September 11th and the Emergence of Homeland Security

This literature review will explore September 11th and the emergence of homeland security. It is well known that the catastrophic event, which happened on September 11, 2001, acted as a wake-up call to the United States concerning terrorism threats. In an effort to prevent terrorist attacks in the future and prepare response operations to possible future attacks, several changes in the department of the criminal justice system, including policy formulations, were carried out. The creation of homeland security department was one of the main actions that were taken. After September 11, a frightened and horrified America demanded something to be done to protect the nation from terrorist attacks. Responding to the irresistible public emotion, President Bush administration introduced several measures aimed at addressing the public concern and advancing the ability of the nation to confront terrorism. The agenda of measures and steps that followed were considered Homeland Security programs, which were viewed as major national security. Homeland security emerged as a response to the September 11 terror attack to coordinate and develop an inclusive national strategy implementation to protect the United States of America from terrorist strikes or threats.

September 11 Attacks

During the September 11 attack, 19 militant connected with al Qaeda, an Islamic extremist group, hijacked four fuel loaded aircrafts and conducted a suicidal strike against targets in the US. Two of the planes were directed toward the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Another aircraft attacked the pentagon while the fourth aircraft crashed in Shanks Ville in a field. About 3000 individuals were killed on that terrorist strike, which triggered a massive US initiative to confront terrorism. The world trade center’s strike occurred around 8:45 a.m. on a Tuesday of 11th September 2001 (Hoffman, 2002). A Boeing 767, an American airline, crashed on the World Trade Center. The effect left a burning hole on the 80th floor of the World Trade Center skyscraper, killing thousands of people while trapping others on the upper floors. An enormous explosion was caused by the collision that sprinkled burning debris in the area surrounding the twin towers of the World Trade Center (Graff, 2019). As thousands watched the unfolding events at twin towers, another American aircraft hit the pentagon’s Westside at the military base around 9.45 am.

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September 11 attack is considered a massive problem as it leads to the death of around 2996 individuals, including citizens of 78 nations and 19 terrorists who had hijacked the four aeroplanes. At the World Trade Center twins, approximately 2,763 individuals died when the two planes crashed into the building. Among those who died, there were 343 paramedics and firefighters, 23 police officers, and 37 port authority officers who were trying to save and evacuate office workers, who became trapped on the building’s upper floors. At the pentagon, around 189 individuals died, including 64 people who were in the American plane that attacked the building (Aspray & Cortada, 2019). Forty-four other people bonding the plane crashed in Pennsylvania also died (Zaidi et al.,.2020).

The attack also led to economic challenges in the US. Numerous Wall Street institutions such as the New York Stock Exchange were abandoned during the strike. On the first day after the attack, the stock exchange value decreased by 7.1 %. The economy of New York City alone lost around 143,000 jobs within a month and 2.8 billion dollars in wages in three months. The most affected sectors were air transportation and finance, which accounted for 70 % of the jobs lost. The estimated cost of the damaged Pentagon and World Trade Center was about 60 billion dollars. The cleaning of areas around the attack areas, including debris removal, was estimated to cost around 750 billion dollars.

 The September 11 attack prevalence was very high as the attack was the worst terrorist activity on the United States soil. Fashioned to instill fear and panic, the strikes were exceptional in terms of their magnitude, scope, and effect on the American ego. The enormous majority, more than 60 % of United States citizens, watched these strikes live as they occurred on televisions or replayed them several days after the attack. This impacted those directly affected by the attack, either by losing their loved ones or sustaining injuries, but also moved those who watched these events psychologically through post-traumatic stress such as nightmares, flashbacks, negative feelings, and difficulty concentrating or sleeping. The events of September 11 marked the beginning of a new era of collective trauma coverage by the media, where terrorism and other large-scale forms of violence were conveyed into American families’ daily lives. In the days and weeks after the attack, media related exposure was linked with psychological distress. According to research that was conducted by Holman et al. (2020), around 60 % of Americans who watched the attack through the television suffered acute stress. 80 % of the entire American citizens suffered post-traumatic stress, and most of them are experiencing worries and fear concerning the future attack by terrorism.

America Response to the September 11 Attacks

Following the attack, the USA national administration responded with instant action as well as long-term actions. Short term action involved rescue operations at the attack sites. Immediately after the attack, massive rescue and search operations were conducted, which involved over 400 rescues and searched dogs (Albrigtsen, 2016). However, only a few injure individuals were rescued at the attack sites, and with a few weeks, it becomes clear that there were no remaining survivors to found.  Long term actions included legislative changes, military action, investigations, and restoration actions. An investigation into the execution and motivation of the attack triggered a war declaration against terrorists. The United States-led global effort to expel the Taliban regime to ruin Laden’s terrorist links that were based in Afghanistan. Within two months, the United States military had successfully expelled the Taliban regime. However, the fight progressed as the United States and allied forces tried to overthrow Taliban rebellion campaigns that were being conducted in Pakistan. After the attack, more than 762 terrorism suspects were arrested (Lehrke & Schomaker, 2016). The department of homeland security was established after the president and congress adopted the homeland security act.     

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The Emergence of Homeland Security

In the wake of terrorism and insecurity fear triggered by the September 11 attack, the president of America on 8th October 2001 ordered the establishment on the Whitehouse staff of a department for homeland security to be led by the director of homeland security. Governor Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania was appointed to be the first director of homeland security, who was offered full public support by president bush to take the necessary measures to safeguard the USA from terrorist threats (Kfir, 2018). The president also established a Homeland Security Council, the anti-terrorism correspondent to the National Security Council. 

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In alignment with these established institutions, the new homeland security budget was set. By the year 2002 July, the white house had published a documented projecting homeland security national strategy that explained the aspirations and objectives of the homeland security department in detail. In the meantime, Congress was enacting the homeland security act. By the end of 2002, a new cabinet-level department had been proposed by the president as well as approved by congress. The new director led a staff of 170000 personals with a 40 billion dollars budget. The department becomes the second-largest federal government department. The department of homeland security merged 22 notional government agencies into one. These agencies included the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the United States Coast Guard, the Customs Service, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.   The establishment of the homeland security department represented the most significant reorganization of the United States of America’s federal government in 50 years. The drive to respond to the 11th September attack by improving efforts to safeguard the United States is understandable and natural (Mitchell, 2018). Moreover, it is both responsible and sensible to explore what measures can be feasibly and prudently taken to minimize the United States society’s exposure to the terrorist. It is also convenient to invest financial and organizational resources in such an effort.

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The specific objectives of the department of homeland security include protecting the United States citizens against terrorist threats. This is the highest priority of the department, as it was the founding principle. The department aimed to forge new associations with American international allies to offer extra tools in the war against terrorism. The department needed to commit more resources to enhance threat detection at American transit hubs and protect American key infrastructure. The department also aimed to empower intelligence information sharing, work together with tribal, local, and state law enforcement. For the department to accomplish its mission, it must secure American bonders. The northern, southern bounders, sea, and airports need to be protected.

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The department also aimed to facilitate legitimate immigration while curtailing those immigrants that do not a bid with American law.  The department target was apprehending illegal criminal immigrants and prosecuting companies that employ unlawful employees knowingly. The department also aims to offer companies and entire employers fraternity with the most effective and updated resources to preserve a legal workforce. This focus seeks to benefit both the business community and law enforcement as it will address the leading cause of illegitimate immigration. The department also aimed to prepare the country to create a more reediness acute sense. Apart from terrorism, America experiences other calamities such as floods, tornados, hurricanes, and disease outbreaks that threaten American citizens’ lives. The department aims to play a crucial role in assisting communities for disaster response, preparation, as well as long-term recovery.    

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Homeland security enhancement effort

The aspects of homeland security can be summarized in three terms: respond, protect, and prevent. The primary goal is to prohibit terrorist strikes. The department also aims to maximize protection potential vulnerable terrorist attacks. Incase prohibition fails, it will be essential to be able to react adequately to terrorism strikes. The homeland security initiative seeks to minimize terrorism attack possibilities and to reduce the effect of any strikes that might occur. From these broad objectives, flow a deluge of particular policy initiatives. From a prevention perspective, the necessity is to thwart and identify potential attackers and decline those attacking means. To accomplished prevention, various measures are being contemplated, undertaken, or attempted. These measures include -: enhancing anti-terrorism intelligence. Terrorism prevention r relies upon intelligence entirely. If the terrorists can maintain themselves and their purpose concealed, it is impossible to halt them. The big challenge for the United States on the terrorism threat is a sequence of distasteful terrorism surprises, of which the September 11th attack was a particularly clear example. Regarding this, the issue of enhancing counterterrorism intelligence is among the main concerns of the department.

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Anticipated Constraints and Limits on the Enhancement of Homeland Security

Various considerations are indicating that significant achievement in homeland security will be challenging to attain. Among such considerations include controlled borders versus globalization. In the contemporary age, politics and technology combine to permit the enormous global flow of products, ideas, and people. It is almost achievable to create a filter at the ports and borders that comprehensively and reliably distinguish a potential terrorist from the massive vacationers and visitors. According to the United States government’s statistics, around 500 million individuals enter the United States annually (Kerwin, 2018). Identifying one or even a dozen potential terrorists in a group of 500 million individuals is very complicated. Where there no excuse to provide the tourists with a free ride into the nation, cashing terrorists at the airport is not very promising as globalization is complicating it.      

Challenge that September 11 Presented

Before terrorism events of September 11, there existed no clearly defined homeland security policies that were meant to protect Americans from acts of terrorism. Much of prior September 11 antiterrorism policies targeted regions states like Georgia, Oklahoma and New York that terrorist’s targets in the 1990s (Shields et al., 2009). This followed several terror activities such as the 1993 bomb explosion in World Trade Center towers in New York City that killed 6 American and caused injuries to over 1000 persons. After two years, there as another terror attack that targeted the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, a terrorist that led to the death of 168 people and more than 500 injured (Alizadeh, 2015). Later in 1996, there as a reported explosion that targeted Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park leading to the death of 112 people. In 1997, there emerged a new focus by the federal government to increase funding towards domestic preparedness over growing cases of terrorism and use of weapons of mass destruction in the newly formed federal Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Domestic Preparedness Program (Foster & Cordner, 2005). The states that got funding from the program had a higher level of preparedness in comparison to those that did not receive the funding and another resource deployment. Therefore, the activities of September 11 significantly changed the American approach to counter-terrorism measures leading to new focus by the state and local law enforcement agencies.

Significance of Homeland Security and Effect on Policies

The setting up of the Homelands security as one of the measures that were implemented to prevent and evaluate better strategies for dealing with acts of terrorism that were becoming a threat to national security. These raft of measures focused the attention on domestic preparedness to terrorism prevention by shifting focus from reactionary measures to more robust prevention strategies (Foster, & Cordner, 2005). Additionally, the change in focus targeted to address the no growing concerns over internal insurgence, which as a terrorism trend globally that could significant affected American approach to ending terrorism. Homeland security focus changed the prior strategies by integration police priorities on how the states had an active role in the implementation of anti-terrorism measures (Shields et al., 2009). The new approach focused the attention on the decentralization of terrorism prevention entirely from the federal government to involve the states and other local agencies in terrorism prevention. With the growing concern of terrorism, the new approach focused on the involvement of states in counter-terrorism measures.

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Before the terror activity on September 11, the FBI alongside other counter-terrorism agencies were actively involved in tracking and raiding drugs-related activities and other forms of crimes such as bank robberies, organized crime, financial crimes, and drug trafficking in the domestic focus and across the border (Shields et al., 2009). Some of the programs that existed before September 11 were no longer supported including the famous Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Grant and Community Oriented Policing Services program because the attention changed to protecting the United States from terrorist attacks. After the implementation of the new homeland security, the police in the states appeared to be in a tug of war due to the expanding role for American protection against actsof terror (Foster & Cordner, 2005). The new role in homelandsecurity resulted to most state police agencies being involved in the fight against new synthetic drug epidemics such as the methamphetamine, assisting in the enforcement of new sex offender registries, identity theft, computer crimes, and supporting the federal agencies in immigration enforcement and investigation (Foster & Cordner, 2005).

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These emerging concerns became a greater burden to the state police and federal agencies that required more focus no on the terrorism prevention-related roles resulting the policymakers and practitioners to reassess the responsibilities and resources allocation in the states, local and federal law enforcement agenciesto enhance publicsafety with a range of terrorism prevention protocols. The new role and focus by federal, state and local agencies have significantly changed with the establishment of the homelands security that harmonized the existing tug of war between these agencies established through the expansion of the role of the counter-terrorism (Dutton et al., 2006). Under homelands security, state law enforcement agencies have a greater contribution and involvement in the implementation of these counter-terrorism measures as preventive approaches to terrorism. Additionally, there is an indication of homeland security initiative having a greater impact on terrorism prevention in terms of its organisational functions particularly in the intelligence gathering, planning and grant management (Waxman, 2009). The new responsibilities and duties of the individual state law enforcement agencies and investigation departments have significantly changed in approach and focus (Yeager, 2014). The greatest changes have generated higher responsibilities for the investigative and enforcement agencies particularly in investigating and prevention of terrorist acts, response to terrorism events, conducting a vulnerability assessment, and terrorism-related intelligence gathering (Johnson & Hunter, 2017). These changes in both federal and state agencies and increased role appear to have become more substantial than those implemented before September 11.

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Waxman (2009) noted that generating a greater consensus among the agencies has increased intelligence sharing, collaboration, analysis and assessment of terrorism aspects depicting a more effective collaborative approach that has declined the tug of war between these agencies, an aspect that has had a significant improvement in these agencies’ preparedness to counter terrorism-related activities (Shields et al., 2009). Collaboration has improved policies impact on other crimes prevention. Today, the state and local law enforcement agencies can prevent occurrences that can be interpreted as acts of terrorism that have resulted in improvement in reducing the risk of the external terrorism threat. One of the emerging challenges is about the emergence of internal insurgence groups that are loyal to global terror networks (Alizadeh, 2015). Again, the homelands security is an effective initiative that is approaching the radicalization aspects effectively resulting in deterrence. Intelligence gathering, collaboration and intelligence sharing are offering at both local, state and federal levels has improved response to areas of vulnerabilities.

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September 11 attack was characterized by a series of plane hijacking and deadly attacks carried out by al-Qaeda associated militia against targets in the United States of America. This was the most massive attack to have ever been happened in the United States America soil. The strikes against Washington D.C and New York caused extensive destruction of life and resources and triggered massive United States effort to fight terrorism. About 2750 individuals were killed in New York, 184 others at the pentagon, and about 40 in Pennsylvania. All attackers also died at the scenes.  New York Fire departments and police were also hit as hundreds of firefighters, and more than 500 police died at the attack scenes. The most impacted by the attack were the business community as they are experiencing moderate rescission. The 11th September terrorist attack compelled numerous domestic law enforcement departments to rethink their roles. They were mobilized to respond to dubious situations, expose terrorist links, and work in different jurisdictions and departments. In an exceptional way. 

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The attack focused the American mind on the challenge of homeland security.  The focus triggered the establishment of the department of homeland security, which became one of the national government’s largest agencies. The department’s primary obligations were preventing terror strikes prevention and disaster relief, customs and immigration, and providing border security. The criminal justice system has a precious source of intelligence concerning terrorism groups and particularly al-Qaeda. The Homeland security department has corporate with the criminal justice department to prosecute hundreds of suspects associated with the September 11th attack. There is more than 300 domestic and international terrorist incarcerated in United States federal prisons. The United States administration is dedicated to every instrument’s power to combat terrorism, including the criminal justice system, military operation, and tool. For counterterrorism, the criminal justice system has proven effectively incredible in both valuable collecting intelligence and incapacitating terrorists

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