Cover: Groups, Networks, or Movements

Groups, Networks, or Movements

A Command-And-Control-Driven Approach to Classifying Terrorist Organizations and Its Application to Al Qaeda

Published in: Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, v. 29, no. 3, May 2006, p. 241-262

Posted on on January 01, 2006

by Brian A. Jackson

Appropriately describing the properties and defining the boundaries of terrorist groups is frequently challenging. Public and policy discussion of Al Qaeda as a group, network, or broad social movement is described as an example of this problem, with an emphasis on the consequences of placing a terrorist organization in each of these different categories. To resolve the confusion that such uncertainties can introduce into discussion, an approach is described focusing on the strength of command-and-control linkages with an organization for laying out the differences between groups, networks, and movements and defining the boundaries between them.

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