University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review

Document Type



The attacks of September 11, 2001 brought home the point that even a mighty nation like ours is vulnerable to injury, and that even a goliath can sometimes be dealt a serious blow by a much smaller opponent. Faced with a world in which individuals can wield incredible destructive power and in which economic weakness can cause an empire to collapse despite its military might, what types of policies and laws should we adopt to confront these realities? In particular, what types of laws and policies should we adopt to deal with the threat of terrorism? This article proceeds on the premises that we should adopt laws and policies that reduce rather than exacerbate the threat of terrorism and that we should avoid profligate spending policies that dissipate our nation's economic strength. Part II considers the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the government's response thereto. Part III introduces various legal definitions of terrorism. Particular consideration is given to the definitions provided in the Arkansas Anti-Terrorism Act of 2003 (the "Anti-Terrorism Act") and the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (the PATRIOT Act). Part IV criticizes certain aspects of these definitions. Part V provides a summary outline with editorial comment of some of the dramatic changes in law and policy that have been made at the national level in response to the threat of terrorism. Part VI examines the nature of the problem and proposes alternative approaches for addressing the threat of terrorism. Part VII concludes the article.