Work Header

Nothing Beside Remains

Work Text:

From Counterterrorism Strategic Manual, 76th edition:

SECTION 11.4.21
Internal Instability

It should be borne in mind that the internal instability of terrorist cells can itself lead to their collapse. The case of Roj Blake is particularly instructive. After eluding capture for over four years despite Space Command's liquidation initiatives, in 642 Blake was shot and killed by one of his own lieutenants, Kerr Avon. Witness testimony describes the event as triggered by accusations that Blake had deviated from his group's ideology.

Paranoia, inflexible ideation, and violent tendencies are known hallmarks of terrorist psychodynamics (see section 11.3). In consequence, terrorist cells are frequently undisciplined and factionalized, conditions which can be exploited for counterterrorist purposes. A longstanding leadership struggle is known to have existed between Blake and Avon, as well as a mixture of personal attachment and animosity.1 These factors contributed to a schism in the group in 640 and ultimately to its destruction (see Appendix A13 for further details).


1 Under interrogation, Avon was revealed to have been a moral deviant of the homosexual type. He expressed a psychoerotic fixation on Blake and manifested multiple traumatic symptoms due to his role in Blake's death. Blake, too, was a diagnosed moral deviant, although of the pedophilic type, and it has been convincingly argued that his lack of response contributed to Avon's psychological decompensation (Shuner 714). Homosexual moral deviancy is significantly more common in terrorists than in the general population (Calfarn 707), creating powerful, if distasteful, tactical opportunities for deep cover agents.

Discussion Questions:

1) What strategies could be used to maximize internal instability in a terorrist cell without the use of deep cover agents?

2) How would you instruct a deep cover agent who was infiltrating the Blake cell prior to its split in 640?

3) What factors contributed to the longevity of the Blake cell, and how can such counterterrorism failures be prevented in future?