Organization and Management Practices of Urban Terrorist Groups

  • John B. Wolf
Part of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety book series (CJPS)


A terrorist organization, existing for a specific purpose and mission, is a social unit (human grouping), deliberately constructed, which manages to achieve rational cooperation as it pursues specific goals. Consequently, ideological commitment by members of a terrorist group to the goals of their organization is necessary for organizational survival. For this purpose, results to be achieved by terrorist propaganda and armed actions are expressed in terms of goals.1 Used in this broad sense, goals of a terrorist organization would include such things as objectives, purposes, missions, deadlines, targets, and quotas. Goals, therefore, are a vital link in the administration of a terrorist organization, as they aid in decentralization, provide a basis for voluntary coordination, become a focus for individual motivation, and also are essential elements in the process of control.2


Terrorist Group Terrorist Operation Liberation Front Black Liberation Combat Unit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Peter F. Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices ( New York: Harper & Row, 1974 ), pp. 40–41.Google Scholar
  2. William H. Newman, Administrative Action: The Techniques of Organization and Management ( Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1963 ), pp. 18–22.Google Scholar
  3. James M. Markham, “Wreck of 747’s Sets Back Cause of Insurgents on Canary Islands,” The New York Times, April 2, 1977, p. 5.Google Scholar
  4. Henri Michel, The Shadow War: European Resistance 1939–1945 ( New York: Harper & Row, 1972 ), pp. 102–107.Google Scholar
  5. In the Shadow of the Gunmen,“ Time,January 10, 1972, pp. 30–40.Google Scholar
  6. Jay Mallin, The Military vs. Urban Guerrillas, Exhibit No. 14, Terrorism, Part 2, Hearings before the Committee on Internal Security House of Representatives 93rd Congress, Second Session, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, 1974, pp. 3285–3286.Google Scholar
  7. Terms of Military/Political Alliance and the Symbionese War Council“ Exhibit No. 17, Terrorism, Part 3,Hearings before the Committee on Internal Security House of Representatives, 93rd Congress, Second Session, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, 1974, pp. 4037–4058.Google Scholar
  8. For the F.L.N., see Roger Trinquier, Modern Warfare (New York: 1964), pp. 10–15;Google Scholar
  9. Arturo C. Porzecanski, Uruguay’s Tupamaros: The Urban Guerrilla (New York: 1973), pp. 32–37;Google Scholar
  10. Norman A. La Charité, Case Studies in Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare, Cuba 1953–1959 (Washington, D.C.: 1963 ), pp. 71–117.Google Scholar
  11. The S.L.A. organization is described in Terrorism, Part 2 (Washington, 1974), pp. 4037–4058.Google Scholar
  12. Prozecanski, Uruguay’s Tupamaros,p. 35.Google Scholar
  13. Frederick D. Homer, Guns and Garlic: Myths and Realities of Organized Crime ( West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press, 1974 ) pp. 94–138.Google Scholar
  14. Malcomb Pithers, “Wine Argument Uncorks a Bloody IRA Terror Trail,” from the Manchester Guardian as reprinted in The Star Ledger (Newark, N.J.), June 1, 1976, p. 26.Google Scholar
  15. La Charité, Case Studies,pp. 4037–4058.Google Scholar
  16. Castro Threatens Pact with U.S. on Hijackings,“ The New York Times,April 20, 1976, p. 3, and ”Castro Foes Set Off Blast,“ The Star Ledger (Newark, N.J.), June 7, 1976, p. 2.Google Scholar
  17. Trinquier, Modern Warfare,pp. 10–15.Google Scholar
  18. Underground Documents: Corporate Bloodsuckers,“ Counterforce, March 1977, pp. 15–16.Google Scholar
  19. Memorandum,“ Counterforce,March 1977, p. 9–10.Google Scholar
  20. Donald C. Hodges, Philosophy of the Urban Guerrilla: The Revolutionary Writings of Abraham Guillen ( New York: William Morrow & Co., 1973 ), pp. 229–277.Google Scholar
  21. Carlos Marighella, Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla (no publisher listed but dated June 1969), pp. 26–27.Google Scholar
  22. Melvin J. Lasky, “Ulrike and Andreas,” The New York Times Magazine, May 11, 1975, pp. 73–79.Google Scholar
  23. Sharon Edens, Airport News,March 30, 1973, pp. 1 & 6.Google Scholar
  24. F.A.L.N. Tied to 49 Blasts Since Aug. ‘74,“ The New York Times, February 20, 1977, p. 33.Google Scholar
  25. F.A.L.N. Claims It Set Bombs on Saturday,“ The New York Times, April 12, 1977, p. 23.Google Scholar
  26. Shakur, Zayd Malik, and members of the Black Liberation Army, “Spring Came Early This Year,” in Break de Chains ( New York: Community Press, 1973 ), pp. 10–12.Google Scholar
  27. 33.
    Robert D. McFadden, “3 Cubans Seized with a Pipe Bomb,” The New York Times, July 25, 1976, p. 1.Google Scholar
  28. Field Marshal D.C. Cox, On Organizing Urban Guerrilla Units (no publisher listed but dated October 8, 1970 ), pp. 8–14.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • John B. Wolf
    • 1
  1. 1.John Jay College of Criminal JusticeThe City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations