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Application: Comparing Terrorist Groups

In the readings this week, many different terrorist groups, historic and contemporary, are discussed. While these and other terrorist groups may share some commonalities, it is important to keep in mind that no two terrorist groups are exactly the same. Each terrorist group can be unique in terms of their membership, goals and objectives, and tactics they use to carry out acts of terror. For instance, one terrorist group may engage in assassinations and suicide bombings while another may engage in hijackings and the use of weapons of mass destruction. Public administrators and policymakers must be aware of such differences and create distinct policies and strategies aimed at combating terrorism promulgated by specific terrorist groups.

To prepare for this assignment:

  • Review Chapter 2 in the course text Terrorism in Perspective. Consider the characteristics of historic terrorist groups.
  • Review Chapter 3 in the course text Terrorism in Perspective. Think about the characteristics of international terrorist groups.
  • Review Chapter 5 in the course text Terrorism in Perspective. Reflect on the characteristics of homegrown terrorist groups.
  • Review the assigned pages of Chapter 4 in the course text Terrorism in Perspective. Consider the tactics that terrorist groups might use to carryout acts of terror.
  • Select two terrorist groups to compare. You may select any terrorist groups mentioned in the Learning Resources, those identified on the U.S. Department of State Web page “Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” or those on the U.S. Department of State’s Terrorist Exclusion List Web page. Note: Please scroll down the page for the list of designees.
  • Think about the similarities and differences between the groups you selected in terms of geographic location, membership, motivations, objectives, and tactics.

The assignment (2 pages): The Groups are: Domestic right-wing terrorist groups and domestic terrorists left-wing groups 

  • Briefly describe the terrorist groups you selected.
  • Compare (similarities and differences) the groups in terms of:
    • Geographic location
    • Membership
    • Motivations
    • Objectives
    • Tactics
  • Explain at least one insight you had or conclusion you drew about terrorist groups as a result of your comparison.

Support your Application with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list only for those resources not included in the Learning Resources for this course. Submit your assignment by Day 7.