History demonstrates that terrorist violence is not, in itself, an efficient instrument. Generally, most terrorist groups have become extinct before realizing their ultimate aims. Moreover, although the effects of terrorism usually are spectacular in the short term and often disproportionate -both in the resources employed and the damage caused- terrorism is not a decisive method of conflict. To maximise gains, terrorism should be complemented by a series of political and social actions and, above all, these complementary strategies need to have the capacity to evolve with and adapt to complex forms of engagement. Terrorists have only succeeded when they have developed defined and limited goals, and when these are integrated into a wider strategy.
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To cite this article: Javier Jordán, Manuel Torres & Nicola Horsburgh, “The Struggle against Al-Qaeda Propaganda. The Role of the Intelligence Services”, International Journal on Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 18, (2005), pp. 31-49.