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Connectivity Among Terrorist Groups: A Two Models Business Maturity Approach

NCJ Number
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism Volume: 30 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2007 Pages: 593-613
Kevin C. Desouza; Tobin Hensgen
Date Published
July 2007
21 pages
This article describes two business models ("resource" and "alliance") that show how terrorist groups have begun to cooperate.
Al Qaeda operates under a resource model, which involves the exchanging of physical assets, information, practical knowledge, and action. Regarding physical exchanges, al Qaeda provides terrorist training sites/camps to any group that supports the fundamentalist Islamic ideology. Those who are trained are expected to participate in the al Qaeda agenda, which includes the execution of the terrorist tactics they have learned at the training camp. In addition, terrorist groups rely on their peers for local information. This can include information on a government, a physical environment, the nature of military and intelligence service, and financial services. The exchange of knowledge goes beyond information exchange to include practical expertise in the performance of specific tasks related to various terrorist operations. Action exchanges pertain to the sharing and interaction of personnel among like-minded terrorist groups in order to facilitate planning and executing specific terrorist attacks. The alliance model refers to business practices that involve mergers/acquisitions designed to increase market share, merge assets and resources, and improve the delivery of products and services. Terrorist groups operate in a similar manner. Like businesses, terrorist groups are organizations that need to survive in competitive environments and protect themselves from outside threats. This is done by forging appropriate links with other groups in order to achieve mutual benefits that advance the goals of each group. Such alliances help an organization achieve its goals by tapping into resources held by other parties; for example, one party will provide weapons and training, and another party will provide the personnel for training and executing attacks with the weaponry. 38 notes