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During the next decade, several domestic focused Islamist terrorist plots were foiled at the planning stage; however, additional attacks were conducted overseas, by operatives of Hezbollah killing US service personnel in 1996 at the Khobar Towers complex in Saudi Arabia, by al Qaeda bombing of US embassies in East Africa in 1998, and the attack on the USS Cole near Yemen in 2000.The most deadly attack domestically during the 1990s was the Oklahoma City bombing, carried out by Timothy Mc Veigh, an anti-government extremist.During the 1970s and 80s, airline hijackings and overseas bombings were the focus of most terrorist activity.
It ushered in a new generation of policies like the USA Patriot Act, prioritizing national security and defense, often at the expense of civil liberties.
These changes continue to have ripple effects across the globe, particularly in the Middle East, where American-led military operations helped foment rebellions and ongoing warfare throughout the region. troops invaded Afghanistan in an attempt to dismantle al-Qaeda -- the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the attacks -- and remove the Taliban government harboring it. combat operations ended in late 2014, more than 8,000 U. troops are still there to stem the ongoing Taliban insurgency.
For the fundamental lesson was this: a counterterrorism architecture that is founded on criminal justice principles is fundamentally oriented to punishing those who have plotted or carried out attacks.
But with the danger to innocent life posed by modern terrorism, prevention and not punishment becomes the critical driver for counterterrorism. This refashioning focused on three elements of the counterterrorism process: intelligence collection, information integration, and terrorist incapacitation.
The first refers to how we can better collect information in real time within the context of modern global communication, travel, and finance.
The second focuses on how we can better combine and integrate that information once collected.
And -- perhaps hardest to believe -- we didn't have to take off our shoes to go through airport security.
America’s involvement in the War on Terror -- prompted by the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- resulted in a dramatic change in our nation's attitudes and concerns about safety, vigilance and privacy.
The attacks of September 11, 2001 and the consequent retrospective investigations – such as the 9/11 Commission Report – exposed the inadequacy of this architecture in addressing and thwarting further attacks.
The inability to coordinate information collection and integration among various agencies led to the failure to identify patterns of behavior that might have provided warning of attack.