Terrorist Threat Analysis: Shaping the Traditional Threat Formula

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Wiley Handbook of Science and Technology


John G. Voeller

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Contribution to Book

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This article will summarize methods that can be used for threat analysis with applications for modeling threats generated by non-state adversaries. Traditionally, threat models focused on an adversary's capability to mount a specific attack and that adversary's intent to carry out such an attack. However, as explicated in this article, threat is best understood as the product of an adversary's capability, intent, and authority to engage a specific target by a particular attack mode. Furthermore, threat does not emerge from a clean room; rather, threat is strongly influenced by an adversary's culture and constituencies. Thus, any robust model of threat requires a cultural awareness of an adversary, and its intended audience. Examples of capability, intent, and authority will be provided in an effort to portray a robust threat profile. Specifically, this article will employ an al-Qaeda WMD threat as an example of the application of the threat assessment suggested.

Recommended Citation

Jack F. Williams, Terrorist Threat Analysis: Shaping the Traditional Threat Formula, in Wiley Handbook of Science and Technology (John G. Voeller ed., 2009)

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