Sample Criminal Justice Research Paper on Anti- Terrorism

Anti- Terrorism


Terrorism refers to criminal acts aimed at provoking a state of terror in public, a group of people, or particular individuals for political reasons, and such acts are unjustifiable. Antiterrorism refers to defensive measures employed in minimizing the susceptibility of people and property to terrorists’ acts. They encompass limited response and containment by local military and civilian forces. Terrorism strikes at the foundation of the “risk management culture,” which controls modern Western societies because it is a complete reminder of the limits of risk management.

Terrorism exhibits the probable ungovernability of contemporary societies and how those with little power can work cheaply and effectively to destroy. Western authorities have strived to manage the risk of terrorism. Nevertheless, this does not imply that counterterrorism measures are initiated because of their risk-reducing effects. States have been obliged to take preventive measures against terrorism because their major role is to ensure the citizens are secure despite the fact that the authorities may not have the required tools. Moreover, various researchers have affirmed that terrorism countermeasures have adverse side effects in terms of intimidating civil liberties. Therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that the introduction, implementation, and maintenance of such measures in a democratic society would imply prevalent public compliance to counterterrorism measures as being essential and beneficial (illiams, 2014). Various groupings of counterterrorism measures are vital in protecting citizens and national resources from terrorist attacks. In addition, blockades, barricades, and entry mazes that increase standoff and improve security personnel reaction time during an attack are important.  Other measures, such as unmanned aerial systems, biometric and forensic data for screening personnel for identity and base access, as well as improved intelligence communications and surveillance helps a nation in the fight against terrorism (Abbas & Javaid, 2017).

Counterterrorism Measures

Protection of Occasions and Celebrities

Occasions and personality protection entail measures put in place to safeguard particular events, such as state visits or other major occasions where the level of security is temporarily increased. This can be because the event may be considered as a probable terrorist target or the availability of individuals who are regarded to be possible targets of terrorism, for instance, state visits. In addition, this category involves measures intended to protect specific persons, for example, Politicians, the royal family, or other public figures. The measures employed include bodyguarding, metal sensors, barriers, bulletproof windows, and inspection of probable culprits. The outcome of 9/11 attack in the United States intensified emphasis on the security of political symbols, such as the royal family. The augmented terrorism threat became one of the reasons for implementing a higher security level for public figures in many nations. Furthermore, the ‘terrorism threat’ was employed as an argument for legitimizing such kinds of measures and mitigating all the security measures implemented after the 9/11 attack (Jarvis & Lister, 2016). The assertions regarding the terrorist threat were not based on any substance or openly recognized risk valuations, but just supposed as if it was a cold fact for some nations to be under such a threat.

Safeguarding Infrastructure and Key Resources

Protection of infrastructure and key objects refers to several counterterrorism measures meant for preventing terrorist attacks from taking place and securing systems, sectors, or particular objects from the act of terrorism. Such systems are mostly the transport infrastructure, namely, aviation, public road and rail transportation, as well as shipping. The main objects considered terrorist targets are oil and gas connections, government structures, and foreign embassies. Measures under this category include guarding, identity checks, security checks of persons and goods, fences, barricades and ensuring public places are inaccessible. Others include surveillance, the safety of security-sensitive information, risk and vulnerability analysis, and emergency plans. This group also entails integration and anti-radicalization measures within the nation (Jore, 2016).

Legal and Regulatory Changes

Legal and regulatory changes include national and international laws and regulations regarding terrorism either by considering terrorism to be a special kind of crime in the legal system, stating various ways of combating it or regulating the manner in which society should be protected from acts of terrorism. The measures in this category include international conferences on terrorism, European Union guidelines on aviation and maritime security, specific terrorist laws in the national legislation, and special terrorist clauses in the Criminal Code and the Immigration Act. Others include legal authorization for the police to utilize special equipment and investigation methods in terrorist crimes and extended powers of authority for financial actors to freeze and close bank accounts. All these measures endanger the citizens’ legal protection and regard terrorism as an extraordinary form of crime or threat. After 9/11, terrorism was regarded a group activity and an international menace that could operate in various nations. Due to the viewed international character of terrorism after 9/11, it was considered vital for nations to conform to international rules and conventions to support the international campaign against terrorism. For instance, the Norwegian authorities right away signed the process of amending the national legislation to comply with the international convention. Norway signed various United Nations (UN) conventions, such as the UN Conventions of 1373 that was a direct reaction to 9/11 and a promise to increase cooperation in the fight against terrorism (Jore, 2016).

Actor Reinforcement Measures

These include counterterrorism measures that provide actors in society more powers, for instance, expanding their responsibilities and rising their budgets. Such actors are mostly authorized bodies selected to handle security. The measures under this category include restructuring, distribution of resource, new equipment, laws offering official bodies higher authority over citizens, and electronic registration of citizens’ personal details. The 9/11 terrorist attack in the United States was termed as an attack against the USA and all NATO members. It was considered a modern warfare against democracy for the entire world. Additionally, the recognition of terrorism as a warfare implied that it was no longer limited to political activism but became a threat to national security (Prezelj, 2015). The attack was also perceived as the start of a new security political phase, and consequently, official bodies made the required adaptations.

Damage Mitigation

Damage of mitigation refers to a number of counterterrorism measures aimed at increasing society’s ability to deal with the consequences of a terrorist attack. Such measures include emergency preparedness, for example, evaluations, rehearsals, new cautionary systems and household readiness. They also entail measures designed to handle threats of cyber, biological, chemical and nuclear terrorist attacks, such as chemical cleaning units, radioactive and nuclear detectors, and cyber-attack countermeasures. The anthrax attacks in the United States, and the Norwegians authorities’ procurement of defense and cleaning equipment to manage chemical weapons changed the focus of the media to the possibility of terrorists using weapons capable of producing devastating effects to society. After 2001, terrorists were labeled as religious extremists who would utilize suicide bombs or weapons of mass murder (Sandler, 2011).

International Measures

Global measures are strategies implemented in other nations to minimize the risk of domestic terrorism. These measures span from global military support or invasions to cooperation in global security bodies, such as UN, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Measures that enhance democracy and fight poverty, peace negotiations and dialogue and emergency support also belong to this group. After 9/11, terrorism was viewed as an international threat, and international counterterrorism measures were essential in managing it. In addition, promotion of peace, eradication of poverty, and development of democracy in other nations were termed as measures that could strengthen a nation’s domestic security (Jore, 2016).

Terrorism against the Homeland

Safeguarding the American homeland is not an easy task. The 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City as well as the attacks of 9/11 underlines the danger of terrorist acts in the United States. Local terrorist groups, international terrorist groups, and special interest extremist groups remain harmful and disrupt the peace and steadiness of the nation. Terrorists in most cases aim at destroying the weakest areas in the defenses and the nation’s preparations. They also target parts of a nation that can cause a lot of pain and loss, for instance, mass murder or destruction of valuable resources. Therefore, a nation should be well equipped to protect its citizens and resources against asymmetric methods of attack. Terrorists also use conventional means of attack as well as less traditional means like attacks on computer, financial systems, and utility schemes.  They gain access to firms, crowds, or geographic spheres to identify flaws and prospects as they plan to invade them (Wechsler, 2017).

Antiterrorism measures play a vital role in combating terrorism. Therefore, it is important for such measures to include random antiterrorism measures (RAMs), utilization of physical structures, physical security and protection response forces, and other emergency response actions. The antiterrorism measures are supposed to be scalable and proportionate to escalations in the local threat and unit operational capacity.  Moreover, security measures that increase situational awareness can hinder terrorist surveillance and prevent targeting efforts. Such measures entail visible security cameras and motion sensors, operational dog teams, vigorous searches, which include x-ray apparatuses and explosive detection tools of cars and people at entrances, and displays of cars installed with crew served weapons.


Many researchers assert that the counterterrorism measures executed in many Western societies after the terrorist attack in the United States on 9/11 should be considered part of a wider risk management culture that controls the modern societies. In addition, several counterterrorism measures are beyond rational evaluation and assessment. Moreover, measures against terrorism are mainly termed as essential, independent of the risk, and factors like precaution, international regulations, solidarity, and moral obligations are the principal supporting arguments. Therefore, it is not clear whether citizens view counterterrorism measures as risk-reducing because the execution of these measures is not founded on risk-reducing arguments. Besides, precaution is among the major arguments behind terrorism countermeasures, and this method can create room for further implementation. I believe that such form of argumentation builds on worst-case scenario thinking, implying that if something can happen in the future, then the society should be protected. This is an open-ended tactic because there are no criteria for when to remove a measure or for assessing whether a measure is effective or not.


Abbas, G., & Javaid, U. (2017). Pakistan’s war on Terrorism and 9/11. South Asian Studies (1026-678X), 32(1), 99-108.

Jarvis, L., & Lister, M. (2016). What would you do? Everyday conceptions and constructions of counter-terrorism. Politics, 36(3), 277-291.

Jore, S. H. (2016). Norwegian media substantiation of counterterrorism measures. Journal of Risk Research, 19(1), 101-118.

Prezelj, I. (2015). Improving Inter-organizational Cooperation in Counterterrorism: Based on a quantitative SWOT assessment. Public Management Review, 17(2), 209-235.

Sandler, T. (2011). The many faces of counterterrorism: an introduction. Public Choice, 149(3/4), 225-234.

Wechsler, W. F. (2017). Counterterrorism by Proxy. National Interest, (148), 24-33

illiams, G. (2014). Anti-Terrorism Laws and Human Rights. Review of Constitutional Studies, 19(2), 127-145.