Essay: Terrorism What Is Involved in Terrorism Investigation?

Pages: 3 (1034 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Terrorism  ·  Buy This Paper


What is involved in terrorism investigation? Unlike many criminal investigations, investigating terrorism and terrorism issues are dependent on far more issues. First, the investigation may be national, international, or a combination -- it may involve a number of agencies, jurisdictions, and political formats. The terrorism investigation is also dependent on whether it is proactive or reactive. Proactive investigations are used to prevent acts of terrorism and include coordinated or long-term planning, intelligence gathering, and ways for different agencies to cooperate. Reactive methods are used to investigate terrorism after the incident occurs. These include crime scene processing and analysis, detective work (following leads and tips), using informants, data mining, surveillance, and other standard law enforcement tactics.

Proactive methods are designed, particularly after 9/11, by the theory of preventive policing -- to anticipate and diffuse the next terror attack. These techniques do not focus on crime, but on the idea that a crime might be committed on a future date. It is primarily intelligence gathering, data mining and analysis, sharing of information with pertinent agencies, and gathering of intelligence by different means so that there are few surprises to law enforcement. One real challenge in proactive investigation is balancing civil liberties against terrorist threats.

Reactive methods follow similar techniques to basic modern criminal investigations, but on a larger, more complex manner. Because of the nature of the incident, local officials might not have enough equipment or personnel to adequately handle the investigation, and it is highly likely that because of the nature of terrorism, that other cities or countries are also involved. Of course, the incident must have a responder, usually local law enforcement and then other agencies being called in. Once the incident is under control, crime scene processes sing and analysis occurs and is as extensive as possible. Information is gathered, leads checked, background issues are uncovered, and an agency, usually Homeland Security in the United States, coordinates efforts to build a profile and apprehend the suspects, with the help of coordinating agencies.

Part 2 -- What are crimes against humanity? Crimes against humanity are serious offenses against a nation, an ethic group, a part of society and a serious attack on humanity or degradation against one or more individuals. They are not isolated events, but part of a formal policy or a wide practice of atrocities, torture, or offenses that are somehow condoned by a de facto authority. Some examples of crimes against humanity are mass extermination, torture, rape, persecution for political, racial or religious reasons, and the systematic process of widespread criminal activities. While the term has been around for at least a century, it was the aftermath of World War II and the resulting Nuremberg Trials that brought the issue to the forefront. The jurisdictional element of these types of crimes is not limited to war but as a "part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population on national, political, ethnic, or religious grounds" (745).

Since 1948, the legal responsibility for prosecuting crimes against humanity has been the United Nations and the International Criminal Court. However, since the International Criminal… [END OF PREVIEW]

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