Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Political Violence: Retiring the Word Terrorism

 

Synopsis

Founders of many modern states, including stalwarts of anti-terrorism like Israel and allies in the war on terror like the Kurds, achieved goals with political violence that killed innocent people and would be classified today as terrorism. Political violence should be recognised as a reflection of deep-seated social, economic and political problems — rather than demonised through terms like terrorism or evil.

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Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Amateurism: The New Terrorist Strategy

Synopsis

The attacker in the December 2014 Sydney hostage crisis was not a ‘lone wolf’, but an amateur, part of a growing trend that international terrorist groups have encouraged. This strategy works because it uses the amateurism itself to evade standard counterterrorist practices, expands potential targets, and takes advantage of governments’ overreaction to terrorism.

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