The Patriot Act
Intro to Criminal Justice
The Patriot Act
Terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 left many innocent people dead and injured in New York, Washington and in Pennsylvania. The attacks were caused by Al Qaeda, an Islamic fundamentalist terror group based in Afghanistan operating in the United States. This tragedy prompted the US senate to quickly pass the US Patriot Act. On October 26, 2001 President George W. Bush signed it into law. The purpose of the Patriot Act is to help law enforcement to track down and punish those responsible for terrorism and to protect against any similar attacks in the future. The Patriot Act defines domestic terrorism as activities within the United States that involve acts dangerous to human life that intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.
The Patriot Act permits the FBI to go before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to be allowed to search for many things connected to terrorism suspect. The order will be granted as long as the FBI certifies that the search is to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities. The FBI will not need probable cause to monitor books, documents, medical offices, internet providers, churches, political groups, emails and web browsing. It will authorize authorities to issue search orders directed at any US citizen who the FBI believes may be involved in terrorist activities. The Patriot Act is providing America appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct terror. Only one senator, Russell Feingold voted against it.