Terrorist violence is a distinct type of violence. It has a different design architecture than personal (suicide), interpersonal (murder, theft, assault), or collective (mob, riot, crowd) violence. Employing three primitives, the social roles of perpetrator, victim, and target, which can be distributed across different sets of individuals, one-step, two-step, and three-step models are derived as structural descriptions of personal, interpersonal/collective, and terrorist violence. Why the unique design properties of terrorist violence poses a problem for the present theory of collective violence is also discussed.

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