US counter-terrorism since 9/11: Trends under the Trump administration

25-05-2018

The fight against terrorism has dominated the national security agenda in the United States since Al Qaeda's terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 (9/11). To improve the country's intelligence and homeland security apparatus, the presidential administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama implemented a series of legislative, organisational, policy, and personnel reforms. The new administration under Donald Trump is continuing these efforts and has put particular emphasis on restricting the entry of and tightening the vetting process for refugees and immigrants. The administration has released a series of documents that provide strategic guidance for the US approach to national security and defence. Today, the US domestic counter-terrorism strategy focuses on radical Islamic terrorist threats, stopping the movement of foreign terrorist fighters, and countering the spread of radicalisation. In this context, cyberspace is of particular interest, since the internet provides opportunities for terrorists to inspire, radicalise and recruit followers; raise funds; communicate through encrypted apps; and supply guidance and instructions to followers for carrying out attacks. The European Union and the United States are key partners in the fight against terrorism, including through NATO.

The fight against terrorism has dominated the national security agenda in the United States since Al Qaeda's terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 (9/11). To improve the country's intelligence and homeland security apparatus, the presidential administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama implemented a series of legislative, organisational, policy, and personnel reforms. The new administration under Donald Trump is continuing these efforts and has put particular emphasis on restricting the entry of and tightening the vetting process for refugees and immigrants. The administration has released a series of documents that provide strategic guidance for the US approach to national security and defence. Today, the US domestic counter-terrorism strategy focuses on radical Islamic terrorist threats, stopping the movement of foreign terrorist fighters, and countering the spread of radicalisation. In this context, cyberspace is of particular interest, since the internet provides opportunities for terrorists to inspire, radicalise and recruit followers; raise funds; communicate through encrypted apps; and supply guidance and instructions to followers for carrying out attacks. The European Union and the United States are key partners in the fight against terrorism, including through NATO.