Guerrillas and Terrorists

Guerrillas and Terrorists

Guerrillas and Terrorists

Guerrillas and Terrorists


Terrorism and guerrilla warfare, whether justified as resistance to oppression or condemned as disrupting the rule of law, are as old as civilization itself. The power of the terrorist, however, has been magnified by modern weapons, including television, which he has learned to exploit.

To protect itself, society must understand the terrorist and what he is trying to do; thus Dr. Clutterbuck's purpose in writing this book: to contribute to the understanding and cooperation between the police, the public and the media. "


The theme of this book is that terrorism--the attack on an individual to frighten and coerce a large number of others--is as old as civilization itself. It is the recourse of a minority or even of a single dissident frustrated by the inability to make society shift in the desired direction by what that society regards as 'legitimate' means. It is primarily an attack on the rule of law, aimed either to destroy it or (as in more recent times) to change it radically to conform to the terrorist's own idea of society.

To protect itself from this coercion, and to protect its people's lives and possessions, a society needs an awareness of what the terrorists are trying to achieve, and a high degree of public co-operation with its policemen and soldiers. We need to understand how this kind of war is fought on both sides if we are to know how best to help those who are fighting, win it.

In this, the mass media play a vital role; they can both hinder and help but, providing that the police and the public understand what the press and television can do and co-operate with them, they are much more likely to help. In most countries, sadly, the media tell the people what the government wants them to be told, but in the relatively few remaining free societies it works the other way round; the media live by attracting viewers and readers and they can achieve this best by striking a chord with the section of the public for whom they cater. The overwhelming majority of the public detest political violence and terrorism and wish to help the police to defeat them. So, given the chance, the media will reflect this feeling. My purpose in writing this book is to contribute to the understanding and co-operation between the police, the public and the media.

This was the aim of the six Lees-Knowles Lectures which I gave at Cambridge University in 1975-76 and on which this book . . .

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