Compiled by Prof. Jeremy Lewis, revised 24 Oct. 2017, with Contents of 14th edition;new readings marked with [+]; others may have notes written in previous years.
UNIT 2. Tactics of
UNIT 3: State-Sponsored Terrorism
UNIT 4. International Terrorism
UNIT 5. Terrorism in America
UNIT 7. Terrorism and
UNIT 8. Women and Terrorism
UNIT 9. Government Response
UNIT 10. Future Threats
UNIT 1, What is Terrorism?
Defining Terrorism: A Strategic Imperative, Eric Chase, Small Wars Journal, January 24, 2013 [+]UNIT 2, Terrorist Tactics
Eric Chase examines why a universally accepted definition of "terrorism" has not been developed. He suggests four steps that the EU and NATO should take to address this issue.
Notes by Brendon Carson, Fall 2017
This article recognizes that developing a universally accepted definition of terrorism is unlikely.For without a Consensus of what Constituted Terrorism, Nations could not Unite Against It”
It starts by talking about September 11th, 2012 when a group of assailants attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
The focus moved to whether or not the event was a terrorists attack or a response to a video mocking Muhammad and the Islamic religion.
The FBI defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
“Not One, but many Terrorisms” -Walter Laqueur's observation that any attempt to define terrorism in specific terms “is bound to fail” for the simpler reason that there is “not one but many terrorisms”
The old adage “one man's terrorists is another man's freedom fighter” captures the present day challenge.
The word “terrorism” has also changed overtime
- Conversely, there is broad consensus that there needs to be a universally accepted definition of terrorism for both analytical and practical purposes. Simply it must be defined in order to setup counter terrorism.An International Framework for an International Problem
- Terrorist organizations recruit, finance, and operate across, and between, internationally recognized boundaries.
An international framework is necessary to defeat an international problem.
EU (European Union) defines terrorism as “serious damage a country or an international organization where committed with the aim of: seriously intimidating a population; or unduly compelling a Government or international organization to perform or abstain from performing any act.”
NATO defines it as “the unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence against individuals or property in an attempt to coerce or intimidate governments or societies.”
The nation-members of both EU and NATO could and should worked together to establish an international coalition that will commit to defining terrorism and outlining clearly stated objectives for such an agreement.
Analyzing and Defining Terrorist Acts, Fred Burton, Police One News, February 2011
Fred Burton attempts to answer the question: "What types of act should be defined as terrorism?" He cautions that dismissing certain acts due to a lack of foreign involvement may lead authorities to overlook important information useful in preventing the next attack.
The New/Old Terrorism, Jeffrey Kaplan, Phi Kappa Phi Forum, Fall 2011 [+]
Jeffery Kaplan argues that there is nothing new about terrorism. He suggests that the key to understanding terrorism is to realize that it is "a tactic of desperation by the weak in defiance of the strong."
Suicide Attacks on the Rise, Captain Billy J. Huntsman, Military Police, 2010UNIT 3, State Supported Terrorism
Captain Huntsman argues that suicide attacks "should not be viewed merely as an operational tactic, but as a means to a strategic goal." He argues that understanding suicide attacks is critical in developing effective countermeasures.
'Bomb-Making for Beginners': Inside an Al-Qaeda E-Learning Course, Anne Stenersen, Perspectives On Terrorism, Vol. 7, No. 1, February 2013 [+]The Internet has become an important source of information for potential terrorists. Anne Stenersen examines efforts by online jihadists to create e-learning courses to teach bomb-making skills online sympathizers.
Notes by Sydney Baumgartner, Fall 2017
This reading focuses on how the Internet assists terrorists in learning how to create explosives Explosives are the most frequently used devices by terrorists ½ of the terrorist attacks in the world5 Points of Major Focus:
Al Qaeda's shift to individual jihad General learning of bomb-makingPressure on terrorist sanctuaries have lead to the push in the leaderless jihad.
“E-learning” courses of bomb-making
Evolution of Al Qaeda's learning tools
A general overview of a US “cell” of potential terrorists"
Al Qaeda’s Shift
Not a new conceptVideos that praise those who carry out this type of terrorism consist of the following:
1990s: Lectured/presented by jihadi strategist Abu Mus’ab al-Suri as well as presented in jihad training camps for recruits.
Known also as the Global Islamic Resistance, it praises the lone wolf concept of those who carried out Al Qaeda’s global ideology on a on their own, while having no real personal connection to the organization.
Recognition of those who have carried out individual jihadBomb Making 101
Acknowledgement of the acts as controversial whereas traditional jihad should go hand in hand with this.
Gives a brief operational guide that focuses on types of targets that should be attacked (Media outlets, monuments, economic joints of the country, etc)
Encyclopedia of JihadExplosive Courses
Most famous collection of writings that recorded all experiences of Afghan-Soviet jihad to ensure that knowledge of past attacks and techniques would not be lost on future generations
Written records prove problematic due to partiality, so what is the solution?
Taught in camps by expertsE-Learning
Learned bomb making from past professionals
Hands on course
Similar to that of a trade/technical school
Preferred by most Europeans that enlist in terrorist groups
Individual jihad learning strategy
Trial and error experimentation with explosives is the most common.
”High motivations, patience, and intelligence” → Required
Average of 200 hours to collect the “recipe” through the internet, acquire ingredients, and create the bombs
This led to “e-learning” courses to help those that could not do the one on one training and those that were not intelligent/driven enough to figure it out on their own.
Adnan Shukri’s Special Explosives Course for BeginnersEvolution of Learning
Anonymous person created a forum for beginners posting lessons, assigning “homework”, and replied to questions through open response and personal message.
Most effective modern method to date"
Essentially the evolution of learning for jihad has been from the marketing of training camps and literature to a shift to the E-Learning experience to gain more of a global reach The internet plays an important role in transferring insurgent tactics and technologies between battlefieldsTerrorist Cell
“Crucial” feedback given on public forums for further assistance **Most visible development**
Real life radicals may exploit online training materials and it may further them in their radicalization, but it can also indicate that the cell’s members were not able to absorb the online training material on their own due to feedback from various jihadists on forums playing a role in their learning and radical transition.
E-learning courses are a “marginal phenomenon” that should not be ignored
Attract a large interest in US cells and global jihadists"
The Cyber Terror Bogeyman, Peter W. Singer, Armed Forces Journal, November 2012 [+]As we become increasingly reliant on the internet, the fear of cyberterrorism is growing. Peter Singer argues that the threat posed by cyberterrorism has been exaggerated.
Notes by Cameron Compton, Fall 2017
Peter W. Singer, says that you are more likely to be killed by a toilet than to be killed by a cyber attack.
He says that the FBI defines cyber terrorism “premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs and data which results in violence against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”
As one congressional staffer put it, the way we use a term like cyber terrorism “has as much clarity as cybersecurity — that is, none at all.”
He says we mix up our fears with the actual state of affairs.
The deputy defense secretary was conflating fear and reality, not just about what stimulant-drinking programmers are actually hired to do, but also what is needed to pull off an attack that causes meaningful violence.
Singer says, "Policymakers must worry that real-world versions of such attacks might have a ripple effect that could, for example, knock out parts of the national power grid or shut down a municipal or even regional water supply.
Timbuktu: al-Qaeda's Terrorist Training Academy in the Mali Desert, David Blair, Telegraph Media Group, February 2013 [+]The destruction of al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan have forced terrorists to relocate. David Blair discussed how al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) created an academy for terrorists during their occupation of Timbuktu.
Notes by John Vise, Fall 2017
This article details the impacts of global Terrorism in North Africa.
It talks heavily about the AQIM or Al-Qaeda Islamic Maghreb.
It talks about the combined efforts of America and its allies to eradicate terrorism throughout the globe.
In order for terrorism to thrive, it must have good leadership.
There were two good leaders who helped lead the AQIM named Abu Harith and Abu Hamza. Hamza was in charge of weapons training.
The article then describes the various activities that the AQIM does throughout the day. It describes exactly what time they rise and when they say their prayers and when they receive religious instruction.
Lastly, the article describes how two French bombings have destroyed the 'bait' that the AQIM set for them. The AQIM set up a fake base known as the Gendarmerie.
Rogue Operators, Daniel Byman, The National Interest, No. 96, July/August 2008UNIT 4, International Terrorism
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.
Terrorism of a Bygone Era, Paul R. Pillar, The National Interest, May 20, 2012 [+]Globalization and the fall of the Soviet Union changed the landscape for state sponsors of terrorism. Paul Pillar argues that state sponsorship of terrorist organizations is no longer advantageous.
Notes by Austin Ohliger, Fall 2017
-The 1980s was a period of state-sponsored international terrorism
*this type of terrorism declined quickly because of political and cultural changes in the major countries involved
-ex. Iran after the Islamic Revolution
-one reason for the decline was the fall of the Soviet Union
*their aid to countries like Syria seriously fell
-another reason for the decline was the negatives of being a "pariah" state
*both economic and political issues would arise
*one of the most successful uses of international sanctions
-the era of state-sponsored terrorism ended in 1999 when Muammar Qaddafi, leader of Libya, handed over the 2 main suspects of the Pan Am flight 103 bombing
*Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi who was convicted
*Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah who was acquitted
-Megrahi was acting under the orders of Qaddafi's regime in the bombing that killed 270 people
*in 2009 he was released back to Libya for "humanitarian" reasons due to prostate cancer that was suppose to kill him within weeks
-he lived 3 more years and died in 2012
-the Pan Am flight attack shows some realities about international terrorism
*ex. the attack shows how crucial timing was to the plan
-if the flight wasn't delayed and didn't leave late the bomb would've gone off over the Atlantic leaving almost no evidence and no ties to Magrahi or Libya
Exploring the Iran-Hezbollah Relationship: A Case Study of How State Sponsorship Affects Terrorist Group Decision Making, Marc R. DeVore, Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol. 6, No. 4-5, October 2012 [+]Marc R. DeVore examines the relationship between Iran and Hezbollah. He argues that state support can influence decision making and can shape the strategic decisions of non-state actors.
Notes by Katrinnah Harding, Fall 2017
Most intellectuals agree that a state’s support affects an armed non-state organization’s capabilities, but rarely studies are done on their resulting significant impact on the organization’s decisions."Questions I find interesting:
DeVore explains that this specific exploration is to “address the impact that state sponsorship has on the decision-making process within violent non-state groups.
-An increasingly relevant matter as wars among states have become outnumbered, twenty-to-one, by intra-state wars and internationalized civil wars.Main Perspectives:
IndirectlyLebanon’s Hezbollah: Known among intellectuals as “an exceptionally capable organization” for…
1) State support has impact on violent non-state actor’s decisions through “shaping their options”, with the resources they provide.
2) Also through “persuading” = In this case, essentially, threatening to withhold support until the state’s demands are met.
4 Forms of Support:
1) Financial Assistance – Allowing for stability, organization, and the ability to win popularity among their constituents.
2) The Provision of Weaponry – Must rely on a state for this, because otherwise, the amount and quality of weaponry that a successful organization requires would be extremely hard to obtain.
3) Sanctuary – A “safe haven” is vital to an organization’s communication, administration, and planning.
4) Political Support – “Providing [an organization] an aura of legitimacy.”
-Conducting attacks against larger enemies.Iran and its Support:
-Continued effectiveness over the course of a three-decade conflict with Israel.
-Considered to be “the world’s most innovative armed non-state actors.” (From the idea of a “world stage”)
Iran has become one of the most active supporters of such groups, likely being motivated by 3 of their Unique Characteristics:When combining Iran’s enthusiasm in supporting these groups, and Hezbollah’s reputation as “capable”, it makes sense that together, they accomplish much."
1) By majorly supporting anti-Israeli groups, Iranians have been able to “inject” their voice into a world that otherwise, they would not be involved in.
2) As an attempt to better represent the greatly oppressed Shia-Muslims that they claim to be the “champion” of.
3) Iran’s conventional military weakness, leading it to rely on proxies to attack/deter its enemies.
- Iran’s Indirect Impact on Hezbollah’s Decision-MakingOrigins of the Hezbollah:
Financial support = Allowing Hezbollah to take a long-range approach in planning, provides more professionalism in the organization, and supplies them with the resources to offer benefits to their constituents.
Safe Havens = (Even within Lebanon) Enabled Hezbollah’s politico-military command structure to organize far better, and eventually permitted the development of infrastructure.
Constant Political Support = Provided a sine quo non for Hezbollah to operate freely in Lebanon.
However, Iran’s impact indirectly begins with the origins of Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Thus, those are observed.
- Many of its members, mostly Lebanese Shiites, joined after being involved with other similar groups and thus already had extensive military training/experience.- Iran’s Direct Impact on Hezbollah’s Decision-Making
- Quite a few of these new members coming from Amal, a violent non-state actor, and the previous leader of the “Shiite movement”.
This group split in 1982 when their leader gave controversial orders; to not resist the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Many of those that disobeyed these orders wanted to do more, and thus, several small, splintered groups were formed.
- The beginnings of Hezbollah were simply these separate groups attempting to defend against Israel. There was no coordination among the groups, and even the Shiite population was not unified against Israel.
- This went on until three Lebanese clerics appealed to Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini (an Iranian Shia Muslim religious leader, philosopher, revolutionary, and politician), for his support of Lebanon’s Hezbollah. He, along with other leaders, so enthusiastically agreed that right away, they provided finances, sanctuary, and political support.
- Iranian aid had an almost immediate impact on Hezbollah’s decision-making process. Since essentially, it allowed the process to begin where before, there was no process at all, no universal decisions were being made.
- Iran’s Financial Aid = “While Iran’s sanctuary and organizational aid were crucial to Hezbollah’s development of centralized decision-making bodies, its long-term commitment to providing financial aid fundamentally shaped the strategic options available to Hezbollah’s policymakers.” When given the privilege to choose to plan short-term or long-term, Hezbollah wisely chose long-term.
Additionally, because of the wealth Iran was providing the organization, they could launch their “hearts and minds” campaign. This was a grand attempt at winning the favor of their constituents through providing social-services."
- Geopolitical Factors:
Periodically, Iran has wanted to use Hezbollah as a proxy to attack its enemies and therefore, has tried to “coax” them into enlarging their list of objectives to include ones they never would have considered.
Of course, on some occasions, it is beneficial for the state to use this “influence” to encourage restraint. This has also been seen in the case of Iran and Hezbollah.
When is the amount of resources flowing from a state into a non-state actor worth the benefits that they may provide?
And where is the line declaring that it is not worth it any longer?
How often is that line crossed, when states cut funding to an organization?"
Nightmares of Nuclear Terrorism, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, March/April 2010
Mowatt-Larssen outlines various means by which terrorist organizations might acquire nuclear weapons. He explores the potential role of states such as Pakistan and North Korea in the transfer of weapons or weapons technology.
Boko Haram and the Recurring Bomb Attacks in Nigeria: Attempt to Impose Religious Ideology through Terrorism?, Ali S. Yusufu Bagajii et al., Cross-Cultural Communication, Vol. 8, No. 1, February 22, 2012 [+]UNIT 5, Terrorism in AmericaAlthough the Boko Haram has been active since 2003, the authors argue that there is a lack of information on this terrorist group. This article attempts to fill this gap by providing information about the objectives, strategies, and inner workings of Boko Haram.
Notes by Ragin Berry, Fall 2017
Introduction: Religion plays a vital and influential role in the Nigerian society.
*Religion has proven itself a force in the political development in the Nigerian state.
- Even though religion is vital in Nigeria, studies show that historical roles of religion in the country have been negative, rather than positive.
- The socioeconomic, security and political stability of the country is constantly under threat due to the Boko Haram attacks
Many religious crises have taken place, which are attempts of imposing religious ideology on a secular state
An Overview of the Concept of Terrorism
- Merari describes terrorism as the use of violence by sub-national groups for obtaining political-including social and religious goals especially when the violence is intended to intimidate or otherwise affect the emotions, attitudes and behavior of a target audience considerably larger than the actual victims.Boko Haram Movement: Talibans and Talibanism in Nigeria? What We Need to Know
- On the basis above, terrorism is significantly considered as a compulsive strategy of the relatively disadvantaged, the weak who seek reversal of authority, a use of force to achieve a desired policy, a theatrical warfare whose drama involves the actors who actually carry out the violent act, the group against whom the violent act is targeted and the authority due to be influenced or compelled to act.
The modern development of terrorism as a tool to achieve political and religious goals began during the French Revolution
The ideology and philosophy of the Boko Haram movement was captured by Tell Magazine:
The mission of the sect was to establish an Islamic where orthodox Islam is practiced.Summary and Conclusion
Orthodox Islam according to Yusuf Mohammad, the leader of the sect, frowns at Western education and working in the civil service because it is sinful.
Hence, for their aim to be achieved, all institutions represented by government including security agencies like police, military and other uniformed personnel should be crushed.
The Nigerian government has adopted approaches-military and Commission of Inquiry-without any positive results.
Nigeria needs to collaborate with countries who have had first hand experience of terrorism and have come up with reasonable means to reducing terrorism.
Countries include: United States, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Israel
- This article sets out to examine the dynamics of terrorism in the context of Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria which remains insufficiently explored.
- In view of the ideology and philosophy of Boko Haram, it became obvious that terrorism perpetuated by this group in all its ramifications is a serious threat to the national interest of the Nigerian state.
- Nigeria must further demonstrate her strong commitment to addressing the remote and immediate causes of the renewed Boko Haram attacks by joining hands with the international community.
- Nigeria must educate targeted youth who could easily become willing tools in the hand of Boko Haram members.
Greece: The Persistence of Political Terrorism, George Kassimeris, Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 89, No. 1, 2013 [+]
George Kassimeris argues that Greece "has one of the most persistent problems of political terrorism anywhere in Europe." This article identifies the present-day militant groups in Greece and explores the societal factors that make Greece so susceptible to terrorism.
Notes by Quintez Pearson, Fall 2017
The fall of Greece's most elusive terrorist group 17 November (17N) showed:Greek Political Violence
That after a major terrorist group has fallen, after a period of time a new generation of terrorists emerge.
Shortly after 17N was dethroned a new group called the Revolutionary Struggle (RS) took over.
The quick turnover and rise in terrorist violence of the RS revealed that dethroning terrorist group did not discourage or demoralize their actions, but simply led to an increase of more guerrilla groups and revolutionary violence.
Political violence in Greece struck during the mid-1970s due to complex political conditions and long-standing cultural influences. Files were kept on each Greek citizen underlining critical information such as “leftist” or “communist”. This was enforced a set of emergency laws called a 'para-constitution'.The Terrorists
Until the fall of Greece's dictatorship in 1974 there was political surveillance on families and family responsibilities.
After 1974 Greeks move to a multi-party democracy called Metapolitefsi, but the struggle of this new system brought disappointment to the left-winged believers who felt t it would bring more democratic change.
Two main terrorist groups: 17N and Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA)
Both groups failed to change the attractiveness of prolonged terrorist violence as a psycho-political tool and revolutionary political behavior is still a part of Greece today.
Matters such as Greece's debt crisis continue to make matters worse, but are only a small part as to why things are the way that they are others include economic distress, uncontrolled immigration, and disaffected policing.
FARC, ELN: Colombia's Left-Wing Guerrillas, Stephanie Hanson, Council on Foreign Relations, August 2009
Hanson provides a systematic overview of the two main left-wing guerilla groups operating in Colombia. She offers a brief summary of the ongoing peace negotiations between these groups and the Colombian government.
The Ghosts of Barbary, Steve Coll, The New Yorker, January 24, 2013 [+]Steve Coll provides a brief overview of the history of political violence in North and West Africa. He discusses emerging threats and warns of potential unintended consequences of US intervention in the region.
Note by Joe Frazer, Fall 2017
Governments ruling Sahel desert - Algeria, Libya, Chad, Niger, Mali - are weak and corrupt.
How al Qaeda Works: What the Organization's Subsidiaries Say about Its Strength, Leah Farrall, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2011
Leah Farrall provides an in-depth analysis of the origins, growth, and structure of al-Qaeda. She argues that al-Qaeda has the potential for continued growth and remains a major threat.
Militant Extremists in the United States, Jonathan Masters, Council on Foreign Relations, February 2011UNIT 6, Terrorism and the Media
Militant extremists pose a unique threat for America and domestic terrorism. Jonathan Masters offers an overview of four basic categories of militant extremists and the domestic intelligence infrastructure developed to address this threat.
The Men Behind the Hunt, Tamsin McMahon, Maclean's, Vol. 126, Issue 17, 2013 [+]This article takes an in-depth look at the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of two perpetrators of the Boston Bombing and analyses of the Tsarnaev brothers' lives leading up to "one of the worst acts of domestic terrorism on American soil."
Notes by Joe Frazer, Fall 2017
The Boston Marathon bombing killed three people and injured nearly 200 others.
The Tsarnaev brothers were born in Kyrgyzstan and the the Kalmyk Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
The family was granted legal permanent residence in the United States.
Dzhokhar said he and his brother were radicalized by watching lectures of Anwar al-Awlaki, an alleged senior leader of Al-Qaeda.
Increased family tensions led to turn toward religion.
Their father was drawn to sports and their mother towards religion.
Before the bombings, the FBI interviewed Tamerlan several times and were presumably tipped off by Russia.
Escalating Violence from the Animal Liberation Front, Scott Stewart, Security Weekly, July 2010
Scott Stewart uses the case of a self-described "ALF Lone Wolf" arsonist to examine the increasing use of "leaderless resistance" by left-wing activists in the United States. He argues that ELF/ALF lone wolves "have been more successful in conducting attacks than jihadist lone wolves."
The Year in Hate and Extremism 2013, Mark Potok, Intelligence Report, Issue 149, Spring 2013 [+]Mark Potok, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, that the number of conspiracy-minded antigovernment groups reached an all-time high in 2012. He suggests that in an environment of increasing political polarization, President Obama and his administration's policies continue to serve as a lightning rod for radical right-wing anger.
Media and State Sponsored Terrorism, Brett O'Donnell and David H. Gray, Journal of Global Security Studies, Vol. 3, No. 2, Spring 2012 [+]UNIT 7, Terrorism and ReligionO'Donnell and Gray provide an overview of the evolution of the relationship between terrorism and the media. They argue that because of its impact on contemporary terrorism, the media can is an important tool in the counterterrorism arsenal.
Notes by Jada Howard, Fall 2017
Media plays an important role in contemporary International terrorism. Terrorist use it to transmit their message to large populations and recruit new members. this gives the terrorist access to a global audience.
On one hand we see the media provides the terrorist with 24 hour real-time coverage showing how bad the terrorist are but only if the explosion is big enough and the devastation is horrific.
Brian M Jenkins stated "Terrorism is theatre" Meaning everything terrorist do is done to draw attention.
At first terrorism was only meant for a political target with very little collateral damage. But ever since the 1972 Olympic attacks and how it drew worldwide attention terrorist now look at media as a outlet for the of future terrorism.
State sponsors saw this as a way to place blame on someone else so they used the media for their own benefit.
By providing misinformation they could keep their people from realizing the truth.
State sponsors of terrorism restricted the freedom of information, certain states such as Iran and Libya restricted information outside their borders so the people could support their political leaders.
Margaret Thatcher stated "publicity is the oxygen of terrorism".
In this sense some might say media is terrorism's most effective weapon. Terrorist must have Publicity in some form if they are going to gain attention, inspire fear, and gain respect.
Terrorist media has always been about making a statement to the public.
technology has made reaching audiences far easier than ever before with satellite radio and television especially with the assistance of the Internet.
The media like any other organization needs to be monitored for truth and he'll responsible for the complications it can create.
this also brings about the need for the government and media collaboration to monitor stories and keep control not only to keep the print honest but also to keep the state honest as well.
State sponsors rely on Misinformation, lack of communication, lack of information, and oppression to keep the people in check.
however with the revolution of the Internet and cell phones the American social network is now changing.
Governments can only use the media in an effort to arouse world opinion against the country or group using terrorist tactics, public diplomacy and can only be used to mobilize public opinion in other countries.
The media change the PLO and altered the face of terrorism for the rest of the contemporary age.
it is possible that the changes of technology and media maybe changing Terrorism for the second time but this time for the better.
To further show the influence of media and how it has had an effect on recent events in the world the revolution of media in the Middle East has begin to spread to China.
With revolution occurring in the most major states that sponsor terrorism the terrorist groups are now starting to lose their support systems and resources.
Perhaps the freedom of information in contemporary terrorism can't be combated as Terrorism's new weapon.
Paramilitary Groups in Northern Ireland, the Media War and the State: Semantics and Symbiosis—A Comparative Case Study of the PIRA and UDA, Mark Hayes and Paul Norris, International Conference on Conflict, Terrorism and Society, Kadir Has University, Istanbul, 2010
Hayes and Norris cast doubt on the often hypothesized symbiotic relationship between terrorists and the media. They argue that rather than relaying the desired terrorist narrative, media coverage of the conflict between the Provisional Irish Republican Army and Ulster Defense Army "reflected the over-riding policy priorities and political preferences of the state."
The YouTube Jihadist: A Social Network Analysis of Al-Muhajiroun's Propaganda Campaign, Jytte Klausen et al., Perspectives On Terrorism, Vol. 6, No. 1, March 2012 [+]Klausen et al., describe how social media sites are used to spread jihadist propaganda. They discuss the possibility of a tight network of propaganda distribution with YouTube at its core.
Online De-Radicalization? Countering Violent Extremist Narratives: Message, Messenger and Media Strategy, Omar Ashour, Perspectives on Terrorism, December 2010
This article outlines the framework of a UN-sponsored research project to counter extremist narratives on the internet. By focusing on the message, the messengers, and the media, states may be able to develop a comprehensive strategy for online.
Sociological Understanding of the Relationship between Terrorism and Religion, Hüseyin Cinoğlu, International Journal of Human Sciences, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2010UNIT 8, Women and Terrorism
Cinoğlu argues that religion has been used by terrorist organizations to legitimize violence, to cure alienation, to eliminate the need to appeal to larger groups, and is also used in target selection.
Notes by John Vise, Fall 2017
Theory and Terrorism.
According to Akers, theories are about and related to real life situations. These include behavioral preferences and our experiences with other individuals and institutions.Major Sociological Perspectives and Religion-
Akers divides theories into two general categories. For the first group, he specifically talks about the theories that explain or deal with the deterrence strategies. To him, there is something more theoretical and abstract perspectives on crime, which he calls "theories of criminal and deviant behaviors."
So far, the nature of the relationship between terrorism and sociology was scrutinized.
Functionalism and ReligionConflict Theory and Religion
According to functionalism religion is a social institution with specific and crucial tasks in the survival of the society.
Most functionalists do not question religion as to why people created or have it, but they tend to focus on the functions of the religion.
According to them, religion is pivotal in the preservation of status quo and preventing rapid social changes and movements.
Therefore, religion functions in a way to ensure , support, and encourage evolution over revolutions.
- Unlike functionalists, with their variations, conflict theory followers tend to see religion as a tool that was not only utilized by the powerful in their efforts of exploiting workers, but also religion is created by them.Symbolic Interaction and Terrorism
As compensations for the sufferings of the world, religion offers or promises wealth and happiness in the hereafter.
That's why Marx (1844) identifies religion as the "opiate of the masses". To him, religion gives a false happiness and a notion of comfort which deflects workers' attention from their real condition to an uncertain future promise of happiness.
- On the other hand, symbolic interactionist theory mostly endeavors to develop an analytical understanding of religion with a relatively more micro level perspective than the first two theories, (functionalist and conflict theories.)Religion as key legitimizing force for violence
The literature suggested that creation of social networks is fundamental in the creation of meaning systems by the individual.
As you can see from the explanations above, each sociological tradition has different views on religion.
They do have weaknesses and strengths over others.
For example, functionalists are very effective in identifying and analyzing the functions of religions in maintaining a healthy society and in supporting evolution; while on the other hand, they might easily be characterized as ineffective in seeing the religion's role in generating conflict in the society.
The main concern of this perspective is not to explain and reveal the functions of religion in maintaining equilibrium or as the generator of conflict, but they place considerable amounts of importance over its role in the self identity formation through symbolic meanings, values and networks.
- Due to it's creation of "us vs. them" religious imperatives have the potential to lead more violent actions.
Religion offers its followers a unique value system with the power to legitimize and justify the approved acts.
Terrorists groups interpretation of these value systems dramatically differ from the mainstream.
Most of the time, even at the risk of being expelled as outcasts, they choose to deviate from the fundamental teachings of their religions.
This is especially the case for Islamic Terrorist groups.
One of Islam's uniquenesses comes from its involvement with almost every aspect of human life.
Most terrorist groups' members, either to solidify their membership or to become a full-fledged member, are required or even forced to participate in terrorist acts.
India Must Face up to Hindu Terrorism, Kapil Komireddi, The Guardian, January 19, 2011
Komireddi asserts that the Indian government has largely ignored political violence perpetrated by Hindu extremists. He argues that India "has failed appallingly in its obligations" to its 150 million Muslim citizens.
Notes by John Vise, Fall 2017
For too long, there have been Hindu terrorist attacks on the local population in India.
Their organized violent eruptions across the country-slaughtering Muslims and Christians, destroying their places of worship, cutting open pregnant wombs- never seemed sufficient enough to the state to cast them as a meaningful threat to India's national security.Yet the reflexive reaction of the police was to round up young Muslim men, torture them, extract confessions and declare the cases solved.
However, the recently leaked confession of a repentant Hindu priest, Swami Aseemanand, confirms what India's security establishment should have uncovered: a series of blasts between 2006 and 2008 were carried out by Hindu outfits.
The attacks targeted a predominantly Muslim town and places of Muslim worship elsewhere. Their victims were primarily Muslim.
It is when you look at the reactions non-Hindu extremism that you absorb how strongly majoritarian assumptions inform the state and society's conduct in India.
In 2002, the Indian government banned the radical Muslim group Simi, (Students' Islamic Movement of India) citing the group's charter, which seeks to establish sharia rule in India, and the terror charges some of its' members were facing.
But the Hindu Radical outfit RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or the National Volunteer Corps) remains open for business-even though it campaigns, very openly, for a Hindu state in India, and its members incite and perpetrate violence against Muslim and Christian minorities.
Mahatma Gandhi's assassin was a member of the RSS, as are Aseemanand and his confreres.
To get an idea of which of the two groups poses a more immediate threat to India, consider this: the government that banned Simi was headed by the BJP, the political wing of the RSS.
The principal cause of Hindu radicalism, much like its Muslim counterpart in Pakistan, is the partition of India in 1947.
The departing British hacked India apart to accommodate the Muslim League's demand for an exclusive homeland for the subcontinent's Muslims- and so, the Hindu nationalist logic runs, the territory that remained should logically be identified as the land of Hindus.For all the saffron calumny, it is impossible to find a community more emphatically committed to India than its Muslims.
If Pakistan's Muslim majority crystallized around the bogey of "Hindu raj" , the Hindu nationalistic project thrives by casting the burden of partition on India's Muslim minorities- fifth columnists whose coreligionists tore India apart by claiming, in spite of a millennium-long sojourn in India, to be foreigners by virtue of their faith.
India's Hindus never had to make a choice. The Muslims did.
Consider what an ordinary Muslim family in 1947 would have had to deal with:
terrified by the violence that the partition had unleashed, their coreligionists were fleeing in the millions to Pakistan; Hindu and Sikh fanatics were actively seeking out Muslims for slaughter and rape; the possibility of being betrayed by neighbors and friends was far from remote.The Muslims who remained. who refused to vacate the hell that was India despite the blandishments of paradise next door in Pakistan, affirmed their faith in India with their lives.
Sadar Patel, the second most powerful functionary in the Indian government, was openly hostile to Muslims- hostility which no doubt would have been seen by many Hindus as tacit endorsement of their actions.
Amidst all this, the sole authoritarian source of reassurance would have been the distant pledges of a better tomorrow by Jawaharlal Nehru.
Cracks in the Jihad, Thomas Rid, The Wilson Quarterly, Winter: 2010
Thomas Rid examines the increasing divide between local and global jihadists. He argues that despite the “cracks” in the jihad and the lack of a centralized leadership, self-recruited global jihadists continue to pose a significant threat to US interests.
The Birth of Counterjihadist Terrorism: Reflections on some Unspoken Dimensions of 22 July 2011, Egil Asprem, The Pomegranate, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2011 [+]Asprem takes an in-depth look at the motivations behind the 2011 terror attack in Norway. He argues that Anders Breivik, who carried out the attacks in the name of Christian military action against Islam, may be the beginning of a new counterjihadist wave of terrorism.
Bombshells: Women and Terror, Mia Bloom, Gender Issues, 2011UNIT 9, Government Response
Bloom examines the role of women as terrorists, including the different ways in which women become terrorists, how they are treated within terrorist groups, and their motivations for joining terrorist groups.
Notes by Sydney Baumgartner, Fall 2017
Section 1: Badass Women in the Islamic State
Avesta: Kurdish sniper for the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK; a rebel group that has fought the Turkish state for 30 years)PKK Background
Her name that she goes by when she engages in combat is the same as the holy book of Zoroastrianism A religion that Kurds consider as their original creed
Radicalized at a young age, like most members, and left home at 15 to become a PKK fighter like her brother after finding his mutilated body
She commands a group of 13 fighters (8 women) in the PKK and helps fight off jihadists of the Islamic state
Fought major battles against Turkey in 2005, 2008, and 2012, and basically states that the war on Islamic jihadists is a cakewalk compared to that of Turkey
Marxist organizationFuture Challenges
Provides intense boot camps for its members
Immerses members in leftist ideologies, ideas of women in various societal roles, weapon training
Fighters live in bare-bone camps in the mountains
The organization prohibits romantic relationships and allows little contact with the families of the fighters
Half of the organization’s leaders are women, which is extremely rare in the Muslim world
Women in the PKK, like Avesta, find this empowering, and it encourages them to keep fighting
“It gives us strength and motivation when a woman like Avesta is a commander” - 19 year old male in the PKK
Tensions with the Iraqi Kurds
PKK’s participation in the fight against the Islamic state hasn’t gotten a strong reaction from Turkey
Only considers them hostile and has close ties to the Iraqi Kurds Could result in more negative than positive backlash
PKK could raise negative reactions in the West → called a terrorist group by the US already
Terrorism in Africa: The Role of Women in Terrorist Groups, Claudia Forster-Towne, Consultancy Africa Intelligence, August 2010
Claudia Forster-Towne argues that "the role of women within terrorist organizations depends largely on the organization's conception of gender." She examines the differing roles of women in terrorist groups in Uganda, Sierra Leone, and Mozambique.
Notes by Sydney Baumgartner, Fall 2017
Section 2: Britain’s Female Jihadists
Great Britain is now the leading source in Europe of female jihadists in Syria and IraqAl-Khansaa Brigade
60 Muslim women from 18-24 are believed to have left Britain to join the jihadist group Islamic State during the last year
Dozens more have in inquire about joining after the beheading of James Foley, an American journalist
Motivation: For most, to find a jihadist husband.
Covet the religious and cultural prestige of Muslim widows whose husbands have died as martyrs
Evolution of Female British Jihadists
Until recently, most British women affiliated with IS have been restricted to domestic work, but lately some have demanding greater roles in the IS
Some are recruiters for IS
Use of social media to encourage others like themselves to travel to Syria and Iraq
Some incorporated into female only militia Based in the Syrian city of Raqqa, at the IS HQ
Named after 7th century female Arab poet who was a contemporary of the Muslim Prophet MohammedSocial Media and Women Jihadists
Purpose: expose male enemy jihadists who try to disguise themselves by wearing women’s clothing in order to avoid detection and detention at IS checkpoints
detail civilian women in Raqqa who don’t follow IS strict interpretation of Sharia law
Expansion: operates brothels for the use of IS fighters
Result: these women are now in charge of guarding 3000 non-Muslim sex slaves
Bizarre and perverse
Aqsa Mahmood 20; Glasgow; left for Syria November 2013
Aspiring doctor that dropped her dreams overnight to marry an IS fighter
Twitter: Umm Layth (Arabic: Mother of the Lion)
Uses account to encourage other women to leave their families and join her and others at the IS
“The IS is your family”
Mujahidah Bint Usama
21; medical student
Publishes pictures of herself in white lab
coat holding severed head on Twitter “Dream job, a terrorist doc” Khadijah Dare
22; converted to Islam at 18 after joining a radical mosque (Lewisham Islamic Center)
Moved to Syria in 2012 to marry a Swedish jihadi → Marriage arranged through Facebook by groom’s mother
Vowed to become the first female jihadist to execute a British or American captive
Twitter name: Muhajirah fi Sham (Arabic: immigrant of Syria) → “celebrity jihad” for extreme content
Recently posted pictures of her son holding an AK-47 rifle
The False Islamization of Female Suicide Bombers, Margaret Gonzalez-Perez, Journal of Gender Issues,April 20, 2011 [+]Gonzalez-Perez describes the evolution of radical Islam and its deviation from traditional Islamic though. She argues that strategic and tactical considerations are more important than ideology when it comes to the use of female suicide bombers.
Notes by Sydney Baumgartner, Fall 2017
Section 3: Women, Gender and the Evolving Tactics of Boko Haram
The Islamic terrorist groups has been active in Nigeria since 2002, when it was founded by Muhammad Yusuf.Instrumentality: Women As Pawns:
‘Boko Haram’ means “Western Education Is Sinful” Nigerian Government has violently opposed the terrorist group.
There was an uprising that was quashed in July 2009, where 800 members of Boko Haram and their leader, Yusuf, were killed. July 2010: former second-in-command and new leader Abubakar Shekau, released a statement to journalists that said “jihad has begun.” More than 3,500 people have been killed since 2010, violence shows no sign of abating.
This reading addresses their activities: gender-based violence, their instrumentalization of women in its operations, culture and ideology. GBV In Context (gender based violence) GBV is defined by the UN as “physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.”
Transcends region, religion, and ethnicity In Nigeria with physical and sexual abuse affecting as many as 35.1% of Igbo women and 34.3% of Hausa-Fulani women. Nigerian law is also infused with discriminatory practices against women.
2013 marked a significant evolution in Boko Haram’s tactics. A series of kidnappings, in which one of the main features was an instrumental use of women, was done in response to corresponding tactics by the Nigerian government. Boko Haram’s first actual kidnapping operation was carried out one year later in February 2013, with the abduction of a seven-member French family in northern Cameroon, then brought back to Nigeria. 4 children included in French family group. Between February 2013 and May 2013, the kidnapping strategy was brought directly to Nigerian soil, with the abductions of more than a dozen government officials and their families.Evolving Conflict, Evolving Tactics
May 2013: a mass assault on police barracks in Bama, Borno State in which militants captured 12 Christian women and children, was carried out. More than 100 people were killed.
Shekau made several video messages in which he claimed to have abducted the kidnappings in Boko Haram’s name. He then promised to make the hostages his “servants” if certain conditions, such as the release of Boko Haram members and their wives from prison, were not met.
This capture of Boko Haram militants’ family members was cited as a grievance in almost all Shekau’s video statements in 2012 and 2013.
Shekau then threatened revenge on wives of government officials, also speculating on the possible sexual abuse of the Boko Haram family members by government officials.
All of these women were targeted for instrumental purposes, as none of those captured on either side had any direct involvement in the conflict. There is also no evidence that the female relatives of Boko Haram members who were arrested by the government had any direct involvement in the group’s activities.
Boko Haram has paid young boys to carry out acts in the past, but not young women.
The cycle of gender-based abduction and detention and increased violence in Nigeria is evolving has has expanded since Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan announced a State of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States in May 2013.Targeting and Abusing Christian Women
Since 2013, the Civilian Joint Task Force has joined security forces in employing new methods against Boko Haram, such as the mass arrest of male suspects in the early hours of the morning, the disappearance of suspects, and the use of young teenage men, fluent in the local Kanuri language and culture to operate checkpoints.
A series of unusual arrests in Maiduguri, Borno state, suggests an immediate and gendered responsive shift in Boko Haram tactics. In June 2013, an AK-47 a pistol and improvised explosive devices were found in the garments of two “shivering” veiled women in Maiduguri.
Two months later, two women hiding rifles in their clothing were among five suspected Boko Haram militants, who were arrested by the security forces. Also in August 2013, a woman was detained alongside a 35-year old male Boko Haram suspect.
Additionally, male Boko Haram members have reportedly disguised themselves as women in veils in order to evade arrest. In July 2013, three men dressed as veiled women were killed, and around twenty others arrested, in an attempted attack on a police station.
This is a pattern seen in the adaptive responses of other terrorists organizations in times of unique pressure on men.
The tactical use of women due to the lesser suspicion they arouse has also been evident in Islamist violence in Pakistan and Indonesia; and within the conflict in Israel and Palestine
The State of Emergency has manifested in other Boko Haram activities involving women, with a reported increase in GBV against Christian women in northern areas of Nigeria, and increasing levels of sexual violence including rape, torture and also murder.Gender in Boko Haram’s Ideology and Culture
More than 45% of those killed by Boko Haram are Christian women and children. The Christian Association of Nigeria has been reporting the abduction of Christian teenagers since July 2013.
Women have been increasingly targeted with kidnap, forced marriage, and compulsory conversion to Islam. These conflicts have predominantly objectified and exploited women.
Women have been targeted in acid attacks, for ‘un-Islamic’ practices, such as failure to wear hijabs or for taking a job. The generic culture of discrimination against Christians has enabled the escalation in recent violence.
Boko Haram’s command to Jihad often features exhortations to terrorize Christian communities or, in its words, a ‘War on Christians,” and the victimization of women is a tactic within this strategy.Conclusion
Sharia Law is a factor Emphasis on the forced imposition of Shariah facilitates GBV through rigidly gendered ideological structures. Rise of Boko Haram coincided with the adoption of Shariah in 12 northern states, as was to some extent a by-product of this. Version of law supported by Shekau and Boko Haram stresses gender roles, enforces strict rules on women’s dress and sexual conduct and instituting other discriminatory and abusive acts against women.
Casts men in hyper-masculine combat roles, their duty to violently oppose the West.
Globalization has been a factor in such violence and feelings of grievance, with the fracturing of men’s traditional identities impacting on their willingness to turn to extremist groups. The impact of grievances, globalization, and poverty on Nigerian violence suggests that ideology is one of a number of possible factors committed by Boko Haram members and supporters. Criminal motives also play a role.
The level of control of Boko Haram leadership over the activities of such elements is questionable, and has as yet not been pronounced upon by Shekau.
This article shed light on a neglected but developing aspect of the group’s operations: gender-based changes in Boko Haram’s tactics and its instrumental use of women, resulting in increasing GBV target at Christians. The article also outlined the instrumental use of women by both Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces in a cycle of abductions and detentions dating from 2012.
Recent violence and ensuing state of emergency is causing Boko Haram to evolve tactically, engaging women in support roles in the group, disguing men as women to avoid arrest, and abducting Christian women. Evolution of tactics is based on Shariah law.
Group does not have monopoly on violence against women in Nigeria. Government troops have also been accused of murder, rape, looting, theft, and more."
The Jihad against the Jihadis: How Moderate Muslim Leaders Waged War on Extremists—And Won, Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek, February 2010UNIT 10, Future Threats
Fareed Zakaria examines how some Muslim leaders and intellectuals have waged a successful war against extremism by delegitimizing the violent jihad. As a result, there has been a significant decline in the number of people who support violence against civilians.
Notes by Austin Ohliger, Fall 2017
The events of 9/11 spawned an age of radical Islamic terrorism that had been festering in the Middle East for some time.
The Bush administration launched a series of programs across the Muslim world to strengthen moderates, shore up civil society, and build forces of tolerance and pluralism.
The main reason for change away from radical government was blunders by Al Qaeda. Because of the difficulty of moving money, people, and materials around the world, they attacked local areas instead of global targets. This threatened the regimes that had given them the ability to operate and grow.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia started a large-scale political and intellectual effort to discredit the jihadists' ideology.
General David Petraeus, chief of Central Command, said that this was one of the most important positive developments in the war on terror.
Indonesia under a new democracy marginalized the main terror group of the country, Jemaah Islamiah.
Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) gained ground militarily but lost political ground because of their brutal tactics against fellow Muslims and their push for a Sunni-Shia civil war. Religious leaders, schools, and even some within Al Qaeda began to speak out against jihad.
Polls show that suicide bombings are becoming less justified, by the people in the Middle East, to defend Islam.
Counter-Terrorism in Nigeria: Responding to Boko Haram, Hussein Solomon, The RUSI Journal, pp. 6-11, August 2012 [+]Hussein Solomon analyzes the Nigerian government's response to the Boko Haram movement. He argues that the government response has been ineffective and counterproductive.
Notes by Austin Ohliger, Fall 2017
Boko Haram has been attacking Nigeria since 2002 when it was established by Mohammed Yusuf.
After Yusuf was captured and killed in police custody on July 31, 2009 Nigeria's response to BH was to match violence with violence.
BH looks to be on the move towards a more international attack with growing ties to Al Qaeda.
Ties include BH modeled themselves after the Taliban, Yusuf was accused of getting money form AQ, BH leaders met with AQ in the Islamic Maghred (AQIM) and sent members to train, BH has ties to Al-Shabaab of Somalia, and many fighters are part of the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa.
In 2001 Nigeria's current security infrastructure was ill-equipped to deal with Boko Haram's threat.
Many issues with Counter-Terrorism in Nigeria examples:
financial support networks of BH are mostly unknown,In 2010 President Jonathan of Nigeria backed-off of his "fighting fire with fire" idea and hoped BH would talk with the government to find a solution to their main issues.
Wide-spread increase in radicalization,
lack of technology and forensic ability by police,
counter-terrorism unleashed brutal security forces which lost the hears and minds of the people,
counter-terrorism promises weren't always the same as the results.
Boko Haram had some members and/or sympathizers in the government and security agencies.
Abul Qaqa, Boko Haram's spokesman, was against this idea and said that they would continue fighting.
A Threat to the West: The Rise of Islamist Insurgency in the Northern Caucasus and Russia's Inadequate Response, Ariel Cohen, The Backgrounder, No. 2643, March 26, 2011 [+]Cohen argues that Russia's use of force to quell the insurgency in the northern Caucasus has failed. He believes that the United States should work with bordering and Middle-Eastern countries to improve border security and stop the flow of money to Islamist terrorist groups in the region.
Notes by Quintez Pearson, Fall 2017
"Russia's Northern Caucasus is one of the most volatile lawless regions in the world.
"Hotbed of international terrorism"
US and its allies have interests in reducing the Islamist threat to keep further contribution globally to the Islamist movement.
Lack of state sovereignty allows Islamists, organized criminals, and terrorists to control certain areas seen in Somalia, Yemen, NW Pakistan, Afghanistan, and southern Thailand.
Deterring and Dissuading Nuclear Terrorism, John J. Klein, Journal of Strategic Security, Vol. 5, No. 1, Spring 2012 [+]John Klein examines the threat of nuclear terrorism around the world. He argues that deterrence and dissuasion reduce the likelihood of nuclear terrorism and mitigate the consequences if it occurs.
Notes by Quintez Pearson, Fall 2017
Nuclear terrorism plays a huge part in security today and is a persistent concern with constant nuclear threats.
Has been shown that deterrence of some terrorist groups (non-state actors) is possible to some degree due to most leaders being rational and functioning strategically.
This deterrence is largely due to the US's effective arsenal of nuclear weapons which causes terrorist groups to think strategically about how to use their arsenals.
History suggests deterrence fails due to miscalculation, uncertainty, or chance.
Dissuasion and deterrence are great in preventing acts of nuclear terrorism, but only if national leaders make it a top priority
Combatting Al Qaeda After Bin Laden, Thomas M. Sanderson, Global Forecast Journal, 2012 [+]Sanderson argues that despite the death of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda continues to be active in the Middle East and North Africa. He suggests policy makers should resist the urge to cut expensive counterterrorism lest the successes of the past be in vain.
Notes by Katrinnah Harding, Fall 2017
The 2011 killing of Osama Bin Laden had many immediate, as well as long term effects on the financing, management, and political environment of al Qaeda.
- By the end of 2011, the immediate turmoil that arose seemed to indicate our long-awaited dominance over al Qaeda.
- This appearance of victory caused many Americans to become over confident, says Sanderson, arguing that the troubles developing in the regions around the organization are due to erupt into major issues.
- “Reality on the ground paints a very different picture of al Qaeda’s future than the one hoped for by Washington policy-makers and Main Street alike.”
- “Where the situation is most uncertain and where much is at stake, al Qaeda is both spoiler and catalyst.”
o Ongoing affiliate attacks o More sophisticated information operations o Advanced communication tools/financial networks“al Qaeda is now an unguided missile: fearsome, disruptive, and damaging”
- The existence and capability of “lone wolves” are highlighted. These are those individual extremists that are planted in the West, looking to harm. They are most dangerous because of their “no consequences” mentality.
- We have lost our sources of information as our largest providers, like Libya, Egypt, and even Syria, discontinued that service.
Despite all of this, Sanderson argues that the United States’ current approach (as of 2012) is working. He praises our key counterterrorism measures as “retain[ing] high levels of funding” and “remain[ing] vigilant”.
He finishes with a command to the U. S. that if not followed, will result in the successes of the last 12 months being completely in vain. His instructions are as follows: “We must pay close attention, budget appropriately, and continue to improve all of our counterterrorism activities.”
The Future of Terrorism, John T. Picarelli, The National Institute of Justice Journal, Issue 264, November 2009
John Picarelli identifies important differences in how Bruce Hoffman and Marc Sageman, two of the foremost experts on terrorism in the United States, interpret the nature of the terrorist threat. He argues that law enforcement agencies can offer valuable insights as key contributors to this debate.
US Eyes Anti-Piracy Effort Along West Africa Coast, Lolita C. Baldor, Businessweek.com, March 2013 [+]Lolita Baldor discusses potential future antipiracy operations along Africa's west coast. She argues that the US and its allies are increasingly concerned about potential ties between terrorist organizations and pirates in the region.