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NCJ Number: 70598 Find in a Library
Title: Classification of Terrorist Groups
Journal: Terrorism  Volume:1  Issue:3 and 4  Dated:(1978)  Pages:331-346
Author(s): A Merari
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 16
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article suggests a functional classification of terrorist groups, based on their target population (fighting against foreigners or one's own countrymen) and on domestic or foreign bases of operations.
Abstract: Four basic types of organizations are delineated: domestic-based xenofighters, foreign-based xenofighters, domestic-based homofighters, and foreign-based homofighters. On the basis of the operational objectives and specific limitations of these types of terrorist groups, it is proposed that xenofighters tend to adopt more indiscriminate tactics than homofighters, and that foreign-based groups tend to perpetrate international terrorism and are dependent on foreign countries' support. Countermeasures against domestic terrorists, who are dependent on local population support, essentially become a struggle for domestic public opinion. Denying foreign-based terrorists their base of operations can be achieved by varied means, ranging from subtle threats to the selective use of force. For example, the United States-Cuban agreement on the extradition of hijackers was an attempt to reduce each side's commitment to international terrorism. Finally, the most important factor in a country's willingness to cooperate with others in counterterrorist measures seems to be the extent to which that country itself is a target for terrorist attacks. One table and 9 references are provided.
Index Term(s): France; Iran; Irish Republican Army (IRA); Israel; Japanese Red Army; Latin America; Lebanon; Northern Ireland; Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; Psychological warfare; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; Terrorist profiles; Uganda
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