Paramilitary Terrorism: A Neglected Threat   [open pdf - 220KB]

This is an article from the June 2008 [v.4 no.2] edition of the Homeland Security Affairs Journal. This article talks about the need for the homeland security community to provide more attention to the threat of paramilitary terrorism. In this report, the author makes the comparison between the threat of WMD terrorism and paramilitary terrorism. Moreover, he makes the argument that "the threat of WMD terrorism has led logically to a heavy emphasis on prevention by the intelligence and law enforcement communities. But in the event that prevention fails, WMD terrorism scenarios leave little scope for intervention, as the execution phase would likely be brief and spectacular. For this reason, policy efforts and the allocation of resources have focused heavily upon consequence management and forensics. This tendency is further reinforced by America's recent experience of natural and man-made catastrophes [e.g. Hurricane Katrina and the California fires of 2007], and the structures and processes of consequence management address both terror and non-terror scenarios. The fixation of official attention and resources upon WMD terrorism, and upon consequence management more generally, has left America ill-prepared to respond quickly and effectively to a terrorist paramilitary attack, which may be far more likely than an apocalyptic WMD scenario. Measures should be taken to narrow this gap in preparedness before it can be exploited by our intelligent, opportunistic enemies." Furthermore, the author recommends that "standing, regionally-based, swiftly responding federal forces with a streamlined command and control structure [...], along with a reorientation of homeland security guidance, training, and exercises to include response to threats of this nature."

2008 Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.). Center for Homeland Defense and Security. Posted here with permission. Documents are for personal use only and not for commercial profit.
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Homeland Security Affairs Journal: http://www.hsaj.org/
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Homeland Security Affairs (June 2008), v.4 no.2, article 6
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Listed on July 2, 2008 [Critical Releases]