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NCJ Number: 220526 Find in a Library
Title: Could Hamas Target the West?
Journal: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism  Volume:30  Issue:11  Dated:November 2007  Pages:925-945
Author(s): Matthew Levitt
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 21
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines the likelihood that Western allies of Israel will become targets of Hamas, a violent Islamist organization that has traditionally confined its violent activities to the geographic areas that comprise Israel, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank.
Abstract: The paper concludes that Hamas is unlikely to attack Western interests abroad in the short term; however, it presents a scenario under which Hamas might change its strategy to include targeting Israel's Western allies. Despite having an international presence, Hamas has never conducted a terrorist attack beyond its traditional area of operations. Hamas has represented itself as a "resistance" organization focused on the best interests of the Palestinian people against the encroachments of Israel. Although the rhetoric of some Hamas leaders has condemned Western policies it deems injurious to Palestinian and Islamic interests, it has not conducted any attacks on Western targets or been caught planning such attacks. This may be due to Hamas' fear of a coordinated counterattack that would deplete Hamas' resources and divert it from its primary interest in serving the interests of the Palestinian people in their conflict with Israel. The concern of Western and Israeli analysts is that passionate and fanatical rogue elements linked to Hamas' cause will vent their rage against powerful allies of Israel, including the United States, as well as Israeli assets abroad. Further, in its effort to recruit Islamic youth in its cause, it may become increasingly difficult for Hamas to find impassioned youth who are not committed to the broader radical Islamic jihad against the West. 66 notes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Arab terrorist groups; Hamas; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; Terrorist ideologies; Terrorist tactics; Threat assessment
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