The Nature of the Threat



In your position as Associate Analyst for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), you are tasked to investigate, critique, and provide written reports on various topics that your supervisors require to establish and conduct tactical operations. Four days ago, an unidentified individual initiated a series of bombings in Sydney, Australia, targeting popular tourist destinations and claiming the lives of forty-three people, including five Americans. In the following days, the entire intelligence community was working diligently to determine how and why this event took place. Though no terrorist organization claimed responsibility for the event, it was not yet possible to rule out the involvement of any prominent or off-shoot group. The situation grew increasingly heated as Australian officials demanded retribution, the mass media offered conflicting, unsubstantiated causes for the event, and the U.S. public became noticeably concerned about subsequent events occurring upon American soil. The first real break in the case came yesterday, when security camera footage was obtained, allowing for a visual identification of the culprit, Harold Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell, a fugitive for the past twenty four hours, is a thirty-two-year-old Australian citizen, who does not possess a criminal record and has no known ties to extremist organizations. As you begin examining the myriad of files and records on this individual, you soon learn that he possesses a history of mental instability, specifically that he was diagnosed three years ago as a schizophrenic. In reviewing these documents, you ask yourself many probing questions; What were his motivations? Did he have a broad agenda other than murder? What do his targets and tactics symbolize? Is he part of a larger conspiracy that threatens the United States? Is this terrorism?


Terrorist Organization Homeland Security Terrorist Activity Russian Government Suicide Bombing 
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. Atran, Scott. 2003. Genesis of suicide terrorism. Science Magazine 299, March 7: 1536.Google Scholar
  2. Burgess, Mark. 2003. A brief history of terrorism. Center for Defense Information. July 2, 2003: 1.Google Scholar
  3. Calahan, Alexander B. 1995. Countering terrorism: The Israeli response to the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre and the development of independent covert action teams. Marine Corp Command and Staff College. April 1995.Google Scholar
  4. Carr, Caleb. 2002. The lessons of terror. Random House, Inc., New York: 42–53.Google Scholar
  5. Council on Foreign Relations. 2005. Types of terrorism. Obtained from <>. Accessed on August 3, 2005.
  6. Crenshaw, Martha. 1981. The causes of terrorism. Comparative Politics 13, no. 4: 383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dingfelder, Sadie F. 2004. Fatal friendships. Monitor on Psychology 25, November: 21.Google Scholar
  8. Eqbal, Ahmad. 1986. Comprehending terror. MERIP Middle East Report 140, May–June: 5.Google Scholar
  9. France, John. 1997. The capture of Jerusalem. History Today 47, no. 4, April: 38–45.Google Scholar
  10. Gupta, Rakesh. 2001. Changing conceptions of terrorism. Strategic Analysis: A Monthly Journal of the IDSA 35, no. 9.Google Scholar
  11. Klein, Shelley. 2004. The most evil dictators in history. Barnes and Noble Books, New York: 15–28.Google Scholar
  12. Martin, Gus. 2003. Understanding terrorism: Challenges, perspectives, and issues. Sage Publications, California: 5–33.Google Scholar
  13. Pham, J. Peter. 2005. Killing to make a killing. The National Interest Fall: 132.Google Scholar
  14. Poulsen, Kevin. 2004. South Pole “cyberterrorist” hack wasn’t the first. Security Focus. <>.
  15. Price, H. Edward, Jr. 1997. The strategy and tactics of revolutionary terrorism. Comparative Studies in Society and History 19, no. 1: 47–56.Google Scholar
  16. Schrader, Holger. 2002. Patterns of international terrorism. American Diplomacy 7, no. 1.Google Scholar
  17. Sprinzak, Ehud. 2001. The lone gunman. Foreign Policy November–December: 72–73.Google Scholar
  18. Stahelski, Anthony. 2004. Terrorists are made, not born: Creating terrorists using social psychological conditioning. Journal of Homeland Security March.Google Scholar
  19. Turk, Austin T. 1982. Social dynamics of terrorism. Annals ofthe American Academy of Political and Social Science 463: 122–126.Google Scholar
  20. Twiss, Miranda. 2002. The most evil men and women in history. Barnes and Nobel Books, New York: 32–60.Google Scholar
  21. United States Department of State. 2004. Patterns of global terrorism 2003. Counterterrorism Office. April: 85.Google Scholar
  22. Weinberger, Jonathan. 2003. Defining terror. Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations Winter/Spring: 66.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John B. Noftsinger, Jr., Kenneth F. Newbold, Jr., and Jack K. Wheeler 2007

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations