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6936
Organizational De-Evolution; the Small Group or Single Actor Terrorist
Abstract:
Traditionally, terror groups have been formed by ideologically aligned actors who perceive a lack of options for achieving political or social change. However, terrorist attacks have been increasingly carried out by small groups of actors or lone individuals who may be only ideologically affiliated with larger, formal terrorist organizations. The formation of these groups represents the inverse of traditional organizational growth, whereby structural de-evolution within issue-based organizations leads to the formation of small, independent terror cells. Ideological franchising – the bypassing of formal affiliation to the “parent" organization – represents the de-evolution of traditional concepts of organizational structure in favor of an organic, independent, and focused unit. Traditional definitions of dark networks that are issue-based include focus on an identified goal, commitment to achieving this goal through unrestrained actions, and selection of symbolic targets. The next step in the de-evolution of small dark networks is the miniorganization, consisting of only a handful of actors working toward a common, violent goal. Information-sharing through social media platforms, coupled with civil liberties of democratic nations, provide the communication systems, access to information, and freedom of movement necessary for small dark networks to flourish without the aid of a parent organization. As attacks such as the 7/7 bombings demonstrate the effectiveness of small dark networks, terrorist actors will feel increasingly comfortable aligning with an ideology only, without formally organizing. The natural result of this de-evolving organization is the single actor event, where an individual seems to subscribe to a larger organization-s violent ideology with little or no formal ties.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

References:

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[11] House of Commons (UK). Report of the Official Account of the Bombings in London on 7th July 2005. House of Commons (UK), London: The Stationary Office, 2006.
[12] Gest, J. Apart; Alienated and Engaged Muslims in the West. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.
[13] ibid.
[14] ibid.
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[16] Pape, R. "The strategic logic of suicide terrorism." American Political Science Review, 2003: 77-82.
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[18] Grimalnd, M., Apter, A., Ad Kerkhof. "The Phenomenon of Suicide Bombing." Crisis, 2006: Vol. 27 107-118.
[19] ibid.
[20] Merari, A. "Suicide Terrorism." In Assessment, treatment, and prevention of suicidal behavior, by D. Lester, 431-448. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2004.
[21] ibid.
[22] Moghadam, A. The Roots of Terrorism. New York: Chelsea House, 2003.
[23] Grimalnd, M., Apter, A., Ad Kerkhof. "The Phenomenon of Suicide Bombing." Crisis, 2006: Vol. 27 107-118.
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