The Role of Criminal Justice in Terrorism
Union Institute and University
CJM 304
(Classroom Version)


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Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA


Course Description:

This course employs a criminal justice framework for the analysis and evaluation of terrorist groups and individuals, terrorist origins, goals, dynamics, ideologies and counterterrorism. The course will include a discussion of the task of defining terrorism, an exploration of the history and causes of terrorism (both internationally and domestically), the structure and organization of terrorist groups, an overview of the methods and weapons of terrorists, and public policies, strategies and approaches for combating and preventing terrorism.


Course Outcomes:

University Outcomes

the global community.

Major Outcomes

Course Specific Outcomes

Source Material:

(Two Text Books are used for this course)


Snowden, L. & Whitsel, B. (2005) Terrorism: Research, Readings and Realities. Prentice Hall


Poland, J. (2005) Understanding Terrorism: Groups, Strategies and Responses. 



 Order a copy of Terrorism: Research, Readings and Realities


 Order a copy of understanding Terrorism: Groups, Strategies, and Responses (2nd Edition)



Expanded Descriptions of Assignments

There are no examinations in this course.

Group Project:
The group project involves an analysis of an active terrorist group.  Using the Country Reports on Terrorism and Patterns of Global Terrorism, United States Department of State, 2006, your group should choose a designated terrorist group for analysis.  There are two parts to the final project.  First, your group must prepare a comprehensive written analysis of the group.  At a minimum, this 8-10 page report should address the group history, structure, organization, current activities and major goals of the group.  Additionally, the report should consider counterterrorism policies, strategies or tactics that are being or should be employed against the group; and, focus on criminal justice responses to the group.  In addition to the written report, your group should prepare a 30 minute panel discussion on the group you choose.   

Individual Presentations:
Each learner will be assigned one of the following supplemental readings. The learner is to digest the information and prepare a ten minute class presentation and one-page briefing paper on the reading.  The learner must provide a copy of the briefing paper to each class member.  These articles can be accessed via the Union Library here,  or are available directly on the web.

(Available via the Union Institute and University electronic library)

Ganor, B. (2002). Defining Terrorism: Is One Man's Terrorist another Man's Freedom Fighter? Police Practice & Research, 3(4), p287.

Sunhauseen, U. (2004) Terrorism and America. Social Alternatives. 23(2), p6.

Laquer, W. (2004) World of Terror. National Geographic. 206(5), p72.

Larabee, A. (2003). A Brief History of Terrorism in the United States. Knowledge, Technology & Policy, 16(1), p21.

Duff, R. (2005). Notes on Punishment and Terrorism. American Behavioral Scientist, 48(6), p758.

Atran, S. (2003). Genesis of Suicide Terrorism. Science, 299(5612), p1534.

Hoffman, B. (2003). The logic of suicide terrorism. Atlantic Monthly, 291(5) p40.

Ciampi, D. (2005). Developmental and motivational factors of transnational terrorists. The Forensic Examiner, 4(3), p29.

Salij, J. (2005). The Significance of "Ineffective" Methods of Fighting Terrorism. American Behavioral Scientist, 48(6) p.700.

Thornburgh, D. (2005). Balancing civil liberties and homeland security: does the USA patriot act avoid justice Robert H. Jackson's "suicide pact"? Albany Law Review, 68(4) p801.

Gause, F. (2005). Can Democracy Stop Terrorism? Foreign Affairs, 84(5), p62.

Dolan, J. (2005). United States' narco-terrorism policy: a contingency approach to the convergence of the wars on drugs and against terrorism. The Review of Policy Research, 22(4), p451.

Light, J. (2004). Urban planning and defense planning, past and future. Journal of the American Planning Association, 70(4), p399.

(Available via the Internet)
The Changing Faces of Terrorism

A Brief History of Terrorism

Terrorism in the United States

Defeating Terrorism: Strategic Issue Analyses

Confronting the “Enemy Within” What Can the United States Learn About Counterterrorism and Intelligence from Other Democracies

Countering Terrorism: Integration of Practice and Theory

Interagency Domestic Terrorism Concept of Operations Plan

Issue Papers

General Paper Instructions
At a minimum, it is expected that the students will produce an academically sound and properly formatted work (APA format is strongly encouraged).  All work is evaluated on exposition as well as composition.  Superior work will incorporate independent research as well as assigned and supplemental readings.

Paper One
Using the readings and your own research, complete a 4-6 page paper.  Explore the various definitions of terrorism.  What definition would you use?  As you complete your paper, consider the following questions: What are the strengths of your definition of terrorism?  What are the weaknesses?  Is terrorism a military problem or a criminal justice problem?  How does your definition cover state terror, state involvement in terror, state sponsorship of terror and stateless terrorist groups?  What, if any, theories on violence, particularly political violence support your definition?  How is your definition shaped by your own cultural, political and social views?

Paper Two
Using the readings and your own research, complete a 4-6 page analysis of how technology has changed terrorism.  Consider comparing and contrasting pre-1970 terrorism with post-1970 terrorism.  How has technology changed the terrorist’s targets and methods? How has technology changed their ability to transmit their messages to other members and the public? 


Within the university setting, learners are expected to attend class on a regular basis, complete all readings and assignments before the stated dates and participate in topic discussions to enhance their overall learning experience. As participation is directly related to attendance, and because of the abbreviated nature of the eight week session, learners missing any class will not receive credit for participation. Attendance will be recorded by a class roster that will be passed among the learners during each class.  It is the learner’s responsibility to sign the roster.

Participation is ten percent of the learner’s final grade.  In addition to attendance, participation will also be measured by the use of an online threaded discussion. Specific instructions regarding the online forum will be presented during the course orientation and are available on the course website.


Group Project                 30%
Paper One                      25%
Paper Two                     25%
Individual Presentation    10%
Participation                   10%
Semester Total               100%


A 90-100%
B 80-89%
C 70-79%
U less than 70%


Final Deadline for all work
All course work is due at the start of class in the week indicated on schedule.  Absent prior permission, late assignments will be assessed a penalty of one letter grade per week.  For information concerning the completion of course work beyond the last day of class refer to the UI&U Catalog.

Ethical Conduct
Learners should be aware that there are severe consequences for violations of academic ethical conduct.  Primarily, we are concerned with cheating and plagiarism. Learners who are determined to have cheated or committed plagiarism will face disciplinary action as identified within UI&U regulations.  For additional clarification of cheating and/or plagiarism, refer to the UI&U Catalog for policies regarding Academic Integrity.

American with Disabilities Act Compliance
Please refer to the Catalog for policies regarding American Disabilities’ Act or for further assistance regarding UI&U compliance with ADA.


© 2007 - 2008 Raymond E. Foster, Leadership in Hi Tech Criminal Justice