Conclusions and forecasts
in The role of terrorism in twenty-first-century warfare
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The focus of this chapter is on al Qaeda, ISIL, and related groups and the threats they pose to various states in the Middle East and elsewhere. At the beginning of this volume we asserted some generalizations about the roles terrorism may play in twenty-first century warfare. We conclude this study by looking at patterns in the use of terrorism during these first years of the twenty-first century. Many of the insurgencies of this era are ongoing and their outcomes are not yet known. Thus far, however, we observe changes in the conduct of and participants in warfare. Terrorism is a tactic used early and increasingly in twenty-first century insurgencies. Insurgent groups’ targets are civilian and military; and, with some exceptions, their tactics are much the same regardless of their targets. Twenty-first century insurgents produce their own media and are able to rely on less dramatic and less deadly attacks to gain attention. Instead, they perpetrate more shocking types of attacks, not only suggesting but also advertising their brutality.


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