Jacob Smith

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Terrorism is not a new phenomenon, but over the past ten years it has taken a dangerous turn. Terrorist groups have become more powerful than ever before, appropriating enough resources to gain regional influence on a scale traditionally only seen by states. This can be largely attributed to the failing of traditional governments to maintain control of their territory and people. The resulting chaos creates an environment in which terrorists thrive. My research focused on Syria and its fall to determine whether the terrorist practices tolerated or endorsed by the al-Assad regime are to blame. Historical terrorist actions linked to the al-Assad regime were analyzed to see how they affected attitudes, and recent events in the Syrian Civil War were studied. My research lends support to the conclusion that the violence utilized by the al-Assad regime as a means to an end ultimately created a culture of terror that undermined the government and allowed the country to descend into its current state of chaos.

Publication Date






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