Combating Terrorism

Combating Terrorism


Dr. Ali S. Awadh Asseri

(Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon)


Terrorism in Practice

     The theoretical formulations of terrorism as discussed before bring to the fore an important fact, which is equally applicable to the practical side of terrorism. It is that, while analyzing terrorism, whether in theory or in practice, we should stay away from generalizations, monolithic perceptions, and singular explanations. Terrorism is such a complex subject that any discussion about its history, causes, purposes, goals, and forms – the focus of this chapter – will be incomplete, even misleading, if it overlooks the specific context and the circumstances, historical or contemporary, in which a particular instance of terrorism occurs. As pointed out at the beginning of the previous chapter, contemporary Western literature on terrorism is particularly afflicted with this problem. It is also worth mentioning here that the history of terrorism, its goals and purposes, causes and religious manifestations, are all inter-related subjects. For instance, the issue of religious terrorism will find reference in a discussion about the history of terrorism as well as the long-term goals of terrorism, and will not necessarily be confined to the last section exclusively meant for analyzing it. In terrorism studies, it is difficult to avoid overlapping as any discussion about its manifestations and implications is directly linked with its origins and root causes. So is the case with almost every facet of the subject.

(To be continued)