“Counterterrorism Bookshelf”: 17 Books on Terrorism & Counter-terrorism Related Subjects

“Counterterrorism Bookshelf”: 17 Books on Terrorism & Counter-terrorism Related Subjects

by Joshua Sinai

Continuing the series of columns that focus on books published by major publishers on terrorism and counterterrorism-related subjects, this column focuses on such books published by Springer and its associated imprints. Springer, noted for its extensive scientific and engineering publications, is also a major publisher of books that draw on computational social science and other social science-related approaches to analyzing terrorism and counterterrorism in a systematic manner. Please note that most of these books were recently published, with some of them published over the past several years but deserving renewed interest.

Note: Future columns will review books by publishers such as Stanford University Press, the University of Chicago Press, as well as other noted publishers.

Babak Akhgar and Simeon Yates, (Eds.), Intelligence Management: Knowledge Driven Frameworks for Combating Terrorism and Organized Crime. New York, NY: Springer, 2011. 232 pp.; US$ 129.00 [Hardcover], ISBN 978-1-4471-2139-8.

The contributors to this edited volume discuss the incorporation and management of new information and communication technologies (ICT) in countering terrorism and organized crime by law enforcement agencies. The book is divided into three sections. The first section’s chapters discuss the Odyssey Project, an effort to develop a prototype Pan-European ballistics and crime information intelligence network for law enforcement agencies. The second section’s chapters examine new technologies, such as data management techniques, that have applications in criminal investigations, 3D recognition techniques for forensics and counterterrorism applications, simulation technologies for crisis management, and simulation games for countering violent extremism. The chapters in the final section focus on information sharing in countering human trafficking, applying profiling and trend analysis in countering cybercrime, and training methodologies to train law enforcement agencies on these new technologies.

Shlomo Argamon and Newton Howard, (Eds.) Computational Methods for Counterterrorism. New York, NY: Springer, 2009. 306 pp., US$ 139.00 [Hardcover], ISBN-13: 978-3642011405

The contributors to this edited volume apply computational social science methodologies and technologies, such as data mining and social network analysis visualization tools, to examine new trends in how terrorist groups organize (e.g. hierarchically or non-hierarchically), their motivations, areas of operations, and warfare patterns. They also cover topics such as “anticipating terrorist safe havens from instability induced conflict, and the use of gaming and simulation techniques to demonstrate how ethno-political conflicts play out.

Robert P. Barnidge, Jr., Non-State Actors and Terrorism: Applying the Law of State Responsibility and the Due Diligence Principle. The Hague, The Netherlands: T.M.C. Asser Press, 2008. 250 pp., US$ 69.96 [Hardcover], ISBN-13: 978-9067042598.

An application of the mechanisms of the law of state responsibility and the due diligence principle to enable state counterterrorism agencies to legally fight non-state actors, such as terrorist groups. To achieve this objective, the author begins by discussing how terrorism can be defined under international law, the duty of states to protect their citizens against terrorist-type crimes, and whether the requirements of national security can override human rights in countering terrorism. The author concludes that “In rendering judgment on these matters, there are grey areas and fine lines, negotiations to be had and horse-trading to be done.” (p. 216).  

M. Cherif Bassiouni and Amna Guellali, (Eds.), Jihad and its Challenges to International and Domestic Law. The Hague, The Netherlands: Hague Academic Press/ T.M.C. Asser Press, 2010. 300 pp., US$ 79.95 [Hardcover], ISBN-13: 978-9067043120.

The contributors to this edited volume examine the challenges to international and domestic law presented by the concept of Jihadism, which represents for its adherents a religiously sanctioned war to “propagate or defend” the Muslim faith against their apostate adversaries. Divided into three parts, the book’s chapters discuss the meaning of Jihad in the Islamic tradition, Islamic and Western interpretations of international humanitarian law regarding the protection of civilians, Western European legal responses to Islamic militancy, and whether Western counterterrorism policies are effective at addressing the challenges posed by Jihadist terrorist violence.

Alex Conte, Human Rights in the Prevention and Punishment of Terrorism – Commonwealth Approaches: The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. New York, NY: Springer, 2010. 896 pp., US$ 329.00 [Hardcover], ISBN-13: 978-3642116070.

A comparative and highly detailed examination of the role of human rights in legislating the counterterrorism campaigns by Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. To examine these issues, the book begins with a discussion of the nature of terrorism and how it is defined, particularly from a human rights-based approach, and how international conventions define terrorism. The author then proceeds to discuss the legal components in the counter-terrorism campaigns conducted by these Commonwealth countries and how they relate to international law and human rights compliance, e.g. in terms of criminalizing acts of terrorism, following the rules of criminal procedure in investigating acts of terrorism, arrests and detentions, designating individuals and groups as terrorist entities, measures to control the trans-border movement of terrorists, and regulating the interplay between free speech, media reporting, and alleged incitement to terrorism. All these issues are summed up in the volume’s concluding chapter.   

Martin Charles Golumbic, Fighting Terror Online: The Convergence of Security, Technology, and the Law.New York, NY: Springer, 2008. 178 pp., US$ 109.00 [Hardcover], ISBN-13: 978-1441925237.

An examination of the interplay between the requirement for security, the employment of technology, and the need to balance security and civil rights in monitoring and countering the online manifestation of terrorism. Following a general discussion about the need to balance security and civil rights and the legal predicaments faced by Western governments in monitoring extremist activities online, the author discusses how these issues play out in the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia. A separate chapter discusses Israel’s legal framework in countering terrorism online. A final chapter discusses technology issues involved in monitoring extremist activities online, including uncovering encryption efforts by terrorist groups. The author concludes that new legal regulations, particularly “in relation to wiretapping and monitoring,” are required to counter extremist activities on the Internet because they differ from tracking analog communications. (p. 155)

M.R. Haberfeld and Agostino von Hassel, (Eds.), A New Understanding of Terrorism: Case Studies, Trajectories and Lessons Learned. New York, NY: Springer, 2009. 366 pp., US$ 219.00 [Hardcover], US$ 59.99 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-1441983749.

The contributors to this highly comprehensive volume examine new trends in the spectrum of terrorist warfare, such as urban terrorism, lone wolf terrorism, biological terrorism, environmental terrorism, and terrorists’ targeting of the aviation, maritime, and rail transport sectors. Also covered are case studies of major terrorist attacks, such as the 1983 Beirut bombings, the 1995 Tokyo subway attack, the June 1996 attacks against the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, 9/11, the July 2005 London transport bombings, and the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India. The concluding chapter discusses the implications of these new terrorist warfare trends on the need for a new understanding of counter-terrorism responses against such threats.    

M.R. Haberfeld, Joseph F. King, and Charles Andrew Lieberman, Terrorism Within Comparative International Context: The Counter-Terrorism Response and Preparedness. New York, NY: Springer, 2009. 176 pp., US$ 169.00 [Hardcover], ISBN-13: 978-0387888606.

This textbook is a comprehensive and systematic overview of the law enforcement components of counterterrorism through the examination of how such campaigns have been conducted by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Germany, and the United States. The concluding chapters discuss best practices drawn from these countries’ counterterrorism campaigns, as well as “lessons to be learned” for future campaigns, particularly in terms of “the need to invest more time and resources in proper intelligence gathering” and the creation of what the authors term “the Intelligence File,” which is the file that is employed to investigate terrorist suspects and incidents that needs to be effectively shared among all those involved in such investigations while safeguarding a suspect’s civil liberties.    

Wilhelm Heitmeyer and John Hagan, (Eds.), International Handbook of Violence Research [Two Volumes]. Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003. 1287 pages, US$ 719.00 [Hardcover]; US$ 199.00 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-1402039805

This is a highly comprehensive handbook on the spectrum of violence, ranging from youth violence and guns, organized crime and violence, to political violence such as civil wars, pogroms, and terrorism. Written by prominent experts, the handbook’s chapters cover topics such as the different types of groups that engage in violence, the processes of learning and socialization in violent individuals, the evolutionary and social biological approaches to studying the perpetrators of violence, the nature of the different types of victims of violence by individuals and groups, the different types of ideologies and justifications that are used to legitimize the resort to violence, the processes of escalation and de-escalation in the intensification of violence, and the theoretical and methodological issues involved in researching violence.   

Rianne Letschert, Ines Staiger, and Antony Pemberton, (Eds.), Assisting Victims of Terrorism: Towards a European Standard of Justice. New York, NY: Springer, 2010. 348 pp., US $ 219.00 [Hardcover], ISBN-13: 978-9048130245.

The contributors to this edited volume examine the issues involved in applying international legal instruments to assist victims of terrorist attacks. Following a discussion of the nature of contemporary terrorism, how terrorism is defined (including the difficulties in formulating a legal definition of terrorism), and defining the primary and secondary victims of terrorism, the discussion shifts to defining “restorative justice,” which is intended to provide restitution to its victims. The remaining chapters discuss issues such as the needs of the victims of terrorism, including the provision of psycho-social assistance, providing such victims with access to the justice system, and compensation and reparation for victims of terrorism, which is different from what is provided to victims of “ordinary” crimes. 

Cynthia Lum and Leslie W. Kennedy, (Eds.) Evidence-Based Counterterrorism Policy. New York, NY: Springer, 2012. 388 pp., US$ 199.00 [Hardcover], ISBN-13: 978-1493901111

A conceptually innovative approach to the study of terrorism and counterterrorism through the application of evidence-based methodologies, drawn from the discipline of criminology. The volume’s sections discuss topics such as data sources for evaluating terrorist warfare (such as developing terrorism event databases, employing trajectory analysis to examine the evolution of terrorism over time, using spatial analysis techniques to analyze terrorists’ areas of operation), generating evidence-based information on effectiveness in counterterrorism (such as through the activities of fusion centers, airport screening techniques, and using a complexity method for assessing counterterrorism policies) to evaluating the effectiveness of counterterrorism policies in terms of their ability to curtail terrorist financing and balancing “toughness vs. fairness.” The concluding chapter presents a framework for a research infrastructure for evaluating counterterrorism effectiveness.

Roland Otto, Targeted Killings and International Law. New York, NY: Springer, 2010. 661 pp., US$ 149.00 [Hardcover], ISBN-13: 978-3642248573.

Using Israel as its primary case study, this is a very comprehensive and detailed examination of the applicability of international law to a government’s perceived need to conduct targeted killings of its terrorist adversaries. The volume’s conceptual framework (which takes up most of the book) discusses topics such as how to define “targeted killings”, the moral legitimacy and effectiveness of targeted killings, and the relationship between human rights, international humanitarian law, and other relevant international laws to the practice of targeted killings. The conceptual framework is then applied to Israel’s engagement in targeted killings of its terrorist adversaries. The author concludes that “if the human rights standards were applied properly [i.e., to Israel’s policy of targeted killings], many killings which would be legal according to the Israeli Supreme Court would be illegal according [to human rights] standards.” (p. 540) In this reviewer’s opinion, however, perhaps a more nuanced interpretation may be warranted because the terrorists own violation of human rights by their deliberate targeting of innocent civilians and the difficulty of arresting them when they exploit their safe havens by hiding within their protective communities might make targeted assassinations the only viable option for states facing such threats.

Sharon Pickering, Jude McCulloch, and David Wright. Counter-Terrorism Policing. New York, NY: Springer, 2008. 142 pp., US$ 150.00 [Hardcover], ISBN-13: 978-0387768731.

An examination of the dilemmas facing police forces, which are traditionally trained to counter crime, on their added missions to counter terrorism within their often culturally diverse communities. The book’s chapters discuss issues such as the nature of the evolving terrorist threat; new approaches to counter-terrorism policing represented by the three models of community intelligence, “belonging,” and social cohesion, lessons learned from United Kingdom community policing; the altered policy and legal environments facing democratic policing strategies; the components required in community policing, such as the need to understand the needs of culturally and religiously diverse communities; and the organizational and training components of counter-terrorism community policing. The concluding chapter presents a social cohesion approach to counter-terrorism policing.

Ramon Spaaij, Understanding Lone Wolf Terrorism: Global Patterns, Motivations and Prevention. [Springer Briefs in Criminology], New York, NY: Springer, 2012. 100 pp., US$ 49.95 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-9400729803.

A systematic examination of the increasingly pervasive phenomenon of lone wolf terrorism by focusing on six crucial dimensions: definition, incidence and evolution (including a chronology of lone wolf terrorism in 15 countries), motivations and ideologies, influences and radicalization (including personal circumstances, social backgrounds, sociocultural and political influences), modus operandi (in terms of planning, targeting and types of weapons used), and counterterrorism responses (such as those that are legalistic, repressive, and conciliatory). Although one may argue that certain attacks that are generally attributed to lone wolf terrorists (such as Major Nidal Hassan’s November 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Texas) are, in fact, linked, however loosely, to more organized groups, the author’s account is highly authoritative and a valuable overview of the academic literature on this subject.

W. Kip Viscusi, (Eds.), The Risks of Terrorism. Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003. 152 pp., US$ 159.00 [Hardcover], ISBN-13: 978-1441954282.

Originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, the contributors to this volume examine the major components of terrorism risk: the relationship between civil liberties and the requirement to reduce terrorism risks, the probability of terrorist incidence, the impact of catastrophic terrorist incidents on the insurance markets that cover such risks, the problems associated with insuring the victims and physical destruction of those affected by the 9/11 attacks, and the governmental policy responses involved in mitigating terrorism risk.

Marianne Wade and Almir Maljevic, (Eds.), A War on Terror? The European Stance on a New Threat, Changing Laws and Human Rights Implications. New York, NY: Springer, 2010. 554 pp., US$ 179.00 [Hardcover], US$ 79.95 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-1461413950.

The contributors to this volume examine the numerous issues involved in the impact of the European states’ counterterrorism campaigns on those societies’ legal and political institutions, including maintenance of civil liberties. The volume’s chapters cover topics such as the German police’s perspective on the terrorist threat environment and counterstrategies to mitigate it, terrorists’ exploitation of the Internet and the use of international laws to counter it, the roles of the United Nations and the European Union in countering terrorism, how victims of terrorism need to be treated, the utilization of criminal laws to counter terrorism, and the impact of counterterrorism campaigns in limiting civil liberties and human rights.

David Weisburd, Thomas E. Feucht, Idit Hakimi, Lois Felson Mock, and Simon Perry, (Eds.). To Protect and To Serve: Policing in an Age of Terrorism. New York, NY: Springer, 2011. 230 pp., US$ 179.00 [Hardcover], US$ 89.99 [Paperback], ISBN-13: 978-1441983848.

The contributors to this volume examine the evolving role of policing in countering terrorism and homeland security by focusing on such practices and trends in the cases of Israel and the United States. Beginning with a discussion of trends in international terrorism, including the use of databases to generate incident trends, the volume’s chapters cover topics such as the role of the police in counterterrorism and its impact on societies, and future trends and associated requirements in policing terrorism.

About the Reviewer: Dr. Joshua Sinai is the Book Reviews Editor of ‘Perspectives on Terrorism’. He can be reached at: [email protected].


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

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