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R.K. Singh asked: What is the difference between transnational terrorism and global terrorism?

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  • Vivek Chadha replies: The term terrorism whether prefixed with transnational or global has a more or less similar connotation, as in the case of any other structure or organisation. Transnational essentially means beyond a national boundary. On the other hand, global implies anything which has a global footprint.

    In illustrative terms, if we relate it to any industry or brand and say that it has developed a transnational footprint, it would imply that its operations and support structures extend beyond its country of origin. On the other hand, if it has a global reach then the organisation has its impact and influence globally.

    When this is related to terrorism, the term transnational terrorism implies the impact of terrorism from a particular country or region across the boundary of the country of origin. Terrorist groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) or Jaish-e-Mohmmed (JeM) exemplify what is regarded as transnational terrorism.

    Similarly, Daesh, often incorrectly termed as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS, represents global terrorism. As a global terrorist group, its supporters and affiliates have proved over time to have their reach across continents and countries with attacks taking place in a number of diverse locations worldwide.

    When global terrorism is used in isolation, without necessarily making any reference to a terrorist group, then it can also relate to a phenomenon or threat which has a global footprint. This is indeed the case with terrorism as a common security challenge.

    Posted on June 24, 2019

    Views expressed are of the expert and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IDSA or of the Government of India.