Last Updated 04 Jul 2021

Have Terrorism Laws been Helpful?

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There have been numerous debates that have risen from analysis related to terrorism laws that were passed in the United States of America and Europe since the horrific attack on 11th September 2001 that killed scores of people and wounded thrice the number of the dead. The terrorism, counter terrorism and anti terrorism laws have all been scrutinized to weigh their suitability.

Sharp criticism has befallen the laws, the public too is eager to know if the laws are more beneficial than they detrimental or if the reverse is actual status quo. Such debates have always led to repeals or amendments of the laws in question, one revision of the laws has proved not to be enough as there is always a word or two to adjust to deem the laws plausible by the masses, the government and the observers. I will be dissecting the whole with precision to draw a line between the merits and demerits of the laws.

Proposing argument

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The main goal behind every terrorism law across the world is to prevent terrorism acts and protect its citizens from the adverse effects of it. Zooming on the American and countries under the European dynasty we notice that there has an immense reduction in attacks from both internal and external sources. Domestic and mass terrorism has been cut by more than 35% if the statistics are compared with ones taken two decades before 2001(gray-2018).

This has created a business environment conducive for investors to come into the country because they have a natural feeling that they will be safe and their business will bloom. Trust on the USA government has increased as we see many foreign leaders come to the country whenever they are under threat from external sources (Beckman-2016). The security agencies have been unified by the laws and they all share information about security conditions of specific areas and individuals.

Proposing defense The fluidity is one that One police department can notice a terrorist threat, pass the information for investigation to done by another unit, give the findings to the threat alert department while another can be sent to apprehend the suspect depending on their locality and expertise they have. This smooth flow of command and swift take of action has instilled a sense of security and patriotism of citizens to the governments of the.

Civilians can spot a suspect and notify the relevant authorities without fear of being tracked by the suspect in the equation. Let us take a brief walk down the history lane to and peruse through the terrorist reports to get a vantage point on this issue. Statistics reveal that there had been 2608 terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2001; the year that terrorism laws were fortified, that was an aggregate of 65 attacks per year. Most of them were executed using bombs and congested public areas were the main targets.

After the laws were passed, we have seen the number drop by a whopping 94% annually. This is because there have only been 8 terrorist attacks on American soil since 2001 to 2017. In these unfortunate incidences on 102 people died capped with 333 injuries. 6 out of the 8 cases have been launched by lone slayers, one executed by an American couple; the 7 acts were carried out using guns and only the Boston marathon case was a bombing attack made.

This number is way low than and somewhat insignificant when compared to the fatalities of 11th September 2001. This is a case that strongly backs the argument that laws have been very beneficial as they have served their objectives and succeeded in meeting their goals. Opposing argumentI am meant to believe that the terrorism laws that were drafted and passed are not meant for the better good of civilians. There are arguments around that point is that the laws were drafted out fear and vengeance and thus failed to solicit essential views from security stakeholders and the general public.

That is a claim enough to show that they are meant to serve other interests. Critics on this front argue that a lot of money is being siphoned out of the national coffers to service the numerous security departments that were formed under the laws. The money cannot be clearly be accounted and a dubious justification is given to it; it is a matter of national security (Beckman-2016). The main enemies of these laws are not terrorists but human right activists; they claim that the laws are not compatible with universal human rights and should be rephrased or better still repealed.

Opposing defense

We begin introduce this front by giving the basic definition for the word terrorism; violence against civilians to achieve military or political objectives. The media has been the casualty of the draconian laws as there right to information and freedom of expression has been gagged. The governments always hoodwink the public that all that is done for their own good; it is a matter of national security.

Then a question arises, how news reporting become a threat to the civilians? Such questions arose when Mr. Miranda was detained in Heathrow airport for 9 hours and forced to surrender his documents and media devices to the security agencies for scrutiny in august 2013. He was on his way to Brazil from Germany. No weapon was found on him and no criminal bodies had tied links with him at any point of his life yet he was arraigned for in the British courts to answer to terrorism charges.

The judges found that the evidence against him was far more blasphemous to the law practice than it was a joke to media profession. Mr. Miranda won the case and showed that the laws can be more devastating to the media practice and the civilians as they only serve the political interests (chi-2015). No appeal was made to the decision made by the court proving the main point; the laws need to reviewed from the beginning and if after the review the laws still fall below the universal human rights code then they should be abolished.

Argument analysisFrom this argument we see that both fronts had their points to stress on. The claims given by the opposition are more than the proposing gave but the evidence provided by the proposing side is way more overwhelming than the evidence produced by the opponents. The narrative leaned towards the proposing side as it gave claims baked by detailed evidence. Objectivity was to be the main key; the proposers said that the laws truly served their purposed as they reduced terrorism attacks significantly while their critics did not give any link to the main topic of the team.

My analysis on this case also leaned on the proposing side as the issue of security should always precede any other issue; it is the foundation that harmonizes the cultural, social and economic factors of the society. The right to privacy and freedom of privacy would not find space in the human conscious if he was constantly exposed to continuous threat and imminent demise. The opposing gave a radical approach and failed to first acknowledge that their fields exist simply because their security is guaranteed.

I feel like that the claims about governments wasting civilian resources would have helped the opposing side prove their point but they failed to provide relevant evidence to that matter. All that the opposition posed were questions that they themselves failed to provide answers to; what is the main objective of the laws if the public feels disfavored by them? Who are the laws meant to serve? We are aware that security agencies have been set up to tap information from the civilian devices; what happened to the right to privacy? (Giroux-2016)

Their side would be formidable if they answers and backing evidence to all of them. Journalists claim that they are affected yet they hold side on the topic. Then I formed a question, what if they report news that exposes a government hence drawing the attention of terrorists? Furthermore, they proposed that the laws be abolished but did not give a better alternative. I wish that the opposition had thought the whole issue out than leave the case in a limbo.


Truth of the matter is that the proposing side was strong and well planned compared to their critics but the points stated by the weak side on this debate hold water. The laws should be more inclusive to other sectors of human cycle and not look like it overrules all the other rules and universal privileges that come with them. State agencies always motivate people verbally by asking them to report any suspicious people or activities to them but it is high time they started acting receptive (boister-2018).

That said does not admonish the fact the fact the laws are made for the better good of people and stability of all other spheres. It is important that all parties realize that the laws are as important as any other on the land and should approached with care as it defends the well being of human life. I propose that the laws be amended, not repealed.


  1. International law and the use of forceC Gray-2018Comparative legal approaches to homeland security and anti-terrorism
  2. J Beckman-2016Impossible to regulate: social media, terrorists, and the role for the UN
  3. P Wu Chi-2015Beyond the spectacle of terrorism: global uncertainty and the challenge to the new media
  4. HA Giroux- 2016An introduction to transnational criminal lawN Boister- 2018

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