Hlsc 730-discussion 6-reply 2 | HLSC 730 – Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence Strategies | Liberty University

The thread must be a minimum of 200-250 words. MINIMUM OF TWO SOURCES BESIDES THE TEXTBOOK. Must cite at least 2 sources in addition to the Bible.

TEXTBOOK: Prunckun, H. (2019). Counterintelligence theory and practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Inc. ISBN: 9781786606884.

Ronczkowski, M. R. (2018). Terrorism and organized hate crime. (4th ed.). Boca Raton FL: Taylor & Francis (CRC Press). ISBN: 9781138703469.


Defining a Terrorist: Fully determining what constitutes a terrorist, a freedom fighter, a rebel, and vice versa easily becomes clouded between ideology, affiliation, and action (Ronczkowski, 2018). This uncertainty revolves around the presumption that the international powers, typically Western civilizations, can arbitrarily anoint groups as terrorist organizations are innately flawed, “one man’s terrorists is another man’s freedom fighter (Ganor, p. 3, 2018). However, a metric to establish groups, organizations, or individual actors labeled terroristic must exist to some degree, therefore, adopting generally approved criteria is paramount (Ganor, 2018). Ronczkowski (2018) contends that the classification of terrorists as criminals is essential, seemingly ignoring ideology, religion, or political causes diverting to a more rudimentary definition established upon deviously murderous acts. Ganor (2018) concurs with this notion, arguing that the classification of being a standardized criminal ultimately strips some of the ideological prestige terrorists appear to flaunt, diluting folklore while simultaneously increasing prosecution powers.

            Although terrorists should remain labeled as criminals in the broad sense of the word, Ronczkowski (2018) states that this classification alone cannot suffice, as many criminal organizations rise to a level above this standardized term. For example, Al-Qaeda is a jihadist extremist terrorist organization derived from a Sunni Islamic sect that engages in worldwide criminal activity to fund horrific attacks against countries or people who embrace a Western ideology (Sheikh, 2019). Sheikh (2019) describes how Al-Qaeda has financially exploded, engaging prolifically in the worldwide heroin drug trade, essentially employing transnational organized crime to enhance their political cause. Ronczkowski (2018) affirms that the key difference between normalized street criminals, committing petty acts, and terrorists, funding violence through the drug trade, is overt and therefore, redeeming the title terrorist.

Radicalization and Recruitment: A devout religious-based radical is undoubtedly the most dangerous individual in the world, Larsen (2021) displays how suffering, emotional turmoil, and endless persecution motivate radicalization. Radicalization is defined as, “a gradual process by which individuals are introduced and encouraged to pursue an extremist belief system or ideology” (Ronczkowski, p. 83, 2018). Religious radicals, in the Western world, are typically depicted within a negative context, however, many would argue the founding fathers of America were religious radicals fleeing endless persecution that eventually engaged in a violent war (Larsen, 2021). Alluding to the freedom fighter versus terrorist perspective phrase that Ganor (2018) cited, except for one main premise the acceptance versus the necessity of promoting violence. For example, Larsen (2021) places organizations like Al-Qaeda as terrorists due to their proclivity toward aggressively violent acts, like suicide bombings, where American freedom fighters turned to violence after expunging all other means.

            Terrorist recruitment methodologies are based on exploiting weakness, Limodio (2019) identified down trotted, abused, or victimized people as the perfect targets of recruitment. One prime example of this is the U.S. Prison system, Al-Qaeda, or other jihadist extremists, intentionally focus recruitment efforts upon individuals who feel they have been wronged by the American justice or legal systems (Ronczkowski, 2018). Limodio (2019) echoed this mentality by suggesting that political arrests, those without distinct criminal actions, in the Middle East are surging, motivating the correctional system’s recruitment of victimized prisoners. Whether criminally liable or politically persecuted recruitment amongst imprisoned individuals will always be abundant because of the commonality tied to suffering (Limodio, 2019). However, suffering individuals can find solace in other sources like the glory of a strong Christian God, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (English Standard Version, 2001/2016 Proverbs 3:5-6).  


English Standard Version. (2016). Bible hub. Retrieved from https://biblehub.comLinks to an external site. (Original

work published 2001).

Larsen, J. (2021). Reinstating and Contextualizing Religion in the Analysis of Islamist

Radicalization in the West. Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory. 22(2). https://doi.org/10.1080/1600910X.2021.1885050Links to an external site.

Limodio, N. (2019). Terrorism Financing, Recruitment, and Attacks: Evidence from a Natural

Experiment. Chicago Booth Research. 32. https://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3384109Links to an external site.

Ganor, B. (2018). Defining Terrorism: Is One Man’s Terrorist Another Man’s Freedom Fighter?

Police Practice and Research. 3(4). https://doi.org/10.1080/1561426022000032060Links to an external site.  

Ronczkowski, M. (2018). Terrorism and Organized Hate Crime. Taylor & Francis Group. 

            Boca Rotan, Fl. 

Sheikh, M. (2019). Islamic State and Al-Qaeda in a Thriving Indonesian Democracy. Danish

Institute for International Studies. https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/resrep30719.5.pdfLinks to an external site.

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