Terrorist organizations change over time because of processes such as recruitment and training as well as counter-terrorism (CT) measures, but the effects of these processes are typically studied qualitatively and in separation from each other. Seeking a more quantitative and integrated understanding, we constructed a simple dynamic model where equations describe how these processes change an organization's membership. Analysis of the model yields a number of intuitive as well as novel findings. Most importantly it becomes possible to predict whether counter-terrorism measures would be sufficient to defeat the organization. Furthermore, we can prove in general that an organization would collapse if its strength and its pool of foot soldiers decline simultaneously. In contrast, a simultaneous decline in its strength and its pool of leaders is often insufficient and short-termed. These results and other like them demonstrate the great potential of dynamic models for informing terrorism scholarship and counter-terrorism policy making.
Explores issues in the measurement of terrorism. The author considers what should be measured and why, starting with how to describe terrorism in general, then moves on to specific issues, including group characteristics, negotiation behavior, patron state support to terrorists, combating terrorism, links of groups, coverage by the media, and the effectiveness of terrorists. Throughout this article, reference is made to the ITERATE (International Terrorism: Attributes of Terrorists Events) database, a comprehensive chronology of international terrorist events. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The initial encounters between Al Qaeda and the U.S. military taught both a series of lessons that reverberate across the battlefields of Afghanistan today. Both sides entered the fray with preconceived ideas of their enemyideas that disappeared on the battlefields of the Shahi-Kot valley. The United States was determined not to repeat the mistakes of the siege of Tora Bora. Their battleplan called for a lightning fast operation using highly mobile U.S. and Afghan forces to envelop the enemy, but failures of intelligence and the fog of war transformed Anaconda into a long, slow struggle against an often invisible foe. Al Qaeda had all the advantages of terrain and defense but was unable to cause the massive casualties they thought would drive the American invaders from Afghanistan. Both sides left the battlefield with valuable lessons that have prevented any similar encounters since silence returned to the Shahi-Kot.
The international anarchist movement that developed in Europe and the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries inspired a series of assassinations and attempted assassinations of prominent world leaders. This movement was unique in the disconnection between its core theorists—many of whom either disapproved or had nuanced views of the use of violence—and the social outliers driven by psychological distress and poverty who often committed the terrorist acts. In this respect, the anarchist movement resembles some modern day terrorist movements and can offer suggestions as to their nature and likelihood of success.
Scholars have developed several rationalist explanations for the use of suicide attacks by terrorist organizations. Using evidence from Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Chechnya, and Turkey, these authors have created plausible and rational models for attacks, which many consider to be “irrational.” Although the conflict in Iraq has, by most accounts, experienced more suicide bombings than any other struggle, its contemporary nature has made research and analysis on the subject difficult. This article analyzes four of these models and their implications with respect to the events in Iraq. Although the evidence is not conclusive, the data suggests that organizations are not using suicide attacks to (1) gain nationalist objectives, (2) signal strength to a foreign government, or (3)“outbid” rival organizations, as many scholars suggest. Instead, the evidence suggests that these attacks are used for (1) tactical advantages and (2) to aid the global recruiting effort of Al Qaeda-linked organizations.
This article argues that a model of terrorism and terrorist sanctuaries rooted in post-9/11 strategic thought and the Global War on Terror is inadequate to the study of terrorism in Bosnia and the Balkans. It addresses a series of conventional assumptions regarding Bosnia-Herzegovina's status as a putative terrorist sanctuary, based on a reading of post-war ethnic politics and political architecture. This assessment turns on the basic notion that terrorism in Bosnia is a complex phenomenon linked to multiple domestic and foreign communities, defined along competing national trajectories and intersecting foreign interests, and subject to evolving political circumstances and priorities.
Biometrics, which relies on physical characteristics to identify individuals, enjoys growing support as a counterterrorist tool. However, there is little evidence in this regard. On the contrary, one danger is that biometric systems, such as national identification cards, would create a new target for terrorists to strike, paralyzing critical infrastructure. Given these limitations, why are countries moving toward this questionable form of security? Advocates of biometrics have been able to make powerful claims that play to public perceptions of risk in general, and the threat of terrorism in particular. This article suggests decentralized methods of identification and verification.
This article examines the manifestation of jihadist ideology in the strategic thought and behavior of war-fighting forces. Employing the “strategic approach,” it aims to determine whether jihadist ideology is a military asset or a strategic disadvantage for armed forces. It hypothesizes the impact of jihadist ideology on the use of force by examining its potential effects in seven strategic aspects: vision, threat perception, objectives, strategy, constituency, legitimacy, and conduct. It concludes by discussing the contradictory effects of jihadist ideology on the utility of force. Theoretical arguments throughout the article are elaborated by a discussion of jihadist forces in the Bosnian civil war.
Beginning in June of 2000 Chechen terrorists have carried out twenty-eight acts of suicide terrorism acts including two mass hostage taking operations combined with suicide terrorism (Beslan and Nord Ost). This paper reports the findings from psychological autopsies (interviews with close family members and friends) of thirty-four (out of 112 total) of these human bombers as well as augmenting them with material from hostage interviews from Beslan and Nord-Ost. The authors analyze the phenomena on the levels of the organization, individual, society and in terms of ideology and compare findings from other arenas also involving suicide terrorism. The main findings are that a lethal mix occurs when individuals in Chechnya are vulnerable to self recruitment into suicide terrorism due to traumatic experiences and feeling a duty to revenge and this vulnerability is combined with exposure to groups that recruit and equip suicide terrorists with both an ideology and the means to explode themselves. The ideology supporting Chechen suicide terrorism is very similar to the global jihadist ideology but remains more nationalist in its goals. It functions for the bombers much like short lived psychological first aid—answering their posttraumatic concerns in a way that shortly leads to their deaths. Unlike the Palestinian case, there is little social support for suicide terrorism in Chechnya.
The spread of conflict across borders (contagion) is a modern phenomenon of increasing importance. This study focuses on the extent to which cross-border religious ties facilitate contagion of ethnic conflict using data from the Minorities at Risk dataset. The findings show that religious contagion influences the extent of both ethnic protest and rebellion whereas nonreligious contagion influences only ethnic protest. They also show that only violent conflict, as opposed to peaceful mass-political movements, in one state influences conflict in a bordering state. One possible explanation for this is the argument that violence is an intrinsic element of religion. This can explain why religious contagion is stronger than nonreligious contagion and why religious conflicts cross borders only when they are violent ones. This argument is also consistent with previous findings on domestic conflict that show that although religious grievances expressed by an ethnic minority were a contributing factor to the level of rebellion in which that minority engages, they had a negative influence on the extent of peaceful protest.
Why do insurgents control some regions of a country but not others? Four explanations are considered: relative deprivation, availability of rebel financing, counterinsurgent capabilities, and political pluralism. These are tested against the insurgency of Sendero Luminoso in four Peruvian regions: the Upper Huallaga, the Central Huallaga, Ayacucho, and Puno. The analysis suggests three conclusions. First, rebels are unlikely to consolidate in areas where counterinsurgent forces are strong. Second, insurgents are also unlikely to control regions where the level of political pluralism is high. Third, rebels are likely to consolidate in regions where counterinsurgent forces are weak and the level of political pluralism is low.
The most recent terrorist attacks in Turkey suggest a new phase in the country's war against terrorist groups. Although the PKK has largely been neutralized as a major threat to internal stability, the continued existence of other militant organizations--particularly Islamist groups who appear to be cooperating with elements of al Qaida--suggests continued security problems for the government.
The insurrection in Pakistan's tribal areas has been unexpectedly robust, lethal, and resilient, which has surprised many in Pakistan and the Western world. The focus of the violence emanating from this region is not confined to Afghanistan or Pakistan alone, but spans the entire world, especially Europe and North America. A number of external actors like Al Qaeda and its associates are exploiting the prevailing lawlessness in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) for sanctuary and a base for their logistical, training, and operational purposes, while the local Taliban reap rich financial rewards in the mayhem.
This article studies a singular aspect of the urban insurgency of Uruguay's MLN-Tupamaros: the tactic of armed propaganda. The Tupamaros applied the method mainly at the peak of their existence, in the years 1969–70. Afterward they opted predominantly for others, such as terrorism. By comparing the two periods, I argue that armed propaganda helped the organization to thrive, while the latter was an important cause of its demise. The conclusion suggests that armed propaganda led the Tupamaros to significant accomplishments, but also that switching tactics was a major determinant in their defeat.
This article looks at the European Communities’ efforts against terrorism in the 1970s. It argues that in spite of the high ambitions to improve European legal integration, the attempts to develop an antiterrorism agreement were quite obviously a failure. Although the Dublin Agreement was adopted in 1979 after cumbersome and lengthy negotiations, it fell short of showing the member states’ unity and resolve to fight terrorism, and it never entered into force. The tedious negotiations drained the member states’ energy and willingness to such an extent that no other steps toward judicial integration or antiterrorism treaties were taken.
This article traces the political and ideological development of the various strands of Irish Republicanism since 1994, with particular focus on the transition of the Provisional movement from insurgency to government party. In particular, it explores some of the external and internal dynamics shaping this process, such as the origins of Provisionalism as a social movement organization and the changing relationship between the nationalist population and the British state. It concludes by considering both the possible future trajectory of the Provisionals and the potential of dissident republicans to mount a serious political challenge to the status quo in Northern Ireland.
The 2012 Toulouse and Montauban shootings and the grisly murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich in 2013 are stark reminders of a continued terrorist threat posed by Jihadist terrorists in Europe. Whereas the 2011 death of Osama bin Laden and the advent of the “Arab Spring” fed expectations that international jihadism was a spent force, attack activity in Europe does not only seem to persist, but as will be shown here, the region has actually faced an increase in terrorist plots over the past few years.
This article examines the difficulties of finding local solutions to the problem of contentious events in contemporary Northern Ireland. In so doing, it offers a sociological perspective on fundamental divisions in Northern Ireland: between classes and between communities. It shows how its chosen case study—parades and associated protests in north Belfast—exemplifies the most fundamental problem that endures in post-Agreement Northern Ireland, namely that political authority is not derived from a common civic culture (as is the norm in Western liberal democracy) but rather that legitimacy is still founded on the basis of the culture of either one or the other community. Haugaard's reflections on authority and legitimacy are used to explore Northern Ireland's atypical experience of political conflict vis-à-vis the Western liberal democratic model. The Bourdieusian concepts of field illusio and doxa help to explain why it is that parading remains such an important political and symbolic touchstone in this society.
Wars like those in Iraq and Afghanistan should be understood as hybrid wars, wars in which elements of ethnic or tribal conflict, ideologically based insurgency, factional squabbling, and organized crime are inextricably intertwined, with the same actors playing multiple and partially conflicting roles. Hybrid war is inherently transnational, featuring transnational crime networks, “migrant warriors,” transnational diaspora links, legitimate international trade, and foreign intervention. It takes place in hybridized states reliant on local warlords and other actors whose power prevents effective state-building. In this context, while counterinsurgency doctrine prescribes appropriate military strategy and tactics, the core problem is more political than military. Since a hybridized client state is not likely to be politically reformable even if a foreign ally achieves military success, outside allies like the United States should generally refrain from boots-on-the-ground intervention, pursuing instead a diplomatic solution, even though such a deal is likely to be unpalatable.
Al-Shabaab, the Somali militia currently fighting against African forces in Somalia, has seen varying degrees of success in its regional recruitment efforts. As it continues to struggle against the forces of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the militia has tried to step up these efforts. To this end, the group has seen significant success in countries such as Kenya, while it has struggled in Somaliland. The strategies and tactics employed by al-Shabaab in order to successfully recruit vary depending on geographical location, as do the motivations to join, and drawing on fieldwork in both Kenya and Somaliland this study will compare and contrast the effectiveness al-Shabaab recruitment in both of these countries. In doing so, it will examine which local conditions either enhance or limit these efforts, identifying some of the determinants of the success and failure of jihadist recruitment in east Africa.
In response to Somalia's decades-long political and humanitarian crises, the African Union has deployed a peace support operation known as the African Union Mission in Somalia. Tasked to help eliminate an ongoing insurgency, the mission has seen heavy combat as it fights to reclaim territory held by the al-Shabaab militant organization. This article applies the techniques of open source campaign analysis to assess the mission's prospects for long-term success. The prognosis is not good. Analysis reveals a range of vulnerabilities that threaten the deployment's core security objectives, suggesting that the optimism many have expressed for the mission is misplaced.
The regional economic crisis of 1997-98 placed a large question mark over the advocacy, much proclaimed between 1990 and 1997, that ASEAN was at the centre of a shift in the global order toward a Pacific Century premised on the Association's practices of multilateral cooperation, dialogue, consensus, and non-interference. Does the aftermath of the crisis, and the new agenda posed by the forces of economic globalization and the seemingly irresolvable low intensity conflicts that bedevil Southeast Asia, require radical re-thinking of the relevance of security arrangements in Pacific Asia that are essentially the product of the Cold War era? This study examines this question by considering the curious external conditions in which ASEAN rose to international prominence, how ASEAN erroneously came to be seen in the 1990s as an apparently new form of security cooperation, and how rising levels of violent internal challenges generated by the forces of globalization threaten Southeast Asia's stability. The conclusion is that these forces have exposed ASEAN's constituting incoherence as an imitation community and that consequently it is ill equipped to contend with the pressures exerted by the global information age.
This article provides a preliminary assessment of the agroterrorism threat to Australia. Based on primary research conducted among Australia's biotechnology and agriculture sectors, it examines current threat scenarios and existing vulnerabilities within Australia. It argues that the threat of agroterrorism to Australia is real, and, for prudential reasons, should be taken more seriously by government authorities. The article concludes with a series of broad policy options to mitigate the threat of agroterrorism to Australia.
This article seeks to determine the mechanism(s) behind the convergence of domestic counterterrorism regulations that has been noted across many Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Four hypotheses are developed and tested through regression analyses. These hypotheses examine (1) U.S. influence, operationalized though a unique U.S. footprint indicator; (2) national characteristics; (3) the extent to which states’ domestic structures match; and (4) international networks. We find little support that U.S. influence matters. The international influence that does exist seems to operate through networks promoting learning, especially following a rise in the general global threat level. National characteristics as a driver also find some support.
This article examines key provisions of Australia’s antiterrorism legislation introduced in the aftermath of the 11 September attacks. Never before in history has Australia witnessed a comparable overhaul of national security legislation and the introduction of laws that significantly curtail civil liberties and fundamental freedoms. A question that thus needs to be addressed is whether or not Canberra’s drastic legislative measures are justified by the severity of the terrorism threat to Australia. It is argued that the actual risk of a terrorism attack occurring on Australian soil is rather low. As a consequence, the Howard government’s antiterrorism laws constitute a disproportionate response that has worrisome long-term implications for Australia’s legal system and its society more generally.
This article seeks to critically examine the political economy of the Northern Irish “peace process.” When the principal paramilitary organizations in the region declared cease-fires in 1994, it was widely assumed that political progress would be followed by economic prosperity. However, this “peace dividend” has never fully materialized. Those working-class communities that were at the center of the Troubles have derived little economic benefit over the last two decades. Indeed, if anything the already substantial class divisions in the six counties have become more pronounced over the course of the peace process. The article concludes by suggesting that these widening socioeconomic disparities have the potential to undermine the prevailing political settlement in Northern Ireland.
This article evaluates the development of militant Islamic threats in Southeast Asia from the early 1990s onwards and its security implications for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The analysis contends that the extent of extremist Islamic infiltration of the region was obscured by governmental rhetoric, along with much Western opinion, which argued erroneously that ASEAN was following a unique developmental path based on shared regional values that had resulted in economic growth and political stability. However, by ignoring underlying religiously motivated tensions within and among its membership, and by refusing to countenance mature debate about them within their societies, ASEAN has succeeded only in incubating its potential nemesis.
The aim of this study is to analyze the process by which Al Qaeda has sought to co-opt essentially localized struggles in Southeast Asia into an evolving network of worldwide jihad. The article illustrates how, long before it was appropriate to speak of an entity called Al Qaeda, Islamists have been thinking transnationally since the 1980s. The argument attempts to piece together available evidence to reveal a plausible explanation of the origins, growth and direction of the main Islamist grouping in Southeast Asia, Jemaah Islamiyah, and its deepening relationship with Al Qaeda. The article suggests that the roots of a Southeast Asian terror network can be traced to two geographically separate ethno-religious struggles in the Philippines and Indonesia. The analysis demonstrates that these guerrilla groups orchestrating their distinct struggles were eventually combined through the auspices of Al Qaeda and the globalized franchising opportunities it exploited from the early 1990s.
The historic significance of the Good Friday Agreement and its role in ending organized political violence is acknowledged at the outset. The article then goes on to probe the roots of the political paralysis built into the architecture of the Agreement that are predicated on a misplaced political and cultural symmetry between the “two communities.” It is suggested that the institutionalized relationship between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K. facilitates a cross-party, populist, socio-economic consensus among the nationalist and unionist political parties on the welfare state, taxation and maintaining the massive British subvention to the region. This in turn allows them to concentrate on a divisive culturalist politics, i.e., on antagonistic forms of cultural and identity politics over such issues as flags, parades, and the legacy of the “Troubles” which spills over into gridlock into many areas of regional administration. The article argues for a much broader understanding of culture and identity rooted in the different, if overlapping and interdependent, material realities of both communities while challenging the idea of two cultures/identities as fixed, mutually exclusive, non-negotiable and mutually antagonistic. It then focuses on the importance of Belfast as a key arena which will determine the long-term prospects of an alternative and more constructive form of politics, and enable a fuller recognition of the fundamental asymmetries and inter-dependence between the “two communities.” In the long run, this involves re-defining and reconstructing what is meant by the “Union” and a “United Ireland.”
The article will describe the general Islamic approach on energy based on the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, as well as the writings of prominent Muslim thinkers. Then it will examine and compare the energy perspectives of four Islamist groups: Hizballah, Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Al Qaeda. It will be argued that Islamist groups have attempted to achieve their external energy objectives by either using violence or exercising political blackmail against their opponents. Moreover, Islamists have developed globalized, glocalized, or localized “scale of engagement,” depending on the targeted audience. Finally, the article will examine the security implications stemming from Islamists’ interest in energy issues.
So far there has been little substantive research about how individuals engaged in counterterrorism initiatives, whether as community members or police officers or other professionals, negotiate this challenging terrain. This article suggests that community-based approaches to counterterrorism rely on the careful construction of certain forms of community engagement, rather than an all-encompassing claim that “communities defeat terrorism.” This article explores this issue further through analyzing and exploring the role that connectors, rather than communities per se, may play in counterterrorism.
In what came to be controversial cases in the 1970s, British courts convicted individuals involved with IRA bombing campaigns and sent them to prison. The Guildford Four, Maquire Seven, and Birmingham Six were all convicted with faulty evidence and/or coerced confessions. Obtaining convictions for the bombings was important for the British government and British public opinion, since the guilty persons were caught and punished. There are few indications, however, that the government as a matter of policy decided to convict and imprison innocent people in order to mollify the public and achieve other political objectives. The original convictions were miscarriages of justice but not government policy. The delay in rectifying the original convictions, however, displayed more concern about potential negative effects for the political system if judicial errors were admitted.
Burma's importance in world affairs has long derived from its critical geostrategic position, but another factor now attracting the interest of Western scholars and officials is Burma's large Muslim population. Usually overlooked in surveys of Islam in the Asia-Pacific region, Burma's Muslims are now being accorded greater attention. This is partly because of the harsh treatment they are receiving at the hands of the country's military government, known since 1997 as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). It is also due, however, to their growing international connections, which in one case at least includes links to pan-Islamic extremist groups. In this regard, the global war against terrorism has become both a burden and an opportunity for the Rangoon regime. Yes Yes
In the closing months of 1994, the principal paramilitary organizations in Northern Ireland declared that their campaigns of violence were at an end. The cease-fires called by republican and loyalist groupings represented the most significant heralds of a complex process of conflict transformation that continues to unfold even twenty years on. In this introduction, we set out to map the key developments that have shaped the tortuous narrative of the Northern Irish ‘peace process’, thereby providing the historical backdrop for the articles that follow. While remarkable progress has been made over the two decades since the paramilitary cease-fires, the political context and future of the region remain rather more fraught than is often assumed abroad. It is perhaps best, then, to speak of the six counties in terms not of resolution but rather of ambiguity. Twenty years on from the optimism that greeted the paramilitary cease-fires, Northern Ireland retains the essential ‘inbetweenness’ of a political space that has moved from a ‘long war’ through a ‘long peace’ and into a profoundly undecided future.
Men's dominance of the political and military dimensions of the Northern Ireland conflict has meant that the story of the conflict has generally been a story about men. Ethno-nationalist antagonism reinforced men's roles as protectors and defenders of ethno-national groups and shaped violent expressions of masculinities. Due to the primacy of ethno-nationalist frameworks of analysis in research on the conflict, the relationships between gender and men's violence have been under-theorized. This article employs the framework of Critical Studies of Men and Masculinities to examine these relationships and also explores the changing patterns of men's violence in Northern Ireland.
This study examines the factors that lead household members to give or refuse consent for other household members to become a militant (or mujahid). Using data derived from a detailed survey fielded among a convenience sample of 141 families of slain militants in Pakistan, this manuscript seeks to explain why some families support participation in jihad and why some families do not. Using the extant literature on recruitment, participation in violent political conflict, and militant Islam as a guide, we posit how and why various household attributes should affect a household member to grant or refuse permission for another household member to wage jihad. We then test our hypotheses implied by our argument using data on households’ financial, religious, and social characteristics. We conclude that a number of social, economic, and religious factors account for variation in household members’ support of jihad.
Twenty years on from the 1994 cease-fires, Northern Ireland is a markedly safer place for children and young people to grow up. However, for a significant number, growing up in post-conflict Northern Ireland has brought with it continued risks and high levels of marginalization. Many young people growing up on the sharp edge of the transition have continued to experience troubling levels of poverty, lower educational attainment, poor standards of childhood health, and sustained exposure to risk-laden environments. Reflecting on interdisciplinary research carried out since the start of the “transition” to peace, this article emphasizes the impact that embedded structural inequalities continue to have on the social, physical, mental, and emotional well-being of many children and young people. In shining a light on the enduring legacy of the conflict, this article moves to argue that greater attention needs to be given to the ongoing socioeconomic factors that result in limited lifetime opportunities, marginalization, and sustained poverty for many young people growing up in “peacetime” Northern Ireland.
While the use of targeted killings by the United States and Israel has received the most press coverage, Colombia has also utilized targeted killings in its conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Utilizing an original dataset, this study quantitatively gauges the effectiveness of Colombia's targeted killing program, by examining the influence of FARC leadership deaths upon the number and severity of FARC attacks during the years 2004 to 2011. The results suggest that the Colombian government's killing of FARC leaders has been effective in decreasing the number of attacks, but not the severity of attacks
Intelligence estimates based on models keyed to frequency and recency of past occurrences make people less secure even if they predict most harmful events. The U.S. presidential commission on WMDs, the 9/11 commission, and Spain's comisión 11-M have condemned the status quo mentality of the intelligence community, which they see as being preoccupied with today's “current operations” and tactical requirements, and inattentive to tomorrow's far-ranging problems and strategic solutions. But the overriding emphasis in these commissions' recommendations is on further vertically integrating intelligence collection, analysis, and operations. Such proposals to further centralize intelligence and unify command and control are not promising given recent transformations in Jihadist networks to a somewhat “leaderless resistance” in the wake of Al Qaeda's operational demise. To defeat terrorist networks requires grasping novel relations between an englobing messianic moral framework, the rootless intellectual and physical mobility of immigrant and diaspora communities, and the overarching conceptual, emotional, and logistical afford- ances of the Internet. Britain's WWII experience provides salutary lessons for think- ing creatively with decentralized expertise and partially autonomous approaches.
Utilizing interviews with former Irish Republican Army (IRA) members, Loyalists, and community workers, the article looks at how militants in Northern Ireland have helped to prevent terrorism and political violence (TPV) by adopting roles in the community. By using mobile phones, a network of former combatants emerged around interface areas in the late 1990s to contain trigger causes of terrorism, providing a unique role that the state could not. The structure of the network encouraged militant groups to follow the IRA's example to disengage—thus creating a domino effect—and the co-operation between senior militants has limited the opportunities for other groups to mobilize a campaign of terrorism.
Why do ethnic conflicts spread to neighboring states? This article examines the effect of transborder ethnic groups on the spread of ethnic conflict. It argues that when a transborder ethnic group is in conflict in one state, neighboring states perceive a threat from members of that ethnic group residing in their own territory, leading the state to take preemptive repressive action. This repression in turn changes the ethnic group's security situation within the state and can result in violence and thus ethnic conflict. Ethnic conflict spread is not determined by the actions of either the ethnic group or the state alone, but is a product of threat perception and interaction between the two groups. This argument is tested in a set of cases in a region where an ethnic conflict seems to have spread—the Kurds in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey from 1961–2003.
This article proposes an analytical perspective on jihadist radicalization that focuses on the immediate social environment from which clandestine violent groups emerge, to which they remain socially and symbolically connected, and from which they receive some degree of support. Based on a detailed analysis of the “Sauerland-Group” it traces relational dynamics shaping individual pathways as well as processes of group formation within local Salafist milieus, the wider Salafist movement, and radical jihadist networks. It argues that one characteristic feature of “homegrown” jihadist groups is their simultaneous connection to and embeddedness in various different social contexts as well as the fluid, ad-hoc character of the clandestine group and its ambivalent relation with its supportive social environment.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolutions 1368 and 1373, serving as the foundation of a global counter-terrorism system. At the heart of this system lies a close partnership between the Security Council and the UN member states – a partnership in which states were given considerable operational responsibility. Most scholarly evaluations of this system have focused on its UN aspects, with little reference to the key role assigned to the states. Thus, their assessments have been more pessimistic about the system’s ability to counter terrorism. In this article, we present a new conceptualization of this system and show with two case studies that the system has attained some important objectives in the global struggle against terrorism.
This article examines the UN Security Council’s 1267 counterterrorism sanctions regime. Initially adopted in 1999, this sanctions regime targets individuals and entities suspected of associating with Al Qaeda and/or the Taliban and it requires UN Member States to freeze their assets and implement travel bans. Central to the operation of the sanctions regime is a “Consolidated List,” which is maintained by the so-called 1267 Committee, a sub-committee of the Security Council. This Committee possesses discretionary powers to list and de-list targeted individuals and entities that have been criticized as incompatible with internationally recognized due process guarantees. Reviewing recent developments, including a landmark decision by the European Court of Justice, the article addresses the need for additional safeguards and discusses reform options available to the Security Council. It examines the most recent reform efforts introduced by Security Council resolution 1904 (2009) and argues that a comprehensive review and reform of the 1267 sanctions is crucial if the regime is to provide an “essential tool” in the UN counterterrorism efforts.
This article investigates the rationales of different explanatory models that have been utilized to explain the ideology of Al Qaeda. From perceptions of madmen and religious hypocrites to Wahhabis of the twenty-first century and Salafi-Jihadists, what these approaches have in common is an “outside-in” perspective that assumes a concept of the underlying logic of Al Qaeda without sufficient reference to primary sources. It is argued that particularly those explanations that seem to have become the official wisdom regarding the fundamental logic of Al Qaeda, Wahhabism and the Salafi-Jihadist discourse, are concepts that are poorly understood and subject to much controversy. In the anxious quest to explain Al Qaeda, the terrorism studies community seems to have deviated from the guidelines of academic conduct and restricted itself to re-assuming for its own use oversimplifications of the complexity of Islamic thought, thereby granting those oversimplifications a new lease on life. The risk of such conduct is that one ends up with a misrepresentation of the very issue he or she seeks to comprehend.
Jihadi hostage-taking manuals as well as recent attacks such as the Moscow theater and the Beslan school are an alarming indication of the likely characteristics of future barricade hostage sieges. While there are many trained crisis negotiators around the world, the vast majority lacks any experience whatsoever in dealing with issues such as ideology, religion, or the differing set of objectives and mindsets of terrorist hostage-takers. This is especially true in relation to dealing with terrorists of the onewo breed, who possess much greater willingness to execute hostages, are likely to employ large teams of willing-to-die hostage-takers who will have the capability to effectively repel a rescue operation, and who will also have detailed knowledge of the hostage negotiation and rescue teams' oplaybook.o This article presents the findings of a detailed evaluation of recent case studies to highlight the adjustments that need to be made to the contemporary crisis negotiation protocols, in order to improve the capacity of negotiators to deal with such incidents more effectively.
The 1997 Asian economic crisis, the emergence of the popular reformasi movement,
and the 1998 fall of President Suharto set in motion an uneasy process of political
change in Indonesia that has been accompanied by violent challenges to the state’s territorial
integrity and to the military’s role in society. The widespread perception in much
of the Indonesian and international media is that the reformist camp has won. Suharto’s
chosen successor, B. J. Habibie, first lost East Timor in the August 1999 referendum
and then his own presidential position in the October 1999 elections. He was replaced
by the well-known moderate Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur), who within a year installed
Indonesia’s first civilian defense minister and ended the military’s guaranteed
seats in the House of Representatives, Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR). Democracy, it
appeared, had finally gained a foothold, not least because of the pressure exerted by the
outside world and the United Nations (UN) arising from the East Timor crisis. Yet in
Indonesian politics things are rarely what they appear to be.
The referendum in East Timor and the patterns of violence surrounding it reveal a
number of different agendas that may have been obscured by Gus Dur’s reform policy
but that remain far from resolved as evidenced by the striking similarity in the patterns
of violence in the on-going conflict in Maluku. Thus, a closer analysis of the agendas
pursued by the respective political and military players shows that the “democratic”
victory may not necessarily translate into a defeat for the military or a more pluralist
political culture. Indeed, it could be argued that the loss of East Timor was necessary to
preserve the military’s role in society and that Gus Dur’s government, in that sense, is
only the refashioning of a new consensus.
As a network of affiliate groups, Al Qaeda's more diffuse structure, since the end of 2001, is described as one of its greatest strengths. Certainly, after losing its territorial base in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda as “network” has gained in tactical agility and global reach. This article argues, however, that Osama bin Laden's ceding of command-and-control to autonomous Al Qaeda “franchises” represents an important source of weakness in the battle for hearts and minds in the Muslim world. As Al Qaeda's global jihad is increasingly imported by its affiliates into local and sectarian conflicts, the death toll is largely Muslim and civilian. The targeting of Muslim civilians is exceptionally difficult to justify, morally, theologically, and by bin Laden's own standards of legitimate jihad. This article will show how the killing of Muslim civilians undermines the crucial lynchpins of bin Laden's ideology and alienates the popular support that “Al Qaeda central” see as indispensable to Al Qaeda's success.