"International terrorism has long been recognized as a foreign and domestic security threat. The tragic events of September 11 in New York, the Washington, D.C., area, and Pennsylvania have dramatically re-energized the nation's focus and resolve on terrorism. This issue brief examines international terrorist actions and threats and the U.S. policy response. Available policy options range from diplomacy, international cooperation and constructive engagement to economic sanctions, covert action, physical security enhancement, and military force. The September 11th terrorist incidents in the United States, the subsequent anthrax attacks, as well as bombings of the U.S.S. Cole, Oklahoma City, World Trade Center in 1993, and the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, have brought the issue of terrorism to the forefront of American public interest. Questions relate to whether U.S. policy and organizational mechanisms are adequate to deal with both state sponsored or abetted terrorism and that undertaken by independent groups. Formal definitions of terrorism do not include terrorist activity for financial profit or terrorists motivated by religious goals. Non-traditional harm such as computer 'violence' may not be included as well. Such activity may well be on the rise."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB95112