Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol. 7 no. 6

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In this issue of Perspectives on Terrorism we are pleased to present four articles on a variety of timely topics. First, Sarah Marsden offers a comparative analysis of several hundred Arab and Western media sources, highlighting their different conceptualisations of what constitutes ‘success’ and ‘failure’ in the ‘War on Terror’. Second, Iromi Dharmawardhane evaluates several aspects of the post-conflict initiatives in Sri Lanka, and offers recommendations to address shortcomings and persistent challenges. Third, an international team of scholars led by Mark Woodward challenge the perception that the Sufi tradition in Islam has always been tolerant and non-violent while the Salafist tradition is the one consistently associated with intolerance and violence. Finally, Kathleen Deloughery draws from several incident databases to explain how and why simultaneous terrorist attacks are more likely to be successful and cause more fatalities

This issue of the journal also introduces a new Policy Notes section, in which we will publish relatively short pieces containing informed analysis and policy recommendations on a variety of important topics. Josh Meservey inaugurates this section with a timely analysis of Somalia’s safe havens and their critical importance to al-Shabaab. This is followed by a review of international counterterrorism assistance to the Horn of Africa, authored by three senior analysts at the Centre on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation.

Our Research Notes section begins with a description by Jennifer Giroux and colleagues about a new and important resource on energy security and political violence. Then Richard Chasdi reviews the methodological issues involved in determining whether or not terrorism poses similar degrees of risk as other man-made or natural disasters.

In our Resources section, Judith Tinnes offers an extensive and timely list of literature on the conflict in Syria, and Eric Price has compiled a useful and informative bibliography of dissertations and theses on terrorism and counterterrorism, written between 1980 and 2013. Most titles are ‘clickable’ and guide the reader directly to the full-text versions of the cited titles. Finally, we conclude with a collection of brief (capsule) book reviews by Joshua Sinai.

This final issue of Volume VII was prepared in the U.S. by the staff of the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, with special thanks to our research assistants Suzzette Lopez Abbasciano and Robert Kerins. The first issue of Volume VIII will be prepared in Vienna, Austria, by Editor-in-Chief Alex Schmid for publication in February 2014.


Prof. James J.F. Forest


December 2013


Announcement: Best PhD Thesis in the Field of  (Counter-) Terrorism Studies – Annual Award by the Terrorism Research Initiative

Announcement: TRI/CTSS Vienna Conference on “The Syrian Conflict and the Promotion of Reconciliation and the Implications for International Security”

I. Articles

Media Metrics: How Arab and Western Media Construct Success and Failure in the ‘Global War on Terror’
by Sarah V. Marsden

Sri Lanka’s Post-Conflict Strategy: Restorative Justice for Rebels and Rebuilding of Conflict-affected Communities
by Iromi Dharmawardhane

Salafi Violence and Sufi Tolerance? Rethinking Conventional Wisdom
by Mark Woodward, Muhammad Sani Umar, Inayah Rohmaniyah, and Mariani Yahya

Simultaneous Attacks by Terrorist Organisations 
by Kathleen Deloughery

II. Policy Notes 

Al-Shabaab’s Somali Safe Havens: A Springboard for Terror
by Josh Meservey

Rethinking International Counterterrorism Assistance to the Greater Horn of Africa: Toward a Regional Risk Reduction Strategy
by Matthew Schwartz, Liat Shetret, and Alistair Millar

III. Research Notes

Research Note on the Energy Infrastructure Attack Database (EIAD)
by Jennifer Giroux, Peter Burgherr, Laura Melkunaite 

Risks of Terrorism, Homicide and Illness: A Methodological Consideration
by Richard J. Chasdi 

IV. Resources  

Literature on the Conflict in Syria (2011 – November 2013)
by Judith Tinnes

Selected Dissertations and Theses on Terrorism, Counterterrorism and Political Violence, 1980 – 2013 (available in full-text)
by Eric Price 

V. Book Reviews

“Counterterrorism Bookshelf” – 20 Important Books on Terrorism & Counterterrorism Related Subjects
by Joshua Sinai

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A journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

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