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Intelligent terrorism as a security threat to critical infrastructure


[ 1 ] Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University

Year of publication


Published in

Security and Defence Quarterly

Journal year: 2022 | Journal volume: vol. 39 | Journal number: no. 3

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • Critical infrastructure
  • Security
  • Terrorism

EN This paper considers terrorism as potentially ‘intelligent’, as a threat capable of abusing the critical infrastructures of societies and the related methods for knowledge production. Respectively, it sees critical infrastructures as attractive mediums for terrorist influence. The paper describes the contrast between the logic of providing security and certainty for critical infrastructures and the threat of terrorism, which is evolving in terms of its systemic capacities and intelligence. The way security is provided within critical infrastructures and the way intelligent terrorism could operate seem to separate from each other, thereby creating vulnerability. The paper seeks to enhance the conceptual understanding of this question by describing and closing the gap created by the intellectual separation. By doing so, the article will shed light on the conceptual dimension of the (in)security that has gone unnoticed in the interface between critical infrastructures and terrorism. It outlines the aforementioned dilemma and provides conceptual understanding that makes it easier to grasp and communicate further. The paper shows that the intellectual separation has weakened the possibilities for theoretically understanding and practically recognising terrorism as a phenomenon that is becoming systemically more conscious, more intelligent and potentially increasingly capable in a form of violence that exploits the basic structures of societies and the related knowledge methods for its own purposes. As a conclusion, the paper stresses the importance of profoundly critical tools. Such tools are often perceived as being undesirable or even counter-productive in figuring out the mechanism through the very means utilised in providing for security.

Date of online publication


Pages (from - to)

33 - 44




License type

CC BY (attribution alone)

Open Access Mode

open journal

Open Access Text Version

final published version

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