Coursera: Terrorism and Counterterrorism Notes

   The main reason for me taking this class even though it was not related to the computer science was to gain a better understanding on terrorism and also to make any connections to related topic in the computer science like cyber-terrorism. To explain a little bit more on why I felt I should have a better understanding on terrorism draws back from my last year college. During which the summer of 2013, I meet with SUNYIT's president. Our discussion was about collaborating with Google Maps' floorplans. With the help from a Google Maps team, this project would allow students to find classes and events more easily while on the campus. However this motion was denied and had end on the note that terrorists would use this new technology to their advantage. I strongly disagreed with this acquisition and so I started my research on the topic using the Tags: SUNYIT, Google Maps.

Questions to ask?
  • Who would have an agenda?
    • National? 
    • Local?
    • Religion?
  • Are we on another Golden Age for Terrorism?
  • Types of Successful tactics?
  • How to study Terrorism?
  • Talk to people or look at the fact?
  • Behavior of individuals or world political system?
  • What is legal called Terrorism?
Which groups are associated with the third wave of terrorism?
  • Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
  • Rote Armee Fraktion (RAF)
  • Guerrilla tactics
  • “New Left Wave” - International territories
  • Four wave - Religious Wave
  • Associated tactics: suicide bombs, assassinations, hostage taking.

No accepted definition. Reason is four reasons said by Andrew… in video 4

What is most important to the terrorist?
The spread of fear not the numbers skilled, because fear is the main purpose for all terrorist attacks in order to force the change for their cause. The main target is the survivors. Brian Jenkins - Video 6

The impact
Who are essential in this are the media, politicians, and the general public who are afraid of future attack. This can have a major impact on the economy as well as of society because of it by overacting.

Disciplines and approaches
  • Political Science
  • Military Science
  • international relations
  • Communication Studies
  • (Social) Psychology

Today's main approaches
    • Rational or instrumental approach
    • Socio-psychological approach
    • Multicausal approach

Key authors and centers
    • Washington DC
    • London
    • St. Andrews
    • Herzliya
    • Singapore
    • The Hague (new)
    • Oslo
    • Stockholm
    • Madrid
    • Ankara (new)
    • Martha Crenshaw - earlier scholar
    • Jerroid M. Post - current
Main academic journals
    • Conflicts terrorism
    • Terrorism and political violence
    • Critical studies and terrorism
It is important to constantly update our understanding of terrorism. Five assumptions 
  • Caused by poverty - Mostly put out by politicians, reason is (Left wings that claim these reasons)
  • Lack of opportunities
  • Anger towards others
    • Blame the Government
  • Are Crazy
    • Increasingly lethal
  • Constantly western hate driven
Assumptions on the counter-terrorism
  • one can recognize a terrorist - "Looking for a needle..." but is not impossible. Profiling, Data mining, and secondary security screening. This leads to false positive and false negative, leads.
  • That deradicalisation of terrorists is possible.
  • John Horgan - "the process of a person removing themselves or giving up their radical worldview"  
  • Decapitation of terrorist groups that works
    • Success of decapitation is very much context-dependent.
    • There is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
    • Successful examples: Aum Sect, Shining Path, Real Irish Republican Army.
    • Unsuccessful examples: Hamas, Rote Armee Fraktion.
  • Terrorism cannot be defeated.
    • Who is defeated the idea of terrorism? or a group?
  • Doubts about the effectiveness
  • A comprehensive approach is:
    • Not prioritizing a finite amount of resources and attention.
    • No assessment of effectiveness.
References - Nobel peace price - Incase you missed this!

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