11 February 2015
Recent terrorist incidents highlight the widening spectrum of potential targets and attack methods by violent extremists. The increasing complexity of threats must be met with comprehensive initiatives which emphasize combined deterrence from governments and communities.
The fallout from the Charlie Hebdo incident triggered global introspection over the power of ideological narratives to drive individuals and groups to violence. Disagreements still remain over the specific role played by Islamist ideology in motivating the perpetrators of Paris shootings. There is however, tacit consensus over how the shootings demonstrate the expanding repertoire of attack methods employed attacks that have become more complex.
Firearms, not explosives, had been the most visible element in recent plots both reported in Western Europe as seen in France and Belgium. Compared to the randomized casualties created by explosive devices, targeted killings appear to have greater propaganda value. Firearms-based attacks allow terrorists to feed their self-constructed narrative of their potency against a specific group while avoiding collateral damages against co-religionists.
…Joseph Franco is an Associate Research Fellow with the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
CENS / Online
Last updated on 01/12/2015