Countering the Changing Threat of International Terrorism: Report of the National Commission on Terrorism: Pursuant to Public Law 277, 105th Congress   [open pdf - 19MB]

The National Commission on Terrorism began its Congressionally mandated evaluation of America's laws, policies, and practices for preventing and punishing terrorism directed at American citizens. After a thorough review, the Commission concluded that, although American strategies and policies are basically on the right track, significant aspects of implementation are seriously deficient. Thus, this report does not attempt to describe all American counterterrorism activities, but instead concentrates on problem areas and recommended changes. We wish to note, however, that in the course of our assessment we gained renewed confidence in the abilities and dedication of the Americans who stand on the front lines in the fight against terrorism. The following findings are discussed in this report: International terrorism poses an increasingly dangerous and difficult threat to America; Countering the growing danger of the terrorist threat requires significantly stepping up U.S. efforts; Priority one is to prevent terrorist attacks; U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities must use the full scope of their authority to collect intelligence regarding terrorist plans and methods; U.S. policies must firmly target all states that support terrorists; Private sources of financial and logistical support for terrorists must be subjected to the full force and sweep of U.S. and international laws; A terrorist attack involving a biological agent, deadly chemicals, or nuclear or radiological material, even if it succeeds only partially, could profoundly affect the entire nation; The government must do more to prepare for such an event; The President and Congress should reform the system for reviewing and funding departmental counterterrorism programs to ensure that the activities and programs of various agencies are part of a comprehensive plan.

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