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Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

The intent and purpose of this Module is to familiarize the student with other agencies that are involved
with Domestic Security and Terrorism. There are too many agencies to present; therefore, I request the
student read their missions and histories.

Students are encouraged to deviate from the posted readings and look at the provided DHS
organizational chart, seek the charts from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Military, the
State Department, and the Justice Department to find out more. The organizations of the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are deliberately left out
because the students should cover both of these agencies in depth in other classes. The Case questions
concern the interaction of these agencies when preparing for, responding to, or recovering from an act of
domestic terrorism.
The student is required to cover the required readings and apply the information provided combined with
the student�s research to answer the following questions:


  1. Do you agree/disagree with Thurston�s views on the role of the military in Domestic Terrorism? Why?
    (Thurston, 2007)
  2. Explain the interface of CDC and DHS in a domestic bio-terror incident.
  3. How would FEMA and the FAA integrate with the DHS, TSA, and Military if a domestic terror incident
    occurred similar to the events of September 11, 2001?
  4. After reading (Haddal, 2010) what do you envision the role and success of the Border Patrol will be in
    the next five years?
  5. In your view (supported by research and citation), do you believe the reorganizations of the first decade
    of the 21st century to combat domestic terrorism were/are effective? What changes would you
    recommend and why?
  6. Do you agree/disagree with Thurston’s views on the role of the military in Domestic
    Terrorism? Why? (Thurston, 2007)

I agree and support Thurston’s views as presented in his article ´The Military’s Role in
Domestic Terrorism´, on the role of the military in deterring, combating and providing assistance
in instances of domestic terrorism in the US. He asserts that to effectively counter acts of home-
grown terrorism, there is need for a concerted effort between the military and the civilian
security forces. This is because protecting the lives of Americans is mandatory and the state
should use all the resources at its disposal, including the military, to protect the citizens from any
acts of terror. This is clearly spelt out in the National Strategy for Homeland Security, NSHS, of

  1. It states in part that ´´…the United States will use all instrument of national power and
    influence, diplomatic, information, military, economic, financial, intelligence, and law
    enforcement, to achieve our goals to prevent and disrupt terrorist attacks; protect the American
    people…” The supportive role of the military is especially relevant in situations where the
    civilian police is widely overstretched or overwhelmed, and so the troops act as a force
    multiplier. This makes the use of the troops domestically, not to be a question of choice, but of
    necessity. The military’s role should however, as Thurston purports, not be a leading role but a
    supportive role since while they may have more airpower and substantial personnel, they do not
    necessarily possess the relevant training to effectively deal with domestic terrorism. This is true
    because the military are prone to using excessive force that may harm civilians. To counter this,
    they should be provided with relevant training in dealing with domestic terrorism. Their
    participation in countering domestic insurgents should also be short lived and their involvement
    halted once a situation can ably be handled by the civil police (Thurston, 2007).
  2. Explain the interface of CDC and DHS in a domestic bio-terror incident.

The twenty first century has witnessed an increase in bio-terror attacks such as the release
of anthrax virus. Bio terrorist use disease causing agents such as viruses and bacterial to harm or
kill people and animals by deliberately releasing them in the environment (Jones D., 2005) Both
the Centre for disease control, CDC and the Department of Homeland Security, DHS, have a
significant role to play in combating bio terror in the American soil. The CDC has the role of
preventing and controlling bio terror, through such activities as detecting infections, conducting
research on vaccines and controlling the spread of diseases such as small pox and anthrax, so as
to promote the health of the public. CDC relies so much on DHS as it is the source of intelligent
imminent attack so that the CDC can be put on high alert. This cooperation is vital as it can avert
a possible terror incident or alleviate the effect of a bio terror as a result of information sharing.
The DHS also works in partnership with relevant agencies to provide emergency support to CDC
in case of a bio terror incident. This partnership between CDC and DHS helps in combating,
controlling and even eradicating germs used as terror weapons. Just like the mission of CDC is to
protect the lives of Americans through promotion of health security by swift response to health
concerns, so does DHS, through its various departments that are created to respond to bio terror

  1. How would FEMA and the FAA integrate with the DHS, TSA, and Military if a domestic
    terror incident occurred similar to the events of September 11, 2001?


The DHS is adequately prepared in instances of emergencies through the Federal
Emergency Management Agency, FEMA. Federal Aviation Agency, FAA, and FEMA are
components of the DHS. FEMA enhances disaster preparedness and provides emergency
response during terror attacks that cannot be avoided, such as the September 11 attack, by
reducing the impacts of a domestic terror attack and ensuring that Americans do not become
victims of terror. FEMA does this by encouraging quick recovery of those affected by acts of
terrorism. FAA is also under DHS and it is majorly concerned with enhancing security in the
aviation industry through enhancement of screening of passengers as well as cargoes,
enforcement of immigration laws so as to reduce the risk of passenger attack. In the event of
terror incident similar to the September 11 attack, the DHS shall mobilize FEMA to enhance
emergency services to the citizens while the FAA and TSA would be on high alert to boost
security at the airport to prevent explosives from entering the country or attackers from
escaping, and ensuring general aviation security as a key infrastructure. This shall be
enhanced by the deployment of the military to provide support to the civilian police in
restoring calm and order, and strengthening entire security of the state. The department of
home homeland security shall coordinate all these agencies’ efforts since it has the overall
mission of providing security in the home land.

  1. After reading (Haddal, 2010) what do you envision the role and success of the Border
    Patrol will be in the next five years?


The United States Border Patrol, USBP, as I envision it in five years, shall
consolidate its role of protecting the states border points. Because of its expanding budget
and fund allocation, the USBP will be in a better position to install more advanced and secure
surveillance gadgets in both its northern and the porous southern borders. The border patrol
agents, who also have an important role of not only detecting, but also deterring illegal
migrants and terrorists, will be equipped with advanced skills since the huge budget
allocation will facilitate training of border agents. Other shortfall such as lack of clear
statistics on issues related to the border, such as availability of data on illegal migrants, and
number of border agents attacked will be, in future, consolidated and more accurate statistics
provided by border agents. There shall also be a consolidated integrated border enforcement
team in the northern border of Canada to exert joint efforts in enhancing border patrol and

  1. In your view (supported by research and citation), do you believe the reorganizations of
    the first decade of the 21 st century to combat domestic terrorism were/are effective? What
    changes would you recommend and why?
    The 21 st century has seen extensive overhaul of the security system and agencies
    involved in combating domestic terrorism and this was necessary if war on terrorism was to
    bear fruits. These new reorganizations, especially in the Department of homeland security,
    have drastically improved the level of preparedness of the state. The changes introduced are
    very effective since there is now a department solely focused on ensuring security in the
    homeland and its borders (Haddal, 2010). The effectiveness has been especially achieved
    through the establishment of various departments and agencies that even deal with
    emergencies such as FEMA, by ensuring that citizens do not become victims or terrorism.

Information sharing among departments and the various relevant agencies has also enhanced
their cooperation, hence, improving on effectiveness and raising more public awareness on
terrorism. Effectiveness is also seen since there has never been a major attack in the country
since September 11 and security has been beefed up in the aviation industry (Elias, 2009).
Again, numerous plots of terrorist attacks in the U.S. soil have been foiled since the
reorganizations and this indicates the effectiveness of such reorganizations
However, the reorganizations will make do with some crucial recommendations such as:
 Security alert should be strengthened. The thwarted terror attacks indicate that US is
still a target for terrorists and as such increased intelligence to detect any possibility
of terror in US soil should be adopted.
 There should also be a clear way in which the military and the civil police can work
together to combat domestic terrorism. This should be in place to avoid confusions
during a joint task force.
 The federals states need to establish a wider pool of volunteers as these will provide
ready response to disaster and increase preparedness. This is because the local
civilians can respond rapidly and assist each other after an attack before the federal
can organize itself.
 There should be integration between the local and state efforts that are geared towards
countering acts of terror.
With these in place, the risks of terrorist attack within USA will drastically be
reduced. It is impossible to totally avoid the threats of terror attacks but stringent and

practical measures as detailed in the DHS can be adopted and implemented to keep America


Haddal, C. C. (2010). Border security: The role of the U.S. Border Patrol. Congressional
Research Office.
Elias B., (2009). National Aviation Security Policy, Strategy and Mode-specific Plans.
Background and Considerations for Congress.
Jones, D. (2005). Structures of Bio-terrorism Preparedness in the UK and the US: Responses to
9/11 and the Anthrax Attacks. British Journal Of Politics & International Relations, 7(3),

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