeoffs of the act can be looked at from various view points. In terms of security, the Patriot Act has been successful in reducing terror threats and attacks against the United States. Since the attacks of the twin towers, domestic acts of terror have reduced significantly.

However in terms of economy and cost, the implementation of the Patriot Act has been very costly with the government spending a lot of taxpayer’s funds on anti-terror programs (Smith, 2010). Businesses such as airlines had to adjust to tough screening measures and extra surveillance leading to increased operating costs in their operation.

These costs associated with the Patriot Act have raised concern especially in light of the world economic crunch. Human rights campaigners and justice departments are of the idea that the Patriot Act violates fundamental rights of Americans and therefore adjustments are necessary for its successful implementation.

The act of terrorism should be treated as an act of war; this is because terrorism leads to loss of innocent human beings. Acts of terror are usually targeted attacks on a particular group for the purposes of achieving some goals (Purpura, 2007).

Terrorism is not justified in the fact that most terror groups perform some of these acts under the guise of religion or politics. After the 11th September 2001 attacks, Muslims in the United States were targeted indiscriminately yet they were innocent and because of this terrorism should be defined as an act of war.

Acts of terrorism leads to instability and mistrust as relations between nations are destroyed, for instance relations between the United States and some Middle East nations have severed due to terrorism.


Bullock, J., Haddow, G., Coppola, D., & Yeletaysi S. (2008). Introduction to Homeland Security: Principles of All-Hazards Response. New York, NY: Butterworth- Heinemann.

Purpura, P. (2007). Terrorism and homeland security: an introduction with applications. Washington, WA: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Smith, C., & Hung L. (2010). The Patriot Act: issues and controversies. Boston, MA: Charles C Thomas Publisher.

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