Crossing the Rubicon: Making a Case for Refining the Classification of Jihadist Terrorism

Robert Wayne Hand
2012 Journal of Terrorism Research  
This paper posits that our current understanding The problems begin when the civil society of a democratic nation-state, in seeking to understand a phenomenon of vital interest, discusses the issues and decides on an action plan without agreeing what its definitions, words, and concepts mean. [1] Professor Frank Teti Preface early thirteen years after Walter Lacquer's ground-breaking book The New Terrorism: Fanaticism and the Arms of Mass Destruction (Oxford University Press,1999), and only
more » ... 1999), and only three years after the dust of the debates on 'New Terrorism' have settled, the classification has been accepted, our foundational texts are written, and the taxonomy and typologies are in place. In fact, the publication of Alex P. Schmid's edited volume The Routledge Handbook of Terrorism Research (Routledge, 2011; hereafter, The Handbook) should be considered a 'capstone achievement', and represents both a comprehensive updating of the discipline and a closure of the debate relating to New Terrorism. [2] This 'critical mass' of information and collaboration means that terrorism studies now have the most complete volume of high-value, cross-referenced academic material available. From a theoretical viewpoint, few questions remain. In parallel to the paradigm, taxonomical, and ontological advances, however, we must also note that the attacks in the US, London, Madrid, and elsewhere in the territory of the EU[3] have resulted in an increased focus and legislative action from our own governments-not all of which has been consistent with the recently-established academic understanding of the threat. Somehow, and despite the relative rareness of that style of Jihadist Terrorism, our governments appear to have "N JTR Volume 3, Issue 2 -Autumn 2012 researcher in issues of national security, politics, international relations, and globalisation. In his previous successful career as a US Army Officer, Robert was involved in intelligence collection, analysis, dissemination, training, international education and cooperation, architecture, force protection and counter-terrorism, and contingency operations from the unit to the national level.
doi:10.15664/jtr.354 fatcat:glpwvmmoznfbfny7rx4woss5ta