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Terrorist Group Typologies

Terrorist Group Typologies - 15 Ta Askatasuna—ETA the...

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Terrorist Group Typologies This study categorizes foreign terrorist groups under one of the following four designated, somewhat arbitrary typologies: nationalist-separatist, religious fundamentalist, new religious, and social revolutionary. This group classification is based on the assumption that terrorist groups can be categorized by their political background or ideology. The social revolutionary category has also been labeled “idealist.” Idealistic terrorists fight for a radical cause, a religious belief, or a political ideology, including anarchism. Although some groups do not fit neatly into any one category, the general typologies are important because all terrorist campaigns are different, and the mindsets of groups within the same general category tend to have more in common than those in different categories. For example, the Irish Republic Army (IRA), Basque Fatherland and Freedom (Euzkadi Library of Congress – Federal Research Division The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism
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Unformatted text preview: 15 Ta Askatasuna—ETA), the Palestinian terrorist groups, and the LTTE all have strong nationalistic motivations, whereas the Islamic fundamentalist and the Aum Shinrikyo groups are motivated by religious beliefs. To be at all effective, counterterrorist policies necessarily would vary depending on the typology of the group. A fifth typology, for right-wing terrorists, is not listed because right-wing terrorists were not specifically designated as being a subject of this study. In any case, there does not appear to be any significant right-wing group on the U.S. Department of State’s list of foreign terrorist organizations. Right-wing terrorists are discussed only briefly in this paper (see Attributes of Terrorists). This is not to minimize the threat of right-wing extremists in the United States, who clearly pose a significant terrorist threat to U.S. security, as demonstrated by the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. APPROACHES TO TERRORISM ANALYSIS...
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