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Fighting at the Legal BoundariesControlling the Use of Force in Contemporary Conflict$
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Kenneth Watkin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190457976

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190457976.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 November 2020

Contemporary Threats

Contemporary Threats

Insurgency and Terrorism

(p.159) 6 Contemporary Threats
Fighting at the Legal Boundaries

Kenneth Watkin

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the threat of insurgency and contrasts it with how terrorism and terrorists are described. The analysis looks at the emerging threats posed by criminal insurgencies and the links between terrorism, insurgency, and crime. It is largely descriptive in nature, focusing primarily on the nature of insurgent and terrorist threats rather than on the legal issues surrounding their activities. The unique attributes of each of these overlapping security threats will be explored, including a discussion of the emerging phenomenon of “criminal insurgency.” Another issue that is explored is the political purpose of non-State actor conflict. Importantly, the chapter sets the scene for the subsequent analysis of the law governing counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. In doing so, the analysis discusses Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and other Salafi jihadist groups as the dominant transnational “terrorist” threats of this century.

Keywords:   political violence, paramilitary groups, international law, armed conflict, human rights, use of force, terrorism, insurgents and insurrection, humanitarian law

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