The terrorist cell : a systematic and comparative analysis of interconnectedness between the PIRA, ETA and Hamas cellular systems : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Defence and Strategic Studies at Massey University
The initial concept for the terrorist cell arguably stems from the late 19th century Russian revolutionary Sergei Nechayev. His ingenious organisational structure consisted of placing at the lowest level of a revolutionary terrorist organisation an arm of tiny, loosely tied cells of seven to ten terrorists whose purpose was to cause terrible, total, complete destruction. In contemporary times, the terrorist cell has become the mainstay for various terrorist organisations. It is notable for its durability, flexibility and having crossed cultural boundaries within both time and space.
By systematically analysing cellular systems, this research study sets out to uncover common organisational and operational patterns between terrorist organisations from which, derived predictors might facilitate the profiling of cellular systems. The methodology in this study employs the systematic decomposition and localisation analysis method to deconstruct the cellular systems of terrorist organisations. A further comparative analysis identifies cellular interconnectedness leading to the reconstitution of cellular systems as generic templates for re-interpretation. These results seek to contribute to the area of comparative studies within the academic discipline of terrorism and provide a platform for the future computer modelling of cellular systems.