Welcome from the Editors

Dear Reader,

We are pleased to announce the release of Volume IX, Issue 1 (February 2015) of Perspectives on Terrorism at www.terrorismanalysts.com. Our free online journal is a joint publication of the Terrorism Research Initiative (TRI), headquartered in Vienna, and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies (CTSS), headquartered at the University of Massachusetts’ Lowell campus.

Now in its 9th year, Perspectives on Terrorism has almost 4,900 regular subscribers and many more occasional readers worldwide. The Articles of its six annual issues are fully peer-reviewed by external referees. Its Research Notes, Book Reviews and other sections are subject to internal editorial quality control. 

The first of four Articles in this issue is an evaluation of the effectiveness of targeted killings as a counter-terrorism tactic, written by Ophir Falk and based on rigorous empirical testing in the case of Israel. Second comes an article, written by Dina Al Raffie, focusing on militant Egyptian extremists who were said to have de-radicalised, but have in fact changed less than assumed. Next we have an article by Cristina Archetti on the role of the Internet in radicalization and the problem of developing counter-narratives. Our fourth article by Lee Jarvis, Stuart Macdonald and Andrew Whiting, deals with cyber-terrorism, or rather the construction of this security threat, as seen by various news media.

Our Research Notes section begins with a perceptive analysis from Judith Tinnes on the strategy behind ISIS’ video-taped beheadings. Her analysis is followed by a Research Note on the tacit, tactical alliance of Syria’s president Assad with jihadist extremists, authored by Michael Becker. Our third item, written by Scott H. Decker and David C. Pyrooz, offers suggestions what the study of organized crime gangs can contribute to a better understanding of terrorist groups.

In the Bibliographic section, the reader will find a literature list on terrorism in Russia with a focus on the Caucasus, again from the hand of Judith Tinnes. There is a short bibliography by Eric Price, dealing with the phenomenon of foreign fighters. In the Reviews section, there is a combined book review of two studies focusing on ISIS. This is followed, as usual, by a series of brief reviews from our book review editor, Joshua Sinai.

Finally, we draw the readers’ attention to some of the activities going on in TRI’s National Networks of PhD thesis writers. We also remind those PhD thesis writers who have completed and defended their theses successfully last year to submit them before 31 March 2015 for the competition for the TRI Award ‘Best PhD Thesis in the Field of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Studies’. There is also a Note of Thanks to our external peer-reviewers who help us make the journal what it is.

The current issue of Perspectives on Terrorism has been prepared by Alex Schmid from TRI’s European office in Vienna. Co-editor of this issue is Dr. Paul Gill, University College London, who is also a member of our Editorial Board. The April issue will be prepared by Prof. James J. F. Forest, our journal’s American co-editor at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.


Professor em. Alex P. Schmid, Editor-in-Chief

Dr. Paul Gill, Guest, Co-editor of this issue

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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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