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Annual Editions: Violence and Terrorism 2014
Defining Terrorism: A Strategic Imperative, Eric Chase, Small Wars Journal, January 24, 2013
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.
Analyzing and Defining Terrorist Acts, Fred Burton, Police One News, February 2011
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, 2010
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Although 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.
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.
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.
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 2011
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."
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
O'Donnel 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.
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, 2010
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.
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.
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, 2011
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.
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.
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.
The Jihad against the Jihadis: How Moderate Muslim Leaders Waged War on Extremists—And Won, Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek, February 2010
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.