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What Drives Terrorism Part 3: Counterterrorism Efforts

MIN READMay 18, 2017 | 08:00 GMT

Islamic State bomb instructions
A picture taken from Inspire magazine shows bombmaking components. Potential terrorists are constantly trying to outwit security and counterterrorism forces with new and imaginative techniques.

(Inspire Magazine)

What drives terrorism? For the past two weeks I've tried to answer this question by looking at the forces that influence trends in terrorism tactics, targets and tradecraft. The first part of the series examined the importance of ideology and terrorist theory in shaping terrorism trends, while the second focused on how political and economic developments influence these dynamics. Of course, factors that drive group behavior are distinct from the psychological and social forces that lead an individual to become radicalized, a topic that has been studied in much more detail. Still, they help put attacks in context and permit observers to see how terrorism evolves so that the changes can be tracked and anticipated. But an equally important question to ask is, what stops terrorism? What actions do governments and law enforcement take to prevent or mitigate the impact of terrorist attacks? Understanding counterterrorism measures is enlightening for those they...

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