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: 222110 Find in a Library
Title: Deconstructing Political Orthodoxies on Insurgent and Terrorist Sanctuaries
Journal: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism  Volume:31  Issue:3  Dated:March 2008  Pages:251-267
Author(s): Michael A. Innes
Date Published: March 2008
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses sanctuary as a complex terrain of material, human, and cognitive dimensions in the context of the War on Terror.
Abstract: Terrorists operate across a broad spectrum of political, insurgent, and criminal realms. Their sanctuaries go to the heart of debates on national security because of the questions they raise about the interface between states and individuals, and the complex moral and practical outcomes of counterterrorist operations. Critics of the War on Terror point to the futility of waging war on a tactic. Its emphasis on denying sanctuary and safe havens to terrorists, rooted primarily in a thin layer of traditional counterinsurgency theory and poorly conceptualized policy statements, has placed a premium on physical territory, from mountain caves and frontier hideouts to the bordered world of modern states. To fully understand sanctuaries, however, is to uncover the problems and pitfalls of waging war on locations-exposing the secret lives of multiple hidden worlds, filled with extremists, criminals, soldiers, and spies, with the pious and the profane, with dangers that lie below the surface in the margins. Terrorists have hidden in plain sight in modern metropolises, used advanced communications technology to build virtual refuges, crafted militant enclaves out of the disarray of failed states, flocked to distinctly unsafe insurgent battle space, and generally challenged the protective limits of law, citizenship, and State. By taking into account political objectives and motives, such as degrees of intended subversion, a more accurate and clearly defined understanding clandestine and fugitive actors and their refuges might be established. Notes
Main Term(s): International terrorism; Terrorist ideologies; Terrorist tactics
Index Term(s): Asymmetric Warfare; Counter-terrorism intelligence; National security
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.