Ever since 9-1-1, Homeland Security has been concerned with the threats of internationally based Islamic extremist networks. While experts say the threats created by Islamic extremism is on the rise, the FBI claims that approximately two-thirds of terrorism in the United States was directed by non-Islamic American extremists from 1980-2001; and from 2002-2005, it shot up to 95 percent.

Let’s talk about the Patriot Act of 2001 expanding the legal definition of "terrorism” to include domestic as well as international terrorism. Other definitions still occur at the FBI, Justice Department, Homeland Security Department, and Defense Department. Some terms like "sub-national," "pre-meditated," "noncombatant,” can be seen in one definition and not in others. Additionally, many law enforcement groups, use the labels of domestic terrorism and violent extremism conversely. This lacks uniformity in how domestic terrorist activities are prosecuted. 

In an attempt to improve federal terrorism laws, a Syracuse University-sponsored watchdog group compared the number of terrorism cases listed by the courts (310), the prosecutors (508), and the National Security Division (253), and found that from 2004-2009 only 4 percent of indictments were categorized as terrorism on all three cases. This proposes that the agency that created the description, (not the actual facts), governed whether the accused was prosecuted as a terrorist and as a result may have been dealt with a tougher sentence. The same report revealed little proof that the Obama administration presented significant effort to deal with the continuing criminal enforcement errors.