Scripts of Terror: The Stories Terrorists Tell Themselves

October 31, 2020
Scripts of Terror: The Stories Terrorists Tell Themselves

This book explores terrorism as a strategic choice-- one madecarefully and deliberately by rational actors. Through an analysisof the terrorist groups of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, this bookcharts a series of different strategic 'scripts' at play interrorist behavior, from survival, to efforts in mobilizing asupporter base, through to the grinding attrition of a longterrorist campaign.The theme that runs through all the organizations is theunbridgeable gap between their strategic vision, and what actuallyunfolds. Regardless of which script terrorists follow, they oftenfall short of achieving their political ambitions. And yet, despiteits frequent failure, the terrorist strategy is returned to timeand again-- people continue to join such groups, and to commitmindless acts of violence.Scripts of Terror explores the reasons behind this. It asks why,if terrorism is so rarely successful and so hard to pull off, itsapproach remains an appealing one. And it examines how terroristsformulate their strategies, and how they envisage achieving theirambitions through violence. Most importantly, it explores why theyso often fail.