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MCRP 3-02E Terrorism

The Individual's Guide for Understanding and Surviving

1 Jihad, sponsored by Iran and the Ayatollah Khomeini. Examples of domestic targets are actions 2 of the military Juntas in Chile and Argentina and the Salvadoran "death squads" allegedly 3 associated with the treasury police before President Duarte was elected in El Salvador. 4 Remember, although long-range goals fall into one of these three broad categories, the 5 perspectives of terrorism play a major role in determining them. For example, from Israel's point 6 of view, the long-rang goals of the PFLP are revolutionary. However, the U.S. views them merely 7 as subrevolutionary. PFLP actions against the U.S. are intended only to change our policies with 8 Israel and the Middle East.

9 Short-Range Goals

10 Rarely does one act of terrorism achieve a group's long-range goals. Each act usually achieves 11 something specific, such as to -

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Obtain worldwide, national, or local recognition for their cause. This vital publicity advertises the movement, bringing national and international attention to their grievances. It attracts money, international sponsorship, and recruits to their cause.

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Cause the government to overreact by making special anti-terrorist laws that allow searching without warrants holding people in custody without charges, or modifying the rules of evidence. People see these acts as violations of their rights, creating an atmosphere more sympathetic to the terrorists.

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Harass, weaken, or embarrass government security forces. Calling in false alarms, killing security personnel, or conducting sophisticated raids and ambushes reduces the effectiveness of security forces and erodes public confidence.

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Steal or extort money and equipment, especially weapons and ammunition vital to their cause. Major acts of a successful terrorist campaign can also attract foreign support.


Destroy facilities or disrupt lines of communication.

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Discourage foreign investments or assistance programs that can affect the target country's economy. Unemployment rises; revenues fall. This results in a loss of prestige and solvency leading to internal dissent.

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Influence government decisions, legislation, or other decisions. The bombing of the Marine Battalion Landing Team Headquarters at Beirut International Airport in October 1983 caused the Marines' withdrawal. In Italy, the Red Brigade tries to influence law enforcement and judicial processes. They killed public officials and judges known to be hard on terrorists.

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Free prisoners. Freeing prisoners is a frequent demand of terrorists, especially airline hijackers. The three BSO terrorists captured at Munich 1972 spent less than a month in


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