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CRM 4406 Homeland Security and Terrorism

Course Description

Introduces and explains international and domestic terrorism. Explores the historical and philosophical underpinnings of terrorism and local and international prevention efforts. 

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to

  • Discuss terrorism; its organization, tactics and its relationship with politics religion, and the media
  • Summarize the history of terrorism using examples from the Middle East, Latin America, and Ireland and its influences on terrorism today
  • Demonstrate an understanding of present-day geopolitical situations in which terrorism plays a prominent role; Identify key terrorist groups and networks in an international and domestic setting
  • Discuss U.S. Homeland Security, history of development, organization, links to first responders, and its impact on civil liberties
  • Summarize key topics related to terrorism and homeland security as presented in supplemental lectures including: Risk Assessment Planning; Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Attacks; Border Security; Transportation Security, etc.

Week 1

Lecture: Introduction
Lecture: Profile – Usama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Laden


  • Explain why the term terrorism is pejorative
  • List and define some of the contexts of terrorism
  • Discuss the range of definitions of terrorism
  • Explain the strengths and weaknesses of typologies of terrorism
  • Describe various approaches to developing typologies of terrorism
  • Summarize terrorism within a tactical typology
  • Outline the four major types of modern terrorism
  • Summarize various views about the metaphor war on terrorism
  • Discuss the changing meaning of war in the twenty-first century
  • Describe social research from perspectives of meaning and structure
  • Explain the key elements of the social geometry of terrorism
  • Define the elements of netwar
  • Describe terrorism as a religious process
  • Define and describe the clash of civilizations
  • Define practical criminology as used by security forces
  • Describe the differences between terrorist and criminal behavior
  • Cite the reasons why terrorists and counterterrorists need to justify violence
  • Summarize early and more recent studies of justified terrorist violence
  • Summarize three views in the profiling debate
  • Describe differing processes of radicalization

Week 2

Lecture: Profile – Shoko Asahara
Lecture: Profile – Ayman al Zawahiri


  • Trace the transformation of terrorist organizations from cells to networks
  • Explain the problems of managing any terrorist organization
  • Describe the impact of an organization’s size and structure on the length of a terrorist campaign
  • Explain how analysts developed an understanding of the importance of financing
  • Outline competing views about using “financial weapons” against terrorists
  • Describe some of the illegal sources of income for terrorist groups
  • Explain the use of underground networks in financing terrorism
  • Describe legitimate methods used to raise funds for terrorist groups
  • Explain the hawala system
  • Outline the development of the “new economy of terrorism”
  • Summarize both sides of the debate over narcoterrorism
  • Discuss the role of the media in constructing social reality 
  • Discuss terrorism as a method of communication
  • Summarize popular media misconceptions
  • Explain the tension between security forces and the media
  • Describe how the media can be viewed as a weapon
  • Explain news frames and their impact on reporting terrorism
  • Describe the relationship between terrorism and television
  • Describe the effects of growing international media and the Internet on terrorism
  • Discuss issues surrounding objective reporting 
  • Define the contagion effect
  • Debate the issues of freedom of the press and censorship
  • Summarize the tactics of modern terrorism
  • List and describe four force multipliers
  • Define the types of threats posed by cyberterrorism
  • Explain the effects of biological weapons
  • Describe the effects of chemical and radical WMD
  • Discuss the role of the media as force multipliers
  • Summarize transnational economic targeting in the tourist, energy, and transportation industries
  • Explain the logic of suicide terrorism
  • Summarize a theory of religious suicide bombing  

Week 3

Lecture: Profile – Michael Collins


  • Define the Enlightenment and describe its impact on radical social change
  • Compare and contrast the American and French Revolutions
  • Summarize the Reign of Terror in France
  • Explain how the meaning of terrorism shifted from descriptions of governmental actions to the actions of governmental opponents
  • Summarize the impact of the 1848 revolutions on Western governments
  • Summarize the role of nineteenth-century anarchists and their influence on revolutionary and nationalistic terrorism
  • Identify the proponents of violent revolutionary change among nineteenth-century anarchists
  • Summarize the debate about the differences between old and new terrorism
  • Summarize the history of Russian revolutionary organizations from the People’s Will to the Bolshevik Revolution
  • Describe how the Russian Revolution influenced Western concepts of extremism and terrorism
  • Describe the influence of Viking invasions on Ireland and the importance of Brian Boru
  • Explain the Norman approach to Ireland
  • Describe the importance of the Reformation on Ireland
  • Summarize English policy toward Ireland from the Plantation of Ulster to the Act of Union
  • Outline the emergence of republicanism and Home Rule
  • Describe the 1916 Easter Rising 
  • Summarize the Black and Tan War and the emergence of the Free State
  • Define selective terrorism as used by Michael Collins
  • Explain the transformation of republicanism in the twentieth century
  • Explain the impact of British policy on Irish terrorism from 1969 to 1985
  • Categorize Unionist terrorism from 1969 to 1985

Week 4

Lecture: Profile – Raul Sendic and the Tupamaros


  • Discuss the theory of urban terrorism as described by Marighella
  • Summarize the relationship between terrorism and guerrilla warfare
  • Outline the campaign of the Tupamaros in Uruguay
  • Describe the influence of the Tupamaros on terrorism in other parts of the world
  • Describe the urban philosophy of the Tupamaros
  • Summarize the Tupamaros’ terrorist tactics
  • Outline the organizational structure of the Tupamaros
  • Define the Middle East as a historical, geographical, and cultural metaphor
  • Briefly sketch the origins of Islam
  • Describe the difference between Shi’as and Sunnis
  • Explain the emergence of militant theology
  • Discuss the historical significance of the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the birth of Zionism
  • Summarize the impact of World War I on the Middle East
  • Describe the formation of Israel and the Arab-Israeli wars
  • Explain the emergence of terrorism after the 1967 Six Days’ War
  • Briefly sketch the history of modern Iran

Week 5

Lecture: Profile – Velupillai Prabhakaran
Lecture: Profile – Ahmed Yassin


  • Describe the rise of Fatah and the PLO
  • Identify the major Palestinian groups that emerged after the Yom Kippur War
  • Summarize the history of the Abu Nidal Organization
  • Discuss the origins of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, its structure, and its operations
  • Explain the confusion surrounding the term Islamic Jihad
  • Outline the impact of the first Intifada and the birth of Hamas
  • Describe the current operational capabilities of Hamas
  • Define shifts that may cause Hamas to target the United States
  • Summarize the tactics of the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades
  • List and describe the activities of Jewish terrorist and extremist organizations
  • Summarize controversial Israeli counterterrorist policies
  • Describe the birth and growth of Hezbollah after the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon
  • Explain the current political and military aspects of Hezbollah
  • Summarize critical and sympathetic views about Hezbollah
  • Describe the terror networks created in North Africa
  • Explain the EIJ’s influence on Zawahiri and, subsequently, al Qaeda’s organization
  • Outline the birth and growth of al Qaeda
  • Briefly explain the theological misnomers guiding the Jihadist movement
  • Explain bin Laden’s decision to target the far enemy
  • Define and describe the eclectic disassociation of fifth generation Jihadists
  • Explain why Jihadists began to create their own media force multipliers
  • Relate the American experience in Iraq to international Jihadist networks
  • Define the three issues at the root of terrorism in Africa
  • Explain the relative importance of terrorism in light of Africa’s other issues
  • Summarize political conditions in West and Central Africa
  • Outline the issues surrounding terrorism in the Horn of Africa
  • Explain the multiple sources of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Define the three sources of terrorism in Central Asia
  • Summarize the political issues surrounding terrorism in Pakistan
  • Explain religious militancy in Bangladesh
  • Outline the history of terrorism in Sri Lanka
  • Describe the sources of terrorism in India
  • Summarize the state of terrorism in Southeast Asia
  • Discuss three recent Japanese experiences with terrorism

Week 6

Lecture: Profile – Abdullah Ocalan
Lecture: Profile – Shamil Salmanovich Basayev


  • Discuss the differences between ethnic and nationalist extremists in Europe
  • Describe the peace process in Ireland
  • Describe the history and renewal of violence in the Basque region of Spain
  • Explain the demise of leftist terrorist cells in Western Europe
  • Describe the transformation of international Jihadist groups in Europe
  • Summarize the terrorist issues facing Turkey
  • Outline the origins and current status of the PKK in Turkey
  • Cite examples of breakaway states in the Russian Federation
  • Explain the danger posed by Russia’s breakaway states
  • Describe the political and security issues surrounding violence in Chechnya
  • Outline findings from the early studies of domestic terrorism
  • List the reasons law enforcement agencies have trouble understanding terrorism
  • Describe how the FBI’s conceptual framework can be used in empirical studies
  • Explain the various aspects of the Jihadist movement in the United States
  • Summarize the issues regarding the Puerto Rican nationalist movement
  • Outline the history of right-wing extremism in the United States
  • Explain the demise of left-wing terrorism and the rise of single issues
  • Discuss antiabortion attacks

Week 7

Lecture: Profile – Timothy McVeigh


  • Define the term homeland security and explain the confusion surrounding it
  • List the agencies responsible for homeland security and describe their functions
  • Explain the issues involved in rethinking conflict
  • Summarize war as envisioned by Clausewitz and Sun Tzu
  • Explain the difference between the attack on Pearl Harbor and the attacks of September 11
  • Outline the impact of changing conflict on military thought
  • Describe the intelligence process
  • Differentiate between criminal and national security intelligence
  • List some of the organizations responsible for processing intelligence
  • List and discuss some of the major issues in homeland security

Week 8

Lecture: Profile – Eric Rudolph


  • Outline law enforcement’s bureaucracy problem
  • Explain the ways homeland security represents Weberian bureaucracy
  • Summarize bureaucratic issues within criminal and national security intelligence bureaucracies
  • Explain issues involved in border protection
  • Discuss the ways the immigration debate impacts homeland security
  • Define and describe infrastructure protection
  • Describe the need for partnerships in homeland security
  • Summarize the critical bureaucratic issues in law enforcement partnerships
  • Outline Flynn’s recommendations for effective homeland security
  • Explain how the JTTF arrangement might become a model for law enforcement partnerships.
  • Explain the dangers of restricting freedom in the name of security
  • Differentiate between civil liberties and human rights
  • Describe the relationship between the idea of defense in depth and civil liberties
  • Summarize the USA Patriot Act of 2001 and the renewal in 2006
  • List the constitutional issues that affect homeland security
  • Cite arguments to support and criticize increasing executive power to combat terrorism
  • Describe court responses to counter terrorism attempts with increased executive power
  • Describe the role of law enforcement agencies in a social network opposed to terrorism
  • Discuss the dangers of militarizing police work

The course description, objectives and learning outcomes are subject to change without notice based on enhancements made to the course. March 2012