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Htm; Internet; accessed 16 November 2004; and Bruce Hoffman, Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Iraq (Arlington: RAND Corporation, 2004), 12-13. 65 Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, 33. 1-10 A Military Guide to Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century 15 August 2005 Use of Terror by Nation-States: Is There a Difference? Is there a difference between terrorism and the use of specific tactics that exploit fear and terror by authorities normally considered “legitimate”? Nations and states often resort to violence to influence segments of their population, or rely on coercive aspects of state institutions.

The example provided by the Soviet experience led other countries to adopt state sponsorship. Ranging from tenuous diplomatic support internationally, to direct operational control of a terrorist organization, state involvement in terror can be a flexible, low-risk tool for a variety of policy goals. Iran in particular has found sponsorship of terror to particularly suit its objective of militant Islamic revolution. The incidence of state sponsorship declined somewhat after the collapse of the Soviet Union due to isolation and retaliation on other identified state sponsors.

Pressures to report quickly, to “scoop” competitors, allow terrorists to present claims or make statements that might be refuted or critically commented on if time were available. Terrorists often provide names and details of individual victims to control the news media through its desire to humanize or personalize a story. For the victims of a terrorist attack, it is a certainty that the impact on the survivors (if there are any) is of minimal importance to the terrorists. What is important is the intended psychological impact that the news of their death or suffering will cause in a wider audience.

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