Counterterrorism Bookshelf:

40 Books on Terrorism & Counter-Terrorism-Related Subjects

Reviewed by Joshua Sinai

This column consists of capsule reviews of books from various publishers. The reviews are listed in the sections on Terrorism – General Accounts, Counterinsurgency, Radicalization and Countering Extremism, Africa, Afghanistan/South Asia, Global Jihad, Hizballah, Israel, Red Army Faction, and United Kingdom.

Terrorism – General Accounts

Kai Bird, The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames (New York, NY: Broadway Books, 2014), 448 pp., US $ 16.00 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-0-3078-8976-8.

On April 18, 1983, a bomb exploded outside the American embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people, injuring 120 others, including Robert Ames, the CIA’s Director of the Office of Near East and South Asia Analysis, who was considered one of the agency’s most influential and effective operatives in the Middle East. The attack, which was carried out by a suicide bomber driving a van packed with explosives, was attributed to Hizballah, and was reportedly organized by Imad Mughniyah, it’s most effective terrorist mastermind. This book is an extensively researched journalistic account of Ames’ life and CIA career leading up to his death. It also provides a wider context for understanding the ‘spy games’ played in the Middle East at the time by America, Israel, and other governments, including the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), with whose operative Ali Hassan Salameh, Ames had maintained close contact. Mr. Bird is a prominent American journalist and author.

Peter Calvert, Terrorism, Civil War, and Revolution: Revolution and International Politics [Third edition] (New York, NY: Continuum, 2010), 200 pp., US $ 99.00 [Hardcover], US $ 31.46 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-4411-5364-7.

This is a well-informed account of the components of terrorism, civil war, and revolution. These are discussed in terms of issues such as challenges to the state (e.g., urban and rural insurgency, coups, civil war, revolution, and wars of national liberation); the use of force in the international system to effect change (e.g., provision of military aid to a threatened government or direct military intervention); the characteristics of terrorist and revolutionary leaders (their social and psychological origins, the relationships between leaders and followers, and the qualities of effective insurgent leaders); the role of societal sub-cultures in providing the environments for the growth of radical movements; and the components of effective counterinsurgency doctrines and campaigns (e.g., planning, intelligence, training, and technology, maintaining the primacy of civilian government, understanding the mind of the opposition). A final section discusses the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the impact of 9/11, and offers an assessment of the U.S.-led military intervention in Iraq. Major theories and concepts, as well as historical examples, are used to explain these topics, making this book a valuable textbook for courses on this subject. The author is Emeritus Professor of Comparative and International Politics at the University of Southampton, UK.

Gerard Chaliand and Arnaud Blin,(Eds.), The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to ISIS [Updated edition with a new preface and final chapter] (Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2016), 536 pp., US $ 34.95 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-0-5202-9250-5.

This volume was initially published in France in 2004, with an American edition published in 2007. This updated edition includes a new preface and a final chapter on jihadism in the age of ISIS, written by Gerard Chaliand. The new preface discusses topics such as the nature of terrorism, responding to terrorism, terrorism and the paradox of strategy, the cyclical history of terrorism, and the evolution of terrorism in history. The book is divided into three parts: “The Prehistory of Terrorism” (e.g., the zealots and assassins); “Terrorism From 1789 to 1968” (e.g., the origins of modern terrorism, anarchist terrorism in the 19th century, and terrorism from World War II to the wars of national liberation); and “Terrorism Since 1968” (e.g., from 1968 to radical Islam, the roots of Islamic radicalism, al Qaida, suicide terrorism, United States counterterrorism, terrorism in Southeast Asia, and the origins of ISIS). Gerard Chaliand is a visiting professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Arnaud Blin is Executive Director of the Center for Global Policy and Governance Studies, France.

Richard A. Clarke and R.P. Eddy, Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes (New York, NY: Ecco/Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, 2017), 416 pp., US $ 29.99 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-0-06-248802-2.

This book is about the capability to forecast new trends, especially impending disasters, in spite of conventional wisdom’s dismissal of such warnings, which is part of what is termed a Cassandra complex. Cassandra was a Greek princess who was endowed with “the ability to see impending doom, but the inability to persuade anyone to believe in her.” (p. 1). To detect the presence of “a real Cassandra among the myriad of pundits” (p. 5), the authors present short case studies of individuals who had exhibited a Cassandra-like ability concerning important disasters, but were ignored. These case studies include the failures to adhere to warnings about Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1991, Hurricane Katrina, the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the 2008 financial meltdown, and the rise of ISIS. In the chapter “The Arabist: The Rise of ISIS,” former U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, is portrayed as the Cassandra who had advocated American arming of the non-jihadist Free Syrian Army (FSA) Syrian opposition, which the authors believe would have prevented the taking over of the anti-Assad opposition by ISIS. While one may not agree with this assessment because the situation in Syria was much more complicated and the FSA was a weak force, this chapter is worth reading for its discussion of what former Ambassador Ford had recommended and how it was met by the Obama Administration. To remedy the need to identify other Cassandras, the authors propose to empower the book’s readers with the capability to forecast impending disasters through what they term the “Cassandra Coefficient,” which consists of a series of questions derived from their observation of past Cassandra events. As they explain, “It involves four components: (1) the warning, the threat, or risk in question, (2) the decision makers or audience, who must react, (3) the predictor or possible Cassandra, and (4) the critics who disparage or reject the warning.” (p. 168). Each of these four components are accompanied by several factors, totaling 24, which enable the user to then assign the four components a score of high, medium, low, or absent. Once a Cassandra prediction is proposed and, following appropriate persuasion, is accepted by decision makers, the authors turn to the response component, which they explain needs to involve an intelligence type indications and warning surveillance strategy, hedging, mitigation and prevention. Such a warning system, the authors recommend, needs to be established in government and the corporate world. For the counterterrorism community, the authors’ Cassandra Coefficient methodology is recommended as a warning tool to forecast new terrorism warfare trends and how to transmit such warnings to decision makers. Richard Clark is a veteran national security expert in the U.S. Government and White House. R.P. Eddy is the CEO of Ergo, a business intelligence firm, based in New York.

David S. Cohen and Krysten Connon, Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2015), 336 pp., US $ 29.95 [Hardcover], US $ 19.95 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-0-1993-7755-8.

This important book examines the terrorist-type threats confronting abortion providers in the United States, how such targeted threats affect the lives of those who work in these medical clinics, and proposes suggestions for upgrading the legal measures to counter and defeat such threats. The authors conclude that “targeted harassment” by anti-abortion extremists “will not end abortion in this country. Rather, abortion providers are too committed and too passionate to allow themselves to be dissuaded.” (p. 284). David Cohen is a law professor at Drexel University’s Thomas r. Kline School of Law, in Philadelphia. Krysten Connon is a graduate of this law school and an attorney in private practice in Philadelphia.

Mark S. Hamm and Ramon Spaaij, The Age of Lone Wolf Terrorism (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2017), 336 pp., US $ 35.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-0-23118174-7.

This is a conceptually innovative and empirically case-study rich account of the characteristics of lone wolf terrorism in order, as the authors explain, “to illustrate and support broader theorization about the social and psychological processes involved in lone actor terrorism.” (p. viii). Although one may not agree with the authors’ restrictive definition of lone wolf terrorism as “terrorist actions carried out by lone individuals, as opposed to those carried out on the part of terrorist organizations or state bodies” (p. 5) since even lone wolves, who are radicalized by such groups, especially on the Internet, without necessarily having any direct physical contact with them, still regard themselves as “self-empowered” to carry out the wishes of such terrorist organizations through their own individualized attacks, there is much to commend in this book. Drawing on the authors extensive database of 123 cases across 21 variables that address issues such as attacks/plots, prior criminal history, triggering events, and others – with numerous of such individuals and their plots discussed throughout the book – they present a valuable six-phase model of the processes leading to lone wolf terrorism. This model consists of personal and political grievance, affinity with online sympathizers or an extremist group, enabler, broadcasting intent, triggering event, and engaging in terrorism (p. 159). The concluding chapter assesses the effectiveness of the United States’ three-pronged approach to combatting lone wolf terrorism in the form of digital diplomacy, forging ties with Muslim community leaders who are in a position to detect potential militants in their midst, and the FBI sting program, which they criticize as employing informants to entrap potential terrorists, ending up “working only with marginal criminals, and not with the real threats like [Omar] Mateen…[and] only inflates the FBI’s prosecution numbers without making us safer.” (p. 266). Although others, such as this reviewer, might argue that this sting program is much more effective than claimed by the authors, this book’s comprehensive and detailed coverage makes it a leading reference resource for those studying these issues. The appendix includes a listing of the authors’ database’s 123 cases of lone wolf terrorists. Dr. Hamm is professor of criminology at Indiana State University and Dr. Spaaij is a sociologist based at Victoria University and the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Saiful Karim, Maritime Terrorism and the Role of Judicial Institutions in the International Legal Order (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill & Nijhoff, 2017), 202 pp., US $ 143.00 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-9-0043-2928-7.

This book examines the role of judicial institutions in countering maritime terrorism. Judicial institutions, the author explains, “have two main roles to play in the maritime security discourse, namely prosecutions of offenders and settlement of disputes.” (p. 2). Maritime terrorism is defined as terrorist acts that occur within the maritime environment, whether at sea or in port, and against coastal facilities or settlements. (p. 8). To discuss these issues, following an introductory overview, the book’s chapters cover topics such as the international law of maritime terrorism, prosecution of maritime terrorism, the settlement of “vertical, transnational and horizontal disputes arising from maritime terrorism,” and concluding observations. With maritime terrorism, like its ground and aviation terrorism counterparts, also subject to politicization, the author argues that “States may be reluctant to utilize the potential of judicial institutions because of the highly political nature of maritime terrorism. However, greater involvement of courts is needed to ensure the legitimacy of the process and to devise an enduring solution to the problem. A long-term solution is not possible without establishing a system that is legally sound and accountable. International judicial institutions can play [a] vital role in ensuring the accountability of States in the process of combating maritime terrorism.” (pp. 33-34). In the conclusion, the author proposes “coordinated efforts by all States for the operationalization of judicial institutions for the common goal of combating maritime terrorism.” (p. 176). This book is recommended as a valuable reference resource on the application of legal and judicial components of maritime terrorism. The author is Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Law School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Brenda J. Lutz and James M. Lutz, Globalization and the Economic Consequences of Terrorism (London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 210 pp., US $ 65.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-1-137-50393-0.

This book examines the potential linkages between globalization and terrorism and the impacts that terrorism can have on a country’s economic activities. As explained by the authors, globalization can “cause disruption to local economic, social, cultural, and economic systems,” with such disruptions generating “discontent, frustration, and opposition to change which can lead to outbreaks of political violence.” (p. 1). To examine this thesis, the first chapter defines terrorism and globalization, and the impact of terrorism on a country’s economy in terms of key sectors such as tourism, foreign investment, and trade flows. The second chapter explains the authors’ methodology, which utilizes information from several data sources, such as the Swiss Technological University’s (ETH Zurich) globalization index and the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), developed by the University of Maryland’s START Center. This methodology is applied to the next chapters which present case studies on Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, Asia and Oceania, Sub-Saharan Africa, West Europe and North America. In the concluding chapter, the authors present several findings, including the observation that “Political globalization in a number of cases indicated that countries with greatest connections to the outside world had lower levels of terrorism which could suggest that countries with connections to other countries, including allies, found the means to limit terrorism, perhaps by relying on additional external resources.” (p. 171). This finding can be questioned, since even “well-connected” countries such as the United Kingdom and France are experiencing a relatively high level of terrorist incidents, with terrorism in each country driven by local drivers exacerbated by foreign conflicts, such as in Syria – a result that is not included in the authors’ overall hypothesis. Aside from this criticism, this book is an important contribution to the literature on the economic impact of terrorism. The authors are professors at Indiana University – Purdue, Indiana.

Orla Lynch and Javier Argomaniz (Eds.), Victims of Terrorism: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Study (New York, NY: Routledge, 2015), 182 pp., US $ 45.95 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-138-20067-8.

The contributors to this volume focus on the victims of terrorism, which, as the editors point out is an important but “a fundamentally under-researched subject in the academic sphere.” (p. 1). As they explain, “Thus, naively, often victims are considered relevant only insofar as they allow terrorist groups to reach an audience who is the actual intended recipient of their political message. They are only rarely considered central to the process itself.” (p. 1). As a result, citing a 2012 study by Alex Schmid, “the economic, psychological, medical and social needs of the victims have suffered relative neglect although, like other subject areas, they have started to attract interest in the post-9/11 environment.” (pp. 1-2). To advance research and analysis on these issues, the volume is an outgrowth of a joint project between Spanish and UK academics who examined the experiences of UK and Spanish victims in the protracted conflicts in Northern Ireland and Basque Country, and the attacks of July 2005 in London and the March 11, 2004 Atocha train bombings in Madrid. The impacts of these attacks on their victims are examined in terms of their psychological and social needs, identity and recognition needs, and justice needs. Also examined are how their needs are presented in social media, and how legislation and legal statutes address their rights. The concluding chapter presents Best Practice recommendations for supporting victims of terrorism in terms of compensation and financial support, medical and psychological assistance, and judicial, social and educational, and political support. The editors are lecturers at the universities of St Andrews and Cork respectively.

Nevzat Soguk (Ed.), Global Insurrectional Politics (New York, NY: Routledge, 2017), 160 pp., US $ 155.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-1-138-20849-0.

One of this edited volume’s premises is that the Arab Spring’s uprisings in the Middle East can be understood “as part of a broader politics of normative defiance of predominant political and economic orders.” (p. 1) It is against this background that the volume’s contributors aim “(a) to identify the material shifts giving rise to insurrectional politics, (b) to reflect on key arenas of insurrection, (c) to map/chart the impact of insurrectional movements on institutions and relations of political governance at national and global levels, and (d) to explore analytics that will advance theorization of insurrectional politics.” (p. 1). This framework is applied to case studies on the “Save Rosia Montana” socio-ecological movement in post-communist Romania, the Indian middle-class’s “obsession with the GDP,” the Islamic responses to the challenges of Western modernity in Southeast Asia, the February 1915 Singapore mutiny, and the predicament of the Kurds in Iran and Iraq. Some of the chapters are jargon laden and difficult to understand, but the coverage of insurrections that are not usually addressed make this volume worth reading. The editor is Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Laura Westra, Faces of State Terrorism (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 243 pp., US $ 139.00 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-9-0042-2456-8.

This book examines how states, especially those that engage in “oppressive, imperialistic policies,” respond to the challenges presented by non-state terrorism. Following an account of how states define the threats presented by non-state terrorists, with the author portraying terrorists as “not criminals” due to the nature of their politically-based intent and motivation, the discussion shifts to a characterization of state responses as “most often accompanied by illegal, violently repressive means that, therefore, constitute ongoing ‘faces’ of state terrorism.” (p. 2). Other chapters discuss the measures available in national and international law to counter such state abuses, as well as the relation between the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council, which the author argues “confirm the intimate connection between terrorism, counter-terrorism, and globalization.” (p. 2-3). A Postscript discusses the legal implications of the assassination of Usama bin Laden, which the author characterizes as a breach of international law. Not everyone might agree with the author’s argument, but it is worth noting. The author is a veteran Canadian legal scholar specializing in environmental ethics, policy and law, with special emphasis on human rights and global justice.


Ronald Haycock, Regular Armies and Insurgency [Routledge Library Editions: Terrorism and Insurgency, Volume 5]. New York, NY: Routledge, 1978/2015, 102 pp., US $ 100.00 [Hardcover], US $ 36.00 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-138-90270-1.

The papers comprising this edited volume were presented at the Fifth Annual Military History Symposium held at the Royal Military College of Canada in March 1978. The contributors, all renowned experts, discussed five representative situations involving regular armies and insurgencies in the cases of Mexico, the Irish insurgency from 1918 to 1921, the Malayan Emergency, the French Army and the Algerian War, 1954 to 1962, and the American intervention in Vietnam. The volume’s first chapter by Sir Robert G.K. Thompson is especially relevant to the current era as it discusses his principles on effective counterinsurgency: a “clear political aim”: a “whole [of] government” approach, with “the army, police, and civil administration” functioning “in accordance with the law of the land”; “an overall plan and an overall strategy”; public relations and psychological warfare; securing one’s “own base areas”; and “the priority of attack should be against the insurgents’ infrastructure, not against their guerrilla units,” in order to deny them freedom of movement. (pp. 10-14). All the volume’s case studies provide numerous lessons for understanding the predicaments in resolving current insurgencies, including the finding by Herbert Y. Schandler’s chapter on “America and Vietnam: The Failure of Strategy,” that “The American failure was caused by the lack of realization that military power alone could not solve what was basically a political problem.” (p. 94).

Seth G. Jones, Waging Insurgent Warfare: Lessons From the Vietcong to the Islamic State (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2017), 352 pp., US $ 29.95 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-0-1906-0086-0.

This conceptually innovative account examines the factors involved in how groups start and engage in insurgencies, including how such insurgencies might end, as part of the questions that need to be addressed in formulating effective counterinsurgency campaigns. The author utilizes qualitative and quantitative data on 181 insurgencies between 1946 and 2015. These are applied to examine five issues that characterize insurgencies in terms of their strategies, tactics, organizational structures, information campaigns and propaganda, and types of external support they receive. After defining insurgency as “a political and military campaign by a nonstate group (or groups) to overthrow a regime or secede from a country” (p. 7), the author differentiates it from terrorism, which “is a tactic” and with terrorist attacks “often episodic, while insurgency is protracted warfare.” (p. 8). While lots of examples exist of protracted attacks by groups that are terrorist in nature, as well as groups that are both terrorist and guerrilla, such as Hizballah, ISIS, and others, the author’s definition is still valuable for analytical purposes. Counterinsurgency is defined as “a political-military campaign to prevent insurgent groups from overthrowing a regime or seceding from a country.” (p. 9). The concluding chapter provides practical findings on the components of effective counterinsurgency, which need to address the five issues (mentioned earlier) that characterize an insurgency. The appendices list the study’s 181 insurgency cases and the statistical results for ending insurgencies in terms of their impact on decreasing external support, insurgent strategy and strategic interaction, regime type, insurgent goals, counterinsurgent force structure, insurgent structure, and duration of an insurgency. The author is director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation.

Radicalization and Countering Extremism

Sarah V. Marsden, Reintegrating Extremists: Deradicalisation and Desistance [Palgrave Pivot] (London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 147 pp., US $ 54.99 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-1-137-55018-7.

This book examines efforts to rehabilitate former prisoners who had engaged in terrorism, “taking a close look at both community and statutory organisations’ work with politically motivated former prisoners” (p. 3). To analyze these issues, the author proposes “a reframing of how the disengagement and reintegration process might be understood. Through interpreting the framework of goals in the context of the wider literature on desistance from crime, three themes relevant to interpreting what success might ‘look like’ with the group are suggested: supporting reintegration, developing resilience and redirection of the motivation to commit terrorist offences.” (p. 22). Concerning reintegration, the author explains that it requires a holistic approach that enables former prisoners to be reintegrated “into the family, local community, a job and wider political structures…” (p. 64). Finally, the author proposes that “supporting desistance involved equipping former prisoners with the practical, social and cognitive attributes to help them engage more positively with [the] wider society.” (p. 126) With all the significant components of deradicalization from violent extremism, disengagement from terrorism, and rehabilitation of former prisoners so ably discussed in the author’s conceptual framework, this volume is an important contribution to the literature on these issues. The author is a Lecturer in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University, UK.

Peter R. Neumann (Ed.), Radicalization: Volume I – Models and Theories; Volume II–Issues and Debates; Volume III – Groups and Places; Volume IV – De- and Counter-Radicalization (New York, NY: Routledge, 2015), 1.858 pp., US $ 1188.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-1-1387-9126-8 (Set).

As the four-volume set’s editor explains, the purpose of this nearly 70-contributor-based collection is to present major findings from multiple disciplines “to create a core of ideas and approaches that will enable researchers to recognize, utilize, and build upon the achievements, insights and methods in disciplines other than their own” (p. 1). The first volume begins with the editor’s introductory overview, which ably discusses cross-cutting issues such as defining radicalization, terrorism as an endpoint of the radicalization process, and macro- and micro- level risk factors involved in radicalization pathways and how these relate to understanding the “specificity” of the factors that might drive individuals to become radicalized into terrorism. These issues play out in the four volumes which are organized thematically into Volume 1: “Theories and Models” (e.g., definitions, models and theories, psychology of terrorism, ideology, and recruitment); Volume II, “Issues and Debates” (e.g., the roles of conflict, repression, and counterterrorism; the role of religion, suicide terrorism, lone actors, online radicalization, and radicalization and foreign fighters); Volume III, “Groups and Places” (e.g., jihadism in the West, Middle East, and other regions; far-right and left-wing extremists) ; and Volume IV, “De- and Counter-Radicalization” (e.g., theories and concepts, individual and collective de-radicalization, and counter-radicalization strategies). While the volumes’ articles, all of which were previously published, are generally representative of the discipline, and, as the author acknowledges, “it would have been easy to find many other chapters, articles and reports worthy of being reprinted…” (p. 17) the collection would have benefited from an additional section of selected government reports on radicalization, such as the United Kingdom’s important “Contest Strategy”, to explain how governments address these issues. Overall, this compendium is a valuable resource for understanding the literature on the processes and manifestations of radicalization and countering extremism. The author is Professor of Security Studies at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, and has directed the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) since its establishment in early 2008.

Tinka M. Veldhuis, Prisoner Radicalization and Terrorism Detention Policy: Institutionalized Fear or Evidence-Based Policy Making? (New York, NY: Routledge, 2016), 206 pp., US $ 155.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-1-138-91719-4.

Correctional policies for arrested Islamist terrorist offenders are generally based on the premise that prisons are hotbeds of radicalization therefore such prisoners need to be separated from a prison’s general inmate population. This book examines the important question of whether such extremist prisoners should be concentrated in separate wings in a prison or be integrated into its general population. With the Netherlands opting for a solution that concentrates Islamists convicted of terrorism-related charges into separate “terrorism wings,” the author uses it as a case study “to examine why and how concentration policies are implemented and whether or not the underlying decision-making process is based on sound reasoning” (p. 3). “More specifically,” the author adds, “this book explores the ways in which fear in the policy context can influence the development, implementation, and outcomes of such policies.” (p. 3). To examine these issues, the book is divided into four parts. Part I, “The Making of Terrorism Detention Policy: The Terrorism Wing,” discusses the Dutch terrorism detention strategy. Part II, “Theoretical and Empirical Observations on Prisoner Radicalization,” presents a theory of prisoner radicalization and the role of terrorists in the general inmate hierarchy. Part III, “Terrorism Detention Policy in Practice: The Implementation of the Terrorism Wing,” discusses how imprisoned terrorists are housed in a separate terrorism wing, including their transfers and releases. Part IV, “Captivated by Fear,” presents the author’s critique of the separate detention policy and her “realist approach to rehabilitation and reintegration”. One of the author’s conclusions is that “the risk of radicalization among ‘ordinary’ prisoners may be smaller than is often believed.” (p. 179). This book is valuable for its systematic analysis of the important issue of how convicted terrorists are placed in prison, as well as its diagrams that provide templates for analyzing these issues. The author is a researcher at the University of Groningen and a Research Fellow at the ICCT – The Hague, the Netherlands.

Afghanistan/South Asia

David B. Edwards, Caravan of Martyrs: Sacrifice and Suicide Bombing in Afghanistan (Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2017), 296 pp., US $ 29.95 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-0-5202-9479-0.

What drives an individual to conduct a suicide bombing attack against an adversary within the Afghanistan context? According to the author of this well-informed book, this can be understood in relation to Afghanistan’s historic cultural beliefs and ritual practices associated with sacrifice. With the sacrificial killing of sheep demonstrating a tribe’s desire for peace, this practice was transformed following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, when the killed anti-regime insurgents were venerated as martyrs by the Afghan Mujahideen. The author adds that under the influence of the Afghan Arabs, led by Abdullah Azzam and Usama bin Laden, this “pivotal moment in the history of sacrifice in Afghanistan….laid the groundwork not only for September 11 but also for the subsequent alterations and manipulations to the machinery of sacrifice that have been undertaken since that cataclysmic event…” (p. 15). Today, the author explains, suicide attacks, from the Afghan insurgents’ perspective, reflect “a realistic assessment of the nature of the conflict and an understanding of where strategic and tactical advantage resides. When the enemy you are facing uses unmanned drones to kill, the most effective response might be to go to the oppose extreme, matching the disembodied nonpresence of the drone with the embodied presence of the suicide bomber. If your enemy wants the conflict to be as bloodless for them as possible, then the best expedient might be to make it as bloody as humanly possible for everyone close at hand, even those who have had no part in the conflict themselves” (p. 214). The author, a Professor of Anthropology at Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts, is a veteran field researcher in Afghanistan.

Dilip Hiro, Apocalyptic Realm: Jihadists in South Asia (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), 320 pp., US $ 35.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-0-300-17378-9.

This book focuses on the ongoing jihad and its associated violence in the conflict-ridden South Asian countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and the disputed Kashmir. The book, which consists of short sections, begins with an account of Sufi Islam in the region, a chronicle of events in Afghanistan since 1848, the factors responsible for the overthrow of the Soviet-led regime in Afghanistan in 1992, the rise of al Qaida and Lashkar e-Taiba (LeT) in Pakistan, including LeT’s attack in Mumbai, India in November 2008, Pakistan’s interest in inflaming the situation in Kashmir, the status of Muslims in India, the role of the Taliban in Pakistan, developments in Afghanistan under the Hamid Karzai presidency, America’s involvement in Afghanistan, and future scenarios for these countries, such as Afghanistan’s future as a “second Vietnam.” The author is a British-Pakistani author and journalist who specializes in South Asian and Middle Eastern affairs.

Barnett R. Rubin, Afghanistan From the Cold War Through the War on Terror (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2015), 528 pp., US $ 36.95 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-0-1902-2927-6.

This is a collection of the author’s published writings on Afghanistan from 1998 to 2009. It includes an introductory overview and an epilogue. Several of the articles were co-authored with other experts on Afghanistan. What makes this collection of special interest is the author’s several decades-long academic research on modern Afghanistan, including extensive field research in the country as part of his work at the Council on Foreign Relations and his consultation work for the United Nations on the issues that are covered in the book. The volume is divided into three parts: Part I, “Prelude: Afghanistan Between Two Wars, 1989 – 2001” (e.g., Afghanistan in the international system, the rise of the Taliban, and the involvement of the Arab Islamists, including al Qaida, in Afghanistan); Part Two: “Nation Building Lite” (e.g., a blueprint for Afghanistan following the Taliban’s overthrow, including crafting a constitution and legal system; and the politics of securing the country); and Part Three: “Back to War” (e.g., resolving the Pakistan-Afghanistan stalemate, and the way forward). The author is Director of Studies and Senior Fellow at the Center on International Cooperation at New York University.


Christopher S. Chivvis, The French War on Al Qa’ida in Africa (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 242 pp., US $ 99.99 [Hardcover], US $ 29.99 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-107-54678-3.

In January 2013, the French military’s special forces, fighter aircraft, and army units intervened in Mali, its former colony, in an attempt to defeat an al Qaida advance on the country’s capital. The French counterinsurgency campaign succeeded with a relatively small force of some 4,500 troops, the author writes, “in part because they enjoyed several natural advantages. They were familiar with the territory, and jihadist support among the local population was limited.” (p. 13). Aside from this volume’s in-depth study of the nature of the French military intervention and its impact, this book is also valuable for its discussion of metrics of effectiveness in counterinsurgency. This includes assessing a campaign’s strategic and tactical achievements, as well as a question that is not often asked: “what would have happened absent intervention” (p. 158). The author adds: “in assessing the costs and benefits of a particular case, analysts must think in terms of counterfactuals – what would have happened if nothing had been done” (p. 158). The author is Associate Director of the RAND International Security and Defense Policy Center and teaches at the Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC.

Jakkie Cilliers, Counter-Insurgency in Rhodesia [Routledge Library Editions: Terrorism and Insurgency, Volume 4] (New York, NY: 1985/2015), 284 pp., US $ 112.00 [Hardcover], US $ 36.00 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-138-88789-3.

This is a highly systematic account of the Rhodesian government’s counter-insurgency campaign during the war’s crucial period of 1972 to 1979. It begins with a history of the period from 1890 to 1979, with successive chapters examining the Rhodesian security forces command and control management of the campaign; how their forces approached the concept of protecting and consolidating control over the country’s villages; conducting border minefield clearing operations; engaging in psychological operations to gain population support; conducting external military operations against insurgent base areas, including against insurgent sanctuaries in neighboring countries; and the role of intelligence in penetrating insurgency forces and gaining situational information advantage against them. The author concludes that when the war for Zimbabwe officially ended on December 21, 1979, despite the execution by the Rhodesian Security Forces of their counter-insurgency strategy, “very few of these had in fact proved successful.” (p. 243). One of the problems, the author explains, is that a “racial preconception…permeated all levels of white/black interaction, specifically in rural areas. Counter-insurgent operations were conducted to the exclusion rather than the support of environmental improvement. Population and resources control, a means to the end of regaining and re-establishing government control, became an end in itself: the object simply being to facilitate counter-insurgent operations” (p. 246). Above all, “At no stage was attention at high level seriously directed towards redressing grievances exploited by the insurgents to justify their criticism of the existing white administration” (246). This important book was originally published in 1985, but its approach and findings continue to be pertinent to the current period, with unresolved insurgencies in countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia, and elsewhere. The author is Chairman of the Board and Head of African Futures & Innovation at Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria, South Africa.

Hussein Solomon, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Africa: Fighting Insurgency from Al Shabaab, Ansar Dine and Boko Haram (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), 192 pp., US $ 90.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-1-137-48988-3.

This is a comprehensive account of the threats presented by African terrorist groups such as al Shabaab, in Somalia, Ansar Dine, in Mali, and Boko Haram, in Nigeria, and how local governments, the African Union, and the United States have attempted to counter them. Beginning with a useful discussion of how to define terrorism and the components of effective counterterrorism (such as reducing the number of terrorist attacks, seizing terrorist funding, the number of terrorists incarcerated, and resolving a conflict’s underlying root causes), the author turns his attention to the spread of radical Islamism in Africa, which is manifested by the insurgencies of these three terrorist groups, which are discussed in separate chapters. In the book’s conclusion, the most effective way to defeat such insurgencies, the author argues, “is by focusing on the root causes driving terrorism as opposed to focusing on the symptoms” (p. 126). These root causes, he explains, “include underdevelopment, poverty, poor governance and the dearth of justice…” (p. 126). Countering violent extremism (CVE) programs are another effective means to counter terrorism, the author adds (p. 131). The focus on countering the threats posed by the three most significant terrorism groups in Africa make this book an important contribution to the literature on African terrorism and counterterrorism studies. The author is Senior Professor in the Department of Political Studies and Governance at the University of the Free State, South Africa.

Global Jihad

Al-Gama’ah al-Islamiyah [Translated with an Introduction by Sherman A. Jackson], Initiative to Stop the Violence: Mubadarat Waqf al-‘Unf – Sadat’s Assassins and the Renunciation of Political Violence (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2015), 184 pp., US $ 85.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-0-300-19677-1.

This book, as explained by its editor, presents al-Gama’ah al-Islamiyah’s series of manifestos after it announced its decision to abandon political violence in 1997. This was a significant transformation, given the group’s assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat on October 6 1981. This was followed on November 17, 1997, when a Gama’ah faction had massacred some 58 Western tourists and additional Egyptians at the temple of Hepshatsut in Luxor. The reasons and implications for the group’s abandonment of violence are explained in the editor’s 50 page introduction, which is followed by his translation of its text, Initiative to Stop the Violence: A Reality-Based Assessment and a Shari’ah-Based Approach. This volume is an important contribution to the literature on disengagement from terrorism by militant groups. The editor holds the King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought and Culture and is professor of religion and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Mark Ensalaco, Middle Eastern Terrorism: From Black September to September 11 (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), 328 pp., US $ 59.95 [Hardcover], US $ 24.95 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-0-8122-4046-7.

This is a general account of Middle East-originated terrorism, focusing on the agendas and activities of primarily Palestinian, Lebanese, and al-Qaida type terrorism. It also covers attempts at advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace processes. The account is dated, as it ends in 2007, but it is worth reading to understand the thinking on these issues at the time. The author is associate professor of political science at the University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio.

Assaf Moghadam, Nexus of Global Jihad: Understanding Cooperation Among Terrorist Actors (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2017), 400 pp., US $ 35.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-0-231-16537-2.

With the author claiming that the study of cooperation between terrorist organizations receives “scant attention to date” in the academic discipline (except for a few studies, such as Ely Karmon’s landmark 2005 book, which is discussed in this volume), this important book attempts to redress this shortfall by constructing “a novel framework precisely for understanding how contemporary terrorist actors cooperate.” (p. 3). Focusing primarily on jihadi terrorist groups, this framework, which describes their cooperation in their pursuit of joint interests in terms of whether they are organizational or networked in nature, then examines the roles of several environmental factors, such as their shared jihadist ideology (a key motivator), their presence in insurgencies and civil wars (as a geographical enabler), and the Internet’s social media platforms and encrypted communications (their virtual enablers). These environmental factors, the author adds, then play out in “a multitude of forms, whether ideological, logistical, operational, or any combination of these.” (p. 3). The extent of such cooperation is further classified as transactional cooperation, tactical cooperation, strategic alliance, or merger. This framework is applied to the book’s two parts, with the first part offering a theoretical and conceptual analysis of terrorist cooperation, and the second part applying the framework to examples of cooperation within the global jihad movement. The author’s elaboration of how the framework plays out in the way terrorist groups learn from each other in areas such as suicide terrorism, weaponry, al Qaida and its pre- and post-911 ties with like-minded groups, as well as al Qaida, Iran, and Hizballah, and how terrorist operatives such as Khaled Sheikh Muhammad partnered with al Qaida in masterminding 9/11’s sophisticated and innovative attack, is excellent. His conceptual framework is also strong in explaining the components of cooperation, which are outlined in a series of useful diagrams and tables, and his overall thesis and research questions are also valuable in advancing scholarship on these issues. The framework, however, is weaker in its definition of terrorism as “premeditated, extra-normal violence against civilian or noncombatant targets…” (p. 8). By extra normal is the author using a jargony synonym for “excessive violence”? Also, the author appears to overly rely on organizational theory in explaining how terrorist groups cooperate, for instance, terming terrorist masterminds such as Khalid Sheikh Muhammad as “terrorist entrepreneurs” (p. 63) – which is a misuse of the definition of entrepreneurship as the capability to establish and manage a business venture in order to make a profit, when terrorists are by their very nature destructive and not constructive in their violence-based activities, with many of them ending up either arrested or killed. Finally, the author never uses the term “lone wolf”, preferring to call such radicalized, yet non-affiliated operatives as “informal terrorist actors.” (p. 43). In the conclusion, the author makes the excellent point that for counterterrorism policy to gain an accurate picture of how terrorists operate, “gathering and analyzing data using ‘terrorist organizations’ as the single, or main, unit of analysis is no longer adequate,” since the threat emanates “from a variety of actors.” (p. 269). The author is associate professor at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya and director of academic affairs at its International Institute for Counterterrorism (ICT), in Israel.

Fernando Reinares, Al-Qaeda’s Revenge: The 2004 Madrid Train Bombings (New York, NY: Columbia University Press/Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2016), 288 pp., US $ 50.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-0-2317-0454-0.

On March 11, 2004, an al Qaida cell detonated ten explosive devices on four commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 and wounding more than 1,800 people. As explained by the author, “Far from being perpetrated by an independent cell of self-radicalized individuals only inspired by al-Qaeda, the 3/11 Madrid attacks were a coordinated, complex manifestation of al-Qaeda’s capabilities in Western Europe after 9/11. The 3/11 explosions evidenced the existence of jihadist networks or cells prone to direction and support, and even supervision, from al-Qaeda’s external operations command through intermediaries with first-hand knowledge of the concrete operational scenario and close ties to local operatives.” (p. 3). This thesis is extensively detailed in the author’s authoritative account, which is based on his unique access to primary Spanish government, law enforcement and court documents about the attack and the terrorist cell and larger network behind it. The author is director of the Program on Global Terrorism at the Elcano Royal Institute, as well as professor of political science and security studies at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, both in Madrid, Spain.

Brian Glyn Williams, Counter Jihad: America’s Military Experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017), 400 pp., US $ 39.95 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-0-8122-4867-8.

This book’s objective, as the author explains, is “to shine a retrospective light on the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria in order to ‘historicize’ the disparate events once collectively known as the War on Terror.” (p. xii). The account begins with a brief overview of the origins and evolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict until the current era and how the Middle East region became “the incubator for both the Afghan Taliban (literally: the students) and the Arabic group Al Qaeda al Jihad (the Base of the Holy War).” (p. 12). The discussion then shifts to al Qaida’s 9/11 attacks and America’s retaliatory campaign against it in Afghanistan, as well as the American shift to Iraq in March 2003, when it overthrew Saddam Hussein’s regime and occupied the country, which led to the emergence of al Qaida in Iraq (AQI) – the forerunner to the Islamic State (ISIS). Following a discussion of the Taliban’s re-emergence in Pakistan, the book’s final chapter discusses the rise to dominance of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Among the author’s concluding remarks is the prescient observation that “there are two distinct layers to ISIS, one based on Sunni empowerment and one on militant jihadism, that would seem to ensure that the battle to destroy its ideas could take years, decades, or even generations.” (p. 319). The author, a veteran academic field researcher in the Middle East and Central Asia, is Professor of Islamic History at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.


Dave Dilegge, Alma Keshavarz, and Robert J. Bunker (Eds.), Iranian and Hezbollah Hybrid Warfare Activities [A Small Wars Journal Anthology (Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2016), 780 pp., US $ 40.93 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-5320-0866-5.

This anthology comprehensively examines the military capabilities and the global and regional ambitions of Iran and Hizballah, its terrorist proxy. It is composed of 60 chapters, which were previously published from 2007 to 2015 in the Small World Journal. It begins with a brief foreword and introductory overview, which set the stage for the volume’s chapters, which are organized into four sections. At this point, it would have been helpful for the editors to explicitly define what is meant by “hybrid warfare,” which, based on the volume’s coverage, could be deduced to mean a combination of conventional and irregular warfare (i.e., terrorism), a nexus between terrorism and criminality, and the development of a weapons of mass destruction capability. These topics are discussed in the volume’s four sections: “Iran’s Military Capabilities and Nuclear Ambitions” (e.g., the development of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Iran’s warfare intentions, and an account of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Quods Force); “Hezbollah’s Global Operations” (e.g., an overview of Hizballah and Hizballah and Syria); “Iran and Hezbollah’s Involvement in Middle East Security Dilemmas” (e.g., Iran’s involvements in Iraq and Bahrain, Iran and the Arab Spring, Russia and Iran, Hizballah and Israel, and the impact of the Syrian conflict on Hizballah); and “Iran and Hezbollah in Latin America” (e.g., Iran and Hizballah in South America’s Tri-Border Area). These issues are summed up in the volume’s Postscript, in which John P. Sullivan insightfully concludes that “it is important to view Hezbollah as a hybrid organization with military, criminal, political/social, and terrorism arms.” (p. 733).

Lina Khatib, Dina Matar, and Atef Alshaer, The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2014), 229 pp., US $ 30.00 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-0-1993-8440-2.

This book’s authors argue that Hizballah’s communication strategy has “served as the foundation for its political evolution and endurance as a movement.” (p. 5). Specifically, as they explain in the first chapter, “Hizbullah’s activism and mobilization have resulted from the agency of its elites and ideologues and their implementation of a political communication strategy designed to widen its support base and increase its influence” (p. 5). To analyze these issues, the book’s second and third chapters cover topics such as “the methods, features, tools and rhetorical framework used in Hizbullah’s communication strategy”, focusing on the two formative periods between 1982 (when the organization was founded) until 2000 and from 2000 to 2012. The fourth chapter examines Hizbullah’s poetry “as a form of communication,” and the fifth chapter traces the rise of its leader Hassan Nasrallah “and the shift in his image from a devout, relatively unknown cleric into Hizbullah’s first charismatic leader in the media age.” (p. 11). In the concluding chapter, the authors observe that Hizbullah’s communication strategy succeeded because it projected “credibility,” as it “consistently relied on notions of justice and liberty to prove its legitimacy to its audiences, claiming to represent the voices of the people, to speak for the oppressed and to seek ‘justice’ for victims of Israeli aggression while branding itself as a ‘liberator’ and ‘defender’ of land [and] the people.” (pp. 189-190). The authors admit, nevertheless, that Hizbullah’s “image was threatened when the Assad regime in Syria turned its weapons on its own people during the Arab Spring, as opposed to directing them towards the Israeli ‘enemy’ in the occupied Golan Heights.” (p. 190). This book is a generally favorable treatment of Hizbullah, but the discussion of its communication strategy and its appeal to its Lebanese constituents is valuable in explaining the organization’s political success in the Lebanese political arena. Lina Khatib is Director of the Carnegie Middle East Center, Dina Matar is Director of the Centre for Media and Film Studies of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and Atef Alshaer is Lecturer in Postcolonial Literature at the University of Kent.


Maayan Geva, Law, Politics and Violence in Israel/Palestine (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 188 pp., US $ 129.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-3-319-34152-1.

This book examines Israeli legal practices governing military operations against the Palestinians, such as how the principle of distinction between civilians and combatants is applied in combat, providing early warnings to adversary civilian populations when military operations will be directed against their areas, such as in the 2012 and 2014 Gaza Wars, as well as legal justifications for the targeting killings of suspected terrorists. Also examined is how Israeli legal field operations are applied in the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” (OPT). This book is well-researched, although one-sided, with no discussion of violations of international law by the Palestinian adversaries. The author is Lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Roehampton, UK. She had previously worked as a researcher for B’tselem – the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the OPT.

Erella Grassiani, Soldiering Under Occupation: Processes of Numbing among Israeli Soldiers in the Al-Aqsa Intifada (New York, NY: Berghahn, 2013), 168 pp., US $ 120.00 [Hardcover], US $ 27.95 (Paperback), ISBN: 978-0-8574-5957-2.

As explained by the author, this book uses the case of the deployment of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank to counter the threat of Palestinian terrorism [although she does not use this term] to examine “What happens when soldiers serve as occupiers within an occupied territory? What factors are of influence on their behaviour, on their moral decision making and on the violence that they use” (p. xii). The author argues that the “spatial surroundings” in which these soldiers operate, influences the “moral behaviour of Israeli soldiers and that this spatial influence, with its operational dynamics, enhances a process of numbing on the three levels mentioned above: physical, emotional and cognitive, which, in turn, have a profound influence on the moral numbing of soldiers. This moral numbing makes the soldiers unaware of the morally problematic aspects of the situation they find themselves in and can lead to an increased use of violence and harassing behaviour.” (p. 2). This framework is applied to examining what the author terms as “Israel: a Militarized Society” and the impact on soldiers of having to perform duties such as managing security checkpoints. Fieldwork for this research was conducted by the author between March 2005 and August 2007. Although the author’s approach is one-sided, with no discussion of the difficulty Israeli soldiers face in confronting Palestinian terrorism – the primary reason for their deployment in the West Bank – the book’s conceptual framework is valuable in examining the dilemmas faced by soldiers who are tasked to perform policing duties in hostile environments in which terrorist insurgents operate. The author is Lecturer in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at the University of Amsterdam.

Mike Kelly, The Bus on Jaffa Road: A Story of Middle East Terrorism and the Search for Justice (Guilford, CT: Lyons Press/An imprint of Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), 320 pp., US $ 26.95 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-0-7627-8037-2.

On the morning of February 25, 1996, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up on a No.18 bus traveling along Jaffa Road near the Jerusalem Central Bus Station. The blast killed seventeen civilians and nine Israeli soldiers, with 48 persons injured. Among the civilians killed on the bus were Sara Duker, aged 22, of Teaneck, New Jersey, and Matthew Eisenfeld, aged 25, of West Hartford, Connecticut, who had been dating for almost two years and were in Israel as part of their graduate studies. Written by a veteran American journalist from New Jersey, this is a detailed account of the lives of Duker and Eisenfeld, the motivations and pre-incident activities of the Palestinian cell that had conducted the bombing, how Israeli security services succeeded in uncovering and arresting the attack’s perpetrators (with the cell’s manager interviewed by the author at his Israeli jail), and the efforts by the victims’ American families to file lawsuits against Iran, which was perceived as the state sponsor behind the bombing campaign by the Palestinian group, and their interactions with the U.S. Department of Justice and Congressional supporters. This book, which reads like a dramatic documentary, is an important case study for understanding the nature of Palestinian terrorism in the mid-1990s and the use of legal instruments to counter terrorism.

Yoav Mehozay, Between the Rule of Law and States of Emergency: The Fluid Jurisprudence of the Israeli Regime (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2016), 220 pp., US $ 80.00 [Hardcover], US $ 20.95 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-4384-6339-1.

Using Israel as its case study, this book examines the interdependent relationship between law and state of emergency (SOE), in which both sustain themselves into what the author terms “stable rule.” (p. 11). As the author explains, “the book analyzes law and emergency as mutually dependent in Israel. Unlike previous scholarship, which is often preoccupied with why Israel relies on SOE, this book asks how the regime has made two conceptually opposed doctrines coexist, and has fostered its convenient, if convoluted, government structure.” (p. 12). The perpetuation of this legal regime, the author concludes, has enabled Israel “to bridge what appeared to be an intrinsic contradiction, a government by law and systemic discriminatory policies, particularly against the Palestinians.” (p. 136). Although the author’s legal argument is sound, the book would have benefited from a separate chapter that examined the continuous terrorism threats facing Israel, which would have placed the Israeli legal system within a more nuanced perspective. The author is Assistant Professor of Criminology at the University of Haifa, Israel.

Red Army Faction

J. Smith and Andre Moncourt, Daring to Struggle, Failing to Win: The Red Army Faction’s 1977 Campaign of Desperation (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2008), 44 pp., US $ 5.95 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-60486-028-3.

This pamphlet is an introductory overview of the causes and ideological rationale that led to what is considered the Red Army Faction’s (RAF) most intense year of terrorist activities in West Germany in 1977. As explained in this interesting account, the RAF was established in 1970 and when its leaders, particularly Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof were arrested, followed, some years later, by the suicide of Meinhof in prison (with the authors questioning whether she had committed suicide or had died under different circumstances), the group’s remaining members escalated their militant activities, such as kidnapping on September 5, 1977 of Hanns-Martin Schleyer, “the most powerful businessman in West Germany at the time” who had represented “the ruling class point of view.” (p. 20). Although the pamphlet does not discuss it, Schleyer was subsequently murdered by his kidnappers the following month on October 18. With a new generation of younger activists continuing the RAF’s armed struggle, in 1992 the group declared a unilateral ceasefire and ultimately disbanded in 1998. This pamphlet is intended to provide an overview for the authors’ compendium, The Red Army Faction: A Documentary History – Volume 1 (below).

J. Smith and Andre Moncourt [introductory texts and translations], The Red Army Faction: A Documentary History – Volume 1: Projectiles for the People (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2009), 736 pp., US $ 34.95 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-60486-029-0.

This is a valuable compendium of the manifestos and communiques issued by West Germany’s Red Army Faction (RAF) between 1970 and 1977, with many of them translated into English for the first time. It provides a context for understanding the nature of West Germany’s revolutionary left’s rationale in the 1970s for waging an armed struggle against what they term the “First World.” The compendium begins with a preface, a translators’ note, an acronym key, and an explanation of German terms. This is followed by the volume’s 15 sections. In the first two sections, the editors provide an overview of the historical period in which the RAF had operated. The remaining 13 sections begin with the editors’ overview of the context for that section’s respective documents. The sections cover topics such as “Building a Base and ‘Serving the People”; “The May Offensive: Bringing the War Home”; “Black September: A Statement From Behind Bars”; “Staying Alive: Sensory Deprivation, Torture, and the Struggle Behind Bars”; “A Desperate Bid to Free the Prisoners: The Stockholm Action”; “The Murder of Ulrike Meinhof”; and “The Stammheim Deaths”. The appendices, which include additional documents, are followed by a listing of individuals and their affiliations that are mentioned in the documents, a chronology of the armed struggle in West Germany, a bibliography, and an index.

J. Smith and Andre Moncourt [introductory texts and translations], The Red Army Faction: A Documentary History – Volume 2: Dancing with Imperialism (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2009), 448 pp., US $ 26.95 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-60486-030-6.

This second volume provides a valuable historical overview and collection of manifestos and communiques by West Germany’s Red Army Faction (RAF) between 1977 and 1984, with many of them also translated into English for the first time. It also begins with a preface, a translators’ note, an acronym key, and an explanation of German terms. This volume consists of ten sections, with the first three providing the editors’ overview of the revolutionary left’s advocacy of international armed struggle against imperialism, including in what it considered to be “rear base areas” such as Lebanon and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, and the struggle by the anti-nuclear movement, especially in Western Europe. In the other sections, the editors introduce each one with an overview that provides a context for its accompanying documents. The sections cover topics such as “The Guerilla, the Resistance, and the Anti-Imperialist Front (May 1982), a German guerrilla on the question of collective responsibility, and “Strategic Thoughts” (Brigitte Mohnhaupt, December 4, 1984). The appendices include documents such as “For Us It Was a Question of Learning Explosives and Shooting Techniques.” Like the first volume, it is also followed by a listing of individuals and their affiliations that are mentioned in the documents, a chronology of the armed struggle in West Germany, a bibliography, and an index.

United Kingdom

Yonah Alexander and Alan O’Day (Eds.), Terrorism in Ireland [Routledge Library Editions: Terrorism and Insurgency, Volume 2] (New York, NY: 1984/2015), 288 pp., US $ 112.00 [Hardcover], US $ 36.00 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-138-90307-4.

Originally published in 1984, this edited volume is noteworthy for capturing the thinking at the time about the nature and impact of primarily IRA terrorism on Northern Ireland’s politics and daily life. The volume is divided into four parts: Part I: an overview (the international dimensions of terrorism in Ireland, the United States and terrorism in Ireland, and Scotland’s and Britain’s involvement in the conflict); Part II: sociological, psychological and operational aspects (covering case studies such as women and the conflict, the psychology of terrorism in Northern Ireland, political assassination in the Irish tradition, and the Catholic Church and revolution in 19th century Ireland); Part III: political communication and terrorism (terrorism and public opinion, and media coverage of terrorism); and Part IV: the future of terrorism (the historical roots of Ulster Unionist terrorism and the persistence of IRA terrorism).

Gordon Clubb, Social Movement De-Radicalisation and the Decline of Terrorism: The Morphogenesis of the Irish Republican Movement (New York, NY: Routledge, 2017), 180 pp., US $ 124.00 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-1-138-93394-1.

This book’s thesis is that a full conceptualization of the de-radicalization process can explain durable declines in terrorism by such groups once the drivers of violence are eliminated. This involves two processes: first, disengagement, particularly organizational disengagement by a terrorist group’s overall social movement, which reduces “the risk of recidivism through disarmament, demobilization and re-integration.” (p. 5) The second process involved de-radicalization, which “refers to the motivations, ideology and attitudes to armed violence changing genuinely, meaning the individual or group no longer wish to engage in armed violence.” (p. 5). This framework is applied to assessing how the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) (which is defined as a social movement in this account), including its younger generation, succeeded in de-radicalizing and disengaging from terrorism, ultimately reintegrating itself into the Northern Irish political system. The author’s application of such a conceptual framework to the PIRA’s integration in Northern Ireland’s new political system make this book an important contribution to the literature on de-radicalization and disengagement from terrorism. The author is Lecturer in International Security at the University of Leeds, UK, and Director of the Terrorism and Political Violence Association.

Peter Joyce, The Policing of Protest, Disorder and International Terrorism in the UK Since 1945 (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 401 pp., US $ 99.99 [Hardcover], ISBN: 978-0-230-54235-8.

This book examines the evolution and current policing methods used to control what the author refers to as ‘extra-parliamentary political activities’ in the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland) since 1945. Such ‘extra-parliamentary’ activities include protests, labor picketing, riots, subversion, and national and international manifestations of terrorism. The manifestations of policing methods range from physical, surveillance and monitoring responses by police, security and military organizations, to judicial measures against the organizations and individuals associated with such political activism and subversion. The weaponry, equipment, tactics and training of the police, security and military services engaged in responding to such threats, are discussed, as well. As explained by the author, the final chapter “evaluates the transnational dimension of protest and contemporary terrorism and the manner in which these activities are policed by the global community.” (p. ix). This includes the roles of international and regional police organizations, such as Interpol, Europol, and various European Union bodies and treaties, as well as cooperation with the United States. This book is an important contribution to the literature on policing protest and terrorism in the UK. The author is Principal Lecturer in Criminology at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

Paul Wilkinson (Eds.), British Perspectives on Terrorism [Routledge Library Editions: Terrorism and Insurgency, Volume 9] (New York, NY: Routledge, 1981/2015), 200 pp., US $ 112.00 [Hardcover], US $ 36.00 [Paperback], ISBN: 978-1-138-89924-7.

When this edited volume was originally published in 1981 it presented cutting edge thinking from leading British experts on countering terrorism within the United Kingdom context. Its reissuance is welcomed as many of its insights on the components of effective counterterrorism are still pertinent to the current period. Following an introductory overview by Paul Wilkinson on the evolution of the British approach to counterterrorism, the volume’s chapters discuss issues such as public opinion and the Provisional IRA in Northern Ireland, leadership challenges facing the IRA, the legal response to IRA terrorism in the form of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the role of the British Police in countering terrorism, the origins of the British approach to managing the risk of kidnapping (including the roles of Lloyd’s of London and Control Risks in providing risk management and support services), and a concluding chapter by the volume’s editor on proposals for government and international community responses to countering terrorism. Interestingly, even in the early 1980s it was recognized that “democracies must also learn to defeat the terrorists’ sustained propaganda war” (p. 191) – yet it appears that more than 35 years later, best practices in countering terrorists propaganda narratives still appear to be beyond reach. Paul Wilkinson, the volume’s editor, passed away in August 2011.

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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