On November 25, 2002, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-296) was signed into law, establishing the Department of Homeland Security.
The complete text of Public Law 107-296 is available at the following link:
“On November 27, 2015, Robert Dear was arrested in Colorado Springs, Colorado following a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic that left three people dead and nine others wounded. Dear is being held in police custody on suspicion of first-degree murder. Formal charges, however, are not expected until his next court hearing on December 9th. One of Dear’s ex-wives has stated that he glued the locks of a Planned Parenthood near their home decades ago. The New York Times reported that one person who spoke with Dear extensively told them that he had praised the Army of God, an loose organization that commits violence against abortion providers, as heroes. After the shooting, Dear reportedly made a comment about ‘no more baby parts.’ The government, however, has not commented on Dear’s motivations for allegedly conducting the attack.”
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On December 2, 2015, 14 people were killed and 22 seriously injured from a terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center (in San Bernardino). Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a married couple, targeted the County’s Department of Public Health training event and holiday party. Farook (American-born) and Malik (Pakistani-born) were permanent residents of the United States.
This shooting has been labeled as the “second-deadliest mass shooting in California after the 1984 San Ysidro McDonald’s massacre.”
Quotes have been taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_San_Bernardino_attack
At 0755 on December 7, 1941, the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor began with a first wave of 183 aircraft. The second wave of 170 aircraft came at 0845. The entire attack lasted just under two hours; the Japanese aircraft ended the attack at 0945. This two hour surprise attack claimed the lives of 2,403 U.S. personnel and injured 1,178. It totaled two battleships (Arizona and Oklahoma), one auxiliary ship (Utah), and destroyed 169 U.S. aircraft. Eighteen other ships and 159 aircraft were damaged.
The attack on Pearl Harbor pushed the United States to officially declare war on Japan on December 8, 1941. This declaration began the U.S. official entry into World War II. The attack came halfway through the federal government’s fiscal year. As a positive result, the proposed “war budget” was relatively modest and neither President Franklin D. Roosevelt nor Congress sought carte blanche war spending. The Congressional Research Service’s Report for Congress RS21010 details the “Initial Federal Budget Response to the 1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor.”
Anniversary events commemorating the attack on Oahu’s Pearl Harbor include boat tours of notable sites, a sunset ceremony honoring those lost on the USS Utah, a 0745 USS Arizona ceremony, a USS Oklahoma Memorial ceremony, among many community theater and organization events.
On Friday, December 14th, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, a 20-year-old armed man shot and killed 20 6- and 7-year-old children and 6 adults at the school, in addition to his mother at her home and himself. This event heightened growing concerns about school security.
For resources related to school violence and school security, see the following Featured Topic page from the HSDL:
HSDL Featured Topic: School Violence
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On January 7th, 2015, two Islamist brothers killed eleven and wounded several people in the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo (a satirical magazine). During this time, other coordinated attacks were happening around Paris. The two gunmen escaped, and were later killed in a siege. This incident has caused an increased search for related terrorists in France, Belgium and other neighboring countries.
The following report Blasphemy, Charlie Hebdo, and the Freedom of Belief and Expression: The Paris Attacks and the Reactions can be found on HSDL by clicking here.
After Charlie Hebdo, Balancing Press Freedom and Respect for Religion: Majority Says Publishing Cartoons was ‘Okay,’ byt about Half of non-whites say ‘not okay’ was published. Document can also be found here.
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On January 8, 2011, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords was a victim of shooting attack at a public “Congress on your Corner” event hosted by Giffords in Tucson, Arizona. Giffords was critically wounded by a gunshot wound to the head. An additional thirteen people were injured, and six, including Federal Judge, John McCarthy Roll, were killed in the shooting.
For more information see the text of H. Res. 32: Expressing the Sense of the House of Representatives with Respect to the Tragic Shooting in Tucson, Arizona, on January 8, 2011 or watch the C-SPAN video feed here.
On February 26, 1993, a small group of terrorists perpetrated an attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City. Headed by Pakistani Islamist Ramzi Yousef, the group successfully placed a bomb in the parking garage located below the WTC. The bomb went off shortly past noon, creating a nearly 100-foot crater beneath the building. Six people were killed instantly and more than a thousand were injured. This attack was one of the first conducted by Islamist extremists on US soil.
For more information on terrorism in the United States, check out the following HSDL Feature Topic page:
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On March 11, 2004 an al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist cell coordinated bombings in the Madrid commuter train system. The bombs were detonated in the morning of March 11, killing 191 people and wounding 1,800. While no direct link between the group and al-Qaeda was found, the attack heightened fear and anxiety surrounding al-Qaeda activity.
To learn how these attacks affected US policy, check out this CRS (Congressional Research Service) report from the HSDL collection: March 11 Terrorist Attacks in Madrid and Spain’s Elections: Implications for U.S. Policy [October 5, 2004]
March 11, 2011 is the anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster that occurred in northeast Japan following a magnitude-9 earthquake. The earthquake generated a large tsunami that struck the coastal power plant and destroyed the generators responsible for cooling 3 of its 6 nuclear reactors. This resulted in a meltdown of the reactors and a release of radioactive material into both the atmosphere and surrounding water.
This disaster prompted a review of nuclear power plant safety and security around the world, including a review of American coastal power plants in California. The following document from the HSDL collection outlines one aspect of U.S. response to the disaster: Fukushima Fallout: Regulatory Loopholes at U.S. Nuclear Plants