What Drives Terrorism Part 1: Ideology and Theory

May 4, 2017 | 08:00 GMT

Understanding terrorism theory such as the leaderless resistance model and how groups practice it puts terrorist organizations in perspective.

(Cover of Inspire Magazine #15)

What drives terrorism? It's a question asked by governments and individuals, militaries and businesses. In an April 27 webinar in which Fred Burton and I discussed the evolution of terrorist threats toward soft targets, we briefly discussed this very topic. Knowing what these influential forces are is crucial to understanding how an attack is conducted, placing it in context and, perhaps most important, anticipating and even forecasting future changes in terrorism trends. Tactics and tradecraft never stop changing, either: They are constantly evolving to respond to external forces that enable, constrain and otherwise shape them. And while the list may differ among experts, the main drivers the Stratfor Threat Lens team tracks are ideology and terrorist theory, political and economic developments, counterterrorism efforts, technology, and media coverage. Based on public interest from the webinar, I'd like to pull back the curtain and provide a glimpse into how our methodology assesses these...

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