What Terrorists Really Want: Terrorist Motives and Counterterrorism Strategy

  title={What Terrorists Really Want: Terrorist Motives and Counterterrorism Strategy},
  author={Max Abrahms},
  journal={International Security},
  • Max Abrahms
  • Published 22 April 2008
  • Political Science
  • International Security
What do terrorists want? No question is more fundamental for devising an effective counterterrorism strategy. The international community cannot expect to make terrorism unprofitable and thus scarce without knowing the incentive structure of its practitioners. The strategic modelthe dominant paradigm in terrorism studiesposits that terrorists are political utility maximizers. According to this view, individuals resort to terrorism when the expected political gains minus the expected costs… 
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