Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out
Get this document free



• No one definition of terrorism has gained universal
  acceptance. Title 22 of the United States Code, Section
  2656f(d). That statute contains the following definitions:
• The term "terrorism" means premeditated, politically
  motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant
  targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents,
  usually intended to influence an audience.
• The term "international terrorism" means terrorism
  involving citizens or the territory of more than one
• The term "terrorist group" means any group practicing, or
  that has significant subgroups that practice, international
          What is terrorism?
• Definition: Premeditated, politically
  motivated violence perpetrated against
  non-combatant targets by sub-national
  groups or clandestine agents for the
  purpose of influencing an audience.

  – Non-combatant = civilians and individuals
    connected with an army or navy, but for
    purposes other than fighting (e.g., surgeon).
 Terrorist or Freedom Fighter?
• Hard to generate consensus over who is a

  – Osama bin Laden
  – Timothy McVeigh
  Terrorism is a value-laden term
        The Aims of Terrorism

• The short term goals of terrorism

  1.Advertise a cause

  2.Win specific concessions through coercive bargaining

  3.Create or enforce obedience either within the
    population at large or within the ruling party

  4.To provoke indiscriminate reactions or repression to
    expose the “true nature” of the regime or insurgent
        The Aims of Terrorism
  spread fear (and terror) through a population so
  that the population will pressure the government
  to change its policies.
• The long term goal of terrorism is to either
  maintain a regime or create the conditions for a
  new one.
• Myth: Political terrorism is exclusively the activity
  of non-governmental actors.
• What these definitions are missing is why
  terrorists resort to these actions, but this is
  central to understanding terrorist activity.
         April 2001 report on Global
         Patterns of Terrorism 2000
•    19 US citizens killed in 2000
•    Afghanistan named as a primary sponsor of terrorism
•    Cooperation with our international partners based on
     four basic policy tenets:
1.   First, make no concession to terrorists and strike no
2.   Second, bring terrorists to justice for their crimes.
3.   Third, isolate and apply pressure on states that sponsor
     terrorism to force them to change their behavior.
4.   Fourth, bolster the counterterrorist capabilities of those
     countries that work with the United States and require
Total Terror
Attacks by
Causalities by
Attacks on US, 2000
Attacks on US, 2000
Attacks on US, 2000
International Terrorist Incidents, 2001
          Cost of Terrorism
• insurance industry is expected to face a
  bill of between $20bn to $30bn for the
• Spain's Basque Region: Estimates of the
  30 year conflict about 10% GDP. Basque
  was once richest area of Spain, now one
  of the poorer regions.
        Cost of 9/11                   (institute of science technology and public policy)

•   $105 billionEstimated cost of recovery for New York City over the next 2
•   $1,380 billion Stock market losses Sept. 11–21 triggered by terrorist
•   $150 billionFederal Reserve System expenditures to stabilize U.S. and
    European stock markets ($100 billion for U.S. and $50 billion for Europe)
•   $40 billion Rescue efforts and clean-up of the World Trade Center and the
•   $24 billionAirline losses related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks
•   $15 billionTourism, restaurant, and hotel industry losses in New York,
    Washington, and the Washington-Boston urban corridor
•   $1,500 billionEstimated cost of defense of the homeland over the next 5
•   $111 billionPrivate (corporate and individual) spending on increased
    security and losses that result from diversion of funds from productive
•   $40 billion Emergency Supplemental Appropriations: Increased short-term
    spending by the Federal government on the war on terrorism, including
    increased funding for defense, intelligence, law enforcement, sky marshals,
•   $367 billionTotal U.S. annual defense budget
•   $100 billionTotal cost of proposed U.S. missile defense shield when fully
 A model of terror and negotiations
• Terrorists operate in diffuse cells.
• Cells differ: Moderate and Extreme. 1 2
• Order of play:
  – Government offer concessions, k≥0
  – Cells 1 and 2 decide whether to accept.
  – Cells that do not take government offer then
    choose a level of terror.
              Key Intuition
• Extremists required to ensure government
  – If all cells accept gov. offer then the
    government knows who all the terrorists are
    and can arrest them and then renege on
  – Hence extremists required to make
    government deal credible.
            Key Intuitions …
• Why should government make a deal with
  the moderates when extremists remain
  – Moderates help detect and discipline the
  – Given the available resources, extremist
    perpetrate a higher level of terror than
    • Extremists try to produce more terror, but deal
      increases the likelihood of finding extremists.
• With concessions: high level of terror by
  extremists, but high probability of capture
• Without concessions: lower level of terror
  by combined moderates and extremists,
  but low level of capture
• If overall a lower expected level of terror
  with concessions then the government is
  prepared to offer concessions.
• If agreement then often end of terror, but if
  terror continues then escalation in level of

• Spoilers:     At negotiations spoilers
  increase violence to undermine any deal.
  – After deal implemented then spoilers no
    longer have incentive to maintain elevated
    level of violence.
             Case Studies
• Basque Nationalism: ETA (Euzkadi ta
  Askatasuna – Basque Homeland and
  – ETA – many changes in ideology
  – Start terror in mid 1960’s
    • Franco’s government responded harshly
    • December 1973 assassinated Prime Minister
      Carrero Blanco
    • Death of Franco in 1975
• Negotiations 1978-81 with moderate
  Basque groups about Basque autonomy
• ETA divided
  – ETA-m (militar – extremists)
  – ETA-pm (politico militar –moderates)
• Partial autonomy starting in 1978
• By 1981, sufficient autonomy that
  moderate ETA-m abandoned terror
• Big spoiler effect, but higher level of
  violence continues
• PLO – umbrella organization
• PLO led first Intifada in 1980’s
• Rise in more extreme groups: Hamas –
  terror, but also social/education network;
  Islamic Jihad
• Terror to end occupation of West Bank
  and Gaza strip (and destroy state of Israel)
• First negotiations in 1991 in Madrid
• Concludes in Oslo agreement in
  September 1993
Northern Ireland
           Ireland as a whole is
           predominantly Catholic
           But, Northern Ireland is majority
           In 1920’s Britain gave Home rule
           to Ireland,
           But NI popular protest: majority
           wanted to be British.
           NI oppressive to Catholics, in
           1970’s Britain imposed direct
           rule from Westminster.
• Provisional Irish Republican Army– allow
  Sinn Fein to run in parliamentary elections
• Breakaway CIRA (continuity IRA) -- first
  terror act in 1996 in response to
  disagreement over 1994 ceasefire.
• 1998 – Real IRA
• Irish National Liberation Army (INLA),
  CIRA and RIRA not prepared to join
  powersharing organizations
             Terror Attacks
• 1998 onwards terror campaign
  – Attack on MI6 base, car bombs, attack rail
    stations and BBC
    • Omagh (shopping area) bombing Aug. 15 th 1998
      killed 29 and injured 200+
    • Omagh bombing strongly criticized by PIRA
    • Many other attacks prevented by information
    • Estimate that 80% of RIRA plots foiled
• Generally a decline in violence following
  agreements, helped by cooperation of IRA
• Large reduction in foreign donations
              FLQ in Quebec
• Early 1960’s offshoot of mainstream Quebec
  nationalist parties (riots, strike etc. in Quebec –
  demanding independence)
• 1960 Jean Lesage elected premier of Quebec.
  Left Liberal cabinet position– adopted position of
  “maitres chez nous” (masters of our own house)
• 1963 Lester Pearson Canadian PM. Receptive
  to quiet revolution. Bilingual, bicultural etc…
• Main stream nationalist cooperated with gov.
• Others opposed: Parti Quebcois
• Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ)
  began1963 with 22 incidents (no fatalities)
• After nationalist compromise with Federal gov,
  FLQ primary perpetrators
• Oct. 1970: Kidnap James Cross (British trade
  commissioner) and Pierre Laporte (Quebec
  minister on immigration and Labour). Laporte
  died in captivity.
• Denounced by nationalist. Government used
  war measures act against suspect terrorists.
• By 1971, all terror cells destroyed.
• 7 total deaths over a decade
           Zionists in Palestine
• Military/terror against British occupation of
  Palestine in 1930’s, 1940’s
   – Haganah , Irgun and LEHI (Stern gang)
      • Haganah was largest official Zionist organization
• During WW2, Zionist official policy was restraint
  while Britain fought Nazis.
   – David Ben Gurion leader of Haganah called for policy
     of restraint (havlaga).
   – But Irgun (led by Menachem Begin) and Stern (led by
     Yitzhak Shamir) wanted to maintain struggle
• Thru early 1940 all followed leadership of
  Gurion, but…
• 1944 Irgun renew struggle against Britain.
     • Steal munitions, Feb 1944 attack immigration
       offices, attack tax offices, kill 15 police by October
• Huganah began counter-Irgun campaign,
  “the season” and collaborated with UK
  – Begin had policy of non-retaliation for “the
    season”. Created growing pressure within
    Zionists. In 1945, Zionists ended collaboration
    with British.
• Summer 1945, defeat of Hitler
• October 1945: British refusal to allow more
  Jews to enter Palestine
• Unified Zionist resistance
  – Joint command Nov. 45- June 1946
• Gurion negotiated with British and
  considered partition of Palestine.
• Extremists increased attack: King David
  Hotel bombing (July 22, 1946)
• Partition resolution in UN in Nov. 1947
  – Irgun attacks increased
• 1948 statehood
  – Struggle between moderates and Irgun
  – Altalena (june 20, 1948)
    • Irgun arms and volunteers on ship
    • Begin informs gov, but insists that 20% arms
      remain with Irgun.
    • Government send IDF, fire on Irgun.
    • Ship leaves port, heads to Tel Aviv. Begin onboard
    • Tries to negotiate.
    • IDF hit ship with Mortar. Fire, so Irgun abandon
      ship and IDF shoot Irgun on the beach. (16 Irgun
      and 3 soldiers die)
    • Effective end of Irgun, although Begin not jailed
        Quality of Terrorists
• Contradictory findings
  – Declining economic opportunities increases
    terrorist mobilization
  – Terrorists typically have higher socio-
    economic standards than societal average
• Government crackdowns can have mixed
    Model of terrorist selection
• Government chooses a level of
  – This makes successful terrorism harder, but
  – Negative externality for economy
• Sympathizers decided whether or not to
• Terror group decide who to recruit and
  how many resources to invest in terrorism.
• Increase counterterrorism
  – Harm economy
  – More talented individuals now willing to
  – Terror group takes the most talented
  – Recession improves the quality average
  – Incentives to invest more resources in terror
    as better quality terrorists (although more
    counter-terror too)
• Our biggest problem is the hordes of young men who
  beat on our doors, clamoring to be sent. It is difficult to
  select only a few. Those whom we turn away return
  again and again, pestering is, pleading to be accepted –
  senior member of Hamas (Hassan 2001)
• The selection process is complicated by the fact that so
  many wish to embark on this journey of honor. When
  one is selected, countless others are disappointed.
  (Hassan 2001)
• A high degree of sophisitaction has been added… so
  that the terrorist is now more likely to conform to the
  image of a middle ranking clerk than a gun-toting
  hoodlum. (Adams 1987)
• Al Qaeda training manual captured by British police
   – Importance of only accepting the highest quality candidates
            Economic Decline
• Northern Ireland: Unemployment among
  Protestants and Catholics predicts the level of
  Loyalist and Republican terror violence,
• Improving economic conditions reduces terror.
• Optimal level of crackdown-
  – Too much causes recession and extra recruits and
    more investment
  – Too little causes terror that could have been deterred.

To top