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Extra info for A Military Guide to Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century

Example text

Governments with effective security forces and few guaranteed civil liberties have typically suffered much less from terrorism than liberal states with excellent security forces. Al Qaeda has shown, however, that a terrorist organization with significant resources can span an extreme range of capability. Illegality of Methods Terrorism is a criminal act. , brotherhood, committee), a terrorist is a criminal. Violations of civil criminal laws are self-evident in activities such as murder, arson, and kidnapping, regardless of the legitimacy of the government enforcing the laws.

Even though both the Zealots and the Assassins operated in antiquity, they are relevant today: aspects of motivation, organization, targeting, and goals can be compared with contemporary threats. Whether historical or contemporary incidents, both demonstrate the deep psychological impact terrorism can cause. 72 Until the rise of the modern Western nation state after the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, the sort of central authority and cohesive society that terrorism attempts to influence barely existed.

These observations are neither definitive nor are they automatically indicative of terrorist activity. But they are common to the practice of terrorism. Media Exploitation Terrorism effects are not necessarily aimed at the victims of terrorist violence. Victims are usually objects exploited by the terrorists for their effect on a third party. In order to produce this effect, information of the attack must reach the target audience. 51 Victims are simply the first medium that transmits the psychological impact to the larger target audience.

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