THE MAGAZINE

Micromanaging Terror

By Laura Spadanuta

However, Berman adds that the mutual-aid aspect of breeding loyalty also applies in certain nonreligious organizations whose members share an ideology, such as Aum Shinrikyo, the group that attacked Tokyo subways with Sarin gas. “So in all forms of mobilization, having a very committed population is a huge asset. And that’s true of coordinated violence as well,” he notes.

For those developing counterterrorism strategies, the obvious lesson to be gleaned from this research is that any strategy that can lessen or disrupt a terrorist group’s cohesiveness and loyalty has the potential of reducing the group’s overall effectiveness.

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