skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 118921 Find in a Library
Title: Eliminating the Terrorist Opportunity (From Morality of Terrorism: Religious and Secular Justifications, P 325-346, 1989, David C Rapoport and Yonah Alexander, eds. -- See NCJ-118920)
Author(s): G H Quester
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Columbia University Press
New York, NY 10025
Sale Source: Columbia University Press
562 W. 113th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Regardless of the significance of personal motivation or physical opportunity in explaining and controlling terrorism, the trend over time may be toward the control of terrorist opportunity.
Abstract: Terrorism is defined as a countervalue campaign in terms of what is attacked and a guerrilla campaign in terms of what is defended. Bombs in market places, diplomats held for ransom, and hijacked airliners basically fall into the countervalue category. The first part of a logical response to terrorism is to simply fall back on physical measures that make kidnappings, assassinations, skyjackings, and bank robberies less possible. Police officials, negotiators, and others involved in dealing with terrorist situations should be more innovative in devising alternatives so that terrorists cannot be sure society will always want to make concessions. Managing the news media in terrorist situations is desirable but unlikely in a democratic society; however, the news media should not become a tool of terrorists. An important part of any contest of resolve between governments and terrorists depends on who bluffs most demonstrably. The issue of government obligation to keep promises made to terrorists in hostage situations poses special difficulty. If terrorists know that a government will not necessarily keep its word, they may perceive that hostage-taking is not an effective approach. The importance of international cooperation to control terrorism is discussed.
Main Term(s): Counter-terrorism tactics
Index Term(s): Terrorist tactics
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.