Synopsis Throughout this essay we will begin by addressing the issue of the definition of terrorism and the difficulties that arise to obtain a consensus on the definition of the phenomenon, given its complexity. Afterwards, we will mention the kind of terrorism that we are studying known as radical terrorism with a religious matrix or jihadist terrorism. Here, we will give an idea of the various expressions of the jihadist terrorism and its ideological origin. On the other hand, considering the relevance of the phenomenon of the designated Arab Spring, we will make reference to it and its relation to terrorism. Finally, we will characterize the Islamic communities in the West and we will address the question if those communities constitute a factor for the development of terrorism in the West. In the second chapter, we will try to give an idea of the intelligence origins, its definition and its role, addressing the subject of the techniques used and the way to achieve the product that supports the strategy and policies to be adopted by the decision makers. Here, we believe it is necessary to define the legal boundaries of the intelligence activities. In the third chapter we will discuss the intelligence as an instrument to prevent jihadist terrorism, giving indication of the necessary legal framework in which intelligence should act, considering that its performance can determine the restriction of the rights and freedoms of citizens. In the fourth chapter we make a global approach to the terrorist threat, indicating the different answers given in the US and in Europe, mentioning the relevance of the use of intelligence in preventing it. In the fifth chapter we will address the issue of legal and criminal relevance of terrorism, alluding to the treatment given to terror suspects and the role of the International Criminal Court.We will also allude to the answers given by the national legislation, mentioning also the national strategy of preventing terrorism. Finally, in the sixth chapter, we conclude that jihadist terrorism entail a change in the intelligence paradigm and we end concluding that, as Portugal is not an immune country to this threat, it is necessary to adapt the information services in Portugal considering the perception of the risk and the nature of the phenomenon.
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