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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
American Foreign Fighters and the Islamic State: Broad Challenges for Federal Law Enforcement

American Foreign Fighters and the Islamic State: Broad Challenges for Federal Law Enforcement

Date: September 19, 2014
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This report offers a framework for considering the challenges to domestic security posed by American fighters in the terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS, previously referred to as ISIS or ISIL) and outlines some of the ways that U.S. law enforcement responds to such challenges.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

Date: November 15, 2011
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. For this report, "homegrown" and "domestic" are terms that describe terrorist activity or plots perpetrated within the United States or abroad by American citizens, legal permanent residents, or visitors radicalized largely within the United States. The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism and describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

Date: December 7, 2010
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. "Homegrown" and "domestic" are terms that describe terrorist activity or plots perpetrated within the United States or abroad by American citizens, legal permanent residents, or visitors radicalized largely within the United States. The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism and describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Domestic Terrorism Appears to Be Reemerging as a Priority at the Department of Justice

Domestic Terrorism Appears to Be Reemerging as a Priority at the Department of Justice

Date: August 15, 2014
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This document examines an apparent shift in priorities at the Department of Justice (DOJ) towards a renewed focus on domestic terrorism with the reestablishment of its Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, which had been defunct for several years. The report considers why the shift in focus may be occurring and also briefly examines different types of domestic terror threats.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Domestic Terrorist Threat: Background and Issues for Congress

The Domestic Terrorist Threat: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: May 15, 2012
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: In the last decade, domestic terrorists-people who commit crimes within the homeland and draw inspiration from U.S.-based extremist ideologies and movements-have killed American citizens and damaged property across the country. Not all of these criminals have been prosecuted under terrorism statutes. This report discusses domestic terrorism's significance to policymakers per five topics: level of activity, use of nontraditional tactics, exploitation of the internet, decentralized nature of the threat, and prison radicalization. The report also discusses three areas that Congress may consider the federal role of combating such activities: the issue of definitions, adequacy of domestic terrorism intelligence collection efforts, and the value of community outreach driven efforts to quell terrorism related radicalization in the United States.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Domestic Terrorist Threat: Background and Issues for Congress

The Domestic Terrorist Threat: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: February 19, 2014
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This report focuses on how domestic terrorism is conceptualized by the federal government and issues involved in assessing this threat's significance.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Organized Crime: An Evolving Challenge for U.S. Law Enforcement

Organized Crime: An Evolving Challenge for U.S. Law Enforcement

Date: January 6, 2012
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P. & Finklea, Kristin M.
Description: In the last two decades, organized crime has grown more complex, posing evolving challenges for U.S. federal law enforcement. These criminals have transformed their operations in ways that broaden their reach and make it harder for law enforcement to combat them. They have adopted more-networked structural models, internationalized their operations, and grown more tech savvy. They are a significant challenge to U.S. law enforcement. There still is no single agency charged with investigating organized crime in the way the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been designated the lead investigative agency for terrorism. Further, resources to tackle this issue are divided among many federal agencies. As such, Congress may exert its oversight authority regarding the federal coordination of organized crime investigations via the 2011 strategy. Policymakers may also debate the efficacy of current resources appropriated to combat organized crime.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Organized Crime: An Evolving Challenge for U.S. Law Enforcement

Organized Crime: An Evolving Challenge for U.S. Law Enforcement

Date: December 23, 2010
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P. & Finklea, Kristin M.
Description: This report provides an analysis of how organized crime has capitalized on globalization by using borders as opportunities, relying on fast-paced technological change, and adapting its organizational structures. It illustrates how these transformations can impact U.S. persons, businesses, and interests. The report includes a discussion of how U.S. law enforcement conceptualizes organized crime in the 21st century and concludes by examining potential issues for Congress, including the extent to which organized crime is a national security threat (partly to be tackled by U.S. law enforcement agencies), congressional oversight regarding the federal coordination of organized crime investigations, and the utility of current resources appropriated to combat organized crime.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

Date: September 20, 2010
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P. & Randol, Mark A.
Description: Between May 2009 and August 2010, arrests were made for 19 "homegrown," jihadist-inspired terrorist plots by American citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States. The apparent spike in such activity after May 2009 suggests that at least some Americans - even if a tiny minority - continue to be susceptible to ideologies supporting a violent form of jihad. This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. This report also provides official definitions for terms such as "homegrown," "jihadist," and "violent jihadist." The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism, describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Public Mass Shootings in the United States: Selected Implications for Federal Public Health and Safety Policy

Public Mass Shootings in the United States: Selected Implications for Federal Public Health and Safety Policy

Date: April 16, 2013
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.; Bagalman, Erin; Caldwell, Sarah W.; Finklea, Kristin M. & McCallion, Gail
Description: This report focuses on mass shootings and selected implications they have for federal policy in the areas of public health and safety. While such crimes most directly impact particular citizens in very specific communities, addressing these violent episodes involves officials at all levels of government and professionals from numerous disciplines.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department