GPM418 Contemporary Terrorism (16)

Jihadist terrorism is the most prominent subnational security threat of the twenty-first century. Jihadist terrorism catapulted to the international security agenda with Al Qaedas attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, and altered the terrorism landscape from that point. This subject will introduce the strategic and ideological foundations that motivate the Global Jihadist Movement. It will also explore the terrorist franchises throughout the Middle East, Africa, and South East Asia. This leads into a transnational threat analysis, focusing on contemporary groups such as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Shabaab, and Islamic State - all of whom have the power to inspire terrorist attacks in the West.


Session 1 (30)
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:
  • be able to apply advanced knowledge of jihadist drivers, enablers, and causes when making threat assessments particular to the international terrorism environment;
  • be able to critically evaluate jihadist concepts and theories with reference to recent developments, in order to provide insight on contemporary and emerging threats;
  • be able to exploit a range of information and research methods to formulate theories and make assessments;
  • be able to demonstrate professional objectivity in order to inform professional practice; and
  • be able to clearly communicate complex knowledge regarding Contemporary Terrorism in order to influence specialist and non-specialist audiences.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Jihadist strategy and ideology
  • The global jihadist movement, with reference to branches, breakaways, and online networks, including regional analyses on the following: -
  • Al Qaeda and affiliates;
  • Islamic State and affiliates;
  • Jihadism in South East Asia; and,
  • Jihadism in the West

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of GPM418 in Session 1 2020. 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 %
Insights and takeaways
Tactics and targeting intelligence brief
Threat evaluation

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.