Terrorism


Editor's Note: Terrorism is a tactic, not an ideology. As such, many small, radical nationalist groups have employed terrorist tactics since at least the latter part of the nineteenth century. It is important to realize that terrorist tactics are hardly limited to nationalist groups. There is little "nationalist" content in the ideology of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, for example. Similarly, most nationalists do not use terrorism as a means to their desired ends. Even so, the current "war on terrorism" makes it worth knowing more about this tactic and about the motives of those who use it. These links are not specific to nationalist terror organizations, however I hope that they will prove helpful to those interested in extreme nationalist organizations, as well as those with an interest in terrorism and counter-terrorism more generally.

Terrorism Research Center, Inc.: "The Terrorism Research Center is dedicated to informing the public of the phenomena of terrorism and information warfare. This site features essays and thought pieces on current issues, as well as links to other terrorism documents, research and resources. Navigate the site by clicking on the area of interest."

Foreign Affairs: The Terrorist Attack on America Background: Foreign Affairs is an exceptionally well-respected journal dealing with all manner of issues relating to international politics. In the wake of the September 11 events, they have republished a collection of previously published articles dealing with terrorism and the political environment that has given rise to it. A number of important authors including Jessica Stern, Stephen E. Flynn and Walter Laqueur are represented. The journal has also republished book reviews covering recent books about terrorism.

The Psychology of Terrorism by David Tenenbaum and Eric Zuelow: This article was published by The Why Files, a UW-Madison based science magazine. It describes current scientific understanding of what makes terrorists do what they do. The article suggests that, while terrorists are zealots, they are not crazy. Indeed, there is little to suggest that a single psychological profile of a "terrorist" exists. The article also suggests that the attacks on September 11 represent a fundamental, and frightening, shift from previous terrorist activity.

International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism: Based in Israel, this site contains a wealth of information. "The International Policy Institute seeks international cooperation in the global struggle against terrorism, paving the way for multilateral action against terrorist networks, benefactors, and states sponsoring terrorism. ICT is a research institute and think tank dedicated to developing innovative public policy solutions to international terrorism. The Policy Institute applies an integrated, solutions-oriented approach built on a foundation of real world and practical experience. The Institute sets its sights on the big picture: to win the war against terrorism and not merely the individual battles. Although ICT provides situational recommendations to the private sector, this is a peripheral activity. The Institute aims to affect policy at the highest levels, in joint cooperation with the world community."

US Department of State - Counterterrorism: This page contains information regarding US efforts to fight terrorism prior to 20 January 2001. It includes a variety of fact sheets and other information.

An Analysis of Counterinsurgency In Iraq: Mosul, Ramadi, and Samarra From 2003-2005 [PDF]:

Published by the Naval Postgraduate School, this article is an analysis of the methodology and relative success of U.S. forces in combating insurgency in Iraq. In concludes that those units which worked extensively to build support and relations with the local populations have been more successful than those who focused on killing insurgents. It relies on the testimony of troops serving on the ground, watchdog organizations, and official military reports to express what the authors believe to be the most effective strategy for countering insurgency.

Bioterrorism: Real or Imagined?: This article was published by The Why Files, a UW-Madison based science magazine. It contains a variety of information about bioterrorism and the various diseases most likely to be used in such attacks.

Countering the Threat of International Terrorism: Report of the National Commission on Terrorism: "Six months ago, the National Commission on Terrorism began its Congressionally mandated evaluation of America's laws, policies, and practices for preventing and punishing terrorism directed at American citizens. After a thorough review, the Commission concluded that, although American strategies and policies are basically on the right track, significant aspects of implementation are seriously deficient. Thus, this report does not attempt to describe all American counterterrorism activities, but instead concentrates on problem areas and recommended changes. We wish to note, however, that in the course of our assessment we gained renewed confidence in the abilities and dedication of the Americans who stand on the front lines in the fight against terrorism."

Recent Kennedy School of Government Publications on Terrorism: The Kennedy School is one of the most active academic institutions in the US in the study of terrorism. They have published a bibliography of their recent publications. Many are available in PDF format. The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs overseas most of the study of terrorism being done at Harvard.