Since I’ve finally finished my counter terrorism class I can now put up my paper on the above subject. Given the complete lack of open source data I don’t think it does more than raise some (I hope, interesting) questions. I can’t help but think that ‘get tough’ policies and hysterical rhetoric about animal rights/environmental groups is ultimately going to have two negative consequences. It’s going to scare legitimate activists into silence (which might be seen as an ultimate positive by elements who like to whittle democracy down to a once every four year event – every two years if your a senior citizen) and it’s going to attract and further radicalize a smaller subset of people that 1) are already convinced the government is an evil Leviathan swallowing up individual freedoms and 2) thrive on playing the martyr.
To paraphrase our old friend Niccolo: Suppression legislation like this relies too much on the power of the lion and not enough on the slyness of the fox. They have mistaken snares and traps for signs of wolves and besides, it’s a lot more fun to be the lion who can roar and threaten with impunity. But, “Those who choose only to be a lion do not really understand.”
I’d be interested in anyone’s comments, ideas or feedback.
Anyway, here’s the paper. Enjoy.