United States affected by threat of terrorist attacks

Megan Casey, Editor-in-Chief

For years, the United States has had to face threats and attacks from terrorist groups, the most notorious attack being September 11, 2001. Today, the United States faces the threat of an Islamic militant group known as ISIS. This year the group has been carrying out and inspiring countless terror attacks throughout the world in order to spread their Salafist ideology and establish a caliphate. ISIS seeks to conquer all territories in the world using militancy and terrorism.

ISIS combats modern nation states to create a radicalized Islamic theocracy, under Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. The group has already made significant gains in territory by annexing land in turbulent nations like Syria and Iraq (the most notable being Raqqa and Mosul respectively). They continue to gain influence and recognition by successfully recruiting youth through propaganda on social media, and coercion in the form of terrorism.

Their most prominent terrorist act of this year occurred on Nov. 13-14, 2015, when seven gunmen took to the streets and popular locations in Paris and began shooting civilians. 129 individuals lost their lives in the attack while many others were injured. Many other attacks which can be linked back to ISIS include a suicide bombing that targeted a peace rally in Turkey (October 10) and a suicide bombing two Shi’a mosques in Yemen (March 20).

Another ISIS-associated attack occurred on U.S. soil, when a couple attacked a ballroom party in San Bernardino, California (December 2). The couple allegedly pledged allegiance to Al-Baghdadi during the shooting, and the perpetrators were later killed when engaged by police.

The main motives for these attacks is to spread fear to opponents while gain recognition in order to recruit more members. NATO, Russia and many Middle Eastern nations are actively launching counter attacks against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Some people believe that the government is doing everything they can to stop ISIS.

“I believe our government is taking the necessary precautions to try to stop ISIS without causing a war in middle Eastern countries or going against the constitution’s privacy rights in this country,” junior Quentin Lange said.

At the same time, though, others disagree or are uncertain if the government is doing everything they can to stop these terrorist attacks.

“I actually don’t know the current position of ISIS and their horrors, but in general, our government could be doing more, but we really need to focus on improving our own economy and citizens before we try to meddle in other countries’ events,” said senior Jordan Barth.

Some people feel that the U.S. government should be taking more action in order to help prevent more terrorist attacks from happening.

“I think the government should remain out of any foreign affairs that are not projected in any harms toward the U.S.,” Lange said.