Pre-9/11 Terrorism and Its Impact on Law Enforcement

Pre-9/11 Terrorism and Its Impact on Law Enforcement


To most of us, 9/11 and the events leading up to it are when we began noticing the impact of terrorism upon law enforcement and its policies, procedures, and structure. However, terrorism did not begin with 9/11. Throughout history, there have been terrorist events that have resulted in significant changes to law enforcement policies and procedures. In this discussion, we will investigate a few of them.

Continuing with the scenario begun in the first discussion, suppose you are the captain of your local police municipality. As captain, you have provided the chief with a memo that explained the terms, terrorist and terrorism and provided a historical context for the motivations behind such actions. For his second memo request, the chief wants you to explain why his department should be concerned with a terrorist event happening in his city, and why changes to policy are warranted. He particularly wants to know about any events pre-9/11, and how they compare to post-9/11 events. He is not yet convinced that history is a predictor of the future.

For your initial discussion post:

  • Identify a terrorist event from history, pre-9/11.
  • Summarize the event, as well as the motivation behind it.
  • Compare the pre-9/11 terrorist event to a recent, post-9/11—and similarly motivated—terrorist event in the U.S.
  • Analyze how this event resulted in a change to law enforcement policy or procedure.