English Language and Composition
Reading Time: 15 minutes
Suggested Writing Time: 40 minutes
Directions: The following prompt is based on the accompanying seven sources.
This question requires you to integrate a variety of sources into a coherent, well-written essay. Refer to the sources to support your position; avoid mere paraphrase or summary.
Your argument should be central; the sources should support this argument.
Remember to attribute both direct and indirect citations.
Read the following sources (including any introductory information) carefully. Then, in an essay that synthesizes at least three of the sources for support, discuss the issues that a country and its leaders must consider when combating terrorism.
Americans are asking, why do they [those responsible for 9/11] hate us? They hate what we see right here in this chamber—a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms—our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other. They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. They want to drive Israel out of the Middle East….They stand against us because we stand in their way.
—President Bush, speech before Congress,
"We're engaged in a global struggle against the followers of a murderous ideology that despises freedom and crushes all dissent, and has territorial ambitions and pursues totalitarian aims. … And against such an enemy there is only one effective response: We will never back down, we will never give in and we will never accept anything less than complete victory. … We will defeat the terrorists and their hateful ideology by spreading the hope of freedom across the world. … The security of our nation depends on the advance of liberty in other nations."
American direct intervention in the Muslim world has paradoxically elevated the stature of, and support for, radical Islamists, while diminishing support for the United States to single digits in some Arab societies. Muslims do not "hate our freedom," but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf states.
—Report of the Defense Science Board on Strategic Communications, a 40-member taskforce advising the Pentagon, 9/04
To combat terrorism, Attorney General John Ashcroft has asked Congress to "enhance" the government's ability to conduct domestic surveillance of citizens. The Justice Department's legislative proposals would give federal law enforcement agents new access to personal information contained in business and school records. Before acting on those legislative proposals, lawmakers should pause to consider the extent to which the lives of ordinary Americans already are monitored by the federal government.
Over the years, the federal government has instituted a variety of data collection programs that compel the production, retention, and dissemination of personal information about every American citizen. Linked through an individual's Social Security number, these labor, medical, education and financial databases now empower the federal government to obtain a detailed portrait of any person: the checks he writes, the types of causes he supports, and what he says "privately" to his doctor. Despite widespread public concern about preserving privacy, these data collection systems have been enacted in the name of "reducing fraud" and "promoting efficiency" in various government programs.
Having exposed most areas of American life to ongoing government scrutiny and recording, Congress is now poised to expand and universalize federal tracking of citizen life. The inevitable consequence of such constant surveillance, however, is metastasizing government control over society. If that happens, our government will have perverted its most fundamental mission and destroyed the privacy and liberty that it was supposed to protect.
Charlotte Twight "Watching You: Systematic Federal Surveillance of Ordinary Americans," Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy, vol. 4, no. 2, Fall 1999 pp. 165–200
The terrorists don't hate what we do as much as who we are, so there is no safe place to retreat to. And retreat from battling the Islamists in the Middle East would only make it easier for them to take the battle to us at home, as they did yesterday in London [when dozens were killed in subway bombings].
—Wall Street Journal editorial, 7/7/05
As the events of September 11, 2001, demonstrated with brutal clarity, the terrorist threats facing the United States are formidable. Between 1991 and 2001, 74 terrorist incidents were recorded in the United States. During this same time frame, an additional 62 terrorist acts being plotted in the United States were prevented by U.S. law enforcement. As troubling as these statistics are, they only hint at the full scope of the terrorist threat confronting U.S. interests. For every successful terrorist attack mounted in the United States, nearly 20 (19.83) anti-U.S. attacks are carried out around the world. Between 1996 and 2001, these overseas attacks killed 75 Americans and wounded an additional 606.
During the past two decades, the U.S. Government has expanded the FBI’s authority to investigate terrorist activities against U.S. interests overseas. Specifically, the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, the Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorist Act of 1986, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, and Presidential Decision Directive 39 have served to extend FBI investigative authority beyond U.S. borders when U.S. interests are harmed or threatened. Since 1984 the FBI has carried out over 300 extraterritorial investigations, in close cooperation with the U.S. Department of State and with the assistance of host governments. These investigations include some of the FBI’s most complex and high-profile cases, including investigations into the September 11 attacks, as well as the bombings of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998, and the USS Cole in the Yemenese port of Aden in October 2000. The growing internationalization of crime, including the crime of terrorism, has led the FBI to expand its international presence. By the year 2001, the FBI had legal attache (LEGAT) offices in 44 countries around the world. At the same time, the increasing scope of terrorist threats--from bombing plots of domestic and international extremists to threats involving weapons of mass destruction to the growing menace of computer intrusion crime and threat of cyberterrorism--led the FBI, in November 1999, to create the Counterterrorism Division to help focus its operational capabilities upon the full range of activities in which violent extremists engage. The Counterterrorism Division works closely with other FBI components and with other agencies to counter current and emerging terrorist threats.
Since the mid-1980s, the FBI has published Terrorism in the United States, an unclassified annual report summarizing terrorist activities in this country. While this publication provided a good overview of the terrorist threat in the United States, its limited scope proved not conducive to conveying either the breadth and width of the terrorist threat facing U.S. interests or the scale of the FBI’s response to international terrorism worldwide. To better reflect the nature of the threat and the scope of our response, the FBI is, therefore, expanding the focus of its annual terrorism report. Terrorism provides an overview of terrorist incidents and preventions taking place in the United Sates and its territories, just as
Terrorism in the United States did. In addition, however, Terrorism discusses FBI investigations overseas, and thus provides a more comprehensive picture of the totality of the FBI’s response to international terrorism. While this expanded focus is intended to provide a more complete overview of FBI terrorism investigations into acts involving U.S. interests around the world, Terrorism is not intended as a comprehensive annual review of worldwide terrorist activity. For such a comprehensive overview of global terrorism issues, see the report Patterns of Global Terrorism, published annually by the U.S. Department of State.
This inaugural issue of Terrorism provides annual overviews for the years 2000 and 2001. The FBI hopes you find Terrorism 2000/2001 to be a helpful resource, and thanks you for your interest in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Program. A full-text and graphics version of this issue, as well as recent back issues of Terrorism in the United States, is available for on-line reference at the FBI’s home page at www.fbi.gov.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Counterterrorism Division