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The recent trend of terrorist attacks highlighted once more the departure from past jihadist strategies, when targets were selected primarily for their symbolic value by jihadi leaders. Terrorists nowadays prefer easier, softer targets that, while remaining operationally feasible, allow even unskilled perpetrators to inflict a number of casualties. Analyzing the logic behind the target choices at the strategic and individual (tactical) level, permit to verify the compliance between the leadership directives and the attacks carried out by cadres. The second goal of this paper is to highlight the rational analysis behind individual choices, stripped down from rhetoric and propaganda; understanding the reasoning and knowing the pre-attack behaviors, enhance the possibilities to counter and, possibly, anticipate the threat.
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