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Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Minority Issues





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The attacks on September 11, 2001 marked the beginning of the War on Terror. A conclusive body of evidence pointed directly to al-Qa’eda’s terrorist organization as the perpetrators of the arrack and to Afghanistan’s Taliban as the State-supporter of the terrorist organization. Al-Qa’eda terrorists use religion, most often radical Islamic fundamentalism, to justify the mass murder of innocent individuals–demonstrating they have no regard for human life, let alone the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. Armed with the Congressional Joint Resolution, United Nations (“U.N.”) Resolution 1368, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (“NATO”) Resolution, the United States and its allies have the legal authority necessary to respond to the terrorist attack through the appropriate use of military force in self-defense should a State who supported, sponsored, or harbored the terrorists refuse to bring those responsible to justice.

Six main areas of concern have emerged as the government develops new approaches to deal with future terrorist threats: (1) the use of federal courts and military tribunals; (2) investigating terrorist suspects; (3) the expansion of the use of the United States military to enforce domestic law; (4) immigration; (5) the use of new information-gathering technologies; and (6) the increase in security measures at airports and other public facilities. As the federal government makes policy and directs the nation in the War on Terror, all measures employed to combat terrorism must be within the bounds of democratic principles and the rule of law. Perhaps more importantly, so-called extraordinary laws should be proportionate to the terrorist threat and frequently reviewed, revised, and rescinded if no longer required.

Recommended Citation

Jeffrey F. Addicott, Legal and Policy Implications for a New Era: The War on Terror, 4 Scholar 209 (2002).

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