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Illusions of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism$

Richard English

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265901

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265901.001.0001

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date: 03 June 2020



The Enduring Illusions of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism

(p.1) 1 Introduction
Illusions of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism

Richard English

British Academy

Abstract and Keywords

The scholarly literature on terrorism has offered important insights into the dynamics of non-state terrorism, and also into the very varied responses that have been developed in reaction to it. Crucial within such debates have been the issues of definition, of terrorist efficacy, of appropriate state response, of non-state terrorist organisational development, and of the most fruitful hermeneutical framework within which to analyse terrorism and terrorists. This chapter summarises some of the most significant work to date on these issues. But it argues also for a new framework for analysis: one that looks synoptically at terrorism, counter-terrorism, and the relationship between them; and one that is genuinely multi-disciplinary and open to policy seriousness. It then introduces the different ways in which the book's contributors offer important and original analysis of the key areas that are covered in the book, analysis which is situated within this new framework.

Keywords:   terrorism, counter-terrorism, terrorism studies

TERRORISM1 AND COUNTER-TERRORISM represent enduringly and globally important phenomena: vast numbers of lives have been and continue to be affected through direct violence and threats of aggression, or through more indirect consequences in terms of daily patterns of behaviour and societal response. More sharply, the mutually shaping relationship between nonstate terrorism and state counter-terrorism2 continues to determine local and international experience in complex and powerful ways. The early years of this century and of the last one painfully exemplified this phenomenon. State responses to non-state terrorist violence triggered catastrophic effects after June 1914, and generated a blood-drenched transformation of international relations also after September 2001,3 with US-led responses to the terrorist attacks of that month prompting conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, in what Jason Burke has referred to as the 9/11 wars.4

The literature on terrorism has long offered glimpses of this paradoxically intimate relationship between non-state terrorists and their state enemies, and (p.2) of the often unanticipated, unintended ways in which that relationship has altered politics and history. So al-Qaida’s 9/11 atrocity prompted a War on Terror which, among other initiatives, involved an invasion of Iraq which in turn contributed to the creation of ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, formerly al-Qaida in Iraq);5 similarly, the policies of the UK state in Northern Ireland amid inter-communal violence in the late 1960s and early 1970s helped bring recruits to the ranks of the anti-state Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA);6 the actions of successive twentieth-century Spanish state regimes made ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna: Euskadi and Freedom, or Basque Homeland and Freedom) violence seem legitimate to a significant number of Basques for a lengthy period;7 Israeli policies in response to Palestinian terrorism in turn seemed to many to legitimate violence by Hamas;8 and so on throughout much of the world and enduringly through many decades of history.

The importance of this book is its focus on the relationship between terrorism and counter-terrorism in a distinctive and urgently needed manner. The volume is distinctive in three main ways. First, it assesses the relationship between terrorism and counter-terrorism through drawing simultaneously on the insights of a range of disciplines in dialogue with one another; such sustained assessment is rare in the existing literature, and multi-disciplinary discussion of the relationship is even less frequent. Second, the book is innovative in addressing the dynamics of counter-terrorism in a more interrogative and concentrated form than is common even yet. Third, this volume repeatedly highlights a theme all too rarely considered in the field: the shared and mutually echoing failings and illusions involved in the politics of terrorism and counter-terrorism alike. The book’s urgency and timeliness derive from the fact that humanity’s most extended, expansive, expensive attempt to extirpate non-state terrorism–the post-9/11 War on Terror–actually prompted significant increases in levels of terrorist incident and of terrorist-generated fatality.9 That humbling reality should make us strive after (p.3) a more comprehensive and candid assessment of the ways in which terrorism and counter-terrorism operate, especially in relationship with one another, so that our understanding allows for more productive and less ossified responses in the future. The current moment is far enough on from the post-9/11 decade for us to be able to assess that experience seriously; now is also a time when we need urgently to reflect on what can be known about this vital subject, so that we can be better prepared to respond to future crises in a more effective and appropriate manner than we have reacted to those of the past.

It is not, of course, that there has been no excellent scholarly work done on terrorism already. Pre-9/11 scholarship in the field grew in late-twentieth-century reaction to a series of terrorist challenges to existing political arrangements and structures of power, and saw the emergence of a small but influential group of distinguished experts in the field.10 The work of such scholars offered extremely valuable insights into the definition, causation, organisational dynamics and political effects of non-state terrorist activity.11 That pioneering scholarship was then complemented by a vast explosion of research and publication after 9/11, and in particular following the growth in scholarly interest in the field in the United States of America. This has produced extremely valuable analyses of (among other subjects) the dynamics of suicide terrorism, the reframing of some religious communities in response to terroristic violence, the complex processes by means of which terrorist campaigns come to an end, the distinctive moral problems involved with terrorist action, the intricacies of relevant ideologies and the economic roots and effects of the broader terrorist phenomenon.12 Together with a range of (p.4) monographic studies based on particular organisations,13 there has therefore grown an impressive library of work on various aspects of terrorism and on varied kinds of approach to studying the subject.

Crucial within these debates have been the issues of definition, of terrorist efficacy, of appropriate state response, of non-state terrorist organisational development, and of the most fruitful hermeneutical framework within which to analyse terrorism and terrorists. So let us consider each of these important questions in turn.

Scholars have long reflected on the extensive problems involved in defining terrorism. These difficulties include the vast range of competing attempts that there have been to define it, and the ensuing problem that the phenomenon has become (in one eminent scholar’s words) rather ‘shrouded in terminological confusion’;14 as another expert has put it, ‘Few words are plagued by so much indeterminacy, subjectivity and political disagreement as “terror”, “terrorise”, “terrorism” and “terrorist”.’15 There is also the problem of whether terror itself is more central to what we commonly consider to be terrorism than it is to other forms of activity (such as organised crime or orthodox warfare) to which the term is not normally applied. Derived from the Latin ‘terrere’ (to terrify, frighten, deter or scare away), the word has been conceived by some scholars centrally and distinctively to involve such dynamics: ‘What makes an act terrorism is that it terrifies’;16 ‘This is the essence of terrorism: the breaking of an enemy’s will through the exploitation of fear’.17 With terror centrally involved in other kinds of activity, however, some have argued that the word terrorism should also be applied (for example) to much that happens during war.18

This relates to another definitional problem: that of whether states as well as non-state actors deserve the term to be applied to their violence. Some scholars have argued strongly that non-state, non-governmental individuals and groups (p.5) alone deserve the application of the T word,19 while others have taken the view that states also practise and threaten violence which merits the term terrorism.20 A further area of definitional disagreement has focused on change over time: has there emerged on occasions a ‘new’ terrorism which is decisively different from what has preceded it? During the 1990s and even more forcibly after 9/11, some people argued that there was indeed a new form of terrorism, variously involving a more markedly religious dimension, a more transnational scope and ambition, a less hierarchically organised and looser kind of formation, and a greater zeal for large-scale casualties and destruction.21 Others have been sceptical, stressing the strong continuities that have existed across the fault-line supposedly separating an old from a new form of terrorism. As Martha Crenshaw put it:

the departure from the past is not as pronounced as many accounts make it out to be. Today’s terrorism is not a fundamentally or qualitatively new phenomenon but grounded in an evolving historical context. Much of what we see now is familiar, and the differences are of degree rather than kind … old and new have more in common than proponents of a new terrorism seem to think.22

A further definitional problem concerns the notoriously pejorative connotations of the word: as Adrian Guelke suggests, ‘the word “terrorism” cannot possibly be treated as if it were a neutral, technical term for a particular category of violence. The term carries a massive emotive punch’;23 Conor Gearty observes that ‘It may thus be most useful to call off the search for a coherent definition and to accept that advances will be possible only when we abandon the hope that there is a credible answer to the question–what is terrorism?’24 It is certainly true that no consensual definition of the word is (p.6) likely to emerge, and scholars such as Alex Schmid have demonstrated the extent to which rival understandings of the term persist and grow in number.25 In practice, however, the considerable overlap between definitions (so often involving the use of deliberately terrorising violence for political purpose) and regarding so many groups judged to have used terrorism, means that debate can flourish despite the disagreements and problems of terminology summarised here. As Walter Laqueur expressed it, ‘a comprehensive definition of terrorism … does not exist nor will it be found in the foreseeable future’; but ‘To argue that terrorism cannot be studied until such a definition exists is manifestly absurd.’26

Also controversial in the scholarly literature has been the question of terrorist efficacy. This is an issue on which work has expanded greatly in recent years. Some have argued very strongly that terrorism has been allowed to work far too effectively in the past. ‘The real root cause of terrorism’, Alan Dershowitz claims, ‘is that it is successful–terrorists have consistently benefited from their terrorist acts. Terrorism will persist as long as it continues to work for those who use it, as long as the international community rewards it, as it has been doing for the past thirty-five years.’ Dershowitz continues:

Terrorism will persist because it often works, and success breeds … the ‘root cause’ of terrorism that must be eliminated is its success … Before September 11, terrorism worked–not in every case and not for every group, but often enough to be seen as a successful tactic for bringing about considerable change … In all, the international community responded to terrorism between 1968 and 2001 by consistently rewarding and legitimising it, rather than punishing and condemning it … Any rational terrorist group that operates according to cost-benefit calculation will, at least in theory, be inclined to opt for the tactic or tactics that hold the best prospect for furthering their goals. At the moment, that tactic is terrorism.27

Other scholars have also suggested that terrorism has, historically, proven to be successful, a particularly interesting aspect of which has been the claim that suicide bombing has had a particular kind of efficacy, whether in terms of securing goals against foreign occupation,28 or in terms of allowing (p.7) groups successfully to outbid communal rivals within their own political struggle.29

In stark contrast, others have reached very different assessments. David Rapoport claims that, ‘By their own standards, terrorists rarely succeed’;30 in the words of others: ‘campaigns of terrorism–shocking and brutal as they may seem–rarely succeed in achieving their stated objectives’;31 ‘terrorist groups rarely achieve their policy objectives’; ‘terrorist success rates are actually extremely low’.32 Reinforcing such scepticism, other scholars have argued powerfully that non-violent methods have proved far more successful in the pursuit of political change. According to this view, civil resistance is much better than violent methods for attracting diverse, large-scale groups of activists, participants and supporters to mass-based struggle.33

Yet again, some scholars have interpreted the efficacy question as one that is open only to more ambivalent answer. Paul Wilkinson, for example, points out that terrorism ‘has proven a low-cost, low-risk, potentially high-yield method of struggle’, yet also that it has been one which ‘very rarely succeeds in delivering strategic goals’.34 Louise Richardson likewise suggested that ‘Terrorist groups have been singularly unsuccessful in delivering the political change they seek, but they have enjoyed considerable success in achieving their near-term aims.’35

The challenge of ongoing assessment of terrorist efficacy is one taken up in this book (especially in chapters 2, 3, 8 and 9) and these assessments are decisively situated within a framework of considering terrorist success or failure as parts of a process of relationship between non-state terrorism and state action and response.

(p.8) That question of state response itself has been another major area of terrorism debate, and again there has been much disagreement. But two areas of at least some impressive measure of scholarly consensus have concerned the extraordinary importance of high-grade intelligence in countering non-state terrorism, and the ambiguous effects of a militarisation of state reaction to terrorist challenge. Scholars from various disciplines and backgrounds have reached similar conclusions here:

The secret of winning the battle against terrorism in an open democratic society is winning the intelligence war: this will enable the security forces, using high-quality intelligence, to be proactive, thwarting terrorist conspiracies before they happen36

Perhaps 95% of the important action in any campaign against terrorism consists of intelligence and police work: identifying suspects, infiltrating movements, collaborating with police forces in other countries, gathering evidence for trials and so on.37

Similarly, many scholarly assessments have pointed to the ambiguous and painfully counter-productive effects of over-reliance on military means in countering non-state terrorism.38 Does killing the leader or leaders of a terrorist group work, for example? Research suggests that, quite frequently, the answer is no.39 It is not that there can never be a valuable role for the military in deterring or containing or constraining non-state terrorists. It is rather that there frequently exist dangers that direct military intervention will backfire.40 In trying to defeat terrorists, ‘offensive military action rarely works. Although military action can disrupt a terrorist group’s operations temporarily, it rarely ends the threat.’41

Interestingly, even some who have famously decided to use military muscle in the fight against terrorism have at times acknowledged its unanticipated costs. Regarding his post-9/11 policies, former UK prime Minister Tony Blair referred (p.9) to his choice to confront terrorism ‘militarily. I still believe that was the right choice, but the costs, implications and consequences were far greater than any of us, and certainly me, could have grasped on that day.’42 In this light, the reflections offered by Sir David Omand in chapter 4 regarding the UK’s military response to the terrorism threat add a valuable layer to this book’s contribution. If discussion on terrorism and counter-terrorism is to carry maximum weight regarding the fundamental issues involved, then multi-disciplinary academic arguments need to be complemented by the insights of people who possess senior policy experience.

The terrorist group with which Prime Minister Blair was understandably most concerned after 11 September 2001, the jihadist al-Qaida, has been the focus of another major scholarly debate with policy implications: namely, the question of how far organisational changes have emerged in this most salient of non-state terrorist groupings. Not only have al-Qaida become the most scrutinised terrorists in the literature in recent years,43 but extensive debate and disagreement have emerged about their exact organisational nature as a group.

Some have argued that the decisive level of al-Qaida activity has moved to the grass roots. Pre-eminent here is Marc Sageman, who strongly suggests that the al-Qaida threat has dramatically changed in recent years, with jihadists embodying ‘more fluid, independent and unpredictable entities than their more structured forebears, who carried out the atrocities of 9/11’; in his forcefully expressed view, al-Qaida has become ‘a multitude of informal local groups trying to emulate their predecessors by conceiving and executing operations from the bottom up’.44

In stark contrast, others have forcibly put the case that the group’s core leadership continues to play a significant role.45 Bruce Hoffman referred (p.10) to al-Qaida’s ‘continued resilience, resonance, and longevity’,46 and in 2014 Hoffman and Fernando Reinares argued powerfully that al-Qaida has ‘remained a clearly defined and active terrorist organisation with an identifiable leadership and chain of command’; global jihadism has become ‘a polymorphous phenomenon–not an amorphous one’–and al-Qaida’s leadership role remained significant and lethal. According to Hoffman and Reinares, by the time of bin Laden’s brutal death in 2011, his organisation had come to comprise four interlinked parts: the enduring nucleus of ‘al-Qaida Central or al-Qaida Core’; the group’s ‘Territorial Extensions or Branches’, such as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) or al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI); ‘Entities Affiliated and Associated with al-Qaida’, such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT); and ‘Independent Jihadist Cells and Individuals’.47

Others again have stressed the importance of ‘middle managers’–people who link the top of the organisation with the grass roots;48 or have presented al-Qaida as a jihadist network rather than an organisation, as comprising adaptive systems which are self-organising from the bottom upwards, decentralised and coalescent, tactically diverse, and lacking a systematically uniform ideological philosophy.49

Of course, the very notion of coalescence implies some resulting unity, and I suspect that the lines dividing various scholars in these organisational debates are sometimes less stark than observers have at times assumed them to be. It is clear that the kind of al-Qaida organisation which existed immediately prior to 9/11 has been constrained and changed in key ways. But al-Qaida has now survived for nearly thirty years (no trivial achievement in itself, given the range of powerful enemies that it possesses); and their more fluid and complex identity now seems to me to comprise both a damaged core element and also a series of concentric circles of associates and supporters. So there remains an al-Qaida core: not as decisively or definitively crucial as it was before 11 September 2001, but not irrelevant either in its brand-sustaining (and at times still lethal) role.

An equally intriguing debate has also emerged in recent years regarding the most fruitful hermeneutical approach to adopt when analysing terrorism and (p.11) terrorists. This has been prompted by the emergence of the Critical Terrorism Studies (CTS) school,50 which has presented existing terrorism studies as exhibiting methodological and conceptual shortcomings and an overly narrow focus. Where orthodox terrorism studies have paid too little attention to state terrorism and to the negative effects of state counter-terrorism, it is argued, CTS scholarship draws richly on a variety of theoretical approaches (including discourse analysis, and Frankfurt School-style critical theory); it calls also for greater attention to state terrorism and for a widening of the range of subjects to be assessed by terrorism researchers; it questions the moral primacy of the state; it seeks to be more critical of state interests and perspectives; and it calls for a greater attention to be directed towards the need to acquire reliable primary data.

Some responses to this CTS endeavour have been deeply hostile. D. M. Jones and M. L. R. Smith, for example, attacked the journal Critical Studies on Terrorism for failing to demonstrate the supposed state bias within terrorism research that its contributors have frequently assumed to exist.51 And it might be judged that the division between ‘critical’ and ‘orthodox’ scholars is not as sharply drawn as is sometimes suggested by CTS commentators themselves. The idea, for instance, that orthodox terrorism scholars consider terrorism not to be practised by states is clearly false (as has been noted above in regard to Paul Wilkinson, one of the founding fathers of the supposedly orthodox school of terrorism scholarship). Likewise, the CTS suggestion that orthodox terrorism scholars accept the legitimacy and effectiveness of force-based counter-terrorism52 clashes with the reality that many scholars not associated with the CTS school are in fact very sceptical of such counter-terrorist methods (as demonstrated above).

So either there does not exist the assumed division between ‘critical’ and ‘orthodox’ scholarly communities, or the continua of opinion involved are actually more complex than is sometimes suggested in CTS critiques, with scholars relating variously to the supposedly dichotomous hermeneutical positions set out by CTS exponents. If the latter, then individual scholars might not fit neatly into ‘critical’ and ‘orthodox’ categories, and there will prove room for more shared argument and approach than might initially seem (p.12) to be the case. In itself, however, the CTS call for terrorism scholars to study an ever-wider range of subjects is surely very welcome, as is its emphasis upon acquiring fresh and direct new evidence upon which to base our assessments.

Despite the deep insights provided by much of the scholarly debate summarised above, a new framework is now required if we are more fully to understand what has been emerging in relation to terrorism, and why it has done so: that framework must look synoptically at terrorism, counterterrorism and the relationship between them; and it must look at them through multi-disciplinary lenses with an eye to policy seriousness. So the chapters in this book take forward specific aspects of the debates summarised above (regarding the efficacy of state response to terrorism, for example, or the degree of success achieved by certain terrorist groups). This book also addresses such issues in a new manner: it brings together scholars not only from different disciplines but also from different perspectives regarding scholarly hermeneutics (for example, Adrian Guelke and Audrey Cronin have different attitudes towards CTS, so chapters 6 and 7 are complementary in their illumination of our subject); it brings these scholars together in one volume to consider simultaneously the dynamics of non-state terrorism and state politics, and to reflect on the relationship between the two; it draws attention repeatedly to the decisive, shared illusions on either side of that state/non-state division; and it embodies an honest effort to produce rigorous scholarly argument of high policy relevance (chapter 4 strongly reinforces this point). Taken together, this embodies an importantly new approach. If there is, as some have prominently argued, something of a stagnation in terrorism research,53 then what is embodied in this book represents the most productive way of trying to improve the situation: the approach reflected here allows for a new understanding of one of the grandest and most persistent challenges of our period.

The majority of scholarship on terrorism and on counter-terrorism to date has analysed these two phenomena without sufficiently integrating them in terms of their antiphonal, mutually sustaining relationship with each other.54 Not only, therefore, has there been far more research on non-state terrorists (p.13) than there has been on their counter-terrorist adversaries; there has also been far too little investigation of the ways in which each group has sustained the myths and activities of the other, or of the manner in which each has reinforced the other’s sense of urgency, necessity and validity.55 At a policy and political level, the effects of this analytical failure have arguably been pernicious, allowing for disproportionate, often wasteful, pointless and counter-productive state responses to non-state terrorism,56 and also for the clumsy sustenance by states of the seeming validity of terrorist zealots’ own interpretations.57

Compounding this problem is the fact that a rarely asked (and even more rarely answered) question in the scholarly literature to date has been the crucial one of how well counter-terrorism actually works. As discussed earlier, the issue of whether non-state terrorism itself works is one that has now begun to be seriously explored. But far more money, time, person-power and violence are expended on state counter-terrorism than on the practising of non-state terrorism itself; and state responses to non-state terrorists are historically much more likely to change history than are the acts of anti-state terrorist individuals or groups. Nonetheless, systematic reflection on the efficacy of counter-terrorism remains largely absent in the scholarly realm. Despite the extraordinary growth in scholarship in the field of terrorism studies since 9/11,58 there remains less systematic, practically applicable assessment of the effectiveness of counter-terrorism than would be ideal. The definition, causes, dynamics and demise of terrorism have now been scrutinised rather thoroughly.59 But, despite some outstanding occasional contributions,60 there has not been an equivalent level of interrogation into the extent to which state counter-terrorism (much of it very violent indeed) has actually been effective, despite the billions of dollars spent on it and the high-level political commitment devoted to countering terrorism globally.

(p.14) As suggested, central to this book is something too infrequently addressed to date: the extent to which non-state terrorists and their counter-terrorist state opponents share the misleading illusion that their acts of violence will transform politics in ways deeply favourable to their respective causes. Are there repeated patterns across such cases, elements of the relationship between non-state terrorism and state action which might valuably inform our understanding and direct our thinking? Some recent scholarly research here does occasionally suggest possible themes, including (for example) the ways in which terrorists’ control over the spending of money or the choosing of targets makes them more vulnerable to state counter-terrorism.61 And there does often seem to be a striking contrast (on the part of both non-state terrorists and state counter-terrorists) between people’s technical proficiency and tactical ingenuity on the one hand, and their lack of political understanding and sometimes crass strategic misjudgements on the other.62 In this, the 9/11 hijackers and al-Qaida have at times been echoed by their post-9/11 Western enemies, with both sides in the 9/11 wars displaying greater technical sophistication than political wisdom and historical or cultural understanding, often with mutually reinforcing and bloodily disastrous consequences. But such themes remain under-scrutinised even in what is now a vast literature on terrorism.

One important strand running through this (in itself, one could argue, evidence of a vital shared illusion) is the fact that terrorist and counterterrorist violence very often lead to an undermining of support for the causes in whose name they have respectively been practised, especially if that brutal, unmerciful violence is directed against civilians. The experience of al-Qaida in the period from 9/11 onwards, but also of the United States and its allies in their wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, reflects this process. So the illusion of military efficacy is one, it seems, which transcends the line dividing the state from its non-state opponents.

How do the chapters in this book work within this new framework, and what do they contribute towards new collective understanding? They derive from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, with the authors between them having trained or worked across many parts of the academic world (Political Science, Law, International Relations, History, Philosophy) and also in the high-level policy world itself. As such, they bring complementary lenses (p.15) through which to read a geographically, organisationally and conceptually wide range of questions around our theme.

The chapters discuss the ways in which state policy and action affect levels of terrorist violence and activity. Viewed through the lens of the political historian, this has (as in the case of the Irish republican terrorism discussed in chapter 8) variously involved harsh state responses prompting higher levels of PIRA and other violence; more restrained state policy making it more difficult for (contemporary dissident republican) violence to be sustained; and intelligence-led counter-terrorism constraining terrorist groups during ongoing campaigns. A similar pattern is suggested in chapter 3, which concludes that successes against al-Qaida and its affiliates have been rare, and that the militarisation of counter-terrorist response has partly been the cause of this failure. Complementing this, and on the basis of the author's experience at high policy level in the United Kingdom, chapter 4 suggests that the most contentiously military aspect of post-9/11 counter-terrorist response, the Iraq venture, now looks to have been an ill-judged over-reaction, and that it actually seems to have made anti-Western jihadism worse. This theme is echoed in chapter 6, while chapter 5 points to the disproportionate effect that comparatively trivial late-twentieth-century terrorism in Western liberal democracies actually had upon those states and upon their policies and their thinking.

Central here, therefore, is subtle consideration of the lasting dangers inherent in the illusion of military efficacy, an illusion arguably evident among non-state terrorists and their state counter-terrorist opponents alike. In relation to non-state terrorism, chapter 2 points out that most victims of post-9/11 al-Qaida-related violence were Muslims, a fact which has done serious damage to that group’s popularity and brand within the Muslim world; and this echoes the doubts articulated in other chapters, regarding the plausibility of arguing for militarily based counter-terrorist success from various disciplinary perspectives.

Clearly, different kinds of state regime possess varied inheritances and possibilities in terms of their response to non-state terrorist violence. The kind of brutal policy eventually adopted by Sri Lanka against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)63 would be unthinkable for the UK in its dealings with twenty-first-century dissident Irish republican terrorists, for example. But chapter 4’s argument that state response to terrorist assailants must be proportionate remains an immensely important one across many different contexts.

(p.16) Relatedly, regarding the efficacy of military methods, the illusions of terrorism and counter-terrorism have at times colluded to turn history in unfortunate directions. As noted, there are stark disagreements in the scholarly literature regarding the nature and extent of the efficacy of non-state terrorism. But, as pointed out in chapter 7, terrorism has only comparatively rarely fructuated in the achievement of groups’ central, strategic goals (a point echoed also in chapters 2 and 8). Recognition of this reality–the fact that non-state terrorists frequently have illusions about how successful their violence will prove–should affect states’ responses. For if states recognise that terrorist hopes of strategic victory are probably illusory, then calmer and more patient state reaction (more proportionate in its scale, more realistic in its own counter-terrorist objectives) might ensue. This could then limit the frequency of state over-reaction, of the exaggeration of threat, and of the setting of over-ambitious objectives (the post-9/11 goal of extirpating international terrorism, for example). In this sense, acknowledging the existence of one set of illusions might make the other set less attractive, plausible and sustainable.

For what we sometimes see here is a sequence of unfortunate and responsive illusions. Non-state terrorists act out of an exaggerated confidence in the effectiveness of their violent methods, with states then misdiagnosing the threat and over-reacting, and thereby making the situation far worse. Chapter 7 shows that, while ISIS is clearly very different from al-Qaida, the West’s failure to understand the nature of and respond properly to al-Qaida terrorism seems now to have produced opportunities for much more extensive anti-Western jihadism in the form of the ISIS challenge. Chapter 3 similarly demonstrates that al-Qaida has had far from the greatest success (having exaggerated the efficacy of its own political violence), but that new opportunities for radical jihadists have arisen out of the transformative chain of events prompted by 9/11 and by ill-judged Western responses to the brutal assaults of that day.

Another element of the work contained in this book involves the complex effects of non-state terrorism upon the nature of states themselves–again, something understood properly only if we draw on numerous disciplines and look simultaneously and synoptically at terrorism and at counter-terrorism (and also at the policy implications of the relationship between them). So chapter 6 forcibly shows that states’ maintenance of fundamental human rights has often been greatly undermined by their counter-terrorist responses, despite the things so often claimed by states about the principles to which they supposedly adhere. It suggests that a culture of secrecy and misinformation can be delineated here, a point reinforced in chapter 5 which argues that state responses to terrorism have frequently witnessed the use of laws to stifle (p.17) diverse kinds of dissent, accompanied by the deployment of counter-terrorist rhetoric and of claims regarding a terroristic threat as the means for justifying this behaviour; the result is that states maintain the appearance of democracy while reducing its egalitarian impact in practice.

Chapters 5 and 6 both point out the degree to which there has evolved a tension between (on the one hand) countering terrorism and (on the other hand) maintaining human rights and civil liberties within targeted societies. One of the central legacies of al-Qaida’s 9/11 attacks (along with the ironic achievement of Americanising the study of terrorism and of making US-based scholarship now the decisive centre of gravity within that literature), has been the degrading of aspects of US and other Western civil liberties. Al-Qaida (like so many terrorist groups throughout history) has therefore produced a dual degradation of human rights: first, through their killing and maiming of so many people through violence; second, through prompting states to react in ways that have further denied people’s human rights and civil freedoms.

Beyond this, the relationship between non-state terrorism and state counterterrorism has seen sequences of response between the two phenomena deeply affect politics at world-historical level. Chapter 9 demonstrates that what states do has profound implications for the costs that they pay in terms of non-state terrorist reaction. Sometimes, indeed, non-state terrorists are looking to further this cycle by deliberately trying to provoke states into self-damaging over-reaction. More broadly still, chapter 9 argues that when the United States responded to terrorist assault with state-building endeavours, its work had paradoxical implications. In order to sustain these newly fashioned states, the US has supported some local, pro-American rulers whose autocratic politics have in turn produced a violent, terroristic backlash. When seen synoptically, therefore, each side’s aggressively founded hopes can seem illusory, and can be recognised as having produced a chain of frequently dispiriting political outcomes as a result.

In part, this is because responding to non-state terrorism is so difficult in practice. As suggested in chapter 7, it is true that terrorism scholarship can have some significant policy implications: scholarly reflection and the making of policy decisions are not coextensive realms, but they should probably overlap to some degree if either is to become sharp-sighted. Yet even the best explanatory clarification by scholars will not provide easy answers for those involved in the labyrinthine, fast-paced and complex world of policy response to terrorist challenge. The author of chapter 7 also says it is very difficult for governments to be strategic in their responses to terrorism, a difficulty made more stark by the jagged unpredictability of the future, as terrorism and its national and international contexts evolve in complex and unexpected ways (p.18) (a broad, global theme addressed in chapter 9). Part of this wider process concerns the role repeatedly played by small numbers of actors who initiate terrorist violence confident that they will thereby change the world in a particular direction, only to find that they have indeed altered the direction of the train of events but in ways very different from those that were anticipated. Again, therefore, the terrorism process turns out to be haunted by illusion. Moreover, counter-terrorism can be about far more than merely countering terrorism, since other imperatives (political authority, individual careers, economic benefits, the aggrandisement of national interest and the like) can also be involved. In reflecting on such issues, chapter 4 identifies the central problematic challenge for governments of protecting their population from terrorist attack while still sustaining democratic politics, civic harmony and the appropriate rule of law.

Another difficulty identified here is the illusion entertained by some, that terrorist atrocity straightforwardly prompts the addressing of underlying issues. As chapter 5 demonstrates, terroristic violence tends in fact to make it more difficult to discuss the genuine nature of the threat which terrorism embodies. It also makes the addressing of underlying problems more famous and urgent, yet simultaneously much more difficult to achieve in practice, because it creates a climate of increased polarisation, panic and short-term reaction.

Here again, ironically, state and non-state actors can collude in sustaining the illusion. Repeatedly, non-state terrorists claim that only their violence will achieve redress of grievances. In Algerian National Liberation Front (NLF) member Saadi Yacef’s words: ‘It’s our only way of expressing ourselves’;64 or there is the claim from one Tamil Tiger leader that ‘The Tamil people have been expressing their grievances in parliament for more than three decades. Their voices went unheard like cries in the wilderness’;65 again, in the words of one Hamas activist, ‘When all channels are closed to us, we use violence.’66 But chapter 7 shows that states then often compound the problem, first, by not realising that terrorist violence rarely achieves the intended redress in practice and, second, by failing to attend to the real causes behind the terrorism promptly or honestly.

Relatedly, one methodological priority respected across the disciplines reflected in this book is the importance of acquiring and interrogating (p.19) first-hand evidence regarding terrorism and the causes of terrorism. This need not involve scholars interviewing non-state terrorists themselves (though that remains, in my view, one valuable route towards understanding, as demonstrated in chapter 8). But there is a wide range of first-hand materials emerging from non-state terrorists and these should be analysed closely if we want truly to understand terrorist causation. As chapter 7 suggests, scholars and policy-makers alike have often failed to look carefully enough at what terrorists actually say. Inattention to such material can sustain what might be termed a failure of intimacy of understanding, and that failure represents one of the great flaws within much post-9/11 analysis of this Protean subject. Knowing intimately what terrorists say that they want, and what the wider causes behind their violence actually are, will facilitate more shrewd responses by states than the over-reaction often generated by misdiagnosis and exaggerated anxiety.

State tendencies towards such over-reaction are sometimes reinforced by a failure to root terrorism and counter-terrorism within their appropriate geographical (and therefore historical and cultural) contexts when we try to understand these phenomena. Attention to such contextualisation is stressed particularly in chapter 3 in its consideration of the War on Terror, but it is also evident in chapter 7 in reflecting on the avoidable transformation of al-Qaida jihadism into the ISIS threat, and in the arguments in chapter 8 about contemporary Irish republican terrorism and its relationship to a particular form of nationalism. For the situating of non-state terrorism within its relationship to the state must also be complemented by seeing the organic connections between terrorism and other world-historical forces. These can include terrorism’s roots in powerful nationalist movements (see chapter 8 on dissident Irish republicans and the understanding of nationalism); or its effects on the nature of democracy (see chapters 4, 5 and 6 for different perspectives); or its complex relationship to a major religious faith (see chapter 2); or its consequences for the international state system (see chapter 9). The central reason for thinking that all academic disciplines should simultaneously engage in the study of terrorism, therefore, is that this will (as here) more firmly root our understanding of the phenomenon within what we systematically know about law, about religion, about history, about international relations, about the politics of states and so forth. Consequently, one key aim of this book is to bring together the complementary insights of leading scholars deeply grounded in the professional study of these phenomena themselves: people who are in a position collectively to analyse terrorism as something to be studied through the hermeneutical processes appropriate to understanding those broader issues.

(p.20) For if, as the scholarly literature overwhelmingly suggests, terrorists tend to be psychologically normal and recognisably rational,67 then their experiences and motivations (and their illusions and mistakes) will be explicable within normal explanatory and analytical frameworks. As pointed out in chapter 2, for example, al-Qaida itself has experienced difficult leadership struggles of exactly the kind that we witness in much less violent careers and organisations than those associated with terrorism. Likewise, chapter 8 argues of the latest wave of Irish republican terrorism that it will only be understandable (and that we can only respond sensibly to it) if we see those involved as explicable within recognisable frameworks of nationalist explanation.

In all of this, there will be little likelihood of finding neat patterns which can easily be applied to the wide variety of cases with which we all–as scholars, citizens, policy-makers, societies, states–have to deal. It is emphatically terrorisms and counter-terrorisms in the plural that we are considering, and the emergent picture will necessarily therefore be complex. The chapters in this book offer expert scholarly reflection from varied and complementary intellectual perspectives on major issues concerning: the evolution of jihadist and other forms of non-state terrorism (chapters 2 and 8); the efficacy and development and complicated nature of contemporary counter-terrorism (chapters 3 and 4); the damaging effects of some counter-terrorist policies upon the nature of states and societies (chapters 5 and 6); the ending of some (but the durability of other) terrorist campaigns (chapters 7 and 8); and the wider global and political and intellectual frameworks within which terrorism and counter-terrorism alike continue to dwell (chapter 9). Quite properly, there are differences of emphasis and approach, and I recognise that no single book can resolve all dilemmas in a field as complex as this one. But the authors’ multidisciplinary reflections on counter-terrorism and terrorism (and crucially on the relations between those two phenomena) will, it is hoped, move the debate forward in an erudite, original and rewarding fashion.


(1) Terrorism famously carries with it problematic issues of definition, to which this chapter will return. But these should not be immobilising, any more than discussion on the basis of other contested terms (nationalism, the state, imperialism, fascism, colonialism, revolution) should be halted by arguments about the precise meaning of such words. My own approach involves recognition that both non-state and state actors can be judged to use terrorism. See R. English, Terrorism: How to Respond (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009, chapter 1).

(2) Clearly, state counter-terrorism is not a monolithic category. As will be reflected throughout this book, there can be great diversity between different states, and between different wings of the same state, as they engage in countering non-state terrorist opponents.

(3) R. English, Modern War: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 37–41, 88–102.

(4) J. Burke, The 9/11 Wars (London, Penguin, 2011).

(5) P. Cockburn, The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising (New York, OR Books, 2014).

(6) R. English, Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA, 3rd edn (London, Macmillan, 2012).

(7) C. J. Watson, Basque Nationalism and Political Violence: The Ideological and Intellectual Origins of ETA (Reno, Centre for Basque Studies, 2007).

(8) R. Singh, Hamas and Suicide Terrorism: Multi-Causal and Multi-Level Approaches (London, Routledge, 2011).

(9) E. Berman, Radical, Religious, and Violent: The New Economics of Terrorism (Cambridge, MIT Press, 2009), p. 1; E. Stepanova, Terrorism in Asymmetrical Conflict: Ideological and Structural Aspects (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 3–4.

(10) For discussion and analysis, see L. Stampnitzky, Disciplining Terror: How Experts Invented ‘Terrorism’ (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013).

(11) A. P. Schmid and A. J. Jongman (eds), Political Terrorism (Amsterdam, North Holland Publishing, 1988); P. Wilkinson, Political Terrorism (London, Macmillan, 1974); P. Wilkinson, Terrorism and the Liberal State (Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1986); B. Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, 2nd edn (New York, Columbia University Press, 2006); M. Crenshaw, Explaining Terrorism: Causes, Processes and Consequences (London, Routledge, 2011); M. Crenshaw (ed.), Terrorism, Legitimacy, and Power: The Consequences of Political Violence (Middletown, Wesleyan University Press, 1983).

(12) R. A. Pape, Dying to Win: Why Suicide Terrorists Do It (London, Gibson Square Books, 2006); R. A. Pape and J. K. Feldman, Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2010); S. Croft, Securitising Islam: Identity and the Search for Security (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012); A. K. Cronin, How Terrorism Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Campaigns (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2009); R. E. Goodin, What’s Wrong with Terrorism? (Cambridge, Polity Press, 2006); M. R. Habeck, Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror (New Haven, Yale University Press, 2006); A. B. Krueger, What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2007).

(13) T. Whitfield, Endgame for ETA: Elusive Peace in the Basque Country (London, Hurst and Company, 2014); Singh, Hamas and Suicide Terrorism; English, Armed Struggle;G. Kassimeris, Inside Greek Terrorism (London, Hurst and Company, 2013); A. R. Norton, Hezbollah: A Short History (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2007); B. Riedel, The Search for al-Qaida: Its Leadership, Ideology, and Future (Washington, Brookings Institution Press, 2008).

(14) C. Gearty, ‘Introduction’, in C. Gearty (ed.), Terrorism (Aldershot, Dartmouth, 1996), p. xi.

(15) B. Saul, Defining Terrorism in International Law (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 1.

(16) M. Juergensmeyer, Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence, 2nd edn (Berkeley: CA, University of California Press, 2001), p. 139.

(17) J. Gearson, ‘The Nature of Modern Terrorism’, Political Quarterly, 73 (2002), p. 8.

(18) M. Fellman, In the Name of God and Country: Reconsidering Terrorism in American History (New Haven, Yale University Press, 2010).

(19) L. Richardson, What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Terrorist Threat (London, John Murray, 2006); J. Lodge, ‘Introduction’, in J. Lodge (ed.), Terrorism: A Challenge to the State (Oxford, Martin Robertson, 1981), p. 5.

(20) P. Wilkinson, Terrorism Versus Democracy: The Liberal State Response, 3rd edn (London, Routledge, 2011), p. 17; English, Terrorism, p. 9.

(21) S. Simon and D. Benjamin, ‘America and the New Terrorism’, Survival, 42/1 (2000); R. Gunaratna, Inside al-Qaida: Global Network of Terror (London, Hurst, 2002); D. Haubrich, ‘Modern Politics in an Age of Global Terrorism: New Challenges for Domestic Public Policy’, Political Studies, 54/2 (2006).

(22) Crenshaw, Explaining Terrorism, pp. 53–54. Cf. O. Lynch and C. Ryder, ‘Deadliness, Organisational Change, and Suicide Attacks: Understanding the Assumptions Inherent in the Use of the Term “New Terrorism”’, Critical Studies on Terrorism, 5/2 (2012); A. Gofas, ‘“Old” vs. “New” Terrorism: What’s in a Name?’, Uluslararası İlisṣkiler, 8/32 (2012).

(23) A. Guelke, The Age of Terrorism and the International Political System, 2nd edn (London, I. B. Tauris, 1998), p. 7.

(24) Gearty, ‘Introduction’, in Gearty (ed.), Terrorism, p. xiv. Cf. R. Jackson and S. J. Sinclair (eds), Contemporary Debates on Terrorism (London, Routledge, 2012), pp. 11–25.

(25) A. P. Schmid (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Terrorism Research (London, Routledge, 2011), especially the listing of over 250 rival definitions, pp. 9–157; Schmid and Jongman (eds), Political Terrorism.

(26) W. Laqueur, Terrorism (London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1977), p. 5.

(27) A. M. Dershowitz, Why Terrorism Works: Understanding the Threat, Responding to the Challenge (New Haven, Yale University Press, 2002), pp. 2, 6, 26, 31, 85, 167.

(28) Pape, Dying to Win; Pape and Feldman, Cutting the Fuse; R. A. Pape, ‘The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism’, American Political Science Review, 97/3 (2003).

(29) M. Bloom, Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror (New York, Columbia Press, 2005).

(30) D. C. Rapoport, ‘The International World as Some Terrorists have Seen it: A Look at a Century of Memoirs’, in D. C. Rapoport (ed.), Inside Terrorist Organisations (London, Frank Cass, 2001), p. 54.

(31) P. R. Neumann and M. L. R. Smith, The Strategy of Terrorism: How it Works, and Why it Fails (London, Routledge, 2008), p. 100.

(32) M. Abrahms, ‘Why Terrorism does Not Work’, International Security, 31/2 (2006), pp. 43–44.

(33) E. Chenoweth and M. J. Stephan, Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict (New York, Columbia University Press, 2011).Cf. A. Roberts and T. Garton Ash (eds), Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-Violent Action from Gandhi to the Present (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009); M. E. King, A Quiet Revolution: The First Palestinian Intifada and Non-Violent Resistance (New York, Nation Books, 2007).

(34) P. Wilkinson, ‘Politics, Diplomacy, and Peace Processes: Pathways Out of Terrorism?’, in M. Taylor and J. Horgan (eds), The Future of Terrorism (Abingdon, Frank Cass, 2000), p. 66.

(35) Richardson, What Terrorists Want, pp. 105–106. Cf. D. K. Gupta, Understanding Terrorism and Political Violence: The Life Cycle of Birth, Growth, Transformation, and Demise (London, Routledge, 2008), p. 191.

(37) A. Roberts, ‘The “War on Terror” in Historical Perspective’, Survival, 47/2 (2005), p. 109.Cf. M. Sageman, Understanding Terror Networks (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), p. 180; M. Howard, ‘What’s in a Name? How to Fight Terrorism’, Foreign Affairs, 81/1 (2002), p. 9.

(38) For a wise and recent assessment, see A. Roberts, ‘Terrorism Research: Past, Present, and Future’, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 38/1 (2015), pp. 67, 70–71.

(39) A. K. Cronin, Ending Terrorism: Lessons for Defeating al-Qaida (London, Routledge, 2008), p. 31.

(40) Berman, Radical, Religious, and Violent, pp. 207–208; Bloom, Dying to Kill, pp. 34–35, 37, 40, 42, 82, 93; Richardson, What Terrorists Want, p. 220; Cronin, Ending Terrorism, p. 8; S. G. Jones, Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan (Santa Monica, RAND, 2008), p. xii; English, Terrorism, pp. 127–131;V. Held, How Terrorism is Wrong: Morality and Political Violence (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 69.

(42) T. Blair, A Journey (London, Hutchinson, 2010), p. 349.

(43) See, for example, D. Holbrook, The al-Qaida Doctrine: The Framing and Evolution of the Leadership’s Public Discourse (London, Bloomsbury, 2014); P. L. Bergen, Holy War, Inc: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden (London, Phoenix, 2002); P. L. Bergen, The Osama bin Laden I Know (New York, Free Press, 2006); P. L. Bergen, The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and al-Qaida (New York, Free Press, 2011); M. Scheuer, Osama bin Laden (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011); B. Hoffman and F. Reinares (eds), The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat: From 9/11 to Osama bin Laden’s Death (New York, Columbia University Press, 2014); M. D. Silber, The al-Qaida Factor: Plots Against the West (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012); L. Wright, The Looming Tower: al-Qaida’s Road to 9/11 (London, Penguin, 2007); Sageman, Understanding Terror Networks.

(44) M. Sageman, Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), p. vii. Cf. the exchange inM. Sageman and B. Hoffman, ‘Does Osama Still Call the Shots? Debating the Containment of al-Qaida’s Leadership’, Foreign Affairs, 87/4 (2008).

(45) B. Hoffman, ‘The Myth of Grass-Roots Terrorism: Why Osama bin Laden Still Matters’, Foreign Affairs, 87/3 (2008); M. Sageman and B. Hoffman, ‘Does Osama Still Call the Shots? Debating the Containment of al-Qaida’s Leadership’, Foreign Affairs, 87/4 (2008); Hoffman and Reinares (eds), Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat.

(47) B. Hoffman and F. Reinares, ‘Conclusion’, in Hoffman and Reinares (eds), Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat, pp. 618–622.

(48) P. Neumann, R. Evans and R. Pantucci, ‘Locating al-Qaida’s Centre of Gravity: The Role of Middle Managers’, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 34/11 (2011); J. Jordan, ‘The Evolution of the Structure of Jihadist Terrorism in Western Europe: The Case of Spain’, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 37/8 (2014).

(49) A. Bousquet, ‘Complexity Theory and the War on Terror: Understanding the Self-Organising Dynamics of Leaderless Jihad’, Journal of International Relations and Development, 15/3 (2012).

(50) Much of the CTS work has appeared in the journal Critical Studies on Terrorism. See also R. Jackson, M. Breen Smyth and J. Gunning (eds), Critical Terrorism Studies: A New Research Agenda (London, Routledge, 2009); R. Jackson, L. Jarvis, J. Gunning and M. Breen Smyth, Terrorism: A Critical Introduction (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

(51) D. M. Jones and M. L. R. Smith, ‘We’re All Terrorists Now: Critical–or Hypocritical–Studies “on” Terrorism’, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 32/4 (2009).

(53) M. Sageman, ‘The Stagnation in Terrorism Research’, Terrorism and Political Violence, 26/4 (2014).

(54) This can be true even of very impressive scholarly work. Huw Bennett’s excellent study of British military responses in Kenya, for example, pays less attention than necessary to the nature and effect of non-state terrorist atrocity: H. Bennett, Fighting the Mau Mau: The British Army and Counter-Insurgency in the Kenya Emergency (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013). Likewise, Berman’s excellent Radical, Religious, and Violent would have been even more powerful had it attended to the dynamics of state counter-terrorism as well as non-state mobilisation.

(55) There are fascinating partial exceptions, of course, including J. Zulaika, Terrorism: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2009).

(56) For sharp argument regarding exactly how much has been overspent and misspent on countering terrorism since 9/11, see J. Mueller and M. G. Stewart, Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011).

(57) A. Brahimi, Jihad and Just War in the War on Terror (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010).

(58) For interesting reflections on this expansion, see Jackson, Breen Smyth, Gunning (eds), Critical Terrorism Studies.

(60) J. Lyall, ‘Are Co-Ethnics more Effective Counter-Insurgents? Evidence from the Second Chechen War’, American Political Science Review, 104/1 (2010); J. Argomaniz, The EU and Counter-Terrorism: Politics, Polity, and Policies after 9/11 (London, Routledge, 2011).

(61) J. N. Shapiro, The Terrorist’s Dilemma: Managing Violent Covert Organizations (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2013).

(62) This struck me again on reading the impressive B. S. Zellen, State of Recovery: The Quest to Restore American Security After 9/11 (London, Bloomsbury, 2013).

(63) P. Staniland, Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse (Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2014), pp. 141–177.

(66) Quoted in M. Perry, Talking to Terrorists: Why America Must Engage with its Enemies (New York, Basic Books, 2010), p. 133.