Welcome from the Editors

Welcome from the Editors

Dear Reader,

The Editorial Team of Perspectives on Terrorism is pleased to present to the research community another issue of our peer-reviewed online journal at www.terrorismanalysts.com.

Perspectives on Terrorism was founded in 2007 by Robert Wesley, President of the Terrorism Research Initiative (TRI), in collaboration with Alex Schmid and James Forest. We now have over 120,000 annual visitors to our website from around the world and nearly 4,000 registered e-mail subscribers, making this the most widely-read publication in terrorism studies. Our effort to nurture and grow this field of study includes the coordination of several national and regional networks of PhD thesis writers. In order to stimulate high-quality research we have now created an annual award for the “Best PhD Thesis in the Field of Terrorism Studies” and in early February 2014 TRI will be sponsoring a conference on the conflict in Syria (see below for details on both of these initiatives).

In this issue of Perspectives on Terrorism we are pleased to present four articles on a variety of timely topics. First, Sarah Marsden offers a comparative analysis of several hundred Arab and Western media sources, highlighting their different conceptualisations of what constitutes ‘success’ and ‘failure’ in the ‘War on Terror’. Second, Iromi Dharmawardhane evaluates several aspects of the post-conflict initiatives in Sri Lanka, and offers recommendations to address shortcomings and persistent challenges. Third, an international team of scholars led by Mark Woodward challenge the perception that the Sufi tradition in Islam has always been tolerant and non-violent while the Salafist tradition is the one consistently associated with intolerance and violence. Finally, Kathleen Deloughery draws from several incident databases to explain how and why simultaneous terrorist attacks are more likely to be successful and cause more fatalities.

This issue of the journal also introduces a new Policy Notes section, in which we will publish relatively short pieces containing informed analysis and policy recommendations on a variety of important topics. Josh Meservey inaugurates this section with a timely analysis of Somalia’s safe havens and their critical importance to al-Shabaab. This is followed by a review of international counterterrorism assistance to the Horn of Africa, authored by three senior analysts at the Centre on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation.

Our Research Notes section begins with a description by Jennifer Giroux and colleagues about a new and important resource on energy security and political violence. Then Richard Chasdi reviews the methodological issues involved in determining whether or not terrorism poses similar degrees of risk as other man-made or natural disasters.

In our Resources section, Judith Tinnes offers an extensive and timely list of literature on the conflict in Syria, and Eric Price has compiled a useful and informative bibliography of dissertations and thesis on terrorism and counterterrorism, written between 1980 and 2010. Most titles are ‘clickable’ and guide the reader directly to the full-text versions of the cited titles. Finally, we conclude with a collection of brief (capsule) book reviews by Joshua Sinai.

This final issue of Volume VII was prepared in the U.S. by the staff of the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, with special thanks to our research assistants Suzzette Lopez Abbasciano and Robert Kerins. The first issue of Volume VIII will be prepared in Vienna, Austria, by Editor-in-Chief Alex Schmid for publication in February 2014. Sincerely,

Prof. James J.F. Forest

Co-Editor

December 2013



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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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