Table of Contents
Introduction to Development Operations
The second module provides more information on the specifics of terrorist acts. They create short-term crises that exploit the routine activities of authorities. Terrorist threats develops quickly and with little warning. (Celmer, 1987) Terrorists operate both domestically and internationally.
Terrorism is separated into state-controlled and non-state controlled. Most of this information should be review for anyone who is not a newbie to the subject. Questions are suggested to examine terrorist targets:
- What are they doing?
- Why are they doing it?
- To whom are they doing it?
- What do they hope to accomplish?
They identify the need to separate the victims (e.g. civilians killed in a car bomb) from the influencers (the wider civilian population) from the decision-makers (e.g. the government.)
Terrorism Structure and Vulnerabilities
Terrorism is separated into two categories, those who perform direct, illegal terrorist activities, and those who provide support. This can be active support, such as individuals who fundraise for Hamas or passive support, like Pakistan allowing Bin Laden to live inside its borders. (Byman, 2004; CNN Wire, 2011) Support structures can act as a “force multiplier” making a terrorist group much more effective.
Exploiting support structures involves close monitoring of them and sourcing of informants. For an example, merchants may benefit from association with the terrorists by selling their goods and otherwise have no ideological connection with the group.
Terrorist cells are reviewed. They are small, have limited communication with other cells and larger leadership (e.g. terrorist cells had limited contact with the leaders of Al Qaeda). Knowledge is limited to protect security. Harris-Hogan (2013) explored a cell in Sydney that generally met this requirements, although they had significant operational support outside of the cell.
Vulnerabilities of the terrorist cell are noted. Some of these include:
- Power struggles in the group which can compromise the ability to attack
- Always existing as criminals, especially with fame which can end a terrorist’s career (e.g. Osama bin Laden)
- Effective counterterrorism operations which destroys cells and disrupts activities
- Difficulty in sourcing weaponry (depending on location)
Impact of Terrorism on Democracy
Terrorism disrupts democracy by convincing the general public that the government is not responding appropriately to terrorism. It can create real or appeared repression by the government, like Israel’s response to Palestine (Bejan & Parkin, 2015)
This is a complicated area because there is a constant battle between privacy protection advocates and intelligence officials who need data to perform their jobs effectively.
The final topic in this module is terrorist tactics, which lists a variety of techniques (bombings, kidnappings, assassinations, etc.) and moves on to discuss CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) threats and finally the goals of terrorism, which amount to a desire for power.