The Trajectory of Terrorism 1990-2030
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The Trajectory of Terrorism 1990-2030 Presentation by Alex P. Schmid, Director Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV), Netherlands Institute for International Relations ‘Clingendael’, Prinses Juliana Kazerne Conference‘Challenging Uncertainties: The Future of the Netherlands’ Armed Forces’16th - 17th December 2008


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Table 1: Ten Most Important Trends for the Future of Terrorism according to Proteus Think Tank (February 2008)

  • The Economy of the Developed World is on Path to Grow for at least the next five years;

  • Militant Islam continues to spread and gain power

  • The World’s population is on course to reach 9.2 billion by 2050.

  • Technology increasingly dominates both the economy and society.

  • Privacy, once a defining right for Americans, is dying quickly

  • The global economy is growing more integrated

  • Urbanization, arguably the world’s oldest trend, continues rapidly

  • The internet continues to grow, but at a slower pace.

  • Advanced communication technologies are changing the way we work and live

  • The United States is ceding its scientific and technical leadership to other countries.

Source: Marvin J. Cetron and Owen Davies. 55. Trends Now Shaping the Future of Terrorism. The Proteus Trend Series, Vol. 1, Issue 2, February 2008


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Table 2: Sample of “Expert” Predictions from July 2007 for 2007/08

A. de Borchgrave:”it is just a matter of time. My assumption is it will be a weapon of mass destruction”;

M. Cetron: “If they want to do a bioweapons attack they would be in a perfect position to do that”;

W. Phares: “…the next few months are crucial as they precede the presidential campaign year of 2008”;

P.L. Williams: “…[bin Laden] is planning to conduct an attack on seven to ten cities simultaneously”.

Source: Terrorism Open Source Intelligence Report (TOSIR), No. 289, 26 July 2007


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Table 3: Revised Academic Consensus Definition of Terrorism 2007 for 2007/08

1. Terrorism refers on the one hand to a doctrine about the presumed effectiveness of a special form or tactic of  fear-generating, coercive political violence  and, on the other hand, to a conspiratorial practice of calculated, demonstrative, direct violent action without legal or moral restraints, performed for its propagandistic and psychological effects on various audiences and conflict parties;2. Terrorism as a tactic is employed in three main contexts: (i) illegal state repression, (ii) propagandistic agitation by non-state actors in times of peace or outside zones of conflict and (iii) as a illicit tactic of irregular warfare  employed by state- and non-state actors.

Source: A.P. Schmid, Handbook of Terrorism Research, London, Routledge, forthcoming 2009.


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Table 4: Forms of Political Violence 2007 for 2007/08

other than Terrorism

  • Blockade/Public property damage/ looting/arson/sabotage

  • Violent demonstration/Mob violence/rioting

  • Raid//Banditry/Brigandry/ warlordism

  • Torture/mutilation/mass rape

  • Summary extra-judicial execution/massacre

  • Disappearances (= kidnapping + torture/maiming + murder)

  • Ethnic cleansing/ purge/pogrom

  • Rebellion/Revolt/Peasant uprising/ Urban insurrection/National liberation

  • struggle/Guerrilla warfare

  • Resistance to invasion/occupation by Partisan warfare

  • (Elite) coup d'etat/(mass) revolution

  • Civil war/armed intra-state conflict with, or without, state participation

  • Ethnocide/Politicide/Genocide/Democide

Source:    A.P. Schmid. Handbook of Terrorism Research. London, Routledge, forthcoming 2009.


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Table 5: Historical Evolution of Technology 2007 for 2007/08

  • Fire/Arson: Spanish Inquisition

  • Dagger/Blade: Sicarii, Assassins, French Revolution

  • Bombing: Gunpowder plot, Anarchists and many others

  • Handgun: Anarchists, Russian People’s Will

  • Hijacking: Cuban, Palestinians and many others(1960s)

  • Hostage Taking: Japanese Embassy in Peru 1996/1997

  • Vehicle Bombings: Hezbollah (1980s)

  • Suicide Bombing: LTTE, Hamas et al (1980s)

  • Chemical: Aum Shinrikyo (1995)

  • Biological: Anthrax Letters (2001)


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Table 6: Terrorist Tactics, based on 25,303 terrorist events, 1968-2004

% of all events % of all casualties

Bombs 53.4 70.1

Guns 19.9 23.0

Arson 9.8 2.7

Remote control bombs 1.9 4.7

Knives & other blades 1.3 2.1

Chemical 0.2 0.59

Biological 0.08 0.02

Other 13.3 8.1

Total 100.0 100.0

Source: p.49.Kenneth T. Bogen and Edwin D. Jones. Risks of Mortality and Morbidity from Worldwide Terrorism: 1968-2004. Risk Analysis Vol. 26, No.1, 2006. – Data utilized are from RAND-MIPT. Incidents until 1997 include only international terrorism.


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Table 7: Terrorist Incidents Worldwide events, 1968-2004

Source: MIPT (domestic and international) – It should be noted that MIPT does not count civilians killed by governments.


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Table 8: Death in Current Armed Conflicts events, 1968-2004

Democratic Republic of the Congo, since 1990 4,000,000

Sudan since 1983 2,000,000

Afghanistan since 1978 1,500,000

Uganda since 1987 500,000

Somalia since 1988 400,000

Sudan/Darfur since 2003 400,000

Burundi since 1993 300,000

Algeria since 1992 200,000

Colombia since 1964 200,000

Philippines since 1971 150,000

Israel/Palestine since 1948 120,000

Sri Lanka since 1948 100,000

Source: Mitchell Beazley. Where We Are Now. London, Octopus Publ. Group, 2008, p.103.


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Table 9: Terrorist Incidents Worldwide in 2005 and 2006 according to US National Counter Terrorism Center

Source: US National Counter Terrorism Centre as quoted in US Department of State. Country Reports on Terrorism and Patterns of Global Terrorism. Washington, DC, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, 21 March 2007, p.3; available at www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2006/82739.htm, consulted on 04/05/2007


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Table 10: Terrorist Logistical Success: 1968-2007 according to US National Counter Terrorism Center

Source: ITERATE, calculated by Peter Flemming


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Table 11: Non-State Terrorism in 1970: according to US National Counter Terrorism Center

Types of Incidents

  • Palestinian extremists sabotage and hijack airliners

  • Urban guerrillas in Latin America regularly kidnap foreign diplomats, demanding the release of their imprisoned comrades, first in Latin America, then in Europe and the Middle East;

  • First terrorist groups appeared in Europe and Japan

  • Terrorist bombings became increasingly common

Source: Brian Michael Jenkins. Unconquerable Nation. Knowing Our Enemy, Strengthening Ourselves. St. Monica, RAND, 2006, p. 6. 10


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Table 12: Non-State Terrorism since 1970: according to US National Counter Terrorism Center

Types of Incidents

  • Attack on Olympic games 1972

  • Embassy party taken hostage in Lima

  • Bombs on trains and subways in Paris, Moscow, Madrid, Manila, London

  • Nerve gas attack in Tokyo’s subways

  • Truck bomb explosions in centre of London and Oklahoma

  • Suicide bombers walking into restaurants, shopping malls, buses, hotel lobbies

  • Trucks full of explosives driven into embassies, synagogues and mosques

  • Jumbo jets blown from the sky; surface-to-air missiles fired at civilian airliners

  • Hijacked planes flown into skyscrapers.

Source: Brian Michael Jenkins. Unconquerable Nation. Knowing Our Enemy, Strengthening Ourselves. St. Monica, RAND, 2006, p. 6. 10


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Table 13: ‘New’ Elements in ‘ New Terrorism’ according to US National Counter Terrorism Center

  • Attempts to acquire Weapons of Mass Destruction

  • Religious Fanaticism

  • Catastrophic Terrorism

  • Border Porosity

  • Global Communication

  • Diaspora Bridgeheads (Portable conflicts)

  • Kamikaze Suicide Terrorism

  • Expansion of Range of Targets (Tourists, ICRC, UN)

  • Links with Organized Crime

  • New Sources of Financing

  • Failed and weak states as de facto safe havens

  • New types of weapons (e.g. MANPADs)


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Table 14: Terrorist Incidents before & after 9/11 according to US National Counter Terrorism Center

Before 9/11 After 9/11

Armed Attacks + 644 6185

Arson Events + 315 563

Assassinations + 492 1260

Barricades/Hostage Takings - 41 26

Bombings + 3236 11,409

Hijackings - 28 14 (inc. 9/11)

Kidnappings + 373 1268

By other means + 99 561

Source: Source: Mitchell Beazley. Where We Are Now. London, Octopus Publ. Group, 2008, p.115 based mainly on MIPT : Terrorism Knowledge Base.


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Table 15: Civilian Deaths from Terrorist Attacks, 1990 – 2007

1990 – 1994: 1,365

1995-1999: 4,328

2000- 2004: 15,532

2005 – 2008 (incomplete): 27,191

Total: 48,416

Source: Source: Mitchell Beazley. Where We Are Now. London, Octopus Publ. Group, 2008, p.115 based mainly on MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base.


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Table 16: Incidents by Region: 1998 - 03/03/2008  2007

Source: MIPT, at http://www.tkb.org, as of 03/03/2008


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Table 17: Targets of Planned, Foiled and Failed Terrorist Attacks outside Europe, 1993-2006

Symbolic targets: biblical sites; Pope; White House; Statue of Liberty.

Major events: soccer stadium, apartment buildings.

Common people: American school; soccer stadia; tourist places; “Westerners”.

Government: United Nations; FBI & CIA headquarters; Capitol.

Transport: New York Subway; airports; US navy ship.

Business: banks.

Infrastructure: NY tunnels ;UK Tower bridge; pipelines; oil refinery; nuclear power plant.


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Table 18: Attacks outside Europe, 1993-2006European Targets of 44 Planned, failed and Foiled Jihadist Terrorist Attacks, 1994-2006

Symbolic targets: Eiffel Tower; church; synagogue.

Major events: G-7 meeting; world soccer cup final.

Common people: Christmas market, shopping centre; nightclub;

funeral of Pope.

Government: embassies, Ministry of Defense; house of parliament, supreme court.

Transport: airport; aircraft; trains; passenger ships; subway.

Business: Trade centre.

Infrastructure: nuclear power plant; air force base; computer backup server centre.


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Table 19: Casualty Rates of Major Al Qaeda related/inspired Terrorist Attacks

Killed Wounded

8/7 1998: Attacks on US embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salam 224 4,000

9/11 2001: Attacks on US targets, incl. WTC, with four airplanes 2.998 6.291

10/12: Bomb attacks in Bali on Western Tourists 202 209

11/15 2004 Two attacks in Istanbul on Jewish synagogues 25 300+

11/20 2004: Attack on British consulate in Istanbul 27 450

3/11 2004: Ten bombs explode in four trains in Madrid 192 1.800

7/7/2005: Attack on London underground and bus 52 700

11/09 2005: Amman bombing 57 96

Source: Spiegel Jahrbuch 2003. Hamburg & Muenchen, Der Spiegel Verlag/ Deutscher TaschenbuchVerlag, 2003, pp. 538-543 ; Spiegel Spezial. Terror: der Krieg des 21. Jahrhunderts. Hamburg, Der Spiegel, 2/2004, pp. 55;Der Fischer Weltalmanach 2005. Frankfurt a. M., Fischer Verlag, 2004, p.434.


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Table 20: Number of Incidents and Casualties of Major Al Qaeda Central Attacks

Year Incidents Killed Wounded Total Casualties

1995: 1 7 60 67

1996: 0 0 0 0

1997: 1 68 24 92

1998: 2 224 4077+ 4301+

1999: 1 1 0 1

2000: 1 17 39 56

2001: 1 2998 6291 9289

2002: 6 31 112 143

2003: 4 97 429+ 526+

2004: 5 62 206 268

2005: 5 46 89 135

2006: 7 6 37 43

2007: 1 24 50+ 74+

2008: 0 0 0 0

Totals: 35 3581 11414+ 14995+

Source: Data calculated by B. McAllister, CSTPV


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Table 21: Locations of al-Qaeda ‘Central’ Attacks, 1998 - 2007

Year Location

1998: Kenya, Tanzania

1999: India

2000: Yemen

2001: United States

2002: Pakistan, Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, Kenya

2003: Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Indonesia

2004: Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Spain, Iraq

2005: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, UK, Iraq

2006: Algeria, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Iraq

2007: Pakistan, Iraq

Source: Data calculated by B. McAllister, CSTPV


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Table 22: Al Qaeda’s Strategic Goals as of mid-2005 (Ayman al-Zawahiri)

Stage 1: Expel the Americans from Iraq

Stage 2: Establish an Islamic authority or emirate, then

develop it and support it until

it achieves the level of caliphate

Stage 3: Extend the jihad wave to the secular countries

neighbouring Iraq

Stage 4: (maybe coinciding with what came before):

the clash with Israel


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Table 23: Al Qaeda’s Twenty-Years’ Grand Plan al-Zawahiri)

Phase 1: (2001-2003): “The Awakening”: awake the Islamic nation from its state of hibernation by causing United States to "act chaotically”.

Phase 2: (20032006): “Eye-Opening”: turn Iraq into a recruiting ground for young men eager to attack America; conduct “electronic jihad”

Phase 3 (2007-2010): “Arising and Standing Up” Al Qaeda focus of struggle on Syria and Turkey, also begin of confrontation with Israel

Phase 4 (2011-2013): Al Qaeda to bring about demise of Arab governments, continued attacks on oil industry, electronic attacks to undermine U.S. economy, bringing about the collapse of the dollar by promoting gold as exchange medium

Phase 5 (2014-2016): “declaration of Islamic caliphate” leading to change of int. balance of power by seeking new economic allies such as China

Phase 6 (2017-2020): “total confrontation”: the now established caliphate’s Islamic Army will achieve “definitive victory”.

Source: Lawrence Wright. The Master Plan. For the new theorists of jihad, Al Qaeda is just the beginning. The New Yorker , September 11, 2006, pp.7-8; at: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2007/09/11/060911fa_fact3?cur..., as of 08/10/2008.


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Table 24: Progress of Al Qaeda on the Path to a Caliphate al-Zawahiri)

  • Stay alive and active and show that jihad against Crusaders and Zionists is a feasible strategy

  • Transform Al Qaeda from a militant group into a political movement

  • Portray the GWOT as a war on Islam

  • Trap the United States in “bleeding wars”

  • Overthrow the government of Pakistan

  • Crusaders and Zionist armies to leave Muslim lands defeated after the collapse of their economies.

  • Attack with weapon of mass destruction to make USA isolationist.

  • Provoke war between USA and Iran and Israel and Saudi Arabia

  • Overthrow of all apostate rulers in Muslim countries

  • Recover “every stolen Islamic land from Palestine to al-Andalus and other Islamic lands that were lost”

  • Reunite the Ummah and establishment of a Caliphate

  • Introduction of Salafism and Sharia law everywhere.

Source: Various,;incl. Bruce Reidel. The Search for Al Qaeda. Its Leadership, Ideology, and Future. Washington, D.C. Brookings Institution Press, 2008, pp.34, 53,113, 121, 124.


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Table 25: Future of Terrorism according to US Homeland Security Advisory Council, January 2007 - Selected Findings

  • Terrorism is a tactic that can be employed by any adversary. Potential threats can come from unexpected as well as familiar directions.

  • Future of terrorism will depend, in large part, on use & accessibility of technology

  • Future of terrorism will be affected in part by the mobility of people.

  • Future of terrorism will be shaped by our actions in defending against terrorism

  • Understanding the future of terrorism requires our understanding trends and developments in a wide range of areas.

  • The most significant terrorist threat to the homeland today stems from a global movement, underpinned by a jihadist/Salafist ideology

Source: Homeland Security Advisory Council. Report of the Future of Terrorism Task Force. Washington , DC, DHS, January 2007, pp. 3-5.


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Table 25a: Future of Terrorism according to US Homeland Security Advisory Council, January 2007 - Selected Findings cont.

  • Core of al Qaeda is resilient and resurgent, remains a threat to USA.

  • A more pressing threat will be the wider movement inspired by al Qaeda .

  • While difficult to measure with precision, al Qaeda’s ideology is spreading

  • Threat of state-sponsored terrorism will not disappear.

  • Internet has become a major facilitator of terrorism, spreading jihadist ideology

  • Alienation of Muslim populations in the West major component in spread of

  • jihadist ideology.

Source: Homeland Security Advisory Council. Report of the Future of Terrorism Task Force. Washington , DC, DHS, January 2007pp. 3-5.


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Table 26: Terrorism 2015 – US Dept. of Homeland Security workshop – some views expressed

  • Al Qaeda will rely more on Western radicalized Muslims to assist in future attacks

  • Greatest threat to the United States in 2015 will be form groups operating out of Europe

  • Next decade may see an increase in technology –assisted terrorism

  • The United States should be prepared to see a surge of sleeper cells over the next ten years

Source: http://www.hklaw.com/content/maritime/mardocs/Workshop_2015.pdf


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Table 27: The CBRN Threat of Terrorism: workshop – some views expressed

Fact or Fiction?

Radiological: trafficking in radio-isotopes but no incidents

Nuclear: trafficking in plutonium and highly enriched uranium – but no incidents with improvised, stolen or sold nuclear device

Chemical: Sarin attack in Tokyo’s subway system in April 1005: 12 killed, dozens wounded

Biological: Anthrax attack in USA 2001: 5 killed, 22 infected


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Table 28: Terroristic Catastrophe Scenarios of US Department of Homeland Security

  • Detonation of a 10 kiloton nuclear device by terrorists;

  • a biological attack with aerosolized anthrax;

  • an outbreak of pneumonic plague;

  • a flu pandemic originating in South Asia;

  • the release of a chemical agent over a football stadium;

  • an attack on an oil refinery;

  • the explosion of a chlorine tank

  • three cesium-137 dirty bombs detonated in three different cities

  • the explosion of improvised explosive devices in sports arenas and emergency rooms;

  • the contamination of ground beef by liquid anthrax.

Cit. Philip Bobbitt.. Terror and Consent. The Wars for the Twenty-First Century. London, Allen Lane, 2008, p. 234


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Table 29 : Homeland Security Planning Scenarios 2004 of Homeland Security

1. Nuclear DetonationCan vary widely

2. Biological Attack 13,000 fatalities & injuries

3. Biological Disease Outbreak (Pandemic Flu) 87,0000 fatalities, 300,000 hospitalized

4. Biological Attack – Plague 2,500 fatalities;7,000 injuries

5. Chemical Attack – Blister Agent 150 fatalities; 70,000 hospitalized

6. Chemical Attack –Toxic Indust. Chemicals 350 fatalities;1,000 hospitalizations

7. Chemical Attack – Nerve Agent 6,000 fatalities; 350 injuries

8. Chem. Attack –Chlorine Tank Explosion 17,500 fatalities; 10,000 injuries

9. Radiological Attach – RDD 180 fatalities;20,000 contaminations

10. Explosive Attack IED Bombing 100 fatalities; 450 hospitalizations

11. Biological attack – Food Contamination 300 fatalities; 400 hospitalizations


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Table 30: of Homeland SecuritySeven Key Drivers of Global Change (from Global Trends 2015)

  • Demographics

  • Natural resources and the environment

  • Science and technology

  • The global economy and globalization

  • National and international governance

  • Future conflict

  • The role the United States

Source: Robert L. Hutchings, Chairman of the [US] National Intelligence council in introduction to National Intelligence Council. Mapping the Global Future: Report of the National Intelligence Council ‘s 2020 Project. Washington, D.C., NIC, 2005, .p 2


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Table 31: Key Drivers of ‘Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World’

  • Globalization

  • Demography

  • Rise of New Powers

  • Decay of International Institutions

  • Climate Change

  • Geopolitics of Energy

Source: [US] National Intelligence Council. Global Trends 2025. A Transformed World Washington, D.C. , GPO, November 2008 (NIC 2008-003).


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Table 32: Key Drivers of Radicalisation, according to Global Futures Forum

  • Mass communication and propaganda

  • Western responses to radicalisation

  • Governance in target countries

  • Western dominance (both real and perceived)

  • State-to-state tensions

  • Religion (and its relationship to politics)

  • Government responsiveness (civil society)

  • Immigration and demographics

  • “Us- vs. -Them” identity politics

  • New ideologies

  • Resources (scarcities, conflicts over ~)

  • Violence (associated with extremism)

Global Futures Forum. Radical Worlds of 2020. Imagining the Futures of Radicalisation. The Hague, 12-14 December 2007, pp. 54.


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Table 33: Factors Facilitating Future Terrorism, according to Brynar Lia (2005)

  • Resilience and longevity of the international jihadist networks

  • unipolar exclusionist and interventionist world order

  • weak transitional states

  • non-state actors in global politics

  • globalisation of organized crime

  • Middle East oil dependence

  • Migration and ethnic heterogenisation of Western societies

  • Growing information interconnectedness

  • Proliferation of deadly technologies

  • Out-of-area spill-over from ongoing armed conflicts

Source:Brynjar Lia. Globalisation and the Future of Terrorism. Patterns and Predictions. London, Routledge, 2005, pp. 187-188.


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Table 34 : Terrorism in 2025 (US National Intelligence Estimate)

“Terrorism is unlikely to disappear by 2025, but its appeal could diminish if economic growth continues and youth unemployment is mitigated in the Middle East. Economic opportunities for youth and greater political pluralism probably would dissuade some from joining terrorists’ ranks, but others – motivated by a variety of factors, such as a desire for revenge or to become ‘martyrs’ – will continue to turn to violence to purpose their objectives”.

“Terrorist and insurgent groups in 2025 will likely be a combination of descendants of long-established groups – that inherit organizational structures, command and control processes, and training procedures necessary to conduct sophisticated attacks – and newly emergent collections of the angry and disenfranchised that become self-radicalized. (…)Future radicalism could be fuelled by global communications and mass media. Increasing interconnectedness will enable individuals to coalesce around common causes across national boundaries, creating new cohorts of the angry, downtrodden, and disenfranchised”.

US] National Intelligence Council. Global Trends 2025. A Transformed World Washington, D.C. , GPO, November 2008 (NIC 2008-003), p. 68 [emphasis added, AS].


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Table 35: Rapoport’s four Waves Theory Estimate)

1st Wave: 1879- World War I: Anarchist Wave

2nd Wave: 1920s to 1960s: Anti-Colonial Wave

3rd Wave: 1960s – early 1980s: New Left Wave

4th Wave: 1979- today: Religious Wave

5th Wave: Today – 2030s?: The New Tribalism?

Source: David C. Rapoport. The Four Waves of Rebel Terror and September 11. Anthropoetics 8, no. 1 (Spring / Summer 2002); Jeffrey Kaplan. The Fifth Wave: The New Tribalism? Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol. 19, No.4, 2007, pp.545-570.


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Table 36: Fifth Wave of Terrorism - Tribal? Estimate)

Key Features, according to J. Kaplan.

  • Radical quest for purity – racial, tribal, ecological, etc.

  • Belief in human perfectibility and chiliastic utopia in this lifetime

  • Children are the vanguard of the fifth wave as they are the least contaminated by the old society

  • Rape is the signature tactic of the fifth wave

  • Fifth wave groups are localistic and particularistic….

  • Authoritarian in nature with charismatic leadership patterns

  • Chiliastic in nature…millenarian dream to be realized through a campaign of apocalyptic violence.

Source:Jeffrey Kaplan. The Fifth Wave: The New Tribalism? Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol. 19, No.4, 2007, p.548.


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Table 37: Key Drivers in Armed Conflict Estimate)

  • Increasing Importance of Information

  • The Evolution of Irregular Warfare Capabilities

  • The Prominence of the Non-military Aspects of Warfare

  • The Expansion and Escalation of Conflict beyond the Traditional Battlefield

US] National Intelligence Council. Global Trends 2025. A Transformed World Washington, D.C. , GPO, November 2008 (NIC 2008-003), p. 71.


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Table 38: Major Elements of overall military capability for NATO Armed Forces

1.Command and Control

2. Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Assessment

3. Intelligence Support

4. Education, Training and Exercise

5. NBC Defense

6. Special Operations

7. Electronic Warfare

8. Interdiction

9. Logistics

10. Power Projection

11. Combined Joint Operations

12. Land Operations

13. Air Operations

14. Maritime Operations.

Source: Alex P. Schmid. Comparative Analysis of Six Dutch Scenarios and Twenty Nato ‘Planning Situations’. Leiden, PIOOM, March 1998, p.6.


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Table 39: Roles of the Military in Counter-Terr. NATO Armed Forces

  • commando operations for hostage liberation

  • intelligence-led precision strikes on terrorist

  • training facilities

  • target hardening (protection critical infrastructures)

  • assistance to police

  • perimeter control after a terrorist attack

  • major role when terrorism turns into insurgency


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  • Table 40: Classic Tenets of Counterinsurgency NATO Armed Forces

  • ‘Unity of Effort’ – integrated employment of political, military, economic, social and psychological countermeasures

  • Win the ‘hearts and minds’ of the population

  • Gain greater credibility than the insurgent. Legitimacy is the main objective

  • Deny insurgents sanctuary

  • Police primacy

  • Focus on intelligence

  • Selective and discriminate use of force

  • Avoid overreaction to insurgent violence

  • Separate insurgents from support base

  • Use clear and hold, ‘oil spot’ tactics to gradually sanitise areas of insurgents

  • Secure (host-)nation borders

  • Protect key infrastructure


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Table 41: How Terrorist Campaigns Came to an end (n=268) NATO Armed Forces

Source: Seth Jones. How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering Al Qa’ida. ST Monica, RAND, 2008, p.19


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Table 42: Definition of Levels of Victory in War (W.C. Martel, 2008)

  • Tactical victory such as winning either a specific battle or, as a result of the cumulative effect of many such battlefield triumphs, a war;

  • Political-military victory (based on a sufficient number of tactical victories), entailing a state’s achieving some of its political and military goals; and

  • Grand Strategy victory or the strategic successes that occur through the destruction of a society, its military, economy, and institutions of governance when the winning side imposes a strategic change in the international system by destroying the ideological and moral values of a society and then re-establishing the foundations of the enemy state, including its government, economy and military power.

Source: cit. William C. Martel. Victory in War. Foundations of Modern Military Policy. Cambridge, University Press, 2007, pp. 9-10, 96-98.


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Thank you for your attention. Martel, 2008)Questions?

Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence

School of International Relations,

University of St. Andrews




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Table : Elements and Dimensions of Scenarios Terrorism Cont.

  • What are the driving forces? (logic of the story based on predetermined forces)

  • What are the critical uncertainties?

  • What is inevitable?

  • Which chains of events will lead to this or that scenario?

  • Who are likely to be the winners and losers?

  • What will be the challenges and responses?

  • What is evolutionary, what is revolutionary (unbroken and broken lines into future)

  • What are the specific indicators for each scenario (current weak or strong signals pointing to one or another possible future)?

Source: Alex P. Schmid. Comparative Analysis of Six Dutch Scenarios and Twenty Nato ‘Planning Situations’. Leiden, PIOOM, March 1998, p.6.


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Table 29: Possible Scale of Terrorist Attacks Terrorism Cont.

(1993 Estimates)

Source: Office of Technology Assessment. Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Assessing the Risks. U.S. Congress, 1993; cit. Michael E. O’ Hanlon et al. Protecting the American Homeland. A Preliminary Analysis. Washington, D.C., Brookings Institution Press, 2002, p.6.


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