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State and Local Responses to Terrorism

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 1995
2 pages
Publication Series
The National Institute of Justice sponsored a 2-year research effort to assess how States and municipalities have perceived the threat of terrorism and to identify potentially promising anti- and counter-terrorism programs used by these jurisdictions.
The research project's national survey of State and local law organizations showed that their more expansive definitions of what constitutes terrorist activity led a sizable majority of jurisdictions to believe terrorism to be more widespread than indicated by the official terrorist statistics published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Researchers selected 10 locations as case studies. They examined how these jurisdictions have adapted to the threat of terrorism and developed their preventive and preparedness programs. The case studies confirmed in detail what the survey revealed in general terms, i.e., that communities have been aware of potential terrorism problems and were interested in confronting terrorism before it erupted. A variety of successful terrorism preparedness formulas existed in communities both large and small. Large municipalities have developed significant counter-terrorism programs in close cooperation with the FBI and its regional joint terrorism task forces. Less populated communities have worked to stay ahead of nascent terrorism threats by forging close regional alliances and capitalizing on available FBI resources. Budgetary constraints influence both strategic and tactical law enforcement responses.

Date Published: October 1, 1995