Actions: The return of urban guerrillas

Peter Lehr*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this opening chapter of the first part of this book, I analyse the current threat of terrorism as regards the safety and security of our cities and our open societies. The themes of vulnerability of these open societies, and the criticality of certain parts of urban infrastructures the existence and smooth functioning of which we tend to take for granted form the backdrop to the discussion of the growing threat to our cities, moving from assassination-style attacks of, for example, the German Red Army Faction and the bombing attacks of the IRA against the City of London to mass-casualty attacks targeting our Western way of life and our ‘sinful’ cities as such by actors associated with Al Qaeda and ISIS/Daesh on the one hand and attacks by way of weaponizing ‘mundane objects’ such as cars, vans, trucks or simple knifes for that matter. My main argument here is that our growing urban sprawls now provide terrorists with an ‘urban jungle’ Marighella could only dream of when he wrote his Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla in the late 1960s.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameAdvanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications
ISSN (Print)1613-5113
ISSN (Electronic)2363-9466


  • Complex terrorism
  • Conventional High Impact (CHI) tactics
  • Conventional Low Impact (CLI) tactics
  • Marauding attacks
  • Propaganda by the deed
  • Terrorists’ weapons and tactics
  • Unconventional High Impact (UHI) tactics
  • Urban guerrillas
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


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