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Book Chapter

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The United States, like all other democratic nations that have suffered terrorist attacks, continues to struggle with questions of how to keep its population safe while maintaining the principles of democracy and the rule of law. This Book Chapter discusses the United States' counterterrorism policies, particularly since the September 11 terrorist attacks, and the resulting changes in societal viewpoints, political agendas, and the legal authority to combat terrorism and threats of terrorism.

The government’s aggressive counterterrorism stance has influenced actions and policies outside the United States. The Author’s exploration of counterterrorism policies in the United States include: criminal law and prosecutions of terrorist acts; the investigative powers of the police and intelligence agencies; the challenges relating to proscription/listing of terrorist groups and individuals; the enactment of the PATRIOT Act and other policies to provide mechanisms to disrupt and destroy terrorism financing; immigration measures including detention; and the role of the military and extraterritorial counterterrorism activities as related to detention, access to justice, and torture without accountability.


This Book Chapter, The United States, is in Comparative Counter-Terrorism edited by Kent Roach (Cambridge University Press, 2015). The publication is in copyright, subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements; no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. Website:

Recommended Citation

Sudha Setty, The United States, in COMPARATIVE COUNTER-TERRORISM (Cambridge University Press 2015), edited by Kent Roach.