Perspectives on Terrorism is an initiative of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism. Visit website
VOL. VIII, Issue 4

Terrorist Networks’ Productivity and Durability: A Comparative Multi-level Analysis

Terrorist networks, similar to the more traditional terrorist organizations, employ violence in order to promote political and social changes. By utilizing a unique dataset of 18 terrorist networks the current study contributes to the growing body of literature on terrorist networks by examining the factors that determine network productivity and durability. The findings illustrate how effective networks generally operate within supportive and homogeneous communities, tolerant of the violent struggle. The findings also suggest that while funding and operational knowledge/training are not strong predictors of operational success, they seem to be potential preconditions for the formation of the networks, and for a network to shift from the ideological radicalization stage into the operational/behavioral stage. Finally, when looking at the structural characteristics that differentiate successful from less successful networks, it seems that the most important elements are the ability of the successful networks to effectively balance between cohesiveness and flexibility while preserving their dynamic nature.

About ICCT

The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) is a think-and-do tank based in The Hague, Netherlands. We provide research, policy advice, training and other solutions to support better counter-terrorism policies and practices worldwide. We also contribute to the scientific and publi.…