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Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-040-1

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Book part
Publication date: 11 September 2015

Christopher A. Shields, Brent L. Smith and Kelly R. Damphousse

In this chapter, we provide a brief historical framework of the events and policy changes that impacted the prosecution of terrorism over the past 50 years with emphasis…

Abstract

Purpose

In this chapter, we provide a brief historical framework of the events and policy changes that impacted the prosecution of terrorism over the past 50 years with emphasis placed on the changes that resulted from the 9/11 attacks.

Methodology/approach

We provide a review of relevant literature and complete the chapter by providing new data (2015) on case outcomes derived from the American Terrorism Study, a database housed in the Terrorism Research Center in Fulbright College, at the University of Arkansas.

Findings

Investigative and prosecutorial authority in U.S. terrorism cases has experienced ebbs and flows that correspond with terrorism attacks as well as missteps by the FBI, and each has impacted the success of prosecution efforts. Despite dramatic changes, the number of cases prosecuted after 9/11 is unprecedented, and conviction rates continue to climb.

Originality/value

This chapter provides the reader with a synopsis of the policy changes that have occurred in federal terrorism investigations and trials from the late 1960s upto the present. Based on that context, we provide an explanation of how those policy changes have impacted terrorism prosecutions.

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Terrorism and Counterterrorism Today
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-191-0

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Book part
Publication date: 11 September 2015

Brent L. Smith, Jeff Gruenewald, Paxton Roberts and Kelly R. Damphousse

In this chapter, we examine several attributes of lone wolf terrorists and how their activities are temporally and geospatially patterned. In particular, we demonstrate…

Abstract

Purpose

In this chapter, we examine several attributes of lone wolf terrorists and how their activities are temporally and geospatially patterned. In particular, we demonstrate how precursor behaviors and attack characteristics of lone wolves are similar and different compared to those of group-based terrorists.

Methodology/approach

Based on data drawn from the American Terrorism Study (ATS), we examine 268 federal terrorism “indictees” linked to 264 incidents. Three types of loners are identified based on group affiliations and levels of assistance in preparing for and executing terrorist attacks. A series of analyses comparatively examine loners who had no assistance and those actors that did.

Findings

The results of this study suggest that lone wolf terrorists are more educated and socially isolated than group-based actors. Lone wolves also engage in less precursor activities than group actors, but are willing to travel greater distances to prepare for and execute attacks. Explanations for why lone wolves are able to “survive” longer than terrorist groups by avoiding arrest may in part stem from their ability to temporally and geospatially position their planning and preparatory activities.

Originality/value

Studies on lone wolf terrorism remain few and many are plagued by methodological and conceptual limitations. The current study adds to this growing literature by relying on lone wolf terrorism data recently made available by the American Terrorism Study (ATS). Our findings are valuable for members of the law enforcement and intelligence communities responsible for the early detection and prevention of lone wolf terrorism in the United States.

Details

Terrorism and Counterterrorism Today
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-191-0

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 5 April 2004

Abstract

Details

Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-040-1

Click here to view access options
Book part
Publication date: 11 September 2015

Abstract

Details

Terrorism and Counterterrorism Today
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-191-0

Click here to view access options

Abstract

Details

Terrorism and Counterterrorism Today
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-191-0

Click here to view access options
Book part
Publication date: 11 September 2015

Gary LaFree and Laura Dugan

Prior to 9/11 criminologists paid relatively little attention to the study of terrorism. In 2004, the authors argued that criminologists had much to offer to advance our…

Abstract

Purpose

Prior to 9/11 criminologists paid relatively little attention to the study of terrorism. In 2004, the authors argued that criminologists had much to offer to advance our understanding of terrorism and urged scholars to conduct such research. This chapter accounts the theoretical and methodological contributions by the field of criminology to terrorist research.

Methodology/approach

This chapter demonstrates how the study of terrorism has begun to get more attention in various professional settings of criminology. It then reviews applications of criminological theory and methodological advances by criminologist to terrorism research. It ends by describing efforts to build terrorism event databases.

Findings

Terrorism-related research has become common at both of the major criminological professional association meetings. Funding for research on terrorism, especially a large program on domestic extremism sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, has contributed to a growing research literature. Academic courses on terrorism have also been added to criminology programs around the country. While the criminological literature on terrorism has expanded greatly more progress has been made in applying criminological methods than theories to the study of terrorism. To date the most common theoretical perspective from criminology applied to terrorism studies has been rational choice and deterrence.

Originality/value

This chapter takes inventory on how criminology has contributed to terrorism research. It serves to validate current efforts while encouraging continued progress.

Details

Terrorism and Counterterrorism Today
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-191-0

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-040-1

Click here to view access options
Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2000

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Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-665-7

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Abstract

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Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-040-1

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