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NCJ Number: 193843 Find in a Library
Title: What is New About the New Terrorism and How Dangerous Is It?
Journal: Terrorism and Political Violence  Volume:13  Issue:3  Dated:Summer 2001  Pages:1-14
Author(s): David Tucker
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 14
Type: Research Paper
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article examines the “new terrorism” and argues that this new form of terrorism is not necessarily new, more dangerous, or difficult to counter than the old.
Abstract: Terrorists are now able to develop network forms of organization the same way that businesses are. The information revolution, by lowering the costs of communication, allows organizations to move functions outside a controlling hierarchical structure. The declining cost and increasing ease of communicating over long distances means that terrorist groups have greatly increased the potential pool of resources they can draw on. A government’s disadvantages when confronting amateur networked terrorists are more frightening because of the apparent increased willingness of “new terrorists” to inflict mass casualties. The new terrorists appear formidable but the disadvantages of governments in relation to terrorists are not as severe as some would suggest. In addition, this new terrorism is not even new. The salient thing about the networked structure of the new terrorism is that it differs little from the structure of the old terrorism. The Palestine Liberation Organization, for example, was itself an umbrella group, like Hizballah, whose dominant faction, Fatah did not have a monopoly of power and whose constituent parts have different relations with each other. It is possible that terrorists could get hold of a chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological weapon (CBRN), but this is not the greatest threat posed by terrorism. The economies and societies of the industrial countries are wealthy enough, networked sufficiently, and their political life principled and resilient enough to survive such an attack. The critical factor in assessing the threat posed by terrorism is whether it is used strategically. 32 notes
Main Term(s): Counter-terrorism tactics; Terrorism/Mass Violence
Index Term(s): Arab terrorist groups; Biological weapons; Domestic Preparedness; Information Security; Subversive activities; Terrorist profiles; Terrorist weapons; Threat assessment
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