Volume XXXVII – Number 2

Jeffrey A. Kidder

Abstract: Conducting counterterrorism operations has become the central task of American defense officials since the attacks of September 11th, 2001. To mitigate the risks associated with recent trends in Islamic terrorism, it must be familiar with how terrorism functions in countries with strong anti-American sentiments. This article offers two case studies to examine how terrorist networks are created and operate in different socio-political conditions. The persistence of terrorism in Libya reveals how terrorists can function as agents of state actors, as was the case with Moammar Ghaddafi and terrorist cells associated with the PLO. Algeria, on the other hand, offers an example of a terrorism network aimed primarily at resisting the authority of a central government. The United States will inevitably remain a target for terrorist attacks into the foreseeable future and must continue to prepare itself for threats posed by states like Libya and Algeria.

Keywords: Terrorism, North Africa, US Foreign Policy, Ghaddafi

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