Wednesday, March 08, 2006

al Qeada and Suicide Terrorism

Here's an interesting read about trends in suicide terrorism and al Qeada's influence on the tactic, provided free of charge by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies. It presents a few surprises as far as this tactic is concerned, including the various types of motivations that make different individuals decide to perform the act. This article is based upon interviewing 80 "failed" suicide bombers who were captured by police/security forces. It also speaks at great length about the induction, training and execution phases of these missions.

In other news, I attended a lecture last night regarding religious terrorism. It was conducted by Jessica Stern, a terrorist analyst and professor at Harvard. She has produced a number of articles and books, including "Terror in the Name of God". Most interestingly, she has conducted interviews with various terrorists around the world, including India, Pakistan and Palestine, and has interviewed Islamic, Christian and Jewish terrorists. She spoke mostly about terrorist motivations, and it was enlightening to say the least. I highly recommend her books - she seems to have a level of knowledge about terrorists that other researchers/analysts I have thus far read/heard/seen lack, most probably due to her personal dealings with them.
Her presentation will most likely be made available at the UT LBJ School web site once they are done with editing.

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