Ubiwar has a fascinating post on an Al Qaeda that resembles an anonymous trickster-bandit collective. It comes across to me as a synthesis of Hobsbawm's thoughts on Bandits as evil to the majority and heroes to minority subcultures and Hyde's thoughts on trickster archetypes as dastardly world changers who don't fit any particular social category.
I wrote about trickster archetypes in war a fair while back but I'll reiterate what my thoughts were at the time. Tricksters archetypes from mythology function in an environment of chaos, trickery, and surprise. Some theorists of war, such as Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, and Edward Luttwak, have come up with similar definitions. Clausewitz would say "Everything in war is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult." Tzu would say "All warfare is based on deception," and Luttwak's definition is based on paraconsistent logic and logical contradictions similar to the Roman proverb "If you want peace, prepare for war." So you have friction, deception, and paradox as key aspects of war. It would seem that tricksters would thrive in such an environment (that is if there were such a collective archetype, which might be fodder for another post).
So it seems that terrorists, insurgents, guerrillas, what ever you want to call each particular type, resemble a loosely-coupled collective of modern day Lokis and Pucks that wage terrible mischief and inflame chaos on the battlefield or the rear echelons of society.
The thoughts on the Ubiwar post also reminded me of John Boyd's metaphor of trying to become an "unsolvable cryptogram" in war. George Hansen wrote something similar in his book "The Trickster and the Paranormal," which is a history of deceptive practices that are associated with the paranormal e.g. fraudulent fortune tellers and deception as the basis for magic and illusion. He states:
The trickster is a character type found in mythology, folklore, and literature the world over; tricksters appear as animals, humans, and gods. They have a number of common characteristics, and some of their most salient qualities are disruption, unrestrained sexuality, disorder, and nonconformity to the establishment. They are typically male. Tricksters often deceive larger and more powerful beings who would thwart them; they may be endearingly clever or disgustingly stupid—both cultural heroes and selfish buffoons. Like much of mythology, their stories appear irrational and are difficult to decipher into logical coherence. They have often puzzled scholars.Anyway, I highly recommend the Ubiwar post and his associated links.