Criminal Investigative Techniques: Homeland Security

Introduction

According to Ex-Special Agent Robert Wright Jr., the FBI had evidence that the World Trade Center was a possible target. Wright also complained that when he tried to pursue certain terrorist investigations, he faced retaliation from his bosses. He said “virtually no effort on the part of the FBI’s International Terrorism Unit to neutralize known and suspected terrorists residing in the United States. Unfortunately, more terrorist attacks against the American interests, coupled with the loss of American lives, will have to occur before those in power give this matter the urgent attention it deserves.” (Buckley 1) The entire procedure, thus, was needed to be changed and homeland security was established and changed the whole perspective of security and this had a thorough impact on criminal investigative techniques.

Background

The US government to counter the terrorism prevailing in the country, passed the PATRIOT Act post 9/11 under homeland security, to “deter and punish American terrorists in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools, and for other purposes.” (Buckley 1) It also proposed the formation of another counter-terrorist agency along the lines of the British Security Service, also known as the MI-5. MI-5’s role is the protection of British parliamentary democracy and economic interests, counter-terrorism and counter-espionage within the United Kingdom. Its main concern is to utilize its’ intelligence to track and counter-terrorism within the UK.

Fourth Amendment

The structural design of the process has been crafted specifically keeping the needs of the local community in mind. The program has been designed in a manner which meets the terms and conditions of the Wilmington Police Department’s internal policies. The process demonstrates conformity to the 4th Amendment’s arrest, search and seizure norms laid down by the US Supreme Court and the North Carolina general statutes. All certification issues are handled in an efficient manner with all standards being met. (Mackenzie 78) It should be remembered that the disaster of 9/11 took place when the terrorists took advantage of the American social way of life where the number of domestic frequent fliers are high enough to suffer a low-security system. The same is true about London underground rail blast. In both cases, the terrorists took advantage of the counties’ way of social life and it would be impossible to alter this way of life putting security as an alibi where the menace is basically organized by a fundamentalist motive. (Bennett, Hess and Orthmann 117)

Homeland security

The United States Department of Homeland Security or DHS can be considered as the Cabinet Department of their Federal Government whose main responsibility is the protection of vulnerable US territories from the terrorists and to respond to any natural calamity. They function in USA’s civilian sphere to protect from the inside as well as outside the borders. They came into being as a result of the 9/11 attacks on the USA and since then have been successfully preparing the USA to avoid and respond immediately to any future domestic emergencies that take place on the nation, mainly acts of terrorism. The DHS is the 3rd largest department of the cabinet and their policies are coordinated by the Homeland Security Council. Their creation has been among USA’s largest government reformations and also a considerable reorganization for various federal agencies. (Sanquist 1125-1133) While dealing with issues like safety and security the conception of homeland security becomes a prime concern. Formerly regarded as ‘civil defense’, the concept of ‘homeland security’ became the central issue of public safety. In America, the term homeland security covers all efforts of the government-federal, state, and local-for protect the general population against the risk of terrorist attacks and the use of a National ID card is just one such measure. However, it should be noted that there is a price to everything and the issue of privacy is the price of safety and security. The government steps therefore created a feeling of tension between the desire to protect the state and the desire to protect individual privacy.

Impact on Criminal investigation

It should be noted that a large number of factors pose threat to human life and create a feeling of insecurity among population, resulting in disruption in personal and social life. Public Safety is the concept of governmental organizations concerned with protecting their citizens from all kinds of threats. The term ‘public safety’ covers different aspects of protection of the general population. Some of these include Protection against Accidents and Trauma, Protection against Crimes, Protection against Natural Hazards. Thus, the objectivity of the government is Protection and sustenance of public safety. Thus, if there are prices to be paid for this safety it should be honored by the population. A new anti-terrorist wing of investigative agency with complete focus on the terrorist activities would justify this price with its enhanced efficiency but unlike the British counterpart it should work as a part of FBI because FBI would facilitate this new wing with its huge database. However, it can be argued that establishing a completely independent counter terrorism agency, whose main directive is to counter the terrorism within the boundaries of the country, can be considered viable. The foremost task in establishing this agency is the selection of the employees. Strict physical and psychological selection procedures and thorough background check of the candidates, to counter corruption within the agency, should be the major concern of the agency. Secondly, advanced intelligence and technology with definite objectives, should be provided to the agency. With advanced resources in hand, the task of countering terrorism would be more swift and efficient. Thirdly, the operations to counter terrorism, should not in anyway, violate the constitutional rights of the citizens. (Bennett, Hess and Orthmann 176)

Conclusion

The suspects in anyway, should not be detained without concrete proofs and proper interrogation. Violation of human rights may provoke outrage from the public, and hence bring about a bad image to the agency. The new agency, with new technology and advanced intelligence system, must begin from where the FBI let it off. With proper and well-defined objectives and honest approach, the new counter terrorism group, if formed by the US government, can improve the tarnished face of the FBI and with its own well- defined governance and objectives, can restrict the uprising terrorist activities within the country. In conclusion, it should be stated that the new anti-terrorist wing of investigative agency could be independently operational outside the parameters of FBI is the latter shares its database unconditionally and completely. Otherwise, it would be logical to construct a new anti-terrorist wing of investigative agency within the system of FBI.

References

Bennett, Walter., Hess, Karen., and Orthmann, Clyde. (2006). Criminal investigation. (Ed. 8). NY: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2006.

Buckley, Dennis. “Dubai port deal is nothing compared to Ptech. Onlinejournal. 2006. Web.

Mackenzie, Shane. Decoys and Aggression. New York: Detselig Enterprises, 2009.

Sanquist, Tony. An Exploratory Risk Perception Study of Attitudes Toward Homeland Security Systems. Risk Analysis, 28.4, (2008): 1125-1133.