This chapter examines issues related to the radicalization of individuals. It explores the advent of terrorism studies. Early scholars laid the foundations for current thinking on terrorism. The chapter defines radicalization as the process wherein participants are drawn into a protest with the likelihood of a terrorist act taking place. The classic definition of radicalization has been much contested from its very beginning. The 9/11 attacks of Al-Qaeda gave terrorism studies a renewed boost. The chapter looks into various models which depict the steps of radicalization. It also looks at the factors which make an individual become a terrorist: conductive environment, opportunity, local mobilization hubs, and ideology. In most cases, the process of socialization into extremism and terrorism transpires gradually.
10. When Do Individuals Radicalize?
11. Can Terrorism Be Rational?
This chapter looks into the rationality of terrorism. It starts off by looking into the paradox of terrorism. Political scientists typically view terrorists as rational political actors. However, empirical research on terrorism suggests that terrorism is in fact an ineffective political tactic. Evidence indicates that in instances where there has been terrorist attacks on civilians, governments rarely grant concessions. This might explain why terrorism is often selected as a tactic only if alternative options are no longer viable. The chapter uses Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State as case studies to examine broader patterns of terrorism. Knowing the priority of terrorists is vital for governments when considering counterterrorism actions. Having an understanding of the grievances of terrorists helps political actors predict which targets the terrorists will attack.
29. The End of Terrorist Campaigns
Audrey Kurth Cronin
This chapter examines the end of terrorist campaigns. Thinking about how terrorism ends is the best way to use a group's weaknesses against it. Based on studies of hundreds of cases, it has been shown that terrorist campaigns end following six classic patterns. These are capturing or killing the leader, negotiations, achievement of the objective, failure, state repression, and reorientation to another type of violence. Without long-term thinking, counterterrorism gets caught in the action–reaction dynamic of terrorist campaigns. After all, reactive, tactical counterterrorism prolongs the struggle and extends terrorist campaigns, sweeping up outraged policymakers and public members. The chapter also references Al-Qaeda and ISIS as case studies.
18. Global terrorism
This chapter examines how global terrorism, and particularly the war on terror, has shaped US foreign policy. It first provides an overview of the 9/11 terror attacks and definitions of terrorism before discussing the US experience of terrorism prior to 9/11 as well as the political environment in Washington at the time of the attacks. It then considers the response of the Bush administration in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the nature and aims of the al-Qaeda organization. It also reviews the conduct of the war on terror in its first nine years, along with the decline and transformation of al-Qaeda after 2010. Finally, it analyzes the options available to the United States in the war against al-Qaeda, ISIS, and like-minded groups.
23. The ‘War on Terror’ and the War in Afghanistan
This chapter focuses on the ‘war on terror’ of the US and its involvement in the war in Afghanistan. In the later years of the twentieth century, Middle Eastern groups launched terrorist acts against Western targets. The advent of suicide bombers and groups like al-Qaeda changed the relationships between means and ends in the use of terror. The end of the Cold War severely undermined the effectiveness of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in gathering intelligence on terrorists. The chapter first provides an overview of terrorism prior to 9/11, before discussing George W. Bush’s ‘war on terror’, the defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan during the period 2001–3 and its revival, and the problem of Pakistan. It concludes with an assessment of Barack Obama’s strategy for Afghanistan.
19. Global terrorism
This chapter examines the U.S. response to global terrorism, starting with the United States’ experience of terrorism prior to 9/11 as well as the political environment in Washington at the time of the attacks. It then considers U.S. foreign policy under George W. Bush and the response of his administration in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with the nature and aims of the al-Qaeda movement. It also discusses the Arab Spring, the death of Osama Bin Laden, and the conduct of the war on terror in the first nine years. Finally, it assesses the options available to the United States in what came to be called the ‘Long War against Islamofascism’.