New Tactical Objectives for Terrorist Groups in Somalia and Yemen

Type Journal Article - Global Security Studies
Title New Tactical Objectives for Terrorist Groups in Somalia and Yemen
Volume 3
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Page numbers 56-66
URL Objectives.pdf
The phenomenon of terrorism is not new. For centuries groups have sought political
change through the use of violence and intimidation against a civilian population. Much like the
society it exists in, the method of terrorism continues to change. One of the more recent
developments is the spread of homegrown, self-radicalized terrorist operatives in Western
nations. Groups like Al-Shabaab in Somalia and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
have led the pack in promoting these internal threats. The new tactical objective of encouraging
self-radicalization of Western citizens carries significant implications for counter-terrorism
policies. Evans (2005) provides an outstanding piece regarding the tactical objectives of terror
organizations. This research will begin by reviewing Evans’ (2005) piece and developing a
useful framework to apply to the efforts of Al-Shabaab and AQAP. Next, a brief historical
background of the two groups will be provided to illustrate the driving forces behind these two
groups. Having established a framework for analysis and historical context, this paper will
contrast Evans’ (2005) piece with the current efforts by Al-Shabaab and AQAP to encourage
radicalization and subsequent attacks by citizens of Western governments. Finally, policy
implications of the self-radicalization movement will be illustrated. In sum, this article will seek
to prove that efforts to promote self radicalization of Western citizens represent a new tactical
objective of terror organizations that demands a coordinated government response.

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