Terrorism Review, 1982-2001

Though it may seem counterintuitive at first, the 1970s have been called the golden age of terrorism. Terrorist attacks in the US were carried out by leftist, right-wing, ethnic and nationalist movements. In Europe, hundreds were killed terrorist attacks in the decade, with groups such as the Red Army Faction engaging in targeted killings.

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Terrorism events and deaths in Western Europe, 1970-2014

As is the case today. the terrorist groups had international linkages. Red Army Faction members received training from the Palestinian Liberation Organization, who in turn received arms supplies from the Soviets. Thus, it’s no wonder international terrorism received attention from the CIA, as well. A Special National Intelligence Estimate (SNIE) from 1981 titled “Soviet Support for International Terrorism and Revolutionary Violence” examined the links and relationships that Soviet intelligence and military maintained with various armed groups worldwide.

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From SNIE 11/2-81: differing views of the CIA and DoD intelligence elements on Soviet support to nihilistic terrorist groups

On terrorism, the CIA seems to have had a focused current intelligence product called the “Terrorism Review”. For most of the 80s, the reports seem to have been published every two weeks. Starting in 1989, the reports available in the archive indicate the reports were published monthly, and after November 2000, the report covers clearly state they were published once every two months.

The documents are a mix of declassified documents from the 25-year program, as well as documents responsive to FOIA requests. This means that particularly the newer issues are heavily redacted, while the older issues are more complete.

In addition to coverage of current events in terrorism, some of the reports also contain perspective pieces about trends in terrorism. One such example can be found in the August 4th, 1983 issue.

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August 4th, 1983: perspective piece on high-tech vs. low-tech approaches in terrorism.

The “Terrorism Review” issues¬†are quite easy to extract from the archive. If you’re looking for coverage on a specific issue or are, you can simply do a search for “terrorism review” in quotes, appended with the AND operator and keywords, such as “terrorism review” AND finland. This can be handy, since the archive’s backend has the full text of the issues as searchable, even though the PDFs themselves are not OCR’d.

For convenience, I’ve also pulled a spreadsheet of the issue, sorted by publishing date. The spreadsheet can be accessed here, and the same sheet is embedded below.

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