Counterterrorism Bookshelf:

20 Books on Terrorism & Counter-Terrorism-Related Subjects

Reviewed by Joshua Sinai

This column consists of capsule reviews of books published by various publishers, with the authors listed in alphabetical order.

Hurst & Company

Simon Cottee, The Apostates: When Muslims Leave Islam (London, UK: Hurst & Company/New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2015), 263 pp., US $ 35.00 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-849-0444691.

An interesting and important account of the experiences of ex-Muslims documenting the difficulties and challenges they face in traversing the two opposing worlds of Islam and the secularism in diaspora communities in the United Kingdom and Canada. The author, a senior lecturer in criminology at Kent University, England, draws on what he terms “life-history” interviews with ex-Muslims (whose identities are concealed in order to protect their security) to explore the processes, predicaments and negative consequences, especially from their families, that face them upon leaving Islam and becoming “irreligious” and apostates in their home communities. Simon Cottee also focuses on the problems they face in adjusting to their new “secular” environments. Explaining that “Islamic apostasy in the secular West is perhaps best understood not as a legal or political problem, but as a moral issue within Muslim families and communities,” (p. 211) the author concludes that “The crucial policy issue is how to effectively challenge and change illiberal attitudes within Muslim communities in the West and how to provide better support for wavering and ex-Muslims in moral jeopardy.” (p. 212) Although this book does not discuss violent extremism or terrorism, as such, “The Apostates” is highly recommended for contextualizing the challenges involved in attempting to de-radicalize violent extremists in Western societies.

Leon T. Goldsmith, Cycle of Fear: Syria’s Alawites in War and Peace (London, UK: Hurst & Company/New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2015), 317 pp., US $ 37.50 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-1-849044684.

A comprehensive survey of the history and evolution of Syria’s minority Alawite community in order to provide a deeper perspective on its response to the events that led up to the early 2011 ‘Arab Spring’ uprising by the Sunni majority against Alawite continuous rule over Syrian society. As explained by the author, who teaches in the Department of Political Science, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman, his book “seeks to illustrate an important example of how fear affects the political behavior of ethno-religious minorities, influences their support for authoritarian regimes and leads to recurring conflict and social dislocation.” (p. 4) The author concludes on the hopeful note that “the aftermath of the [current] war will be setting forth on an open and honest collective reckoning with sectarianism and the cycle of fear among communities, in a way that has not been possible or attempted before” (p. 209). However, in this reviewer’s opinion this is highly unlikely given the zero-sum game type genocidal fighting being waged by the jihadi opposition and the Assad regime. Nevertheless this book is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the nature, aspirations, and likely future fate of Syria’s Alawite minority.

Mustafa Hamid and Leah Farrall, The Arabs at War in Afghanistan (London, UK: Hurst & Company/New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2015), 355 pp., US $ 25.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-1-849044202.

A fascinating insider’s account of the history and origins of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Arab groupings that formed al Qaida – the Taliban’s ally in Afghanistan and later on in Pakistan. This collaborative account takes the form of a series of interviews between Mustafa Hamid (aka Abu Walid al-Masri) and Leah Farrall, an Australian academic and former senior counter-terrorism analyst with the Australian Federal Police. Dr. Farrall provides additional analysis to contexualize these accounts. Mr. Hamid, an Egyptian, was one of the first Arabs to join the jihad against Soviet rule in Afghanistan. He became a senior Mujahideen leader, but had fled Afghanistan after 9/11, spending nearly a decade in detention in Iran, after which he was able to return to Egypt, where he renounced his jihadi ideology. After explaining how the two authors met and established a common dialogue, the book’s chapters cover topics such as the origins of the Arab-Afghan jihad, how the Taliban was formed and how al Qaida established its training camps in Afghanistan. Further chapters cover the nature of the relations between the Taliban and al Qaida and tensions in the relations with other extremist ethnic groupings, such as the Uzbeks.

The motivations and events that led to al Qaida’s 9/11 attacks against the United States, and the failure of both Taliban and al Qaida to anticipate the massive retaliation by America are also covered. Mr. Hamid concludes that one of the lessons he has learned from his experience in Afghanistan is that al Qaida/Taliban-type “Salafi Wahabbism is a key obstacle…to natural human rights….with the events of the Arab Spring and its aftermath [signaling] the complete failure of the Islamist project, which in part grew in the soil of Egypt from the hands of Sayyid Qutb, and in Afghanistan from the hands of Azzam, Abu Abdullah and the Jalalabad School. This failure is clearly visible in people’s loss of sympathy for the Islamists – and in Egypt, this took only one year.” (p. 325) The book includes a detailed listing of notable people mentioned in the discussion, as well as a glossary of terms, a listing of Mujahideen training camps, and a listing of significant doctrinal publications to provide a wider context for understanding the authors’ account.

Raffaello Pantucci, “We Love Death As You Love Life”: Britain’s Suburban Terrorists (London, UK: Hurst & Company/New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2015), 377 pp., US $ 25.00 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-849041652.

This is a highly detailed and comprehensive account of the history, evolution and terrorist activities of Islamist extremists in the United Kingdom, including the influence of their countries of origin in shaping their radicalization and mobilization into terrorism. In addition to setting the stage for the rest of the book, the introduction also includes a valuable discussion of how the confluence of the drivers of radicalization, ideology, grievances, and mobilization has shaped the emergence of Islamist extremism in the UK. Within this framework the author explains how numerous British Muslims, such as Mohammed Siddique Khan and others, turned to al Qaida-inspired terrorism to carry out their attacks, whether in the UK or overseas – up to the present period with its foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq. The book’s first chapter examines the roots of Britain’s Muslim population, with many of them immigrating from Pakistan. Interestingly, a sizeable portion of those who became extremist activists had claimed to flee ‘persecution’ in their homelands in the Middle East, but ended up, as in the case of the cleric Abu Hamza, as firebrand Islamist extremists in Britain where they took advantage of its “long tradition as a home for foreign political activists.” (p. 5) This is followed by discussions of the socialization of Britain’s Muslims, including social tensions arising from (non-) integration into British society, the early involvement in terrorism by operatives such as Richard Reid (the “shoe-bomber”). Raffaello Pantucci also explores the impacts of the post 9/11 conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq in mobilizing British Islamists to join their al Qaida ‘compatriots’ in those conflict zones. In addition, he focuses on the role of the new Jihadist battlefields in the Internet’s social media platforms, including online extremist clerics such as Anwar al-Awlaki, in mobilizing the British Islamists for violent activities. In the concluding chapter, Mr. Pantucci observes that even with improved British counterterrorism capabilities, “the threat has not disappeared. Indeed, with events in Syria it appears that the threat may be growing once again. Old narratives playing out again show that the complacency produced by a long period of success is dangerous. The reality is that while the British security services understand much better the networks they are dealing with and what radicalization looks like, there is still very little understanding of how to counter and de-radicalise.” (p. 292) The numerous well-researched accounts of Islamist terrorist operatives, their associated networks and cells, and their terrorist plots and activities in the UK and in overseas conflict zones make Mr. Pantucci’s book an indispensable resource for understanding Britain’s continuing Islamist terrorist threats and the sub-cultures that sustain them.

Palgrave Macmillan

Cristina Archetti, Understanding Terrorism in the Age of Global Media: A Communications Approach (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 232 pp., US $ 90.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-0-230-36049-5.

This is a well-argued critique of terrorism and counterterrorism studies. The author calls for greater rigor in conducting research and pleads for formulating empirically-derived findings on the root causes and how terrorist groups operate, radicalize and mobilize adherents to their cause in today’s all-pervasive media environment. Dr. Archetti, a Lecturer in Politics and Media at the University of Salford, UK, believes that to analyze these components of terrorism “in an age of interconnectedness and globalization” it is essential to “understand the processes of communication that underpin it.” (p. 1) These issues are first addressed in the chapter on “The Problems with Terrorism Research,” which criticizes the discipline for being largely “a-theoretical” because of what she terms “The missing dimension of theory testing.” (p. 28). Other problem areas she identifies include the discipline’s inability to formulate a consensual definition of terrorism, and what the author terms “The missing ‘why’ of terrorism” – i.e., the lack of explanations that provide “any insight into the causation of terrorism.” (p. 25) The book’s remaining chapters cover topics such as the relationship between terrorists, how they communicate, and how they employ the mass media (including the Internet) in their operations. The book’s chapters also focus on the importance of applying what is termed the theoretical framework of “relational sociology” to understand how terrorists “negotiate”, terrorists’ relations with their adherents, and the roles of persuasion, ‘messaging,’ narratives, and myth-making in terrorists’ radicalization and mobilization of their adherents. The author concludes that in countering terrorists’ communications, i.e. “attempting to target radicalized individuals with the ‘right’ message” is a waste of time. She holds that Western democracies “can stop fueling the terrorists’ narrative by being consistent with what they claim to represent and what they actually do.” (p. 142) While one may argue that the author’s survey of current literature overlooks numerous studies that do, in fact, apply social science rigor and empiricism in their analysis of these components of terrorism, and that even the solutions that she proposes are not as effective or empirically-based as she claims, the issues that she raises in this well-written study merit wide attention in the discipline.

Wolfgang Benedek, Christopher Daase, Vojin Dimitrijevic, and Petrus van Duyne, (Eds.), Transnational Terrorism, Organized Crime and Peace-Building: Human Security in the Western Balkans (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 288 pp., US $ 125.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-0-230-23462-8.

This comprehensive edited volume is the product of a collaborative and multidisciplinary research program funded by the European Union (EU) and carried out by the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (ETC), in Graz, Austria. It examines the impact of transnational terrorism and organized crime on the prospects for peace-building and stability in the Western Balkans – the former Yugoslavia. This is a serious challenge, as one of the volume’s editors, Wolgang Benedek, concludes that “The post-conflict and transitional situation is an obstacle to counter-crime strategies and security sector reform as they run against vested interests that benefit from state fragility in order to capture part of the security sector, the economy, or the media.” (p. 361) With civil society playing an “important watchdog role in this process,” Dr. Benedek calls on the European Union “to use its ‘soft power’” to improve the region’s human security. (p. 361)

Hamed El-Said, New Approaches to Countering Terrorism: Designing and Evaluating Counter-Radicalization and De-Radicalization Programs (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), 312 pp., US $ 100.00 [Hardcover], US $ 40.00 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-137-48002-6.

This book attempts to fill a gap in the literature on countering violent extremism by Islamists. In order to facilitate their de-radicalization and disengagement from terrorism Prof. El-Said proposes a “framework through which Counter-de-Rad programs can be studied, understood and even effectively designed and implemented.” (p. 6) To do so, the author analyzes and evaluates Counter-de-Rad programs in the Muslim-majority states of Mauritania, Pakistan, Sudan, and Turkey, as well as similar programs in two Muslim-minority states–Australia and Singapore. Hamed El-Said is Chair and Professor of International Business and Political Economy at the Faculty of Business and Law, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. He has served as an advisor to the Arab Thought Forum and the United Nations al-Qaida and Taliban 1267 Monitoring Team. This enabled him and his collaborators to work on Counter-de-Rad programs (which provided the foundation for this book’s updated research). Following a detailed discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the Counter-de-Rad programs in the six case studies, the concluding chapter offers numerous findings that are worth noting. One is the need to move “away from the narrow focus on religious rehabilitation to inject a more secular focus in the Saudi de-radicalization policies: through education, including political education, vocational training, painting, physical education and social and economic programs to facilitate reintegration of detainees.” (p. 256) Another finding is that there is no one size fits all model for all countries or ‘silver bullet’ that can end violent extremism. This is because “The key lies in designing programs which are consistent with and derived from each country’s political, legal, cultural, historical and social capital tradition.” (p. 257) The most important finding – and arguably the most crucial component in effective Counter-de-Rad programs – is that “States with strong developmental capacity, strong political capacity and which enjoy an active and dynamic civil society are not only at lower risk of VEm [violent extremism], but are also better positioned and equipped to deal with it wherever it arises than countries characterized by weak development capacity, political capacity and hostile and thwarted civil society.” (p. 258) Prof. El-Said’s “New Approaches to Countering Terrorism” is an important contribution to the sub-discipline’s study of the effectiveness of Counter-de-Rad programs around the world.

Hugh Gouch, The Terror in the French Revolution [Second Edition] (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 144 pp., US $ 32.00 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-0-230-20181-1.

A highly interesting, concise account of the French Revolution during the period of 1793-95 as the first instance when a newly formed revolutionary government employed the brutality of terror as a political weapon against its ‘counter-revolutionary’ opposition. The author is Emeritus Professor at University College Dublin and a noted expert on the history of the French Revolution.

George C. Lovewine, Outsourcing the Global War on Terrorism: Private Military Companies and American Intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 244 pp., US $ 105.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-1-137-37282-6.

A highly detailed account of the role and impact of private military security companies (PMSCs), such as KBR and DynCorp International, in supporting the U.S. government’s military and political-economic development efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11. The author concludes that PMSCs contribute in a positive way by creating “an environment where the US military is able to respond to crises, to surge in additional capabilities and focus on the battlefield requirements, while fulfilling essential support needs.” (p. 149) The risks in their involvement, however, “are also great,” the author explains, because “any advantage they provide on the battlefield can be negated by activities that either cast a negative light on US activities or present a negative perception of US mission.” The author, a retired U.S. Army Officer, is a civilian military analyst with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Ron Schleifer, Psychological Warfare in the Arab-Israeli Conflict (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 228 pages, US $ 100.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-1-137-46702-7.

This is an important account of how psychological operations as ‘non-lethal’ weapons serve as crucial force multipliers in a nation’s warfare against its adversaries. As Dr. Schleifer points out, they are also employed in asymmetric warfare by weaker non-state adversaries against their more powerful state adversaries in order to undermine their legitimacy and continued will to fight. These issues are discussed within the context of how such ‘non-lethal’ weapons have been used by Israel and its Palestinian and Hizballah adversaries. The book begins with an overview of psychological warfare theory and how it is applied in warfare, its use by Israel’s pre-State Zionist insurgents against the British Mandatory authorities in Palestine, the evolution in the employment of psychological warfare by Palestinian armed groups against Israel from 1948 to 2010, Hizballah’s use of psychological warfare against Israel in Southern Lebanon from 1985 to 2000, and Israel’s own psychological warfare operations against Arab adversaries. Although this book’s focus is on the Arab-Israeli conflict, its discussion of the use of psychological warfare is also especially relevant for understanding how these issues play out in the military campaigns being waged against al Qaida- and Islamic State-type insurgents around the world. Dr. Schleifer is Head of the Ariel Research Center for Defense and Communication, Israel (For full disclosure, this reviewer wrote the blurb for the book’s back cover).

Natasha Underhill, Countering Global Terrorism and Insurgency: Calculating the Risk of State Failure in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 264 pp., US $ 100.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-1-137-38370-9.

An interesting theoretical examination of the role and impact of failed/failing states (such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq) in the proliferation of terrorism and insurgency, in comparison with strong states. To conduct this assessment, the book’s first two chapters attempt to explain terrorism, insurgency and state failure. In addition, the initial chapters explore the extent to which failed states might play a role in the emergence and proliferation of terrorism and insurgency. The author also explores whether a “pattern of failure” and other underlying conditions make such failed states more susceptible to attracting militant groups into their territory. The following six chapters apply the conceptual framework to discuss the three case studies of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. In the concluding chapter the author presents several interesting findings, such as “there is a significant lack of correlation between a state’s level of failure and the number of terrorist groups that are based there.” She also notes that “the placement or ranking of a particular state on the [Fund for Peace’s] Failed State Index does not appear to exhibit any significant difference with respect to the incidence of terrorism.” She demonstrates that “there are significant numbers of FTSs [Foreign Terrorist Organizations] and domestic terrorist groups present in states with a low level of failure, as well as in relatively strong democracies.” (p. 177) The concluding chapter also includes a valuable table that lists the impact of the conceptual framework’s factors in the three case studies. The author is Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, UK.


Gwen Brookes, Julie Ann Pooley and Jaya Earnest, Terrorism, Trauma and Psychology: A Multilevel Victim Perspective of the Bali Bombings (New York, NY: Routledge, 2015), 192 pp., US $ 145.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-1-138-78884-8.

A systematic, field research-based examination, based on the October 12, 2002, Bali bombings. The authors explore the direct and indirect impacts of terrorism on the individuals and communities that are affected by such incidents, including the forms of post-attack disaster support offered to victims and their families. The introductory chapter presents an overview of terrorism, its objectives, a survey of countries that have experienced protracted terrorist attacks, the types of groups that conduct terrorism, and, more specifically, how the Bali bombings were conducted and their impact in terms of fatalities and injuries. The remaining chapters discuss the effects of the bombings on the victims in Bali and the Australian tourists, and the types of support that was provided to these victims. In conclusion, a framework is proposed by the authors for post-disaster planning.. The authors are academic psychologists and public health specialists who are associated with the University of Western Australia and Curtin University, also in Western Australia.

Cheryl Lynn Duckworth, 9/11 and Collective Memory in US Classrooms: Teaching About Terror (New York, NY: Routledge, 2015), 134 pp., US $ 145.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-0-415-74201-6.

An examination based on quantitative and qualitative survey data of how the traumatic events of 9/11 are taught by teachers at American middle and high schools, particularly the narrative that is used to teach students about that fateful day. The author concludes that in teaching about terrorism, curriculum units need to discuss questions such as the right balance between liberty and security and how people in history have handled fear, loss and trauma. Further suggested topics for discussion are: Is religion the cause of conflict?, What has been the impact of U.S. interventions in the world. What causes violence and how can it be prevented, and how can peace and justice be attained in society. (p. 116) The appendices include the study’s quantitative survey and interview protocol. The author is a professor of conflict resolution at Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Rosalyn Higgins and Maurice Flory (Eds.), Terrorism and International Law (New York, NY: Routledge, 1997/Reissued 2014), 396 pp., US $ 190.00 [Hardcover], US $ 49.95 [Paperback], ISNB: 978-1-138-87432-9.

First published in 1997, the contributors to this reissued edited volume present the approaches of British and French legal experts on how to apply effective legal measures to counter terrorism domestically and internationally. The chapters cover topics such as the international legislation on terrorism. principles of jurisdiction, legal aspects of maritime terrorism, extradition of terrorists, the rights of victims, State liability for terrorist acts on its territory, and international action against state terrorism. Although some of this discussion may be dated, it provides a valuable foundation for understanding the role and application of international law in counterterrorism and the prosecution of terrorists.

Lee Jarvis, Stuart Macdonald and Thomas M. Chen, (Eds.), Terrorism Online: Politics, Law and Technology (New York, NY: Routledge, 2015), 210 pp., US $ 145.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 9780415732888.

The contributors to this edited volume apply multi-disciplinary approaches to examine how terrorists utilize digital technologies for their operations in cyberspace. The chapters cover topics such as terrorism online as a new strategic environment, how lone wolves use the Internet and how they are radicalized and mobilized into terrorism, hacktivism as an emerging form of cyberterrorism, how governments monitor and track terrorism in cyberspace, including how to identify the source and perpetrators of a cyberterrorist attack, as well as how to define cyberterrorism as a ‘terrorist’ act. The volume also covers issues of international cooperation, including United Nations authorization for countering cyberterrorism. The volume’s editors, respectively, are professors of security, including cyber security, at the University of East Anglia, the College of Law, Swansea University, and City University, London, UK.

George Klay Kieh and Kelechi Kalu,(Eds.), West Africa and the U.S. War on Terror (New York, NY: Routledge, 2013), 208 pp., US $ 44.95 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-138-85143-6.

The contributors to this edited volume examine possible roles and strategies for the United States in assisting to counter terrorism in West Africa at bilateral and multilateral levels. This is a difficult and complex task, as recognized in the concluding chapter, since countering the sub-region’s criminal gangs and international terrorists also involves “consistently urging the governments in this sub-region to protect the rights of their citizens against repressive state institutions and structures…,” (p. 186) since such an undertaking is difficult to achieve. Dr. Kieh is Professor of Political Science at the University of West Georgia, and Dr. Kalu is Director of the Center for African Studies at Ohio State University.

Alan J. Kuperman, (Ed.), Nuclear Terrorism and Global Security (New York, NY: Routledge, 2013), 256 pp., US $ 145.00 [Hardcover], US $ 54.95 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-138-84762-0.

The contributors to this edited volume examine the challenges posed by the attempts at a global phase-out of highly enriched uranium (HEU), and the risks that some of the remaining material might be acquired by terrorists, such as al Qaida and its affiliates, to manufacture and weaponize atomic bombs to deploy against their adversaries. Following the editor’s conceptual overview, the remaining chapters present case studies of the nuclear programs, including in certain cases, phase-outs of such programs, in Argentina, South Africa, United States, Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands, France, Germany, China, Russia, as well as phasing out the use of HEU from use in space-based nuclear reactors. Attesting to the difficulty in achieving a global phase-out of HEU, the concluding chapter cautions that “so long as HEU commerce persists for non-weapons purposes, the danger of nuclear terrorism will be much greater than it needs to be. That is one risk to humanity that can, and should, be phased out.” (p. 228) The volume’s editor is Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin.

Magnus Ranstorp and Magnus Normark, (Eds.), Understanding Terrorism Innovation and Learning: Al-Qaeda and Beyond (New York, NY: Routledge, 2015), 298 pp., US $ 145.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-1-138-84743-9.

Since this reviewer contributed one of the chapters to this edited volume (which will likely be reviewed in greater depth in a future issue of this journal by another reviewer), this capsule note is intended merely as an overview of the book’s contents. Following an introductory survey of the subject of terrorism innovation and learning as it is applied to the case of al Qaida and its affiliates (a theme running throughout the volume), the book’s chapters discuss topics such as the theoretical underpinnings of the terrorist innovation decisions (by Gary Ackerman), innovation in terrorists’ manufacture of IEDs (John Allison), trends in terrorists’ weaponry and targeting (Adam Dolnik), innovation in al Qaida’s ideology of attacking the West (Soren Hove), Jihadists’ innovation in utilizing cyberspace’s new social media (Nico Prucha), innovation in jihadists’ training (Paul Cruickshank), and innovation in terrorists’ counter-surveillance tradecraft (Joshua Sinai). The remaining chapters provide case studies of innovation and learning in the British Jihad scene (Rafaello Pantucci), Denmark (Morten Skjoldager), and Germany (Yassin Musharabash and Guido Steinberg). The editors’ concluding chapter discusses the volume’s general findings. Dr. Ranstorp is Research Director at the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies (CATS) at the Swedish National Defence College, Stockholm, and Dr. Normark is a Senior Analyst at the Division of CBRN Defence and Security at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI).

Mattia Toaldo, The Origins of the US War on Terror: Lebanon, Libya and American Intervention in the Middle East (New York, NY: Routledge, 2013), 218 pp., US $ 140.00 [Hardcover], US $ 45.95 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-138-85138-2.

A detailed account based on news reports and declassified archival resources of the early formative period in United States’ counterterrorism policy when it responded to the terrorist threats against it in the cases of Lebanon and Libya in the 1980s. With much of the discussion sound, one may not necessarily agree with some of the author’s assumptions, such as that “American policy in the Middle East during the Cold War was indeed based on the idea that the West held the monopoly over modernity” (p. 168) – with ‘modernity’ viewed by the author as a negative notion when in fact, if it had been implemented in the Middle East it would have prevented its current political upheaval and instability. In any case, the components of ‘modernity’ (e.g. education) were never massively promoted by the United States during that period in its counterterrorism campaigns in Lebanon and Libya. Finally, although the author is correct that the Reagan legacy continues to influence U.S. counterterrorism policy, the current terrorism landscape in the Middle East is vastly different and much more threatening than what is portrayed in this book. The author is a lecturer of Political Science and International Relations at IES-Rome.

Awet T. Weldemichael, Patricia Schneider, and Andrew C. Winner, (Eds.), Maritime Terrorism and Piracy in the Indian Ocean Region (New York, NY: Routledge, 2015), 124 pp., US $ 145.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-1-138-85064-4.

The contributors to this edited volume examine the challenges presented by maritime terrorism and piracy in the Indian Ocean region, including Somalia and Yemen. Following an introductory overview, the book’s chapters cover topics such as “maritime corporate terrorism” in the form of illegal fishing, waste dumping and piracy off the coast of Somalia. These are no doubt criminal activities but hardly actions that fall under the concept of terrorism. The volume also covers maritime security countermeasures by European countries such as Germany and Spain, the security dynamics in Yemen and their impact on maritime threats and the role of international law in countering piracy. This book was originally published as a special issue of the “Journal of the Indian Ocean Region.”

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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