U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Policy Implications of Handling Terrorist Incidents (From International Terrorism: The Decade Ahead, P 1-11, 1989, Jane Rae Buckwalter, ed. -- See NCJ-120184)

NCJ Number
D E Long
Date Published
11 pages
Terrorism policy is viewed by the United States primarily as a foreign policy, although the United States is increasingly promoting the view that terrorist acts are criminal acts.
The following characteristics are generally present in a terrorist act: the threat or the use of violence, psychological intimidation, political and ideological justifications, noncombatant activity, criminal activity, covert activity, maximized public exposure, relatively low cost, a sympathetic constituency, and small group activity. Because terrorism is so new as a generic policy issue, most governments, including that of the United States, are still reorganizing their bureaucratic structures to address it. The United States has created the Office of the Ambassador at Large for Countering Terrorism in the State Department to coordinate U.S. Government antiterrorism policy, suggesting that terrorism is viewed as a foreign policy issue requiring a political solution. Terrorism can also be viewed as criminal activity or as low-intensity military conflict, the handling of which involves two phases: the crisis management phase and the post-crisis-incident management phase.