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EFSAS Study Paper: State-Sponsored Terrorism and the Case of Afghanistan


If terrorism is predominantly pursued by non-State actors, how are non-State actors linked to States that help to enable terrorist activities by sponsoring them? This paper hereby conceptually distinguishes between the sponsor (the State sponsoring the terrorist activities of one or more Terrorist Organizations), the Terrorist Organizations committing terror attacks, and the target State (the State targeted by the attacks). The purest form of State sponsorship is constituted when the sponsor’s national intelligence services directly plan the actions, train the operatives, supply them and send them out to carry out attacks.