GPM418 Contemporary Terrorism (16)

This subject will further develop and enhance the student's knowledge and understanding of contemporary terrorism and expand and refine their understanding of the complex contemporary context of terrorism and other security related issues. Students will develop a critical and comprehensive knowledge and understanding of contemporary terrorist groups, tactics and strategies and possible future terrorist threats. Students will critically consider existing terrorist practice and doctrine using theoretical frameworks. Students will be encouraged to theory development, and to synthesise their knowledge and understanding through the production of extensive and sophisticated research based assessments


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Canberra Campus
Canberra Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: GPM418. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • possess specialised knowledge of current international terrorism and be capable of applying existing approaches to the researching and analysing of terrorism threats, particularly as it pertains to al-Qaeda and its associate and affiliate organisations, and other entities in the international terrorism environment
  • possess skills and knowledge in relation to the analysis, consolidation and synthesis of knowledge, and understanding of contemporary international terrorism
  • be capable of critically analysing and considering contemporary international terrorist groups, tactics and strategies, and of evaluating the complexity of current international terrorism and emerging terrorism threats
  • be capable of communicating an understanding of key theoretical approaches to understanding contemporary terrorist practice and doctrine and approaches to terrorism analysis, the researching of these disciplines, and the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to terrorism
  • be capable of communicating complex knowledge and ideas pertaining to current international terrorism and emerging terrorism threats to a variety of audiences
  • be capable of to making high level, independent assessments, and providing sophisticated, empirically based analysis of current and emergent terrorism threats in a range of counter terrorism functions in scholarly, law enforcement, intelligence, military and other related contexts.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • 1. Globalization, terrorism and transnational security
  • a. Globalization: with light comes darkness
  • b. Terrorism in the global age: something new, something old?
  • c. Transnational security: beyond the nation-state
  • 2. al-Qaeda and Affiliates: an overview
  • a. A corporation vs a network
  • b. The virtual safe haven: al-Qaeda goes online
  • c. A winter of discontent: al-Qaeda after Arab Spring
  • 3. al-Qaeda affiliates
  • a. al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • b. al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
  • c. al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)/Jabhat al Nusra/Islamic Stat of Iraq (IS)/Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
  • d. al-Shabaab
  • e. Islamic Emirate of the Caucus
  • 4. al-Qaeda associates
  • a. Lashkar-e-Taiba
  • c. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan
  • d. Haqqani Network
  • e. Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
  • 5. The Home Front: al-Qaeda inspired lone wolves and small cells
  • a. Media jihad and cyber jihad
  • b. The United States
  • c. The United Kingdom
  • d. Europe
  • e. Australia

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of GPM418 in Session 1 2019. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Key insights and takeaways
Tactics and targeting intelligence brief
Research essay

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: July 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.