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Saudi Arabia's Counterterrorism Methods: A Case Study on Homeland Security

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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This thesis is a case study on counterterrorism methods. Specifically, it examines Saudi Arabias multidimensional counterterrorism measures to combat the Islamic States aggressions and threats. After deriving a theoretical framework based on counterterrorism measures developed from a review of scholarly literature, the thesis presents three questions. By comparing examples from the case study to the hypotheses, the thesis finds that Saudi Arabia effectively implements a multidimensional approach consisting of legal, financial, and informational methods to respond to the Islamic States threats. In addition to enacting stricter criminal laws and enforcement of those laws to safeguard the homeland and its borders, Saudi Arabia has enacted laws that impose stiff penalties aimed at money laundering and other illicit activities that fund terrorist activity. Finally, the Kingdom has implemented stringent cybersecurity measures not only to prevent hacking of Saudi cyberspace by terrorists, but also to monitor the Islamic States communications. Beyond these conventional and punitive measures, Saudi Arabia has implemented successful soft measures, including an innovative rehabilitation program. Based upon these findings, the study recommends Saudi Arabia expand its countermeasures by placing economic sanctions on the Islamic State and its supporters. Further recommendations direct policymakers to consider military intervention and regime change in Syria, and to destroy the Islamic States infrastructure.

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Technical Report



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