This article discusses the paucity of data available for assessing the “life span” of a terrorist group. It introduces a new methodology that allows researchers to examine when terrorist groups perform their preincident activities. The findings suggest that differences exist in the temporal patterns of terrorist groups: environmental terrorist groups engage in a relatively short planning cycle compared with right-wing and international terrorists. The article concludes by examining a case study on “the Family,” which is a unique environmental terrorist group that conducted activities over a relatively long period of time. This group provides an interesting contrast to other environmental terrorists. Despite significant organizational differences, their patterns of preparatory conduct were highly similar.
Smith, Brent, and Kelly Damphousse. 2009. "Patterns of Precursor Behaviors in the Life Span of a U.S. Environmental Terrorist Group." Criminology & Public Policy (November): 475-496. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/122609294/PDFSTART