Attrition: This is when the terrorists are adamant to erode the psychological will of the target or enemy, by attacking the valued physical assets of the enemy. Moreover, they carry out enormous attacks on such assets and promise a series of continual attacks or series of the small-scale attacks with the hope of breaking the psychological resistance of the target. However, if the enemy is not affected psychologically to a point of giving in, the attacks are widely deemed unsuccessful.
Example: The IRA provincial campaigned on attacking the British Army by conducting a series of attacks on its civil and political assets both in England and in the Northern Ireland. These attacks were accompanied by veiled and full-blown threats that were provided through various means of communication.
Objective: The IRA did this with the intention of driving the British out of North Ireland and with the aim bringing down the British governing classes and the British public in general.
Provocation: This entails attacking the enemy with the aim of making the target or enemy’s psychology to operate in way that alienates people, who were previously unsympathetic or uncommitted towards the terrorists. Generally, this action is aimed at drawing people’s attention towards the acts terror and to make them sympathetic to the terrorists. The provocative actions by the insurgents are widely aimed at making their organizations and themselves popular while making the enemy unpopular. This strategy was popular amongst the Latin American communist insurgents in the 1960s.
Example: In May 1992, Northern Ireland experienced the effects of provocation. This happened when the British soldiers entered country Tyrone bar and assaulted a Coal Island civilian. In some separate cases, provocation occurred when a soldier’s leg was blown off among. The photograph of this soldier attracted immense civilian attention. Therefore, this provided a rich fodder for propaganda, which was fully exploited by the republican press.
Advertisement: The main objective of this strategy to the terrorists is to make people know of their existence as well as their purpose and intention. They do such advertisements through some of their operations.
Example: On Fri Apr 22, 2011, Constable Ronan Ker at the age of 25 was killed in terror attacks in the Northern Ireland. IRA group claimed responsibility for the killings of this police officer (Reuters). This police officer died when a bomb placed under his car exploded. The explosion was then followed by gunshots, all of which targeted the police officer.
Endorsement: These are attacks aimed at endorsing the activities of a particular person or group. They are well calculated in order to mobilize support from their supporters. In such a case, terrorists carry out terror attacks to get approval from their supporters and from other uninterested people.
Threat elimination: This is widely aimed at eliminating all the obstacles that pose as a threat or challenge to the terrorists; these threats may be directed at personalities, organizations, and any other thing.
Example: Between 1919 and 1921, IRA campaigned for assassinations aimed at eliminating police officers, formers, and the military intelligence services in Dublin and other parts of the Ireland.
Objective: The main aim of these attacks was to eliminate the British security personnel.
Compliance: This occurs when the terrorists’ enemy complies with the terrorist’s demands upon terror attacks on the enemy, or his people, or his valued assets. This strategy also gives the terrorist political control among the sympathizers and prevents the emergence of any opposition towards their activities and actions.
Example: The assassination of Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India, and Queen Elizabeth in 1972 and the 1984 bombing of a conference at Brighton Hotel where Margret Thatcher, the then British Prime minister and her cabinet ministers were sitting were clear attempts at assassinating specific leaders.
Object: These attacks were aimed at making the British government to comply with the IRA demand.
Disorientation: This is aimed at destroying the certainty of the enemy through use of threats or violence.
Example: The bombing of July 1972, The Bloody Friday, where twenty-two bombs were dropped in the Belfast downtown within a period of seventy-two minutes, this attack left 9 people dead and 130 wounded.
Objective: The objective is to create constant feeling of anxiety to the target, therefore, destroying his faith of seeking help from somewhere else.