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This Note examines a variety of aspects of terrorists and terrorism. It attempts to define the terrorists and to gauge their motivations; it examines their socioeconomic backgrounds and their driving ideologies; and it probes into elements that may aid the cohesion of terrorist groups, as well as into elements that drive toward disintegration. The purpose of the inquiry is not simply to sum up certain things that have been learned about terrorists and terrorism, but also to investigate what aspects of the problem have been studied in various parts of the world; what methods have been used; who has performed the studies; and what conclusions have been reached. The Note aims to show how RAND's efforts in the domain of terrorism research are to some extent geared to the efforts of others who are also attempting to refine and further develop methodologies for studying this subject.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

This research in the public interest was supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND's donors, the fees earned on client-funded research, and independent research and development (IR&D) funds provided by the Department of Defense.

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