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Police Work and Counter Terrorism in the Americas

Police Work and Counter Terrorism in the Americas

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Terrorism policing model needed against new transnational organized criminals
Terrorism policing model needed against new transnational organized criminals

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Published by: Jerry E. Brewer, Sr. on Dec 14, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Column 112706 Brewer 
Monday, November 27, 2006 
Police Work and Counterterrorism in the Americas By Jerry Brewer
 Guarding and patrolling to maintain order and enforcelaws, according to the definition of “policing,” is quite adisparate philosophy to counterterrorism. Generally,policing is a dynamic initiative in performing theimplacable basic fundamentals of crime prevention,enforcement of laws and ordinances, keeping thepeace, and other acts of public service. Terrorism in the new millennium is more narrowlydefined as the political use of threat and intimidation tocreate intense fear through death and extreme violenceto achieve religious, cultural or ethnic ideologies. Thisvague but prolific threat surpasses and never just fitsone piece of real estate. It is worldwide and jurisdictional, and a coordination effort in interdictingterrorism plays into the terrorist’s hands, thoughts andplanning process. Counterterrorism requires a more flexible response dueto the proper context of terrorism that must considergeopolitical, cultural and historical settings. Theenemy, small shadowy and operating in small cells andin secret, are known for their thorough planning,intensive training, repetition of successful tactics,expertise and genuine hatred for Western culture. The terrorist’s preference is for symbolic targets andspectacular attacks. These attacks tacticallysophisticated, ruthless and certainly ambitious. 
As well, defeating the United States from within as aprimary goal, with the use of world media tools tocontrol and manipulate opinion. Although much of the hatred towards the West isdirected at the United States, the Americas as ahemisphere is particularly vulnerable. All should beconcerned about the proliferation of arms, weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, political,ethnic, religious and social mayhem, and other acts of mass violence and strife within their own borders. The southwestern hemisphere, from a threatassessment standpoint, has generally been immunefrom Middle Eastern terrorism and similar terrorideologies. However, world events currently forceCanada, the U.S., and democratic nations to the southto embrace a necessary foundation of policy, diplomacyand commitment to a firm, proactive stance required toameliorate the political circumstances and socialconditions that foster terrorism. Of a particular circumstance are those nationsthroughout Latin America that have experienced terrorin their own right from political, ethnic-indigenous,military, and paramilitary guerrillas in Guatemala, ElSalvador, Nicaragua, and other South Americancountries. Furthermore, many of the perpetrators fromthe trouble spots have been recruited and trained inMexico to support drug cartels. Police in the United States over the last three decadesare no strangers to the infiltration of Latin Americangangs and the associated violence they have brought toU.S. cities. This, as well as other elements of culturallybased street and drug dealing gangs, fueled by internalprison gangs and recidivists intrinsically entrenched incrime, gangster mentality and fascination, and drug andgun violence.The fight against terrorism, in contrast to traditionalpolicing strategies, requires specialization analogous tostrategic autonomous organizations within theintelligence community, focused primarily oncounterterrorism tasks and a united mission. Much of the sophisticated training of terrorists within groupssuch as al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Hezbollah,has come from countries that have been identified asstate sponsors of terrorism. And their clandestinesecurity forces have trained the terrorists as agents of espionage, as well as in tactics and strategies of psychology, organizational structure (small cell),surveillance and analytical skills, and other areas of 

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