Foreign Policy Research Institute

“A nation must think before it acts.” —Robert Strausz-Hupé
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Center for the Study of Terrorism

Center for the Study of Terrorism

Since the al Qaeda attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, it is clear that tactical responses to that event and to the organizations and individuals who planned it have largely been successful in preventing follow-on attacks against the United States itself. Other attacks, while significant and tragic, have been smaller in scale and consequence than 9/11, and have been planned and executed by a diverse set of actors in loose confederation with the original cadre of al Qaeda terrorists.

FPRI has devoted significant effort to the analysis of terrorist organizations, motivations, operations, and related matters. These efforts have, we believe, contributed to both greater understanding of the threats posed by Islamist and other terrorists, and strategies to prevent large-scale attacks in the future. In 2002, our founder, Ambassador Robert Strausz-Hupé, who had called the Cold War America’s “Protracted Conflict,” termed Islamist terrorism our “new protracted conflict” and advised that this struggle would continue until either we, or the terrorists and the states that used them were somehow transformed. We believe that FPRI must turn its attention to the kinds of policy analysis and formulation that have been the strength of the organization since its founding almost sixty years ago, in the early phases of the Cold War. For this reason, we set forth the following “3M” statement for the Center for the Study of Terrorism.

Mission: The FPRI Center for the Study of Terrorism conducts fact-based analysis of actual and potential uses of terrorism as a tactic by adversaries of the United States and its allies so that we may provide policy guidance to government officials and private sector decision-makers that will improve the effective and efficient prevention of, recovery from, and response to terrorist actions.

Methods: The FPRI Center for the Study of Terrorism conducts original research and meta-research regarding adversaries’ goals, resources, tactics and strategies in the use of terrorism against the United States and its allies. We cooperate and coordinate with scholars from other institutions whenever possible to improve the quality of fact-gathering, analysis, and policy evaluation.

Metrics: The FPRI Center for the Study of Terrorism publishes its research in multiple channels, and conducts briefings, seminars, lectures and larger symposia to disseminate its findings to policy makers, operational personnel, and scholars.