Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Terror in Plainview: Terrorist-Gang Threats of Biological Weapons Usage
by Dones, D. Darell, Ph.D., George Mason University, 2012, 242; 3515298
Abstract (Summary)

This study examined the possibilities associated with whether the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban Terrorist groups have the capabilities to recruit in plain-view and employ United States-based gangs to use biological weapons against this country. This study analyzed the opinions and beliefs of expert participants in a mixed methods design which suggested that gang activity in the US is not a new phenomenon but; possible terrorist recruitment of gangs for WMD usage is a new trend which made this research timely and relevant. The literature revealed there has not been a foreign terrorist attack inside the US previous to the 1993 World Trade Center attack and the subsequent September, 2001 attacks. The literature also revealed that over the past 20 years violent gangs have developed major global alliances paralleling the rise of international terrorist group activities in the US.

Most US gang studies have focused on traditional youth violence and delinquency of gang actions; the majority of terrorist studies have been aimed at criminal activity outside the US. There is comparably limited research which examines parallel terrorist-gang activities and very few studies which have suggested the potential relations of terrorist-gang usage of WMD are a major terrorist threat. This study employed a mixed methodology of a modified Delphi 105 survey questions, group discussions and face to face expert interviews to address the five hypotheses of this study.

This mixed methodology was not intended to definitively and formally test the hypotheses but; rather use the modified Delphi survey results, group discussions and face to face interviews to capture the opinions and beliefs of experts in this study. The dynamics of such terrorist-gang operations evolving in plain-view are extremely complex and challenging as this work has demonstrated. The results of this study have advanced a fresh understanding of the critical aspects of potential terrorist-gang actions in relationship to biological weapons threats against the US.

The new exploration insights gained in this study provided a broader view of other overarching possibilities and concerns of terrorist-gang partnerships relevant to closing gaps between social science research and law enforcement efforts. There was no definitive knowledge or absolute agreement found during this study which illustrated terrorists recruiting gangs for biological use currently exists. However, this dissertation has provided new knowledge regarding the creativity of plain-view criminal activity among terrorists, gangs and the potential for WMD usage that may constitute future biological threats. The relevant knowledge of understanding 21st century gangs has served to further this research to assist law enforcement activities by (1) providing stakeholders empirical data supporting the development of specialized training and policy to confront terrorist-gang activity; (2) determining the scope of the threats of terrorists that may be recruiting gangs to use biological weapons against the US; (3) and providing recommendations for future research critical to an examination of preventing the use of biological weapons.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Harbour, Francis V.
Commitee:
School: George Mason University
School Location: United States -- Virginia
Source: DAI-B 73/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Microbiology, Criminology
Keywords: Biodefence, Biological weapons, Terrorism
Publication Number: 3515298
ISBN: 978-1-267-38817-9
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