The Unknown Terrorist
This book studies what has generally been regarded as intangible: the relationship between news media coverage and terrorist success. Utilizing his four-year database of barricade-and-hostage and hijacking atrocities by international terrorists and the coverage afforded those events by newspapers from three Western nations (Germany, Great Britain, and the United States), Richard W. Schaffert observes the effect of media coverage (newspaper column space provided, articles and photographs published) on whether concessions were made to terrorist demands, and establishes a strong positive relationship between coverage and terrorist success. In Chapter 1, Schaffert establishes a definition of political terrorism by identifying the basic elements that distinguish it from other forms of political violence, then rigorously applies this definition throughout his analysis. The functions of political terrorism are reviewed, with special consideration given to the use of terrorism as an instrument of politics. Schaffert evaluates state experiences with political terrorism in terms of the nature of the threat, countermeasures employed, the media's role, and the relationship between public, press, and government. Finally, the question of the responsibility of a democratic society's media in the reporting of terrorism is considered. Schaffert's extensive database, which is included as an appendix, will prove invaluable for further research in the area.
Global terrorism has become a frightening reality. From New York City and Washington, D.C., to Bali, Moscow, and Madrid, ordinary citizens throughout the civilized world live with increasing fear of a deadly attack from unknown individuals, for reasons many of us cannot fathom. National and international security forces are on constant alert, desperate to prevent the next catastrophe, and yet many observers agree that our military and intelligence services are spread too thin and face insurmountable hurdles in the global war on terrorism. The situation calls for greater engagement with the public, as the necessary eyes and ears of the global anti-terrorism coalition. However, to be effective the public must be equipped with the knowledge of how, why, and where an individual becomes a terrorist. This is the primary goal of this set, which seeks to answer one central question: What do we currently know about the transformation through which an individual becomes a terrorist?
Overall, we have learned that the transformation through which an individual becomes a terrorist involves a variety of complex and intertwined issues. A single contributing factor-such as personal religious conviction, widespread poverty, or an oppressive government-may not necessarily lead to the formation of terrorist organizations. However, the current body of research on terrorism suggests that a combination of factors will, in most cases, result in some form of terrorism. This combination differs widely by region, and at minimum involves motivations, opportunities, contexts, processes, personal disposition, and preparation. Volume I deals with recruitment means and methods, and includes discussions of psychological, social, ideological, and religious dimensions of recruitment. Volume II addresses the training of terrorists, including teaching tools and training manuals, and it includes fascinating case studies from Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Aum Shinrikyo, Christian militias, and other groups. Volume III is devoted to root causes, including their political, religious, and socioeconomic dimensions. Appendices to these volumes feature profiles of terrorist organizations, samples of terrorist training manuals, and recommended resources for the study of terrorism.
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The Unknown Terrorist