Supping with the Devil DAVID PINDeR
At one level ignoring any distinction between the two is perhaps understandable in terms of the damage they cause by their actions, but if the maxim of ‘know your enemy’ has any contribution to make in containing or defeating the threat posed, then failure to understand the distinction will severely prejudice the chances of success in both the short and the long term. Notwithstanding what is contained in the above quote most, if not all, insurgents will however employ the use of terror in a variety of ways during the course of their campaign; initially because they are too weak to use other methods, or later, either to continue to apply pressure on those in power and/or to intimidate or coerce the population – or finally, to intimidate or discipline their own members and supporters. The ‘pure’ or core terrorist, if such terms can be used, may have a general aim concerning the society he/she attacks but will seldom have a coherent strategy for achieving that aim or for constructing an alternative society. This is often termed the nihilist or anarchist approach and in Western Europe can perhaps be best illustrated by groups such as the Angry Brigade and the Baader-Meinhof gang. A relatively new arrival into this category is the ‘single interest’ violent activist such as those belonging to the wilder fringes of the animal rights campaign.