One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Dissent or resistance by small, independent cells of political activists or paramilitaries which, in order to evade detection or infiltration, are under no central control; the use of such cells as a strategy in espionage, insurgency, etc.
1950s. From leaderless + resistance.
leaderless resistance/ˌliːdələs rɪˈzɪst(ə)ns/
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