This chapter will make some suggestions to take the research on terrorist leadership elimination forward. Although recent studies into the effectiveness of leadership elimination are impressive in their scope, they suffer from three main flaws. First, too little attention is paid to the various kinds authority wielded by terrorist leaders. Different types of terrorist leadership should be identified to see whether leadership elimination works better against certain types of leadership. Second, the research into leadership elimination is focused too narrowly on terrorist organisations that have a clearly identifiable leader. Broadening the scope to include the elimination of cell and ring leaders will allow for the application of the concept of leadership elimination to loosely structured terrorist networks. Third, the impact of terrorist leadership elimination is defined too narrowly in terms of attack numbers or organisational survival. Instead, different kinds of effects should be formulated for different kinds of leaders. To address these three flaws, analysts and researchers need to go over the cases they know well in order to identify types of terrorist leadership, types of leadership elimination, and possible impacts of terrorist leadership elimination. The testing of the resulting hypotheses will enhance our understanding of the impact of terrorist leadership elimination.
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