The International Counter-Terrorism Academic Community (ICTAC) is an international association of academic institutions, experts and researchers in fields related to the study of terrorism and counter-terrorism. ICTAC was originally founded in 2003 by Prof. Boaz Ganor, Executive Director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzlyia (ICT), Israel, in order to create an active network amongst the Academic Community to lead the way in guiding politicians and decision makers in countering terrorism. Today, ICTAC hosts a dozen counter-terrorism research institutes from different countries around the world.
Terrorism is not merely working to change reality through “proxies” and secondary mediums, but rather a devastating instrument capable of directly changing reality and affecting thousands of individuals and whole populations. The global reach of terrorism, its operatives’ growing experience, their adoption of the most effective tactic of modern terrorism – suicide attacks – and the attempts to move from modern conventional terrorism into post-modern, non-conventional terrorism, call for an effective, global counter-terrorism alliance.
One of ICTAC’s first initiatives was to agree on one objective definition for the term “terrorism” as “The deliberate use of violence aimed against civilians in order to achieve political ends.” Terrorism is becoming an increasingly international and multi-disciplinary activity, carried out by networks, rather than classic organizations. In order to counter such terrorism, security agencies must adapt themselves to operate at least as efficiently as the terrorists themselves.
Just as the terrorists have formed networks, so must counter-terrorists learn to network between like-minded organizations and individuals. The ICTAC was designed to meet this challenge. While its activities are academic in nature, the participating institutes are all involved in recommending policy for their respective countries while serving as a model for cooperation with international agencies. This is primarily done with the organization and promotion of conferences and information exchange. Noteworthy examples include the conference on “International Terrorist Threats to the Olympic Games” in addition to the publication of an ICTAC newsletter for members’ updates.
The purpose of creating an active network amongst the academic community to lead the way in guiding politicans and decision makers in countering terrorism.