General Article The changing face of terrorism

Topic Selected: Terrorism
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Riots and malicious damage, sabotage and disruption, revolutions and asassassinations: political violence in one shape or another has been with us since the earliest days of civilisation.

But at the extreme end of the political violence spectrum, terrorism is becoming increasingly bloody – and indiscriminate. And we may not have seen the worst of it yet, according to one expert.

Professor Max Taylor, director of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St. Andrews, has studied the subject for over 20 years. His publications include The Future of Terrorism and The Fanatics: A Behavioural Approach To Political Violence.

He thinks that extreme political violence has changed in two important ways. In the early days of terrorism, terrorists deliberated carefully over their targets. ‘There would have been concern about victims – if it was appropriate to kill, who to kill, the circumstances and the death of civilians,’ he says. ‘The early...

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