Counterterrorism Bookshelf

Counterterrorism Bookshelf

by Joshua Sinai

The following are capsule reviews of important books recently published on terrorism and counterterrorism-related topics.

Peter Bergen, editor (with Katherine Tiedemann), Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 528 pages, $24.95. ISBN: 978-0-19-989309-6 [paperback].

The contributors to this edited volume examine in a comprehensive manner all aspects of the Taliban’s insurgency in Afghanistan, including those related to Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas. They examine issues such as the distinctions between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, as well as the fractures within each organization; how the Taliban recruits and moves its fighters into Afghanistan; the effectiveness of the United States-led counterinsurgency campaigns against the Taliban (including the impact of the drone strikes against Taliban operatives), as well as the tensions (but also, at times, cooperation) between the Pakistani security services and the Taliban. Also discussed are the political and religious forces shaping the Taliban’s insurgency in the Northwest Frontier Province.

Anat Berko, The Smarter Bomb: Women and Children as Suicide Bombers (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2012), 212 pages, $42.00. ISBN: 978-1-4422-1952-6 [hardcover].

A highly insightful discussion of the motivations of primarily Palestinian suicide bombers, especially women and children, and the male operatives who recruit and dispatch them on their martyrdom operations against Israel. The author, an Israeli criminologist and retired Lt. Colonel in the Israeli military, has spent many years interviewing Palestinian security prisoners at their jails, including the operatives whose suicide missions had failed, resulting in their long prison sentences. Fluent in Arabic and Arab culture, she was able to gain their trust and speak with them intimately. Their identities, as a result, are disguised (a disappointment for those who wish to follow up on these cases) – but readers will nevertheless benefit from the wealth of personal and operational details that are revealed by such first-hand field work.

Raphael Bossong, The Evolution of EU Counter-Terrorism: European Security Policy After 9/11 (New York, NY: Routledge, 2013), 194 pages, $135.00. ISBN: 978-0-415-68857-4 [hardcover].

An account of the evolution of the European Union’s (EU) counter measures against terrorism from the late 1970s until the end of the first decade after 9/11. Case studies discuss the EU’s responses to international terrorism in 9/11 in New York and Washington, the attacks in Madrid in March 2004 and London in July 2005; the nature of the EU’s member-states’ security and counter-terrorism cooperation in light of the new directions in counterterrorism policies produced by these attacks. The concluding chapter assesses the effectiveness of the EU’s counterterrorism measures and suggests avenues for further theoretical and empirical research.

Vahid Brown and Don Rassler, Fountainhead of Jihad: The Haqqani Nexus, 1973-2012 (London, UK: Hurst & Company/New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2013), 320 pages, $35.00. ISBN 978-1-83904-207-9 [hardcover].

Drawing upon primary sources, the authors analyze the origin and evolution of the Haqqani network, the powerful guerrilla organization that fights alongside the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where it is based in the Waziristan tribal frontier. The authors provide extensive details about its role in the establishment of the global jihadi movement and Al-Qaeda in the early 1990s, detail how the network is organized (for example, like a traditional Pashtun clan, it is led by its founder, Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani, and his son Sirajuddin Haqqani), how it raises funds to mount its insurgency, and also focuses on its links with the Pakistani intelligence service. Although densely written and overly academic in tone, and not as critical as one would wish in discussing an insurgent organization that ruthlessly pursues an agenda of anti-modernism and religious intolerance, this book is recommended for its comprehensive account of the Haqqani network.

Dolnik, Adam, Editor, Conducting Terrorism Field Research: A Guide (New York, NY: Routledge, 2013), 280 pages, $42.95. ISBN: 978-0-415-60931-2 [paperback].

The contributors to this important volume provide a detailed “how to” guide to conducting fieldwork in terrorism studies. As opposed to library research, field research entails numerous challenges, including ethical questions involved in interviewing former and (if possible) current terrorists (including those serving prison sentences) and traveling to dangerous conflict zones where terrorist groups operate. For academics, in particular, a major challenge is obtaining approval from their university review boards to ensure that their subjects will be protected from any future harm arising from the research. A further challenge, once a researcher is in the field, is whether to coordinate such research with local governments and their security services that may be monitoring them, including sharing the results of one’s findings with them. To answer these and other questions, the editor has brought together top experts in the field who explain how to utilize different disciplines and methodological approaches, as well as the crucial regional specializations that are necessary to conduct such field research. The volume is well organized, with each contributor providing a road-map to their own research, describing planning and preparation phases, the formalities involved in getting into conflict zones and gaining access to sources. Providing such a practical guide makes this volume essential for all those involved in conducting research on terrorism.

Duncan, Gillian, Orla Lynch, Gilbert Ramsay and Alison M.S. Watson, Editors, State Terrorism and Human Rights: International Responses since the End of the Cold War (New York, NY: Routledge, 2013), 200 pages, $42.95. ISBN: 978-0-415-62907-2 [paperback].

The contributors to this innovative volume discuss the use of terror by states since the end of the Cold War. Case studies include Saddam Hussein’s campaign against the Kurds, Indonesian terror against East Timor, and terror in Rwanda in 1994, as well as the nature of the international responses to these campaigns. The concluding chapter discusses how the late Paul Wilkinson’s books on these issues, such as Terrorism versus Democracy, apply to advancing current thinking on these issues.

Dyson, William E., Terrorism: An Investigator’s Handbook [Fourth edition] (Boston, MA: Anderson Publishing, 2012), 528 pages, $59.95. ISBN: 978-1-4377-3487-4 [paperback].

This is one of the finest and most important handbooks written on the discipline of terrorism investigations. It discusses what investigators need to know about terrorism in terms of how terrorism is defined from an investigator’s perspective, the different categories of terrorist groups, including religiously-based terrorism, how terrorists operate and how they differ from other types of criminals, what terrorists attempt to know about law enforcement (for instance, by reading security-related manuals about them), effective interrogation techniques to be used against those who are apprehended, how to create and maintain databases on terrorist suspects to aid in investigations, conducting undercover surveillance of suspects, using informants, managing terrorist incidents once they occur, including collecting physical evidence at such sites, and how to prepare prosecutable cases against terrorist suspects. The author is a former FBI agent who conducted numerous terrorist investigations, so readers will greatly benefit from his extensive practitioner knowledge of counterterrorism.

Forest, James J.F., The Terrorism Lectures: A Comprehensive Collection for Students of Terrorism, Counterterrorism, and National Security (Santa Ana, CA: Nortia Press, 2012), $25.00, 424 pages. ISBN: 978-0-9842252-9-3 [paperback].

The author is an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and co-editor of “Perspectives on Terrorism.” In this volume, he has assembled his class lectures to comprehensively discuss and explain the history of terrorism, its root causes, how terrorist groups organize, as well as the frameworks that analysts use to determine the scope of a terrorist threat. Divided into four parts, the chapters cover topics such as definitions, the history of terrorism, underlying contexts that motivate and facilitate terrorism, such as grievances, the process of radicalisation and recruitment into terrorism, terrorism and the internet, financial and criminal dimensions, different categories of terrorist groups, tactics and weapons, and the components of effective counterterrorism.

Forest, James J.F., Editor, Intersections of Crime and Terror (New York, NY: Routledge, 2013), 200 pages, $145.00. ISBN: 978-0-415-63961-3 [hardcover].

This is a comprehensive examination by leading academic experts of the conducive environments and interactions between international organised criminal and terrorist networks. A majority of such interactions take the form of temporary organisational alliances (what is termed “customer-supplier relationships”) over a specific type of transaction, such as document fraud or smuggling humans, drugs or weapons across a particular border. In the process, the contributors point out, organized criminal and terrorist networks collaborate, share knowledge and learn from each other which serve to expand and upgrade their operational capabilities. The book contains broad conceptual articles, historical analyses as well as case studies that highlight different facets of the intersection between crime and terrorism. Understanding the variety of these relationships’ dynamics at the individual, organisational, and contextual levels sheds light on understanding the magnitude and types of security threats posed by the interactions between terrorists and criminal networks and how to respond to such threats more effectively.

James J.F. Forest, Russell D. Howard, and Joanne C. Moore, Editors, Homeland Security and Terrorism: Readings and Interpretations [Second Edition] (New York, NY: McGraw Hill, 2013), 609 pages, $72.49. ISBN: 978-0-07-802629-4 [paperback].

A collection of articles by experts in homeland security, terrorism and counterterrorism studies (including a chapter by this reviewer). Chapters cover topics such as defining the terrorist threat, the nature of homeland security, responding to the threat through organisational resilience at the federal, state, and local levels, the relationship between public security and civil liberties, and challenges in homeland security, such as lessons from other countries in preventing natural catastrophes and terrorism.

Roger Griffin, Terrorist’s Creed: Fanatical Violence and the Human Need for Meaning (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 280 pages, $40.00. ISBN: 978-0-230-24129-9 [hardcover].

A study of the origins and motivations underlying terrorism, which are not assumed to be merely “metaphysical creeds.” The author explores terrorism as a form of “zealotry” throughout history, explains how terrorism is presented in fiction, the “metapolitics" of radicalization into terrorism, the “hybrid metapolitics” of religious terrorism, and Islamism as a “mazeway resynthesis.” The concluding chapter presents the author’s “rethinking” of the nature of terrorism. This is a well-written and interesting analysis, although one has to get used to the author’s terminology.

Jussi M. Hanhimaki and Bernhard Blumenau, Editors, An International History of Terrorism: Western and Non-Western Experiences (New York, NY: Routledge, 2013), $160.00, $47.95 ISBN: 978-0-415-63541-7 [paperback]

The contributors to this interesting and important volume discuss the evolution of terrorism and counterterrorism since the first historical wave of modern terrorism in the 1880s (although the first chapter by Richard Bach Jensen argues that the first wave actually started in 1905 and ended in 1914 – a point that is not addressed by the editors in their introduction). The chapters, which are written by prominent experts, cover terrorism conflicts and government responses in cases such as West Germany in the 1970s, France from 1968 to 1974, Italy in the 1970s and 1980s, Bengal, Mozambique, Chad and Libya. Also covered are Al-Qaeda’s terrorism campaigns and the United States response to terrorism. In such a selection of case studies, however, one wishes that other important cases would have been covered as well, such as Britain in Northern Ireland, Israel and the Palestinians and Sri Lanka and the Tamils. This would have shed important light on lessons learned in formulating effective counterterrorism campaigns. The concluding chapter by David Rapoport is of special interest for its discussion of his notion of the four historical waves of modern terrorism – although, disappointingly, it does not refer to the volume’s other case studies.

Stig Jarle Hansen, Al-Shabaab in Somalia: The History and Ideology of a Militant Islamist Group, 2005-2012 (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2013), 208 pages, $33.75. ISBN: 978-0-231-70398-7 [hardcover].

This is a comprehensive and detailed examination of al Shabaab, the preeminent terrorist organisation in Somalia. The author, a Norwegian academic who has conducted extensive field work in Somalia, discusses how al Shabaab began as an offshoot of the Islamic Courts Union and became an Al-Qaeda affiliate. Al Shabaab’s organizational success, the author writes, is due to its close links to local clan structures, to Somali clans in Kenya, and to diaspora Somali clans in Europe and America, from whom it recruits its “foreign fighters.” The book would have benefited from a chapter on the counter-measures by the Somali government (however weak) against it, as well as the measures by Western governments to monitor the activities of diaspora Somalis who travel to Somalia to fight for al Shabaab.

Jennifer L Hesterman, The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus: An Alliance of International Drug Cartels, Organized Crime, and Terror Groups (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2013), 351 pages, $69.95. ISBN: 978-1-4665-5761-1 [hardcover].

In this important study of the convergence between terrorist and criminal organizations, the author demonstrates how these organisations operate with a sophistication that is usually associated with multinational corporations, although, unlike legitimate businesses, their operations are clandestine and criminal in nature. The author, a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, and an expert on national security, is well placed to examine how these issues intersect through the case studies of Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, FARC, drug cartels, violent gangs, as well as domestic U.S. groups such as the Sovereign Citizens.

Johnson, Daryl, Right-Wing Resurgence: How a Domestic Terrorist Threat is Being Ignored (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2012), 422 pages, $45.00. ISBN: 978-1-4422-1896-3 [hardcover].

The author, a former senior domestic terrorism analyst at the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Intelligence & Analysis (I&A), presents a critical account DHS’ coverage of the threats posed by far-right terrorist and extremist groups in the United States.

Lankford, Adam, The Myth of Martyrdom: What Really Drives Suicide Bombers, Rampage Shooters, and Other Self-Destructive Killers (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 272 pages, $27.00 ISBN: 978-0-230-34213-2 [hardcover].

An examination of the underlying causes that drive individuals to become suicide terrorist bombers and rampage shooters (i.e., active shooters). The author finds that, based on their suicide notes, love letters, diary entries, and martyrdom videos, such mass killers are driven to carry out their suicidal acts for reasons such as depression, anxiety, marital strife, or professional failure. Of special interest is the author’s typology of the four types of suicide terrorists: conventional, coerced, escapist, and indirect (when operatives, often unknowingly, will be detonated remotely by their dispatchers). Also of interest is the concluding chapter on how to prevent suicide terrorism.

Roel Meijer and Edwin Bakker, Editors, The Muslim Brotherhood in Europe (New York: NY: Columbia University Press, 2012), 288 pages, $45.00, ISBN: 978-0-231-70290-4 [hardcover].

The contributors to this important edited volume discuss the activities of the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood’s affiliates in Europe, where its missionary programs have gained considerable influence among the continent’s Muslim communities. Case studies examine the evolution of the relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe and the Middle East, the attempt by European Islamists to give the organisation a ‘European’ orientation, and the organisation’s activities in Britain, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Germany. While one might not agree with some of the contributors’ assertions that the European Muslim Brotherhood has incorporated “democratization and secularisation” into its religious ideology, this is nevertheless a valuable collection of chapters about how this organization has managed to become a central force in European Muslim society.

Lyubov Grigorova Mincheva and Ted Robert Gurr, Crime-Terror Alliances and the State: Ethnonationalist and Islamist Challenges to Regional Security (New York, NY: Routledge, 2013), 252 pages, $135.00. ISBN: 978-0-415-50648-9 [hardcover].

An examination of the trans-border connections between ethno-nationalist and Islamist terrorist and criminal networks and the largely dysfunctional states in which they operate. Case studies include the PKK in Turkey, the civil war in Bosnia, militant nationalism and the “criminalized” state in Serbia in the 1990s, Islamist terrorism in Algeria in the 1990s, and the state and crime syndicates in Bulgaria. Lyubov Grigorova Mincheva is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, and Ted Robert Gurr is University Professor, Emeritus, at the University of Maryland, and author of the classic book “Why Men Rebel.”

Lambert, Robert, Countering Al-Qaeda in London: Police and Muslims in Partnership (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2013), 412 pages, $50.00. ISBN: 978-0-231-70276-8 [hardcover].

The author is a retired officer in the Metropolitan Police Service in London, who had served in its Special Branch as head of the Muslim Contact Unit. Now, as an academic lecturer and researcher, he is in a position to write his inside account of the projects he had established to reduce Al-Qaeda-inspired extremism and terrorism in London by partnering Muslim community groups with police forces. These projects were so successful that they empowered the local Muslims to exile the Egyptian Sunni extremist preacher Abu Hamza and his violent supporters from Finsbury Park Mosque in North London and diminished the influence of the extremist clerics Abu Qatada and Abdullah el Faisal. This pioneering and innovative book is highly recommended as an important case study for counterterrorism and countering extremism practitioners.

Michael, George, Lone Wolf Terror and the Rise of Leaderless Resistance (Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2012), 264 pages, $34.95. ISBN: 978-0-8265-1855-2 [hardcover].

Homegrown “lone wolf”-type terrorism has become a pervasive form of terrorist low-intensity warfare in Europe and North America, because it is difficult for organized terrorist groups to operate due to the effectiveness of governments’ counterterrorism measures. The author is a professor at the Air War College, and specializes in writing about “lone wolf” terrorism. In this authoritative study he discusses the spectrum of “lone wolf” terrorism together with “leaderless resistance,” another aspect of such warfare, in which small cells operate without the need for leadership by an outside organization. To explain this phenomena, the author discusses the evolution and strategy of such warfare, which are applied to the case studies of extremist far-right groups in America and Europe, including the Norwegian Anders Breivik, environmental and animal rights extremists, Islamist “lone wolves” such as Major Nidal Hasan, and the likelihood of such cells and individuals to obtain weapons of mass destruction.

Philip Mudd, Takedown: Inside the Hunt for Al Qaeda (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), 224 pages, $28.95. ISBN: 978-0-8122-4496 [hardcover].

An authoritative and informative “insider” account by a former high-level official at the CIA and FBI about how both agencies substantially upgraded their counterterrorism capabilities following the U.S. government’s failure to prevent Al-Qaeda’s catastrophic attacks on 9/11. It is a highly informative primer on the components that constitute effective counterterrorism. Mr. Mudd explains that a measure of success in counterterrorism is not merely “who [is] captured or killed…but whether operations [break up] plots and destroyed the networks that could sustain long-term training and planning resulting in another strategic strike.” Successful counterterrorism requires not only effective intelligence and military operations against terrorist networks, but solid analytical products to guide the nation’s top decision makers. As an “insider”, Mr. Mudd provides a revealing portrait of how the “threat matrix” – a snapshot summary of the threats facing the country on a daily basis – is produced, the difficulty of piecing together fragments of disparate intelligence information about terrorist cells and their operatives, how intelligence analysts attempt to be careful about prioritizing threats, since lots of unfounded rumors invariably make their way as “raw intelligence” – but all of which need to be considered, given the difficulty of penetrating terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda to uncover their imminent plots. With governments’ attention focused on understanding how the “homegrown” Tsarnaev brothers were radicalized into bombing the Boston Marathon, Mr. Mudd’s book also provides important insight on how the agencies examine the activities of individuals who are suspected of possible future involvement in terrorism. While a majority of those who are radicalized are clusters of “angry young men” who “think about doing something,” but never take action, the key to determining their proclivity to becoming terrorists, he writes, is to “Find the key players; find how they communicate; find their overseas contacts; determine their access to weapons, explosives, training; find who radicalized them, and who they’d radicalized.” Mr. Mudd’s “Takedown: Inside the Hunt for Al Qaeda” is one of those very few insightful books about counterterrorism that only a veteran practitioner could write, making it essential reading for those with an interest in this field.

Frank Shanty, Editor, Counterterrorism: From the Cold War to the War on Terror [Volume I: Combating Modern Terrorism (1968-2011)], [Volume II: 21st Century Global Counterterrorism Measures] (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2012), 994 pages, $131.00. ISBN-13: 978-1598845440 [hardcover].

This two-volume reference set is a comprehensive compilation of entries (to which this reviewer contributed three entries) on some of the primary issues involved in combating terrorism. The first volume covers issues such as defining terrorism and insurgency, case studies on significant counterterrorism campaigns around the world, and key issues affecting counterterrorism strategies, such as the psychology of those who become terrorists, countering radicalisation and recruitment into terrorism, curtailing terrorists’ funding, and intelligence, law enforcement and military countermeasures. The second volume presents overviews of the world’s top counterterrorism forces, chronologies of major counterterrorism operations, and profiles of major terrorist organisations and prominent terrorists.

Simcox, Robin and Emily Dyer, Al-Qaeda in the United States: A Complete Analysis of Terrorism Offenses (London, UK: The Henry Jackson Society, 2013), 728 pages, $77.83. ISBN: 978-1-909035-05-8 [paperback]. An abridged report can be downloaded at

An important and first-of-its-kind comprehensive and detailed account of how Al-Qaeda’s threat within the United States has evolved, by profiling all Al-Qaeda and Al-Qaeda-inspired terrorists who were convicted in U.S. courts (federal and military) or who participated in suicide attacks against the U.S. homeland between 1997 and 2011. The authors profile 171 individuals by providing statistical analysis on their background (such as age, nationality, occupation, education and whether they were religious converts); data relating to types of offenses, type of charge and their subsequent sentence. Also discussed are individual connections to other known terrorists or designated terrorist organizations. In addition it studies those individuals who had received terrorist training or had combat experience.

Simon, Jeffrey D., Lone Wolf Terrorism (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2013), 335 pages, $26.00. ISBN: 978-1-61614-646-7 [hardcover].

This is an important contribution to the study of “lone wolf” terrorism, which has become a significant threat in the United States and Western Europe because of the difficulty organised terrorist groups face operating in these well-defended societies. Despite these hurdles, however, the author points out that the pervasiveness of the Internet is providing an ideal “breeding ground” for such isolated individuals with terrorist proclivities to be radicalized into “going operational” on behalf of violent extremist causes. It is important to note that these “lone wolves” are not just Islamist extremists, but are found among the spectrum of political and religious ideologies. Although few women have turned to “lone wolf” terrorism, the author suggests that this is likely to change in the coming years. Finally, although it is generally believed that little can be done to identify “lone wolves” prior to their attacks, the author finds that innovative strategies and policies, such as tracking their activities on the Internet, can be developed to prevent this type of non-organized group terrorism.

Andrew Staniforth, (Edited by Fraser Sampson), The Routledge Companion to UK Counter-Terrorism (New York, NY: Routledge, 2013), 374 pages, $205.00. ISBN: 978-0-415-68585-6 [hardcover].

With the United Kingdom confronted by various types of terrorism for more than a century, its government has developed an extensive counterterrorism capability to counter such threats. This volume examines the evolution of these counter-terrorism measures through case studies on the threat posed by Northern Ireland (primarily the Provisional Irish Republican Army) and Al- Qaeda-inspired terrorist operatives and through personal insider accounts by leading counter-terrorism policy makers, prosecutors and practitioners. The volume’s primary author, Andrew Staniforth, is a former Special Branch detective, and its editor, Fraser Sampson, is Chief Executive and Solicitor for the West Yorkshire Police Authority, and a widely published author on these issues.

Guido W Steinberg, German Jihad: On the Internationalization of Islamist Terrorism (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2013), 304 pages, $37.50. ISBN: 978-0231159920 [hardcover].

Germany has been threatened by terrorism since the 1970s, but in its formative period it was primarily the target of far-leftist militant groups. Beginning in the 1990s, however, as Germany’s Muslim population expanded, Muslim extremism began to take root in the country, exemplified by the Hamburg cell which played a major role in 9/11’s attacks against America. Since then, the militant Islamist threat has escalated, with German jihadists becoming, in the author’s words, “Europe’s most dynamic,” with many of them traveling to Turkey, Chechnya, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to join Al-Qaeda-affiliated forces. The author, a researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, is considered one of his country’s leading experts on terrorism.

Jacob L Stump and Priya Dixit, Critical Terrorism Studies: An Introduction to Research Methods (New York, NY: Routledge, 2013), 208 pages, $42.95. ISBN: 978-0-415-62047-5 [paperback].

A textbook of how to systematically conduct academic research in terrorism studies through selected theoretical, methodological, and empirical approaches. This volume is part of a series of what are called “Critical Terrorism Studies” (CTS) - an approach that seeks to distinguish itself from more traditional “Terrorism Studies” (TS) by being more “critical” than the rest. Chapters include one on “Postcolonial and Feminist Approaches to Terrorism” and another on the “Ethnography of the Terrorist Subject.” The chapter on “Discourse Analysis” includes a discussion on “Critical and Poststructural/Foucauldian.” Despite the authors’ extensive use of jargon, the alternative analysis that is presented here is worth considering.

Taylor, Max and P.M. Currie, editors, Terrorism and Affordance [New Directions in Terrorism Studies] (New York, NY: Continuum, 2012), 196 pages, $130.00. ISBN: 978-1-4411-3381-6 [hardcover].

In this edited volume, the contributors explore the utility of what is termed the concept of “affordance” to analyze the underpinnings of terrorist-type political violence. This concept refers to “how the quality of an environment or object allows an individual to perform a specific action,” which in this case refers primarily to terrorist criminal behavior. Although the discussion is highly theoretical, the methodologies presented by its academic contributors are highly useful for those involved in counterterrorism studies.

Max Taylor, P.M. Currie, and Donald Holbrook, Editors, Extreme Right-Wing Political Violence and Terrorism (New York, NY: Bloomsbury, 2012) 208 pages, $34.95. ISBN: 978-1-4411-5162-9 [paperback].

In this edited volume, the contributors examine far-right extremist terrorism in America and Europe, beginning with the nature of the threat, their ideologies, how adherents become radicalised into extremist violence, and how some of the members of such groups can be influenced to disengage from violent activities. Case studies cover far-right extremists in America, England and Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Anders Breivik’s attacks in Norway. A separate chapter compares far-right extremism with Jihadi violence. A concluding chapter places the European experience within the larger framework of the Arab Spring’s protest movements.

About the Reviewer: Dr. Joshua Sinai is the Book Reviews Editor ofPerspectives on Terrorism’.


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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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