chapter  Chapter 7
Nationalist and separatist terrorism
ByJames J.F. Forest
Pages 13

The most successful counterterrorism strategy is one that is tailored to address the specific contexts, actions, and impacts of a particular terrorist threat. Government responses to nationalist and separatist terrorism have been most successful when significant attention is paid to the deep-seated grievances that motivate political dissent more generally. The chapter focuses on the important category of nationalist and separatist entities. The objectives of nationalist or separatist movements are rooted in grievances such as injustice, discrimination, and marginalization suffered by a social or political minority. The political ideologies of nationalism and separatism are rooted in widely supported ideals of self-determination and supported by a historical record which indicates that independent statehood is not an impossible goal. In many cases, a nationalist or separatist movement will incorporate terrorism alongside more widespread use of conventional guerilla tactics. Throughout the 1990s, the Tamil Tigers pioneered and perfected the use of the suicide belt, using a combination of military-grade explosives packed with ball bearings.