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Transnational Terrorism - Terrorist Tactics and Techniques (From Clandestine Tactics and Technology - A Technical and Background Intelligence Data Service, Volume 4 - See NCJ-77152)

NCJ Number
C A Russell; B H Miller
Date Published
33 pages
Terrorist group characteristics are described, commonalities and linkages between organizations are considered, and specific tactics used by terrorists are discussed and illustrated with descriptions of recent terrorist attacks.
Generally, terrorist groups are organized as a series of concentric rings, ranging from covert supporters providing no direct assistance in the outer circle to core cadres of operational activitists planning and carrying out terrorist acts in the inner circle. New recruits are drawn from the outer or less involved circles through a promotion process. Two types of terrorist organizations exist: national groups such as the Basque Fatherland and Liberation Movement and the Irish Republican Army, and transnational groups such as the Baader-Meinhof Group and the Japanese Red Army (JRA). Strong linkages exist between these two transnational groups and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFPL). Most individual terrorists are young, single males with nontechnical university training who come from middle or upper class backgrounds. The number of female and technically trained terrorists are increasing. Assassination with automatic weapons fire or bombs, as well as kidnappings are favored actions, and usually center on victims in cars. Other activities include bombing and arson of target buildings. The objectives of these tactics are demonstrating government inability to provide security, gaining publicity, and forcing a government to reduce the civil liberties of the general public as a response. Terrorist groups, notably German, Palestinian, and Japanese, have performed joint or proxy operations. Support for terrorist groups comes from patron states such as Libya, communist powers, and from robbery and extortion demands. Footnotes are included.