Publication:
Innovation in Terrorist Organizations; Strategic Insights: v.10, issue 2 (Summer 2011)

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Authors
Schweitzer, Yoram
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Date of Issue
2011
Date
Summer 2011
Publisher
Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
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Abstract
"Between the end of the 1960's and the mid 1980's, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and its various offshoots pioneered an innovative terrorist strategy, along with several related tactics. The PFLP's innovation lay, first, in the identification of the global community as the primary target audience for Palestinian activism; second, in the selection of the aviation system as the prime target for their attacks; and third, in the incorporation of foreign nationals into their operations. Offshoots of the PFLP extended this strategy, pioneering significant micro-tactical innovations. These innovations enabled the PFLP and its offshoots to execute some of the most dramatic operations seen in the 20th century, setting a trend that would only be broken decades later by the September 11th, 2001, attacks. Further, these attacks provided a template not only for other Palestinian groups, but for terrorist groups all over the world. This makes the PFLP's record a good starting point for exploring the factors that produce and drive innovation within terrorist organizations. In turn, this exploration builds a solid platform for discussing the extent that security organizations, knowing these factors, can predict and undercut the emergence of innovative capacities in both contemporary and future terrorist networks."
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Article
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This article appeared in Strategic Insights (Summer 2011), v.10 no.2, p.17-29
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Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.) Monterey, California
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This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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