The New Global Terrorism: Characteristics, Causes & Controls.
The differences between today's terrorism and yesterday's terrorism is that it is global, lethal, novel, waged by civilians, reliant on hatred and the most advanced technology, and it operates outside moral and legal norms. These changes require new strategies and tactics.
According to a 1970's expert on terrorism, there are four forms of terrorism: international, transitional, state and domestic. International terrorism is the type of terrorism that is conducted by people controlled by a sovereign state. Transitional terrorism is practiced by autonomous non-state actors, but not necessarily with a sympathetic state. Domestic terrorism involves the nationals of only one state. State terrorism is practiced by a state within its own borders, like genocide by the Nazis. .
Kegley states that in the 21st century we are dealing with terrorism and irregular warfare. Transitional terrorists, such as the al-Qaeda, have been successful in breaching our long-standing defense to inflict great harm on Western societies. .
Kegley describes four waves of rebel terror and finally September 11th. "Anarchist wave" continued for 40 to 45 years. Then the "anti-colonial wave" began in the 1920's and by the 1960's, it had for the most part disappeared. The late 1960's brought the "new left wave" which lasted through the 1990's, leaving a few groups still active in Sri Lanka, Spain, France, Pene and Columbia. The fourth and final wave was called the "religious wave." The religious wave began in 1979, and will probably last another 25 years like its predecessors. .
There are four things to consider when identifying someone as a terrorist: biography, goals, methods, and context. Kegley says that the single most important criterion is methods.
An analysis of terrorist incidents over the past century shows that there isn't a terrorist orthodoxy on strategic questions, no canon with strict precepts neatly running from ultimate political purpose to intermediate objectives to specific tactics.