In recent years scholars have argued that the last decade of the 20th Century saw the emergence of a new type of terrorism distinct from that which the world had suffered since 1968. The argument presented in this thesis is that there is no such thing as new terrorism. In spite of a few terrorist 'spectaculars' in the last decade the evidence suggests that in organizational and ideological terms, terrorism has changed little in the last 20 years. The case studies of Al-Qaida and the Lebanese Hezbollah are used to support this argument. This thesis looks at key scholarly conceptualizations of new terrorism and applies these to Al-Qaida and the Lebanese Hezbollah. This study reveals that rather than conform to new terrorism, Al-Qaida can be better described as a traditional terrorist organization. Key similarities between Al-Qaida and the Lebanese Hezbollah show the continuity in international terrorism over the period of the last 20 years. This finding is important as the United States government ponders on the best approach in dealing with the current threat from Al-Qaida following the 11 September 2001 attacks.
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