Categories of Terrorism

The two types of terrorism, selective and indiscriminate, are employed in varying degrees in the three categories of terrorism. The first category is institutional terrorism which is utilized by governments and has two distinct forms.

First of all, institutional terrorism can be utilized by a government to control the population through fear and the elimination of political opposition. A recent example would be the rule by the terror of Idi Amin in Uganda.

Secondly, a government can employ counter-terror tactics in order to combat and counter an insurgency movement. The French tactics in Algeria are an example of this tactic. The Israelis have also made use of counter-terror.


The Israelis have, in the past, responded to fedayeen activities by employing such actions as neighborhood punishment, whereby homes and neighborhoods suspected of aiding and harboring terrorists are destroyed. Additionally, the Israelis have carried out raids against sanctuary countries, such, as the Latani operation into Lebanon in 1978.;

The second category of political terrorism is terrorism as a stage of revolutionary warfare. There are four stages of revolutionary warfare; the Organizational Stage. This is the initial stage in which the party of the revolutionary organization is formed, the ideological base is solidified, and members are recruited. Terrorism ‘Stage.

In this phase, both selective and indiscriminate terrorism are utilized. Indiscriminate used to draw attention to the cause and to the revolutionary movement. Selective terrorism is utilized to eliminate government supporters and to divorce the people from the government. C31 Guerrilla Warfare Stage.

Once terrorism has achieved the desired effect and the revolutionary organization is firmly entrenched in the country, the revolution passes into the third phase, guerrilla warfare. In this stage, which may involve years, the guerrillas employ hit-and-run tactics. Isolated military outposts are attacked and small groups of government soldiers are isolated and defeated by large groups of guerrillas.

Government Facilities

Government facilities and institutions are subjected to sabotage and raid. During this phase, the emphasis is on winning military victories. Although the victories may be small the government forces are demoralized and forced c-n the defensive. Each guerrilla victory aids in attracting new recruits and supporters to the movement.

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