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Terrorism

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

An Examination Of The Potential Threat Of A State-Sponsored Biological Attack Against The United States: A Study Of Policy Implications, Courtney Anne Pfluke May 2019

An Examination Of The Potential Threat Of A State-Sponsored Biological Attack Against The United States: A Study Of Policy Implications, Courtney Anne Pfluke

MSU Graduate Theses

In 2002, US Navy Seals found a list of pathogens in an Afghanistan cave that Al Qaeda had planned to use in a series of biological attacks. Unique about the discovery was that the pathogens were not limited to human ones. Six pathogens targeted livestock and four targeted crops. Despite this discovery, limited attention has been given to the possibility of a state-sponsored terrorist attack utilizing biological agents against the US population, food source, or water supply. Throughout history, biological agents have been developed for use as an offensive weapon for both states and terrorist groups. The United States may ...


Utilizing Strategic Culture As A Tool To Tailor U.S. Deterrence Policy Towards Iran, Ryan P. Taylor May 2019

Utilizing Strategic Culture As A Tool To Tailor U.S. Deterrence Policy Towards Iran, Ryan P. Taylor

MSU Graduate Theses

The geostrategic environment since the end of the Cold War has drastically changed the way United States (U.S.) policymakers develop strategies to combat a wide range of hostile threats facing the country, especially in the field of the deterrence of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Iran is such an actor, who poses one of the greater proliferation threats in the world and continues to commit hostile actions in the Middle East. In this post-Cold War environment, it is imperative that the United States develop a tailored deterrence strategy to meet this challenge. Past deterrence strategies popular during the bipolar ...


The Role Of Women In Terrorism, Zeynep Bayar May 2019

The Role Of Women In Terrorism, Zeynep Bayar

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The main purpose of this paper is to understand what motivate women to join terrorist groups and why these organizations prefer to work with female terrorists. Although each woman has different reasons to involve in terrorist groups, this research demonstrates 'religious, political and personal' reasons as the major motivating factors. This study also focuses on the question of why women are the targets of terror recruiters. In order to answer these, the research analysis examines 'psychological, gender, and media' factors as major recruitment reasons of terrorist organizations. This study also analyzes the similarities and differences between female terrorists' profiles of ...


Nonstate Actors And International Law: Just War Theory Or The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights?, Jason Lee Mitchell May 2019

Nonstate Actors And International Law: Just War Theory Or The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights?, Jason Lee Mitchell

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

There is a debate taking place within the global war on terror (GWT), and its legal and moral parameters are established by two basic arguments. The first is that “Citizens who associate themselves with the military arm of the enemy government, and with its aid, guidance and direction enter this country bent on hostile acts are enemy belligerents within the meaning of the Hague Convention and the law of war” (Ex parte Quirin, 37). The second is that an “Enemy combatant” is a general category that subsumes two sub-categories: lawful and unlawful combatants. The conclusion as it currently stands is ...


The Rise Of Populism In 21st Century France: Normalizing Islamophobia, Evan Boyer Jan 2019

The Rise Of Populism In 21st Century France: Normalizing Islamophobia, Evan Boyer

CMC Senior Theses

The Twenty-First Century has seen increasing support for far-right authoritarian policies across Europe, particularly in France. This paper identifies and explains the connection between the rising power of France’s far-right, populist party and the pervasive sentiments of Islamophobia through an examination of major theories, anxiety-producing events, and reactionary legal actions in France pertaining to the oppression of Muslims. It begins with an analysis of France’s colonial history and its lasting implications concerning the legitimacy of anti-Muslim rhetoric. Next, the paper analyzes the usage of terrorism as a framed threat by far-right politicians to promote authoritarian agendas. It then ...


The Convergence Of The War On Terror And The War On Drugs: A Counter-Narcoterrorism Approach As A Policy Response, Lindsay Burton Jan 2019

The Convergence Of The War On Terror And The War On Drugs: A Counter-Narcoterrorism Approach As A Policy Response, Lindsay Burton

CMC Senior Theses

This thesis investigates how and why U.S. policies and agencies are ill-equipped to respond to narco-terrorism and offers some policy recommendations for remedying that. Narco-terrorism is the merging of terrorism and drug trafficking. Terrorist organizations and narcotics traffickers each have much to offer the other; there is potential for symbiosis in the form of cooperation and even hybridization. Examination of the dynamics between terrorist organizations and drug traffickers, combined with an evaluation of the US responses to narcoterrorism in Colombia and Afghanistan, makes it clear that current US policy responses fail to recognize narcoterrorism as a unique challenge, and ...


The Rise Of American Extremism: An Exploratory Analysis Of American Religious And Political Extremism From Presidents Jimmy Carter To Barack Obama: 1977-2016, Alwyn J. Melton Jan 2019

The Rise Of American Extremism: An Exploratory Analysis Of American Religious And Political Extremism From Presidents Jimmy Carter To Barack Obama: 1977-2016, Alwyn J. Melton

Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this quantitative case study was to address the problem of domestic terrorism facing the United States. This concern led to a comprehensive examination of historical documents that focused on the temporal evolution of the problem beginning with the Carter administration and continuing through the Obama administration. The conceptual foundation centered on resolving the research question and validating three hypotheses directed at qualifying the escalation of domestic incidents of terrorism. This led to developing a behavioral model to assist law enforcement agencies in combating the issue of domestic terrorism. Bivariate and clustering statistical analysis validated the data while ...


The Use Of State-Sponsored Torture For National Security: A Debate On The Permissibility Of Torture In The Name Of Public Safety, Matthew Fisher Jan 2019

The Use Of State-Sponsored Torture For National Security: A Debate On The Permissibility Of Torture In The Name Of Public Safety, Matthew Fisher

Honors Program Theses

Can the United States government’s use of state-sponsored torture ever be justified for national security purposes? This question is a taboo subject that frequently elicits passionate responses from individuals who argue both for and against its use in upholding national security. This vigorous debate challenges moral, ethical, legal, and even pragmatic ideals in seeking to determine if state use of torture can ever be a part of America’s national security strategy. These considerations, and others, have inspired this research project and the specific research question which seeks to determine whether the United States government’s use of state-sponsored ...


The Use Of Force: Hard Offensive Counterterrorism, Daniel Thomas Jan 2019

The Use Of Force: Hard Offensive Counterterrorism, Daniel Thomas

Browse all Theses and Dissertations

In the following research, I investigate whether hard offensive counterterrorism results in the failure or success of a counterterrorism strategy. In the second chapter, the academic literature of counterterrorism strategies is examined. Next, a hypothesis is put forth that if a hard offensive counterterrorism strategy is utilized, indicators such as high troop levels, more civilian casualties, more negative public opinion, and an increased rate of terrorism, will point to a failed counterterrorism strategy. Then, I put forth a methodology to test the hypothesis while introducing troop level databases, various public opinion polling sources, and terrorist attack databases to investigate the ...


State Capacity And Terrorism In The Developing World, Coty J. Martin Jan 2019

State Capacity And Terrorism In The Developing World, Coty J. Martin

Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports

What are the most influential factors to the rise of terrorist groups in the developing world? From Nigeria to Indonesia, various groups have conducted devastating attacks, against fellow citizens and international visitors. Hendrix and Young (2014) find military capacity may encourage the use of terrorism while bureaucratic measures depress them. Further investigation into underlying catalysts for mobilization is required before we can explain the rise in activity of terrorist organizations in these regions. I expect as measures of military capacity increase that terrorism increases while increases in administrative capacity reduce terrorist activity. I also expect indirect factors such as repressive ...


Islamic Terrorism In The United States – The Association Of Religious Fundamentalism With Social Isolation & Paths Leading To Extreme Violence Through Processes Of Radicalization., Shay Shiran Jun 2018

Islamic Terrorism In The United States – The Association Of Religious Fundamentalism With Social Isolation & Paths Leading To Extreme Violence Through Processes Of Radicalization., Shay Shiran

Student Theses

This exploratory study focuses on identifying motivations for religious terrorism and Islamic terrorism in the United States in particular. Terrorism is a crime of extreme violence with the end purpose of political influence. This crime is challenging to encounter for its multi-faced characteristics, the unusual motivations of its actors, and their semi-militant conduct. The hypothesis of this study asserts that religious terrorists are radicalized by passing from fundamental to extreme devout agendas, caused by isolation from the dominant society, and resulted in high potential to impose those agendas by extreme violence. Under the theoretical framework of subculture in criminology, this ...


Nigerian Terror: The Rise Of Boko Haram, Kelly Moss May 2018

Nigerian Terror: The Rise Of Boko Haram, Kelly Moss

Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

The Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria was the world’s deadliest terrorist group of 2014, second deadliest in 2015, and is one of the most perplexing terrorist groups to arise in the past 50 years. This study sought to identify how Boko Haram rose to power in Nigeria, and found the following factors to be explanatory: Nigeria’s weak state capacity stemming from colonialism and poor post-colonial governance, the politicization of religion, and Boko Haram’s relationship with other terrorist organizations such as Al-Shabab, Al-Qaeda, and Daesh. This study further analyzed domestic and international responses to Boko Haram, up to ...


The Interplay Of Intelligence, Education, And The Media In Western Counterterrorism Strategies, Lincoln Gimnich May 2018

The Interplay Of Intelligence, Education, And The Media In Western Counterterrorism Strategies, Lincoln Gimnich

International and Global Studies Undergraduate Honors Theses

Terrorist activity has increased and evolved in Western societies in the twenty-first century as terrorist organizations have sought new methods to further their ideologies and goals. Counterterrorism thus requires a similar evolution that undoubtedly reverses the historic trend wherein counterterrorism has been merely reactive. Through interviews with experts, qualitative analysis of governmental publications and documents, and review of existing literature, this project explores the institutions of intelligence, education, and the media and their work within the larger counterterrorism and anti-radicalization framework of Western states. The project focuses specifically on domestic intelligence operations, intelligence sharing agreements, the United Kingdom’s Prevent ...


Are U.S. Based 'Jihadi' Inspired Terrorists Transitioning Away From Physical Training Camps To Online Training Camps?, Ashleigh Nicole Clayton Mar 2018

Are U.S. Based 'Jihadi' Inspired Terrorists Transitioning Away From Physical Training Camps To Online Training Camps?, Ashleigh Nicole Clayton

Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations

This thesis is an examination of the backgrounds of twenty-five individuals who conducted a ‘jihad’ inspired terrorist attack within the United States between the years of 2001 and 2016 to determine if terrorists use physical training camps or online training camps as the main method of training to prepare for their attacks.

The debate about the existence of online training camps is beneficial to the field of terrorism study. However, the question of what constitutes an online training camp must first be answered before it can be determined if terrorists are using online training camps. This thesis proposes a comprehensive ...


Dangerous Delegation: Explaining The Rationales And Outcomes Of State Sponsorship Of Terrorism Through The Principal-Agent Framework, Jeremy M. Berkowitz Jan 2018

Dangerous Delegation: Explaining The Rationales And Outcomes Of State Sponsorship Of Terrorism Through The Principal-Agent Framework, Jeremy M. Berkowitz

Graduate Dissertations and Theses

State sponsorship of terrorism, where a government deliberately provides resources and material support to a terrorist organization, is common in the international system. By conceptualizing state sponsorship as a relationship between a principal and agent, I develop a consistent theoretical model that explains why states pursue this foreign policy strategy, as well as how they rationally attempt to minimize the inherent risks of delegating to violent non-state actors. I test my model by using a novel dataset on sponsorship behaviors that improves on the range, detail, and temporality of previously used measurements. My dissertation is organized into three distinct papers ...


An Analysis Of The Efficacy Of Post 9/11 Security Policy In Countering Violent Extremism And Reducing Acts Of International Terrorism, Omaima Khan Jan 2018

An Analysis Of The Efficacy Of Post 9/11 Security Policy In Countering Violent Extremism And Reducing Acts Of International Terrorism, Omaima Khan

Dissertations and Theses

Terrorism is a phenomenon that baffles even the most experienced of researchers within academia. Understanding what constitutes terrorism is important to the field of international relations because combatting terrorist violence yields no straightforward method of prevention and protection. This paper examines four measures of counterterrorism taken by the U.S. government after the September 11th attacks. The methods included in this study and the framework in which they are congruent with are: The War on Terror as a defense strategy, torture and “enhanced interrogation techniques” as a deterrence method, targeted drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan as a compellence ...


Terrorist Celebrity: Online Personal Branding And Jihadist Recruitment And Planning, Ari Weil Jan 2018

Terrorist Celebrity: Online Personal Branding And Jihadist Recruitment And Planning, Ari Weil

Pomona Senior Theses

Shifts in culture and technology have changed the manifestation of celebrity in modern society, culminating in the practice of internet microcelebrity, where one views followers as fans, produces content consistent with a personal brand, and engages in strategic interaction with devotees. This thesis examines how those effects have also changed how terrorists present themselves and operationalize celebrity status. An original typology of terrorist celebrity is presented: traditional, martyr, and internet micro-celebrity. Two in-depth case studies of terrorist micro-celebrities are analyzed: Anwar al-Awlaki of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Junaid Hussain of the Islamic State. The case studies are ...


A Content Analysis Of Jihadist Magazines: Theoretical Perspectives, Catalina M. Udani Jan 2018

A Content Analysis Of Jihadist Magazines: Theoretical Perspectives, Catalina M. Udani

Honors Undergraduate Theses

During its violent spread across the Middle East, the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) amassed both a local and international following in large part due to its usage of emergent media distribution. Beginning in 2014, ISIS’s Ministry of Media published an English-language magazine, Dabiq, disseminating its issues through online platforms. Dabiq and its successor Rumiyah both serve as propagandistic recruitment material for ISIS’s international community as well as broadcasting the message of the jihadist movement to ISIS’s enemies. This study analyzed ISIS’s publications using a qualitative content analysis in order to identify jihadist recruitment ...


With Liberty And Justice For All: An Examination Of The United States' Compliance With Rule Of Law As It Relates To Domestic And International Terrorism, Jonathan William Maze Jan 2018

With Liberty And Justice For All: An Examination Of The United States' Compliance With Rule Of Law As It Relates To Domestic And International Terrorism, Jonathan William Maze

Browse all Theses and Dissertations

This study examines what factors contribute to United States' compliance with rule of law in response to terrorism. A qualitative analysis utilizing a comparative case study approach to examine the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations' response to domestic and international terrorism. This study tests what impact the location of terrorist attacks, nationality of terrorist actors, and presidential ideology have upon rule of law compliance. Results from this study illustrate the causal relationship between rule of law compliance and presidential ideology, while taking into account the impact of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.


Radicalization And The Internet, Dustin Covert Jan 2018

Radicalization And The Internet, Dustin Covert

Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects

How extremist groups use the internet has recently become a major national security issue. This paper discusses the role that the internet plays in the radicalization process. It will review recent research that analyzes how extremist groups use the internet and properties of the internet that may help to radicalize an individual. This paper will lay a foundation for future research to establish relationships between the internet and the radicalization process.


America’S Imperfect War: The Ethics, Law, And Strategy Of Drone Warfare, Treston Lashawn Wheat Aug 2017

America’S Imperfect War: The Ethics, Law, And Strategy Of Drone Warfare, Treston Lashawn Wheat

Doctoral Dissertations

This study explores the ethics, law, and strategy of targeted killings by drones in the War on Terror. It starts with an exploration of just war theory, its historical development and criteria, to create a foundational framework by which to analyze the ethics of drones as a tactic. Then it defines terrorism and insurgency, establishing how sub-state actors operate, and the strategies states will use to neutralize them as threats. This shows that the War on Terror is actually an armed conflict because terrorism and insurgency are forms of warfare under the law and in warfare theory. After looking at ...


A Radical Idea: Applying Psychological Strategy To Combat Foreign Fighters Defending The Islamic State, David Michael Smaney May 2017

A Radical Idea: Applying Psychological Strategy To Combat Foreign Fighters Defending The Islamic State, David Michael Smaney

MSU Graduate Theses

This thesis focuses on the necessity of psychological strategies to combat the Islamic State’s recruitment of foreign fighters. This thesis argues that psychological strategies are a primary weapon due to the psychological nature of the war against the Islamic State, which is a part of the overall war of ideas. This thesis does not consider psychological strategies for other aspects of U.S. counterterrorism strategy, nor does it reflect the difficulties involved with developing U.S. strategies in the U.S. federal government. Furthermore, this thesis only focuses on foreign fighter defending and supporting the Islamic State, which is ...


Terrorism: A Tool For Shaping Public Opinion, Jonathan E. Voisich Feb 2017

Terrorism: A Tool For Shaping Public Opinion, Jonathan E. Voisich

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Public Opinion matters on issues of foreign policy. This makes controlling public opinion very important for governments. In this paper I will argue that elites use terrorism both as a tool for instilling fear and by creating a certain image of groups they wish to support or destroy in order to shape public opinion. I will examine both literature on framing and public opinion data on foreign policy to show why public opinion is so important and how it can be shaped. The two case studies showing terrorism being used in these ways will be the Ronald Reagan administration’s ...


The Longevity Of Religious Terrorist Organizations, William John Hughes Jan 2017

The Longevity Of Religious Terrorist Organizations, William John Hughes

Senior Projects Spring 2017

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College.


Ideological Infection In Dostoevsky's "Demons", Sam Joshua Reed Jan 2017

Ideological Infection In Dostoevsky's "Demons", Sam Joshua Reed

Senior Projects Spring 2017

This project is an exploration of ideology in Dostoevsky's 1871 novel "Demons." In this work, Dostoevsky portrays the connection between utopianism and extremism. This project explores how romantic and political idealism becomes the foundation for violence and terrorism, through the relationship of the 1840's liberal Stepan Trofimovich Verhovensky and his nihilistic sons.


Noble Robbers: The Theatricality Of Terrorism In The Northern Caucasus, Lia Christina Russell Jan 2017

Noble Robbers: The Theatricality Of Terrorism In The Northern Caucasus, Lia Christina Russell

Senior Projects Spring 2017

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College.


Automatically Detecting The Resonance Of Terrorist Movement Frames On The Web, Ugochukwu O. Etudo Jan 2017

Automatically Detecting The Resonance Of Terrorist Movement Frames On The Web, Ugochukwu O. Etudo

Theses and Dissertations

The ever-increasing use of the internet by terrorist groups as a platform for the dissemination of radical, violent ideologies is well documented. The internet has, in this way, become a breeding ground for potential lone-wolf terrorists; that is, individuals who commit acts of terror inspired by the ideological rhetoric emitted by terrorist organizations. These individuals are characterized by their lack of formal affiliation with terror organizations, making them difficult to intercept with traditional intelligence techniques. The radicalization of individuals on the internet poses a considerable threat to law enforcement and national security officials. This new medium of radicalization, however, also ...


Post Arab Spring Examination Of American Foreign Aid: Libya And Egypt, Andrew Robert Dickerson Jan 2017

Post Arab Spring Examination Of American Foreign Aid: Libya And Egypt, Andrew Robert Dickerson

Browse all Theses and Dissertations

Every year, the United States uses foreign aid as a foreign policy tool. The Arab Spring gave the United States an opportunity to achieve a historically difficult task in the Middle East: promoting and establishing democracy across the Middle East. This study examines United States foreign aid, primarily military and economic aid, and the success it has on the ruling governing bodies in Libya and Egypt. Does American foreign aid lead to stability of the recipient government? The majority of published works regarding foreign aid effectiveness utilize a large-n case study over several decades without thoroughly examining each case. The ...


The European Immigration Crisis: An Analysis Of How Terror Attacks Have Affected Immigrant And Refugee Populations In Western Europe, Taylor M. Scimeca Jan 2017

The European Immigration Crisis: An Analysis Of How Terror Attacks Have Affected Immigrant And Refugee Populations In Western Europe, Taylor M. Scimeca

Honors Undergraduate Theses

The 2015 European Immigration Crisis brought an unprecedented number of immigrants to parts of Western Europe as millions of people fled war-torn and politically unstable countries. Similar to the increase in immigrants, Western European countries have also been combatting the rise of terror attacks throughout Europe. The increase in immigration coupled with an increase in terror attacks has caused anti-refugee sentiments among some Europeans and demands for stricter immigration policies. This paper examines how terrorism has impacted refugee and immigrant populations throughout Western Europe with a focus on Germany, France, and Belgium following the 2015 European Immigration Crisis.

In order ...


A Theoretical Analysis Of Isis Indoctrination And Recruitment, Trevor Hawkins Dec 2016

A Theoretical Analysis Of Isis Indoctrination And Recruitment, Trevor Hawkins

Capstone Projects and Master's Theses

This paper is an attempt to use various theories in the social sciences as a tool to understand the mechanisms employed in ISIS indoctrination and recruitment tactics. There is a discussion of theories that have been developed in the field of influence psychology, rationalizing the context of indoctrination within this area of study. There is a discussion of proposedly relevant materials in philosophy, specifically simulacrum and linguistic deconstruction. These components are extrapolated to interpret a first person account of ISIS indoctrination, the first-ever ISIS recruitment film, and a Radical-Islamist periodical Inspire Magazine. Using a form of propaganda film analysis, and ...