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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76487 Find in a Library
Title: Target Analysis Part 1 - Techniques and Practices of Terrorist Groups (From Clandestine Tactics and Technology - A Technical and Background Intelligence Data Service, Volume 4 - See NCJ-77152)
Author(s): J B Wolf
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Alexandria, VA 22314
Sale Source: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Propaganda applications used by terrorist groups are described and illustrated with summaries of activities among specific groups, and terrorist targeting practices are discussed.
Abstract: The overall goal of terrorist groups is the manipulation of target groups in order to effect desired changes. This goal is reached through destruction, abduction, or harassment activities. These actions are planned and carried out based on systematic assessments of target and their relationship to the organizations's ideological goals. Terrorist groups attempt to avoid actions which fall beyond the scope of causes which they advocate and to avoid activities which might alienate audiences which they hope to influence positively. Within recent years, several terrorist groups, including the Movement for the Self Determination and Independence of the Canary Archipelago (MPAIC) and the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional Puertorriquena (FALN) have committed acts which have alienated audiences. In MPAIC's case, this group's perceived role in the collision of two jetliners at Tenerife in the Canary Islands caused its extinction. FALN received negative publicity for a bombing of a multinational corporate headquarters in which a fatality and several injuries occurred. In the case of an explosion at La Guardia Airport in New York, no terrorist group wished to accept responsibility in light of public reaction. In Iran, a fire set at the Abandan Theater was blamed on the Shah and the Iranian police by its perpetrators through skillful targeting and propaganda techniques. Terrorist targeting strategies are based on an assessment of political, economic, military, and organizational conditions in both the organization and the society in which it functions. Urban targets are usually chosen due to the widespread impact and attention such acts generate. Spectacular terrorist acts are usually performed by obscure groups seeking media attention or by well established groups whose audience has been conditioned to accept and applaud terrorism. These acts consist of two parts: a physical attack and an attempt to convert victim characteristics into a public issue. Regis Debray, Carlos Marighella, and Don Cox have prepared various terrorist manuals covering the mechanics of this process. Some police forces have successfully used terrorist targeting techniques against the terrorists themselves, as was the case in Northern Ireland in 1976 when British security forces used public disaffection to infiltrate the Irish Republican Army. Footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Counter-terrorism tactics; Propaganda; Psychological warfare; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; Terrorist tactics; Threat assessment
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