Fanning the flames? : targeted killings and the attack preferences of Islamist terrorist-insurgent groups
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This study explores the relationship between military repression used against Islamist terrorist-insurgents groups and those groups' strategic targeting preferences. Specifically, it uses a case study analysis to examine whether the initiation of a bombing and missile strike campaign against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was associated with that group focusing its attacks on Yemeni or U.S. civilians, on Yemeni security services, or on other targets. Relying on information from public sources, the study uses data on fourteen attacks conducted by AQAP between January 2009 and December 17, 2009 (before initiation of the government targeting campaign) and between December 18, 2009 and October 2010 (from the campaign's initiation to present) to determine whether military pressure was associated with a change in AQAP targeting patterns. The study's findings suggest that after military pressure was initiated in December 2009, al Qaeda attacks increased against the Yemeni security services and the U.S. civilians, but did not increase against Yemeni civilians.
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