Conservative terrorism is a type of terrorism, associated with state loyal terrorism, that is carried out by militants intending to eliminate threats which they believe should have been eliminated by a state's security forces. A conservative terrorist group is one which uses terrorism in order to defend the existing order or to gain a reversion to an earlier arrangement.
According to American counterinsurgency expert Major Erik A. Claessen,
On the other hand, it has also been noted that conservative terrorists are less likely to attract female participants than left-wing terrorist groups. RAND analysts Kim Cragin and Sara Daly believe that left-wing groups are also "more likely to allow women to fight and take on operation roles as a reflection of societies' expectation of women's roles in general."
According to international relations scholar C. J. M. Drake, the Contras, a conservative terrorist group, were supplied with weapons by the United States in order to fight the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua.
In the United States
Conservative terrorist groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan and the White League, have been active in the United States, as in the period when conservative terrorist groups intimidated black voters during the Reconstruction era that followed the Civil War in the American South. Conservative terrorist activities during this period in United States history frequently involved murder, as in the case of African Americans killed in retaliation for their political activity.
- Drake, C. J. M. (1996). "The phenomenon of conservative terrorism". Terrorism and Political Violence Volume 8, Issue 3 (Autumn 1998), pp. 29-46. doi:10.1080/09546559608427362.
- Jan Oskar Engene, Terrorism in Western Europe, p. 41.
- Drake, C. J. M. (1998). Terrorists' target selection. London: Palgrave Macmillan and New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 19. ISBN 0-312-21197-X.
- Claessen, Erik A. (2010). Stalemate: An anatomy of conflicts between democracies, Islamists, and Muslim autocrats. Santa Barbara, CA: ABL-CLIO. pp. 14-15. ISBN 978-0-313-38444-8.
- Cragin, Kim, and Sara A. Daly (2009). Women as terrorists: mothers, recruiters, and martyrs. Santa Barbara, CA: ABL-CLIO. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-275-98909-5.
- Drake, C. J. M. (1998). Terrorists' target selection. London: Palgrave Macmillan and New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 90. ISBN 0-312-21197-X.
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- Rose, Willie Lee Nichols, and William W. Freehling (1982). Slavery and freedom. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-19-502969-7.