How did the 9/11 terrorist attacks affect America?

How did the 9/11 terrorist attacks affect America?


The 9/11 terrorist attacks enlightened Americans on existence of terrorism because initially most of them were not aware that groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS existed. This led to deportation of people purely on security grounds with the country increasing its surveillance within and outside. Historians opine that involvement in war and terrorism resulted to dramatic changes and attitudes on safety and surveillance within American borders (White House Press Office  The attack paved way for initiation of policies such as USA Patriot Act whose intention was to prioritize national security and defense at the expense of civil liberties. Due to 9/11 attacks, America has developed sound policies and measures aimed at protecting its citizens.

Security Policies

Perhaps immediate security changes after the attack took place in United States airports. Several months after the attack, Congress passed the Aviation and Transport Security Act that coined Transport Security Administration. This body was tasked with responsibilities of implementing procedures aimed at enhancing security in and around airports. For instance, TSA formulated policies and procedures for passenger and luggage screening. Procedures formulated and implemented by TSA included stricter guidelines to curb new threats, including removal of shoes and banning certain liquids. 9/11 attack led to formulation of major security policies aimed at enhancing border security and controlling immigration. Homeland Security Department was established to oversee all security matters in collaboration with other agencies. These major changes were important for the country since many government agencies were created and rearranged to counter activities of terrorists and provide much needed intelligence.

Foreign and Domestic Policies

Before the attack, President Bush’s administration focused on creating a missile shield to protect Americans in the event that North Korea or Iran launched an attack. After the attack, the policies changed as Bush made terrorism a major foreign policy focus. Significantly, policies were changed to bring together diplomacy, intelligence, law enforcement agencies and financial resources to protect Americans. It is the responsibility of government to ensure that its citizens are safe especially after such attacks.

Domestically, several changes were witnessed on immigration where visas issued to people from Muslim countries dropped tremendously. This affected domestic tourism until 2004 when number of people visiting began to increase. The attacks inspired Scott Heiferman to design Meetup, a social media tool for connecting people offline. Meetup encourages people to form groups where they can check with each other to find out needs that should be fulfilled within community.

Civil Liberty Debates

During cold war, civil liberties and freedoms were threatened courtesy of fears arising from communist infiltration of American government. It is opined that this is the main reason the government launched a series of tyrannical domestic measures to curb insecurity (Pennink & Jones For instance, abusive measures were implemented including Federal Loyalty Program, Internal Security Act and Communist Control Act. These measures generated several events that vehemently threatened freedoms and civil liberties of Americans.

After 9/11 attack, critics echoed sentiments on how America was on its way to becoming a police state. This situation threatened civil liberties because police conducted searches and arrests without warrants. Today, police brutality and racial profiling have threatened freedoms and civil liberties.


Today, many initiatives coined after 9/11 have addressed national security concerns and have become effective tools to apprehend and remove illegal immigrants from United States. It has been revealed that 9/11 attacks effectively shaped foreign and domestic policies aimed at ensuring security in America (Tait  However, most of these initiatives have threatened freedoms and civil liberties making it a paradigm likely to continue for years to come.



Works Cited

Pennink E. & Jones S. Teen admits plotting to carry out nail bomb attack ‘at Elton John’s Hyde

Park concert on 9/11 anniversary. Mirror. 27 April 2017. Web. Retrieved April 29, 2017 from:

Tait Robert. Donald Trump repeats discredited claims that US Muslims ‘celebrated’ 9/11 attacks.

Telegraph. November 22, 2015. Web. Retrieved April 29, 2017 from:

White House Press Office. Remarks by President Barack Obama on the Death of Osama Bin

Laden. May 2, 2011. Retrieved from:’s%20remarks%20on%20death%20of%20Osama%20Bin%20Laden.pdf