Understanding Terrorism

Understanding Terrorism : Groups, Strategies, and Responses

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For courses in terrorism.

This comprehensive and completely up-to-date text provides a straightforward introduction to terrorism that helps students better understand this complex subject. The book identifies terrorist groups, reviews terrorist tactics, and examines police and government responses to reduce or eliminate the incidence of terrorism. Fully updated to include coverage of Al Qaeda, suicide bombers, specific threats posed by weapons of mass destruction, and the latest counter-terrorism strategies, Understanding Terrorism: Groups, Strategies and Responses 2e brings together the latest scholarship and coverage of the latest world events to bring you the most complete and most current introduction to terrorism book currently available.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 328 pages
  • 172.7 x 228.6 x 12.7mm | 476.28g
  • Pearson
  • United States
  • English
  • 2nd edition
  • 0131127152
  • 9780131127159

Back cover copy

This book is written for criminal justice and social science students, professionals in the criminal justice system, and any student wishing to gain more information on the phenomenon of "terrorism." It explores the various analytical approaches to the study of terrorism: identifying terrorist groups, reviewing terrorist tactics such as suicide bombings, and examining police and governmental responses to reduce or control the incidence of terrorism. The greatest danger today comes from religiously inspired terrorist groups seeking the destruction of noncombatant targets using weapons of mass destruction.
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Table of contents

List of Tables.

List of Figures.



1. Concepts of Terror and Terrorism.

Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Definitional Problems and Terrorism. Morality of Terrorism. Definitions of Terrorism. Terrorist Apologies. Terrorist Atrocities. Purpose of Terrorism. Conclusions. Key Terms. Review Questions. Websites. Endnotes.

2. Historical Antecedents of Terrorism and Violence.

Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Sicarii and Zealots. The Assassins and Other Secret Societies. Narodnaya Volya. The Anarchist Tradition. Terrorism in the United States. Puerto Rican Independence. The Jewish Defense League (JDL). The Ideological Left. The Ideological Right. Single Issue Terrorist. Conclusions. Key Terms. Review Questions. Websites. Endnotes.

3. Violence and Terrorism: The Role of the Mass Media.

Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Contagion Theory or the Copycat Syndrome. Propaganda Value and the "Deed." United States. Law Enforcement. Censorship and Terrorism. Conclusions. Key Terms. Review Questions. Websites. Endnotes.

4. The Palestine Question and al Qaeda.

Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Palestine Resistance Movement. Palestinian Extremism and the 1973 War. Rejectionist Front: Historical Preview. Invasion of Lebanon. Hizballah. Palestinian Authority. HAMAS and Islamic Jihad. Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Al Qaeda. Conclusions. Key Terms. Review Questions. Websites. Endnotes.

5. Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations: The "A" List.

Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Palestinian Groups. The Philippines and Southeast Asia. Algerian Groups. Religious Cults. European Groups. Colombia. Peru. Central Asia. Iran. Conclusions. Key Terms. Review Questions. Websites. Endnotes.

6. The Dynamics of Hostage Taking and Negotiation.

Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Early History of Hostage Taking. Typologies of Hostage Takers. Time, Trust, and the Stockholm Syndrome. London Syndrome. Guidelines for Hostage Events. U.S. Experience: Hostage Rescue. The Good Guys. Other Rescue Attempts. Surviving Hostage Situations. Conclusions. Key Terms. Review Questions. Websites. Endnotes.

7. Contemporary Terrorism and Bombing.

Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Historical Perspective. Effects of an Explosion. Velocity and Explosives. Vehicle Bombs. Letter Bombs. Bombings Aboard Aircraft. Conclusions. Key Terms. Review Questions. Websites. Endnotes.

8. Suicide Bombers: A Global Problem.

Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Defining the Problem. Suicide Bombers in the Mideast. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Sikh Terrorism. Kashmiri Suicide Bombers. Kurdish Suicide Bombers: The PKK. Al Qaeda. Chechen Suicide Bombers. Other Suicidal Terrorist Groups. Summary. Conclusions. Key Terms. Review Questions. Websites. Endnotes.

9. Counterterrorist Measures: The Response.

Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Security Measures. Intelligence Function. Counterterrorism Operations: Retaliation and Preemption. Covert Military Operations: Proactive Measures. Counterterrorist Operations: Reactive Measures. Special Operations. National Guard. HRT and NEST. Chemical and Biological Terrorism. United Kingdom and Israel. Legal Framework: Apprehension, Prosecution, and Punishment. Conclusions. Key Terms. Review Questions. Websites. Endnotes.

10. Future of Terrorism.

Chapter Objectives. Introduction. Israel versus Palestinian Resistance Movement. Islamic Extremism. Low-Intensity Warfare. Super Terrorism. Influence of Terrorism on Democracy. Key Terms. Review Questions. Websites. Endnotes.

Appendix A: Map References.

Appendix B: Glossary of Terms.

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Review quote

"The author engages the reader at a pace and level of complexity that encourages the natural curiosity of the reader. The material is fascinating and abhorrent . . . readers are encouraged to expand their understanding of the world through examination of the distorted thinking of the terrorist. The author defines the topics and approach for the reader quite well. I particularly like the manner in which the author discusses the moral equivalency arguments of various apologists for atrocious behaviors. Historical materials are presented in a readable and understandable format without overt emotionality." - John Mason, Upper Iowa University

"This is a very interesting and well-written book dealing with the strategies of various terrorist groups. In addition to material on well-known domestic groups, including the Klan . . . , the author- includes very interesting and often forgotten material on the Puerto Rican independence movement and the JDL. The author offers a very good discussion . . . by including many different groups, domestic, and international that realized the value of the media for spreading their message to the greatest possible audience." - Greg Warchol, Northern Michigan University
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Rating details

14 ratings
3.64 out of 5 stars
5 14% (2)
4 50% (7)
3 29% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 7% (1)
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