The nature of the threat to United States national security and, especially, the nature of the threat posed by terrorist operations has changed fundamentally in the past decade. Shortly after the September 11 attacks, Ambassador Paul Bremer, who headed the National Commission on Terrorism, observed that “[t]he threat of terrorism is changing dramatically. It is becoming more deadly and it is striking us here at home.” Contemporary terrorism traces its roots to the acts of political violence, such as the murder of eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972, committed in Western Europe during the late 1960s and 1970s. However, as Ambassador Bremer argues, today’s terrorists have little in common with the pragmatic terrorists of the Cold War era.

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