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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99155 Find in a Library
Title: Systematic Conceptualization of Acts of Terror
Journal: Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology  Volume:1  Dated:(March 1985)  Pages:36-40
Author(s): J T Turner
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 5
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Within a three-part framework that interrelates the factors of target selection, motivation, and intent, this article examines acts of terrorism in a systematic matrix to arrive at predictions regarding the perpetrator, interventions, and the likely outcome of interventions.
Abstract: Target selection may be specific or random. A specific target indicates a greater ability to plan and organize, requires fewer victims, and is more effective in generating publicity and furthering terrorist goals than is random target selection. Motivation for a terrorist act may be instrumental (goal-oriented) or affective. Instrumental acts tend to appear more logical and coherent, while affective acts may seem senseless and/or counterproductive. Intent classifies the act as an outcome of mental disturbance, criminality, or political belief. The interactions of these factors leads to conclusions about the desired outcome of a particular incident. These end-states have clear implications for the individual's or group's determination, operational capability, and technical sophistication. For instance, in acts with a political intent and an instrumental-selected target, the end goal is bargaining to generate publicity, while the end-goal of instrumental-random acts is to produce social paralysis by disrupting daily routines and making the State appear incapable of protecting its citizens. An understanding of the interactions of these matrix factors can provide a base for intervention decisionmaking early in the incident. Four references are included.
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Models; Prediction; Terrorist tactics; Threat assessment
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