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date: 09 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter, writing as a retired intelligence officer who worked for much of my career on terrorist issues, I consider how attitudes to academic work on terrorism have developed, from the perspective of a counterterrorism practitioner. The pressure on government to understand the context of Al Qaeda terrorism after 9/11 led to closer engagement, as did the need to explain the terrorist modus operandi dispassionately in the courts. Not only terrorism studies but also complementary disciplines such as behavioral science and technology have been recognized as relevant to counterterrorism. While the possibility exists that academic independence might be compromised through closer dialogue between academics and practitioners, in practice both sides have found that the benefits outweigh the risks.

Keywords: intelligence, terrorism, counterterrorism, Al Qaeda, security service, 9/11

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