Networks and the War on
Terror
Michael Stohl
Cynthia Stohl
University of California Santa Barbara
Department of Communication
ANU TERRORISM WORKSHOP
1 April 2005
How will we fight and win this war? We will direct
every resource at our command—every means of
diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every
instrument of law enforcement, every financial
influence, and every necessary weapon of war—to
the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror
network.“
George W. Bush, Address to Joint Session of Congress September 20,
2001
THE IDEA OF TERROR NETWORKS IS NOT NEW
ALEXANDER HAIG AND
CLAIRE STERLING (1981)
THE REAGAN
 argued that there existed an
ADMINISTRATION
international network of
 went further and suggested
terrorists within whose
that the Russians were behind
center one found a
it all. The administration was
unable to convince its own
Palestinian connection and a
intelligence agencies (or those
Russian patron, with, quite
of its allies) to support its
often, a Cuban cutout
view of the Soviet role and
providing the shield for
was not able to provide public
direct Russian participation
evidence for the existence of
 argued that the Soviet Union
such an actual network
had placed a loaded gun of
the world table and
William Casey, Director of the CIA,
benefited each time
confronted his analysts when they refused
someone picked it up and
to confirm that the Soviets were behind it
all. "Read Claire Sterling's book and
used it.
forget this mush. I paid $13.95 for this
and it told me more than you bastards
whom I pay $50,000 a year."
BUT…Ironically


Bob Woodward reports that Sterling had been
leaked material as part of a CIA propaganda
scheme.(see Woodward, Bob, Veil: The Secret Wars
of the CIA, 1981-1987, Headline Press, 1987, pp.
125-127).
Thus, while there is no doubt that there was Soviet
support for the aims of many of the groups that were
under suspicion, and that many members of those
groups had passed through either the Soviet Union or
one of its client states, there was also no clear
network chart that distinguished the types of clear
links, membership and type of network.

People have been talking about terror networks long
before September 11, 2001
• Despite the discrediting of some of the claims
• Despite the new developments in network analysis
and network theories

We still are relying on some outdated, outmoded
ways of thinking about and analyzing networks.
Terrorism and Networks
Purpose of our talk
Explore the relationship between what we as scholars
know about networks and terrorism and our
responses to terrorism
What can a network approach contribute to
1.
2.
3.
our understanding of terrorism,
identifying the possible connections among various
terrorist groups and the implications for how they
communicate, operate and cooperate
what our responses are/should be?
BASIC ASSUMPTIONS
Political terrorism needs to be seen as a process of
political communication and not simply a destructive
or “simple” act of violence.
To understand terrorist networks, we must take into
account that networks are much more than
"communication structures" or "information flow
charts."
Networks are a tapestry of agents, communicative
relationships, histories, and a complex interwoven
symbolic fabric-- all embedded in the larger global
system.
What should an analysis of “networks
of terror” do?



Should explain how various terrorist groups, and
other organizations and states are connected
Describe how they are organized and how they
operate as a network.
Explicate what we mean by membership in the
network and how the various members are linked.
• How the members are linked alters our understanding of
what it means to be connected and how important those
connections are.
Not all connections are equal
What should an analysis of “networks
of terror” do?

Distinguish between the ability “to network,”
(i.e., the structural capacity to activate the
ubiquitous six degrees of separation) from the
ability to mobilize, control, and coordinate
members for specific planned acts.
• Connections do not equal coordination, temporary
exchange relationships do not equal control and
identification of an agreed enemy does not equal
the emergence of an organization
To study terrorist networks we need to
know
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
What is a/the network?
Who is in the network? What are its boundaries?
What relations are encompassed in the network?
How are nodes connected?
What are the relevant structural properties?
What types of ties exist?
How are networks embedded within society?
What network processes are associated with
structure?
1. What is a network?

Networks consist of interconnected nodes linked by
patterned flows of information, influence,
coordination, support, functionality, affect, and
message interpretation.
•
•
•
•
•
•
Nodes: Who/what comprises the networks
Attributes: Qualities of the nodes
Links: connections between nodes
Relations: What comprises the network links
Roles: Positions within network
Network Concepts and Measures:




Strength of tie
Centrality of link/network
Reciprocity of link
Density
What is a network: Organizational
Structures matter


Is the organization composed of thousands of members,
hundreds of cells and located in 60 or more countries or is it a
much smaller organization which coalesces with other existing
organizations when it needs to move people, money or
material around the world.
Is Al Qaeda
a loose confederation of organizations?
• If so, then we find linkages based upon resource dependency and
exchange

a hierarchical organization with a cell structure?
• If so, then we have a bureaucratic chain of command

a horizontal modern “networked organization?”
• If so, the absence of an overarching bureaucracy necessitates that group
cohesion is maintained through shared norms and values.
IS THIS A TERRORIST NETWORK?

OR is Al Qaeda an example of Lewis Beam’s “leaderless
resistance” which is comprised of
• “Organs of information distribution, such as newspapers,
leaflets, computers, etc. which are widely available to all,
keep each person informed of events allowing for a planned
response that will take many variations. NO one need issue
an order to anyone.”
2. Who is in the network? What are its
boundaries?

Depending upon how
we define link, the
membership and
configuration of
networks change and
our understanding of
organizing processes is
somewhat altered
Network Specification: A long
recognized problem
“In view of the potential consequences of an
incorrect specification of system boundaries in
network analysis , it is somewhat surprising that the
published literature reporting studies of social
networks shows little concern for the problem of
specifying the inclusion rules in defining the
membership of actors in particular networks and in
identifying the types of social relationships to be
analyzed (Laumann, Marsden and Prensky,
1983:19).”
Al Qaeda

It is neither a single group or a coalition of groups: it
comprised a core base or bases in Afghanistan,
satellite terrorist cells worldwide, a conglomerate of
Islamist political parties, and other largely
independent terrorist groups that it draws on for
offensive actions and other responsibilities. Leaders
of all the above are co-opted as and when necessary
to serve as an integral part of Al Qaeda’s high
command, which is run via a vertical leadership
structure that provides strategic direction and tactical
support to its horizontal network of
compartmentalized cells and associate organizations
(Gunaratna, 2002, 54).
Al-Qaeda Specification



Early stages:
U.S. government made the network as large as it
could
Loose identification rules and unspecified linkage
rules enabled law enforcement agencies throughout
the world (both because they were interested in
“combating terrorism” and because by doing so they
could obtain U.S. financial assistance and gratitude)
to count anyone they sought and/or arrested as
“members” of al-Qaeda.
By 2002, pressure for success brought incentives
to limit scale and scope of al-Qaeda
At the same time, reporters also noted that some of the same
officials were indicating that the threat of terror itself had not
diminished because a new organization or a new
organizational form was emerging. “Officials emphasized that
it was no longer possible simply to label all post- Sept. 11
plots as al-Qaeda inspired, because the new terror alliance has
largely replaced the old bin Laden network” (Johnston, Van
Natta and Miller, 2002, p.10).
Assuming that the administration was not simply engaging in
Orwellian doublespeak when it both announced the
elimination of much of the al-Qaeda central command
structure and support infrastructure and also indicated that it
would no longer count all terror attacks as linked to al-Qaeda,
the obvious question is whether the new organization was
indeed new or if the administration did not understand the
nature of the network that it was confronting at the two points
in time.
Perhaps most disturbingly, Johnson, Van Natta, and
Miller reported on June 19, 2002, “classified
investigations of the al-Qaeda threat now under way
at the F.B.I. and C.I.A, have concluded that the war in
Afghanistan failed to diminish the threat to the United
States. Some analysts suggest that the war might have
complicated counterterrorism efforts by dispersing
potential attackers across the globe.”
After the Iraq war, analysts worried not only about
dispersal but also the movement of terrorists to post
war Iraq
Implications of mis-specifying the
Network
If we believe that each of the groups is a constituent unit of AlQaeda, action against them may make operational sense.
If they are not part of Al-Qaeda at best the actions divert valuable
resources from the efforts against Al-Qaeda.
Further, such actions may inadvertently provide “ammunition” to
those groups, by uniting them.
One of the “security” arguments against a war with Iraq, we may
recall, was that such a war would likely trigger attacks from
like minded groups who are not coordinated nor controlled by
Al-Qaeda, but would use the opportunity to mobilize
populations against the United States for their own
organizational purposes (an outcome which appears in some
parts of the world to have occurred).
3. What relations constitute the network?
What relations constitute the Al Qaeda Network?
In early 2001 the FBI reported: Although Al-Qaeda functions
independently of other terrorist organizations, it also
functions through some of the terrorist organizations that
operate under its umbrella or with its support, including:
the Al-Jihad, the Al-Gamma Al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group led by Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and later by Ahmed
Refai Taha, a/k/a "Abu Yasser al Masri,"), Egyptian
Islamic Jihad, and a number of jihad groups in other
countries, including the Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia,
Yemen, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Afghanistan, Pakistan,
Bosnia, Croatia, Albania, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, the
Philippines, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, the Kashmiri region of
India, and the Chechen region of Russia. Al-Qaeda also
maintained cells and personnel in a number of countries to
facilitate its activities, including in Kenya, Tanzania, the
United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. By
banding together, Al-Qaeda proposed to work together
against the perceived common enemies in the West particularly the United States which Al-Qaeda regards as
an "infidel" state which provides essential support for
other "infidel" governments (Caruso, 2001).”
Global Terror Network?
1. The Global Terror Network
Non-coordinated, ephemeral links of
convenience
2. Network(s) of Terrorists and Terrorist
Organizations
Coordinated, tangible but transitory links
3. The Networked Terror Organization
Controlled constellation of organizations
across sectors, locations, and time.
4. What are the relevant structural
properties?

“It is important to avoid equating the bin Laden
network solely with bin Laden. He represents a key
node in the Arab Afghan terror network, but there
should be no illusion about the likely effect on the
network of actions taken to neutralize him. The
networks conducts many operations without his
involvement, leadership, or financing – and will
continue to be able to do so should he be killed or
captured. (Arquilla, Ronfeldt and Zanini p.63)
Structural properties matter

In reality, terrorist networks obey the rigid laws that
determine their typology, structure and therefore their
ability to function. They exploit all the advantages of
self organized networks, including flexibility and
tolerance to internal failures. Unfamiliarity with this
new order and a lack of language for formularizing
our experience are perhaps our most deadly enemies
(Buchanan, 2002,p. 223).

The New Science of Networks
• Underlying dynamic of interconnectedness, of
shared deep structural properties that strongly
influence who we are, how we think, how we
make sense of the world, how we interpret
messages and how we organize
• Albert-Laszlo Barabasi
• Duncan Watts
It’s a Small World



“small world architecture” (first identified by
Milgram, 1965 and then popularized in John
Guare’s play, Six Degrees of Separation
Watts found the small world architecture in a
Malaysian firefly community
Barabasi found same structure on www
• Highly clustered segments with connector

Relatively minor changes in the connectivity of a network can
have dramatic changes on the global structure of a network.

With their relatively small degree of separation between any
two nodes, small world networks facilitate the efficient
transmission of information or other resources without having
to overload the network with too many redundant links.

More complex networks tend to fluctuate less and are more
stable than simple networks. Networks which exhibit the small
world architecture can have a significant fraction of nodes
removed randomly without breaking apart. In a random
network if the number of links removed reaches a critical point,
the system abruptly breaks into isolated tiny unconnected
islands. Even when 80% of nodes are randomly removed in
scale free networks, the remaining 20% still hang together. This
robustness, resilience to errors against failures, is a property not
shared by random networks.

The source of topological robustness is the existence of
the hubs, the few highly connected nodes that keep
the scale free network together. Failures
disproportionately affect small nodes. The accidental
removal of a single hub will not be fatal since the
continuous hierarchy of several large hubs will
maintain the network’s integrity.

Random networks, despite their redundancy, fall
apart quite quickly in the face of an uncoordinated
attack, whereas the small world architecture makes a
network resilient against random failure or
unsophisticated attack.

The very feature that “makes a small world network
safe from random failure could be its Achilles heel in
the face of an intelligent assault” (Buchanan, 2002, p.
132). Under coordinated attack, the random network
has the advantage; a small world network is
extremely vulnerable. “Disable a few of the hubs and
a scale free network will fall to pieces” (Barabasi,
2002, p. 118).
Significant Policy Implications


“The jihad is resilient to random arrests of its
members but fragile in terms of the targeted
attacks on its hubs
It is important to avoid equating the bin Laden
network solely with bin Laden (Arquilla,
Ronfeldt, & Zanini, 1999)”
• Computational analyses demonstrate that the
removal of the leader/central agent does not have
anticipated consequences (Carley, Lee, Krackhardt,
2002).
5. What types of ties are there?
Not all links are equal. They can vary
along several dimensions including
orientation, reciprocity, strength,
symmetry and multiplexity (C. Stohl,
1996:39)


In the case of the Lebanese Shi’a fundamentalist group, Hizballah,
…not only are all members from the same Shi’a Islamic
confessional community, but the subgroups within Hizballah are
often linked through close blood ties as well….Kinship is also a
prominent factor in the composition of Amal, a faction of
Hizballah led by Husayn al Musawi. Many of the members are
from the Musawi clan (Lodge, 1990, p. 22). MULTIPLEX
STRONG LINKS
In these terrorist organizations then, we would expect the
communicative structuring mirrors the scale free, small world
networks uncovered by Milgram, Watts, and Barabasi et al. They
are “small worlds” with short degrees of separation and composed
of strong ties with powerful hubs. Law enforcement and
intelligence agencies have consistently indicated, and the
historical record demonstrates, that these types of networks are
very difficult to identify, even more difficult to penetrate, and
almost impossible for intelligence operatives to join, but once
identified each cell can more easily be monitored and destroyed
(“rolled up” is the term used) than other types of communication
structures.

Alternatively, other terrorist networks are not built upon
relational homophily (family, friends, identity) but upon
homophily of a particular value and “like-mindedness.”
• UNIPLEX WEAK LINKS

These ideological or doctrinal movements (e.g., the German
Red Army Faction [RAF], the various forms of militia
organization in the United States-- such as the 112th Georgia
Militia and Christian identity organizations, such as the 1980s
Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord or the Aryan Nations)
are much easier to penetrate and join than the precious
networks. Growth and preferential attachment are oriented
outwardly.
Significant Policy Implication

As Ross and Gurr (1989) discuss there are
four general kinds of conditions which can
contribute to the decline of political
terrorism: preemption, deterrence,
burnout, and backlash. “Preemption and
deterrence are counterterrorist policies
and actions which can reduce or eliminate
the terrorists’ coercive capabilities.
Burnout and backlash are general
conditions which reduce the political
capabilities of groups using terrorism” (p.
408).

Thus, employing network theory, it is not surprising
that the terrorist movements which have shown
decline (and in many cases simply disappearance)
over the past thirty years have been the ideologically
based movements such as the Red Army Faction,
Action Direct and Red Brigades of Germany, France
and Italy respectively, while those which have shown
the greatest resilience have been the ethno nationalist
movements such as the ETA (Basque Fatherland and
Liberty), the Sri Lankan based LTTE (Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam), the IRA, and the numerous
Palestinian groups.

Research Questions
• Are Al Qaeda and the other “new” terrorist
organizations examples of organizations
whose ties are based on relational or value
homophily?
• Are their recruitment patterns based on
relational or value homophily?
• What are the implications of
homphily/heterophily?
6. How is a network embedded in the
larger system?
To comprehensively assess the threats, and
thus the corresponding risks, we must
know the history, culture, mores,
organization, decision-making processes,
leadership and other forces that
characterize and motivate enemy and
terrorist networks (Haimes, 2002, p. 35).

Hamas, Hezbollah, the IRA and the Basque ETA, for
example, can only be understood if they are located
as but one organizational part of a larger social
movement which is represented by political parties,
charitable organizations, neighborhood clinics,
schools and other social service organizations. These
organizations are further embedded within an ethno
nationalist community which, at a minimum,
acquiesces to the organization’s existence because the
community supports the organization’s goals (even
when the community decries the organization’s
methods) and at certain, relatively infrequent
historical, moments also support the means as well.
7. What network processes are
associated with structure?
Transitivity of trust
A cohesive network develops when a group of
individuals or organizations form reliable,
productive communication and decision
channels and a more or less permeable
boundary to define members (Fountain,2001)
What a communication network perspective tell us about the surprising
operational agreement between the PLO and the Red Brigade during
the 1970’s
1. Organizational behavior and decisions occur within existing
communication structures and ongoing social relations. (Granovetter’s
1985 theory of embeddedness)
2. Most network linkages derive from exchange and dependency
relations. Furthermore, proximity is the best predictor of network
relations. (Monge & Contractor, 2003)
In this case, Morretti (member of Red Brigade) and Abu Iyyad
(member of the PLO) were brought together by the French group
Action Directe (Direct Action) who, on behalf of themselves and
the Rote Armee Fraktion (Red Army Faction in Germany), were
interested in establishing a militant anti-Israeli front amongst the
Western European left wing terrorist groups. The leaders of these
groups were not only known to each other but as early as 1969
members of the Red Army Faction had been training in
Palestinian camps in Jordan. Thus the mutual interests and
possibility of benefits from coordinated action were made concrete
by the communicative linkages that were in existence prior to the
agreement.
Conclusion
Move beyond the network metaphor to network analysis
to improve our understanding of terrorist organizing
1. Boundary specification
2. Attributes of nodes
3. Qualities of links
4. Relational connections
5. Structural properties
Recognize that network analysis does not identify the
causes, the context or the socio-political solutions that
are possible
Are we winning or losing?
How can we tell?


Are we defeating the enemy
What have been the impacts on the
network of terror
•
•
•
•
•
•
Is the enemy stronger or weaker
Does it have greater or lesser scope of action
Is it Bigger or smaller
Is it Causing more damage
Is it Creating more fear
Is it Gaining more or less support
Effective Counterterrorism policy
What a network understanding
provides

The formulation of a response must begin
with an understanding that the two
primary purposes of a counterterrorism
policy within the United States and in each
of its of its counterterrorism network
partners are
• to make the nation(s) more secure
• to make the public(s) believe that they are
more secure
Global Counterterrorism Policy:
Winning the Communication Battle
within the global network

Purpose
• Countering fear
• Communicating trust, security and resolve

Audiences:
• U.S. public
• Global public
 Supporters
 Acquiescers
 Antagonists
Counterterrorism

Fighting terrorism is not as simple as
winning military battles or destroying a
network structure
• How you fight, with whom you fight, and
against whom you fight are equally important
because in the long run it is necessary to not
only eliminate ‘the bad guys” but also much of
their support network.
• Even more importantly it is necessary to
eliminate the willingness of the vast majority
of people to acquiesce to terrorists’ presence
within their midst.

The context is being produced and reproduced by the
actions of both terrorists and counterterrorism actors.
Case in point: The French “victory” in the Algerian War
Lesson of the Battle of Algiers


As the flier inviting guests to the Pentagon
screening declared: ''How to win a battle
against terrorism and lose the war of
ideas. Children shoot soldiers at pointblank range. Women plant bombs in cafes.
Soon the entire Arab population builds to
a mad fervor. Sound familiar? The French
have a plan. It succeeds tactically, but
fails strategically. To understand why,
come to a rare showing of this film.'‘
NYTimes September 7, 2003
War as Counterterrorism
Initial Errors:
Alternative interpretations of messages are likely when the audience is
comprised of multiple cultures and weak and heterogenous links


While trying to assure the Muslim World that the
United States recognized the difference between
the Al Qaeda terrorists and the followers of
Islam, President Bush in announcing that the
United States would respond with force
indicated:
"This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to
take a while.“
This initial naming of the military response in
Afghanistan as Operation Infinite Justice (which
gave way to Operation Enduring Freedom when
it was made clear to the White House that the
term gave offense to Muslim sensibilities),
Ambiguous definition of the Enemy and
non-specification of the Scope of action



Mr. Bush (and his administration) did
not clearly define the enemy, the
scope of operations, the theater of
war, or provide the metrics by which
the military and public could judge
whether or not it had won or even
was winning.
Was Afghanistan the first of many
wars?
Will the Iraq War be followed by the
Iran War? Why Not?
President Bush: Specifying the
Network




"This group and its leader — a person named Osama bin Laden — are
linked to many other organizations in different countries, including the
Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. There are
thousands of these terrorists in more than 60 countries…(President Bush)”
Does this mean that every time there is a terrorist event
somewhere in any of the sixty countries that Al Qaeda or
Bin Laden are responsible
if you argue that all the terrorism that occurs in the world is
connected to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda (or in earlier
periods to any of the other devils), each terror attack
become an unnecessary victory that you have handed to
Bin Laden.
To connect the successful culmination of the war against
terror to the absence of terrorism will be self defeating and
further will increase the damage to the United States and
its allies that any act of future terrorism will bring thus
granting to Al Qaeda unnecessary “victories.”
Utilizing a War Metaphor

the war metaphor against “the
terrorist network” has undermined
the ability of the United States to
manage the problem of terrorism
• Raises the expectations
• Justifies excesses
• Escalates fear
• Requires resolution rather than
management of the problem
The War Metaphor and War





Treating the the Afghan theater as the first step
and the Iraq War as the second major campaign
in the “war on terror” allowed the United States
to demonstrate once again that it was able to
bring to bear overwhelming force, high tech
airpower and a capacity to destroy that is second
to none.
However, the power to destroy is not equivalent
to countering the threat or the fear of the threat
of future terrorism nor changing the context in
which terrorist networks emerge and develop.
How will we know when we have won the war on
terror?
How do we know when the terrorist network is
destroyed?
How long do we have to go after the last attack
to declare victory.
What could the Administration have
done differently in the early stages?

Separated the War against the Taliban for their
part in September 11 and Counterterrorism
efforts
• Defeating the Taliban was not equivalent to destroying
the decentralized terrorist network with multiple hubs—
structural properties matter!

Distinguished among the terrorists (Mr. Bush’s
“evil doers”) who were targeting the United
States in the name of an Islamic revivalism from
those who target other states and other issues.
• Clarify network boundaries

Distinguished among the terrorists and those
with whom they have been in contact, who have
supported them, those that have acquiesced to
their presence.
• Recognize the embedded nature of network links and
the existence of uniplex and multiplex links.
The long term implications: Is the
Bush approach working?

How can we tell?
Are we winning or losing?
How can we tell?


Are we defeating the enemy
What have been the impacts on the
network of terror
• Is the enemy stronger or weaker
• Does it have greater or lesser scope of
action
• Is it Bigger or smaller
• Is it Causing more damage
• Is it Creating more fear
• Is it Gaining more or less support
Unpacking the discourse
How big is the network and is it getting
smaller?


“Senior officials suggest that although sworn members of Al
Qaeda were estimated to number no more than 200 to 300
men, officials say that at its peak this broader Qaeda
network operated about a dozen Afghan camps that trained
as many as 5000 militants, who in turn created cells in as
many as 60 countries.
Johnson, Van Natta and Miller (June 2002 New York Times)
“Two senior FBI officials…Everyone tries to tie everything
into 9/11 and al-Qaida," said one of the two officials
interviewed Friday on condition of anonymity. "There was a
recent report suggesting that al-Qaida is about 5,000
strong. It is nowhere near 5,000 strong…While thousands
of Islamic extremists and future terrorists have passed
through Mr. bin Laden’s training camps, it does not mean
they are actual al Qaeda operatives, the officials said. (Carr
Cox News service, July 2002, A10)”
Unpacking the discourse: Is the
network fractured and diffused or a
new distributed network?
The war in Afghanistan has successfully dispersed, killed
or captured al-Qaeda leaders, leaving the terror network
fractured and diffused… (Carr Cox News service, July
2002, A10)”
Later in the summer of 2002 it was reported that:

“Classified investigations of the Qaeda threat … under way
at the F.B.I. and C.I.A have concluded that the war in
Afghanistan failed to diminish the threat to the United
States

Instead, the war might have complicated counterterrorism
efforts by dispersing potential attackers across a wider
geographic area (and)…

Officials emphasized that it was no longer possible simply
to label all post- Sept. 1 plots as Al Qaeda inspired,
because the new terror alliance has largely replaced the
old bin Laden network

(Johnston, Van Natta and Miller, 2002).”

Network Paradoxes
By the network logic being applied to Al Qaeda and its
offspring, the US can never prevail. Whatever is done to
thwart the enemy just seems to make it stronger.
Wolff (2002) noted:

Although we've killed countless members of the enemy
group, including much of its leadership, disrupted its
infrastructure, captured reams of intelligence on its
activities, it's suddenly stronger than ever before.

Likewise, we ascribe substantial organizational talents to
what we also describe as uniquely disorganized. This new
group has become, the Times story implies, a threat not
least of all because it is less a group than the former group,
which itself was notable for its loose-knitness (although, in
comparison with the new group, the former group was
apparently a model of central governance).
Uncle Osama

Go ahead. Saddam will
quickly fall, but that
won’t make the world
safer or more secure.
Your bombs will send me
a new generation of
recruits and fuel their
hatred and desire for
revenge. So go ahead.
Squander your wealth on
war and occupation -America will be weaker
for it. Divide your people,
divide the world, isolate
yourselves! Perfect! I
thrive on chaos. I need an
enemy. You give me both.
Tom Ridge July 8, 2004


"Credible reporting now indicates that alQaeda is moving forward with its plans to
carry out a large-scale attack in the United
States in an effort to disrupt our
democratic process," he said.
"Based on the attack in Madrid and recent
interdictions in England, Jordan and Italy,
we know that they have the capability to
succeed and hold the mistaken belief that
their attacks will have an impact on
America's resolve,"
George Bush at Oak Ridge
July 13, 2004


We will confront them overseas so
we do not have to confront them
here at home."
Today, because America has acted,
and because America has led, the
forces of terror and tyranny have
suffered defeat after defeat, and
America and the world are safer.
Counterterrorism
Measuring Success
Metrics


Revised State Department version of Patterns of Global Terrorism
2003
June 04




There were 208 acts of international terrorism in 2003, a slight
increase from the most recently published figure of 198* attacks
in 2002, and a 42 percent drop from the level in 2001 of 355
attacks.
A total of 625 persons were killed in the attacks of 2003, fewer
than the 725 killed during 2002. A total of 3646 persons were
wounded in the attacks that occurred in 2003, a sharp increase
from 2013 persons wounded the year before. This increase
reflects the numerous indiscriminate attacks during 2003 on “soft
targets,” such as places of worship, hotels, and commercial
districts, intended to produce mass casualties.
Thirty-five U.S. citizens died in international terrorist attacks in
2003:
Metrics

Do we count U.S. casualties ?
• In U.S., globally?

Do we count casualties in general?
Or only our “friends”?

Do we count number of attacks
• Against Americans, against allies, against
anyone?
• In U.S., globally


Do we count attacks prevented?
Do we count arrests, deaths, amnesty’s,
or those who have foresworn terrorism in
the future?
Damage: The Alienation and
Hostility of Friends

September 12 Today We Are All
Americans

Jean-Marie Colombani, Le Monde
(liberal), Paris, France , Sep. 12, 2001
In this tragic moment, when words seem
so inadequate to express the shock people
feel, the first thing that comes to mind is
this: We are all Americans!

Today
• U.S. most feared political actor on the
planet
• Hostility of European public towards
U.S.
• Coalition members withdrawing from
Iraq because they are becoming targets
of terror and their publics are furious


Alignment with repressive regimes to
fight terror
The new counter terror coalition
members
• Pakistan
• Ukraine
• Kazakstan
• Russia
War



While the “war” in Afghanistan
successfully eliminated the Taliban
government and destroyed the relatively
comfortable safe haven that Afghanistan
provided for Bin Laden and Al Qaeda,
and while the War in Iraq overthrew
Saddam Hussein
we did not find Bin Laden and further
terrorist attacks attributed to Al Qaeda
followed both inside Afghanistan and Iraq
and without, most notably in Bali,
Istanbul, and Tunisia and in March 2004 in
Madrid.
Bush’s War on Terrorism





(1) the implications of the ways in which the terms terror
and network have been used strategically and
inconsistently
(2) the need to develop a better understanding of the
dynamics of terrorism and networks if we are to create an
effective response
3) issues related to the importance of our own roles and
reactions in networks of terror
(4) the administration's failure to employ and at times
disparage credible tools of network analysis in terms of
intelligence, law enforcement, and financial influence while
concentrating on the destructive instruments of the military
weapon and finally,
(5) the ways in which describing the U.S. response as war
and adopting a "war fighting strategy" were significant
mistakes that undermine the effort to confront networks of
terror and terrorism.
The Afghan Alumni






As Shay and Schweitzer (2000) have described, today, the
‘Afghan Alumni’ operate in four capacities:
1. As leaders of the radical Islamic organizations in their
countries of origin (Egypt, the Maghrib countries, Jordan,
Saudi Arabia, etc.)
2. As founders of new terrorist organizations, such as
Osama bin Laden’s ‘Al- Qa’idah’ [‘The Vanguard’].
3. As the architects of ‘independent’ terrorist cells which,
while lacking a specific organizational affiliation, cooperate
with other institutionalized terrorist organizations.
4. As participants in the struggles of Islamic populations in
places such as Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Tajikistan, and
Kashmir.
Note- provides links for connections but the connection to
the local creates dissonance between local needs and
backlash from actions undertaken elsewhere which might
harm the local political bargaining
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