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Terrorism in the 21st Century

A World News and Prophecy interview with Christopher Dobson, an expert on terrorism.

Interview by John Ross Schroeder

Never before in history has the terrorist threat been so all-encompassing. Following the July suicide terror bombings in London, we interviewed British author and journalist Christopher Dobson, one of the world's most knowledgeable authorities on terrorism.

Mr. Dobson has authored or coauthored many books on terrorism, including Terrorists: Their Weapons, Leaders and Tactics; Black September: Its Short, Violent History; The Never-Ending War: Terrorism in the 80s; The Carlos Complex: A Study in Terror; The Weapons of Terror: International Terrorism at Work; and Counterattack: The West's Battle Against the Terrorists.

He has worked as a journalist for The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Express and has been assistant editor for The Daily Mail. He lives near London and continues doing freelance work.

World News and Prophecy: How would you define terrorism? And does it ever really work?

Christopher Dobson: A good working definition is a paraphrase of the United Kingdom's Prevention of Terrorism Act. Terrorism is defined as the use of violence for political goals and includes any use of violent force for the purpose of putting the public or the community in fear.

Terrorist groups have no arms that can really face the Western military might head on. But they do feel that they can cause the West so much grief that it will eventually give up the struggle.

In fact terrorism does work in certain circumstances. Previously we saw the end of the European terror groups like the Baader-Meinhof gang [a German terrorist group of the 1960s and '70s]. They all went in time.

But from their point of view, the Irish Republican Army has in fact achieved a great deal of what they set out to do through the means of terror. Whether they could have achieved an equal amount by peaceful political means is another matter. I am convinced that they could have achieved as much by peaceful ordinary democratic politics.

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Keywords: Dobson, Christopher terrorism political violence London bombings Islam radical Islam counter terrorism 

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