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PSC 371: World Politics and Terrorism
Outline by Adam Farquhar, April 2005

Ellis, Brent. 2003. "Countering Complexity: An Analytical Framework to Guide Counter-Terrorism Policy Making." Terrorism and Counter Terrorism. 3(3): 109-120.

I. Lethality and changing terrorist motivation.

A. Terrorist attacks are becoming more and more deadly.
1. The actual amount of attacks has decreased, while the deadliness of these attacks has increased.
2. The hardening of targets has been carried out by religious terrorists.
3. Secular terrorists seem to be highly selective, therefore they produce fewer casualties.
B. There are four main factors that make religious terrorists unique.
1. Violence is not only a means to an end but an end itself.
2. There is no external constituency.
3. There is usually a broad enemy.
4. They have different world view than secular terrorists.
C. Despite differences, terrorist still have some political and social goals like secular terrorists.
II. Weapons of mass destruction.
A. Initially, terrorist groups did not seek these weapons.
B. The rise of religious extremism has caused analysts to re-asses terrorist desire to obtain WMD.
1. Terrorists are engaging in spectacular attacks.
2. This greatly increased the threat level.
III. Decentralizing Organization.
A. Terrorist organizations are showing a trend towards lass organized groups.
1. Technology has made it easier for terrorist organizations to keep in touch, therefore be more spread out.
2. This has allowed terrorist groups to network.
B. No two terrorist groups are alike in structure.
1. There are two categories of terrorist organizations: Hierarchical and Decentralized.
C. Network structures have strengths and weaknesses.
1. One strength is that they are able to remain ambiguous.
2. A weakness is that the increase requirement for communication can get one caught.
IV. The Current Task.
A. The level of complexity has increased dramatically.
1. Counter-terrorism now has many more threats to deal with.
B. Countering the threat can be hard, but it is not beyond are capability.