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Terrorist Networks

The “network” concept has become a central theme in terrorism research. The idea of terrorists networking—rather than merely organizing themselves—developed with the emerging of the new, post-1990 form of transnational terrorism; in particular, jihadism and other forms of Islamist political violence. The idea of terrorist networks as being different from terrorist organizations, terrorist groups, or lone-wolf terrorists adheres to a typological division that is common in organized crime research. An understanding of terrorist networks is considered to be relevant for the design of effective counterterrorism policies and strategies as reflected in the 2014 U.K. Countering Terrorist Networks Programme.

Based on the specific analysis of and approach to terrorist networks, however, the operationalization of that understanding is debated. Where some authors would argue that networks are ...

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