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PSC 309: Terrorism & Developing Countries | Old PSC 371: Seminar in World Politics & Terrorism

Students' Outlines:

Badey (ed), Annual Editions, Violence &Terrorism '10-11 | 08-09 | '07

Compiled by Prof. Jeremy Lewis, revised 1 Sep. 2011
Note-takers: please give full info: article #, author, "title" -- as well as your by-line, term, year.

UNIT 2. Tactics of Terrorism
UNIT 3: State-Sponsored Terrorism
UNIT 4. International Terrorism
UNIT 5. Terrorism in America
UNIT 7. Terrorism and Religion
UNIT 8. Women and Terrorism
UNIT 9. Government Response
UNIT 10. Future Threats

Unit 1: The Concept of Terrorism

    1. How to Define Terrorism, Joshua Sinai, Perspectives on Terrorism, April 2008

    Joshua Sinai argues that defining terrorism is "the most ambiguous component in terrorism studies." He proposes a 'new definition' that addresses existing ambiguities.

    2. What Makes a Terrorist?, Alan Krueger, The American, November/December 2007

    Alan Krueger, a Princeton economist, claims that participation in terrorism is "a special application of the economics of choice." He supports the assertion that neither poverty nor lack of education drives people to become terrorists.

    3. The Myth of the Invincible Terrorist, Christopher C. Harmon, Policy Review, April/May 2007

    Christopher Harmon uses examples to highlight potential vulnerabilities of terrorist organizations. Focusing on the tactical, technological, strategic, and ideological obstacles faced by these groups, he challenges the notion that terrorists are invincible.

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Unit 2. Tactics of Terrorism

    4. From the H-Bomb to the Human Bomb, André Glucksmann, City Journal, Autumn 2007

    André Glucksmann provides an historical overview of terrorism. He argues that we have left "the era of the H-bomb" and entered the era of "the human bomb."

    5. The Al Qaeda Weapons Race Continues, Ed Blanche, The Middle East, May 2008

    Ed Blanche provides an overview of Al Qaeda's efforts to produce weapons of mass destruction. Blanche argues that Al Qaeda's ability to produce these weapons has been largely underestimated.

    6. Terrorism and Extortion, Dean C. Alexander, Security, 45, February 2, 2008

    Dean C. Alexander examines the impact of extortion by terrorist groups on transnational companies (TNCs). He identifies a number of risk reduction strategies that should be considered.

Notes by Will Dake, Fall 2011

– A major threat to global business is an under-appreciated form of terrorism known as extortion, whereby a group obtains money through threats or actual violence against corporate personnel and other assets

– The biggest victims are those companies involved in energy, mining, agriculture or manufacturing because they are worldwide.
– An example is Nigeria, which had several bombings of their oil rigs and compounds by a Nigerian terrorist group known as MEND. Other cases are bombings in Mexico, the ETA in Spain, Abu Sayef in the Philippines, etc.
– Some TNC (Transitional Companies) give money to terrorist groups to buy them some peace and quiet but in the long run this is actually a negative tactic.
– Example of Colombia where $1.7 million dollars was given to a terrorist group who were responsible for some of the worst massacres in Colombia's civil conflict and for a sizable percentage of the country's cocaine exports. They had to decide whether to: pay the extortion money, possibly suffer attacks on employees and facilities, stop operations all together, or sell operations.
– The worst part is that extortion payments encourage similar conduct by terrorists worldwide.
– Other ramifications of extortion are declining production (often with poorer quality), higher costs of production due to heightened labor and production stoppages and threats to business continuity.
– Financial implications: higher cost of labor, security, inputs and insurance, reduced profitability, etc.
– Also could be financial penalties, and/or liabilities arising from host and home country litigation initiated by the government.
– Reducing the terror of risk: The first thing a TNC must do is see if the benefits outweigh the risks. If it decides to proceed it can explore whether subsidized loans are available from host country or development agency.
– The TNC can also invest in political risk insurance covering war and civil disturbance/terrorism.
– May seem small but in cases of terror extortion, the kidnapping of personnel is a very real threat which causes TNC's to purchase ransom and kidnapping insurance.
– Another preventative is gaining an alliance with the host country government, business, civic and labor entities.
– The ramifications that can come from extortion are very real and very bad for TNC's but there are a variety of alternatives available to make those threats a little smaller. With doing that the TNC's can enhance global trade while contributing to the reduction of terrorism internationally by eliminating a considerable source of terror funding.

    7. Toy Soldiers: The Youth Factor in the War on Terror, Cheryl Benard, Current History, January 2007

    Cheryl Benard argues that demographic changes in the Middle East have led to the increased recruitment of youth by terrorist organizations. She believes that immature brain development, thrill seeking behavior, and misperceptions of reality make the group particularly vulnerable.

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Unit 3: State-Sponsored Terrorism

    8. Rogue Operators, Daniel Byman, The National Interest, No. 96, July/August 2008

    Byman examines the changing dynamics of state-sponsored terrorism. He concludes that the biggest challenge the United States faces is preventing "passive sponsorship" of terrorist organizations by states like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Lebanon.

    9. Iran's Suicide Brigades: Terrorism Resurgent, Ali Alfoneh, Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2007

    This article examines Iran's use of "martyrdom-seekers" against internal and external threats. It describes the training and command of these units, their use in internal power struggles, and their impact on Iran's relationship with its neighbors.

    10. The Growing Syrian Missile Threat: Syria after Lebanon, Lee Kass, Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2005

    Kass points out that not only is Syria invested in obtaining weapons of mass destruction, but it will become increasingly difficult for objecting nations to confront the threat due to Syria's connections to terror organizations.

    11. Chávez Bides His Time, William Ratliff, Hoover Digest, No. 3, Summer 2008

    Ratliff discusses the volatile relationship between Colombia, and Venezuela and Ecuador. He warns that democratically elected 'chavista' leaders may provide new safe havens for terrorist organizations in Latin America.

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    12. Trail of Terror, Michael Petrou, Maclean's, Vol. 121, No. 51, December 29, 2008

    Michael Petrou describes events leading to the Mumbai attacks through the eyes of Muhammad Ajmal Kasab, the only gunman captured. He argues that despite the perpetrators ties to Pakistan, recent attacks by Islamic terrorists in India and Pakistan indicate that they "share a common enemy."

    13. Peace at Last?, Joshua Hammer, Smithsonian, January 2007

    Joshua Hammer explores the roots of the conflict in the Basque region of Spain. While skepticism remains high on both sides, there is hope that a cease fire will lead to a peace agreement, ending decades of separatist violence.

    14. Tamil Tiger Trap, Jason Motlagh, New Statesman, September 22, 2008

    Jason Motlagh claims that despite victories on the battlefield, a defeat of the Tamil Tigers by the Sri Lankan army will not end the conflict. He believes that a lasting peace can only be achieved through a political strategy that addresses the root causes of Tamil nationalism.

    15. In Europe, Where's the Hate?, Gary Younge, The Nation, January 7–14, 2008

    The attacks of 9/11 and the bombings in London and Madrid have polarized hard-right nationalist and anti-immigrant parties in Europe. Gary Younge points out that violence and bigotry by neo-fascists may further alienate Europe's Muslim population.

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    16. Incidents of Terrorism in the United States, 1997–2005, Samuel Nunn, The Geographical Review, 97, No. 1, January 2007
    Samuel Nunn highlights the importance of understanding the relationship between geography and terrorism. To better understand this relationship, he argues that focus should be placed on the relationship between geography and terrorist motivations, target settings, and methods.
    17. The Year in Hate: Number of Hate Groups Tops 900, David Holthouse, Intelligence Report, Spring 2009
    David Holthouse examines the growth of hate group activity in the U.S. He provides a brief overview of "the three most active and dangerous white supremacist hate group sectors in 2008."

    18. Green Rage, Matt Rasmussen, Orion, January/February 2007

    Sympathetic to the cause, Rasmussen looks at the motives behind attacks carried out by radical environmentalists in the United States. He blames harsh sentencing on the efforts of an overzealous administration trying to distract from its failings "…to counter real terrorism."

    19. When Activists Attack: Companies Square Off against Animal Rights Groups, Ashley Bohacik, Risk Management, 55, 3, March 2008

    Ashley Bohacik examines the violent tactics used by animal activism. She focuses on activists' protests against the operations of Life Sciences Research Inc., a research company that uses animal testing to develop cures for diseases like cancer and AIDS.

    20. White-Pride Mom, Chris Selley, Maclean's, 121, No. 30/31, August 4, 2008

    Chris Selley examines the case of a Winnipeg mother whose three children were taken into custody by Child and Family Services because of her inflammatory rhetoric and involvement with white supremacy groups.

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    21. The Al-Qaeda Media Machine, Philip Seib, Military Review, May/June 2008

    This article explores the use of the media by Al-Qaeda. Philip Seib argues that in addition to Bin Laden's video performances "there are hundreds of online videos that proselytize, recruit, and train the Al-Qaeda."

    22. Nets of Terror: Terrorist Activity on the Internet, Paul Piper, Searcher, 16, No. 10, November/December 2008

    Paul Piper, a reference librarian, discusses how terrorists use the Internet. In his article, he identifies some of the most popular and noteworthy terrorist and anti-terrorist websites.

    23. Jihad with a Hip-Hop Pose Is an Easier Sell with Youth, Andrew Potter, Maclean's, 121, No. 28, July 21, 2008

    In order to recruit members among urban youths and to capitalize on cultural alienation among young American blacks, terrorist organizations are using hip-hop music to recruit a new generation of "gangsta jihadis."

    24. The Globe of Villages: Digital Media and the Rise of Homegrown Terrorism, Feisal G. Mohamed, Dissent, Winter 2007

    Feisal Mohamed discusses the role of the Internet in disseminating radical Islamic ideas. He argues that the medium of dissemination is as important as the content of the messages.

    25. Congress and the "YouTube War", Michael A. Cohen and Maria Figueroa Küpçü, World Policy Journal, Winter 2006/2007

    The rise of stateless enemies and their use of the Internet herald in a new type of war. Cohen and Küpçü argue that Congress must implement legislation that addresses this change in warfare.

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Unit 7: Terrorism and Religion

    26. Qutbism: An Ideology of Islamic-Fascism, Dale C. Eikmeier, Parameters, Spring 2007

    Eikmeier highlights the importance of understanding the enemy's ideology. In his article he describes the basic tenets of Qutbism and ways to defeat it.

    27. In Search of Moderate Muslims, Joshua Muravchik and Charles Szrom, Commentary, February 2008

    Muravchik and Szrom discuss the difficulty of identifying moderate Muslims groups which may serve as an antidote to radical Islam. They offer a six question litmus test to identify groups that "merit support and consideration."

    28. The Madrassa Scapegoat, Peter Bergen and Swati Pandey, The Washington Quarterly, Spring 2006

    Bergen and Pandey argue that Western countries have falsely attributed the training of terrorists to Islamic schools. A study of the five worst anti-Western terrorist attacks in the past 15 years shows that, while many of the terrorists involved were highly educated, only a few had attended religious schools.

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Unit 8: Women and Terrorism

    29. Female Suicide Bombers: A Global Trend, Mia Bloom, Daedalus, Winter 2007

    Bloom examines the motives of women who choose to become suicide bombers. She discusses potential reasons for recruitment of women by terrorist organizations and concludes that these women are not likely to become "portents of gender equality."

    30. The Bomb under the Abaya, Judith Miller, Policy Review, June/July 2007

    Judith Miller interviews two would-be women suicide bombers in Hasharon prison in Israel. Based on her interviews and a review of the expert literature on the subject, she explores how governments can best respond to this threat.

    31. Picked Last: Women and Terrorism, Alisa Stack-O'Connor, Joint Force Quarterly, Issue 44, 1st Quarter 2007

    Alisa Stack-O'Connor examines how and why terrorist organizations use women in their attacks. Focusing on their propaganda value, the obstacles they face, and the tactical advantage they provide, she emphasizes the importance of women to terrorist organizations.

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Unit 9: Government Response

    32. Knowing the Enemy, Ariel Cohen, Policy Review, 145, October/November 2007

    Ariel Cohen argues that "Western governments do not fully comprehend the multifaceted threats" posed by radical Islam. He draws upon the lessons of the "Israel-Hezbollah war" to argue for military reform.

    33. Are We Ready Yet?, Christopher Conte, Outlook, October 2005

    This article discusses efforts by various public health agencies to prepare local communities for bioterrorism. Conte argues that preparations for bioterrorism are drawing resources away from more pressing health crises.

    34. Intelligence and the War on Terror: How Dirty Are We Willing to Get Our Hands?, James M. Olson, SAIS Review, Vol. 28, No. 1, Winter/Spring 2008

    CIA veteran James Olson discusses the moral dilemma which faces the U.S. Intelligence community as it pursues its war on terrorism. He offers ten case studies to test the moral acceptability of intelligence community activities, arguing that an "acceptable middle ground" must be found.

    35. Air Security: Why You're Not as Safe as You Think, Consumer Reports, February 2008

    Seven years after its creation, the TSA has failed to reach a number of critical performance benchmarks. According to the article, screening failures, questionable rules, insecure cockpits, and insufficient security forces have undermined air security.

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Unit 10: Future Threats

    36. The Shifting Face of Violence, Theodor H. Winkler, World Policy Journal, Fall 2008

    Winkler provides a broad overview of the challenges posed by the changing face of violence. He argues that states need "integrated strategies that address conflict prevention, conflict management, conflict resolution, and post-conflict reconstruction."

    37. The Next Generation of Terror, Marc Sageman, Foreign Policy, No. 165, March/April 2008

    Marc Sageman argues that a new generation of terrorists, "even more frightening and unpredictable than its predecessors," is on the rise. He believes that in order to accelerate their eventual demise "terrorist acts must be stripped of glory."

    38. Al Qaeda at 20 Dead or Alive?, Peter Bergen, The Washington Post, August 17, 2008

    Peter Bergen predicts that al Qaeda is unlikely to attack the United States in the next five years and that while al Qaeda's media war for the hearts and minds continues, "Muslims around the world are increasingly taking a dim view of this group."

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