TERRORISM

2000s

General Books and Articles

N - Pq

Naftali, Timothy J. Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism. New York: Basic Books, 2005.

See Max Holland, "The Historian as Hustler: How the 9/11 Commission Spent $25,000 on a Footnote," Washington Decoded, 11 Mar. 2010 [http://www.washingtondecoded.com/site/2010/03/the-historian-as-hustler.html#more], for an unflattering look at the background of this book. K.C. Johnson, "Holland, Naftali, and the Wisdom of Discretion," History News Network, 22 Mar. 2010 [http://www.hnn.us/articles/124672.html], responds to this article. Holland's rejoinder "K.C. Johnson Missed the Point About Naftali,"History News Network, 23 Mar. 2010 is at: http://www.hnn.us/articles/124755.html.

To Powers, NYRB 52.8 (12 May 2005), this work constitutes "a kind of naturalist's ramble around the fenced perimeter of the whole vast establishment of technical gear used for intercepting communications." For Crenshaw, FA 84.4 (Jul.-Aug. 2005), the author has produced an "admirably straightforward narrative." The work provides "a rich chronological analysis that allows for comparisons across different administrations and demonstrates that the shortcomings of the country's counterterrorism policy are long standing." Although Naftali's "suggestions are sensible, not all are practical."

Peake, Studies 50.1 (Mar. 2006), notes that this history of U.S. counterterrorism policy was originally written for the 9/11 Commission but was issued commercially when it was not released together with the Commission's report. The author's "attempt to link America's initial contacts with terrorism to World War II and the early Cold War is ... force-fitting contemporary terms to past events where they do not apply." The reviewer finds "curious" Naftali's "interpretation of intelligence history and how it relates to contemporary counterterrorism."

Nasiri, Omar [pseud.]. Inside the Jihad: My Life with Al-Qaeda: A Spy's Story. New York: Perseus, 2006.

Peake, Studies 51.2 (2007), asks the central question here -- Is his story true? -- but does not offer anything conclusive. This book purports to be by a Moroccan terrorist who spent a number of years working for the French foreign intelligence service (DGSE). He also claims to have trained in weapons and explosives in al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan.

Nicander, Lars. "Information Terrorism: When and by Whom?" Defense Intelligence Journal 16, no. 2 (2007): 139-153.

"[I]t is not inevitable that information terrorism ... will occur; however, it does seem like the natural progression for qualified non-state actors."

Nomikos, John M., and Aya Burweila. "Another Frontier to Fight: International Terrorism and Islamic Fundamentalism in North Africa." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 22, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 50-88.

"[T]he alliance of North Africa's regional militant groups with international networks represents not only the further globalization of Islamic terror, but also strongly suggests that North Africa, in particular Morocco and Algeria, is to act as another major frontier of Jihad against the United States, Europe, and secular regimes in Muslim populated countries." [Footnote omitted]

O'Brien, James. "Trojan Horses: Using Current U.S. Intelligence Resources to Successfully Infiltrate Islamist Terror Groups." International Affairs Review 14 (Fall/Winter 2005): 137-165.

O'Hanlon, Michael E., et al. Protecting the American Homeland: A Preliminary Analysis. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2002.

Wiggins, NWCR, Spring 2003, finds that this work "analyzes the problems of national security, determines the progress of current programs, and designs an agenda for future endeavors.... The authors argue that first identifying U.S. weaknesses and vulnerabilities will make it possible to correct them or at least lessen the effects of attacks we cannot prevent.... [This book] is a logical, flowing, step-by-step analysis to defining policy issues involving the development of a comprehensive protection plan."

Patton, Kerry. Terrorism Intelligence and National Security. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2007.

Martinson, DIJ 16.2 (2007), is unimpressed with this self-published book, arguing that while the author is sincere, "his work falls significantly short of being a serious book on terrorism, intelligence, and national security." It "is a book of opinion and commentary, instead of well researched facts and sound analysis."

Perl, Raphael F.

1. Terrorism, the Future, and U.S. Foreign Policy. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, Updated 11 Apr. 2003.

2. Terrorism and National Security: Issues and Trends. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 9 Mar. 2006. Available at http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/IB10119.pdf.

"As terrorism is a global phenomenon, a major challenge facing policy makers is how to maximize international cooperation and support, without unduly compromising important U.S. national security interests."

Peters, Ralph. Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole, 2002.

Kunert, NWCR, Spring 2003, identifies this book as a collection of the author's essays that put "the 'post–9/11' world in perspective in terms of the U.S. reaction to the attacks and the historical context in which those attacks occurred." Peters "offers a clear, unfettered, down-to-earth perspective of the world." His thoughts "will serve as a superb starting point for more detailed discussions on U.S. national security strategy and the direction that the war on terror should take in the future."

Pillar, Paul R. Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 2001. 2d ed. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 2004.

Powers, NYRB, 17 Jan. 2002, notes that the author, a former deputy director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, "argues persuasively that overexcitement is the enemy of sound counterterror practice." Although published prior to 9/11, "most of what Pillar says holds up well." Moore, Studies 46.1, agrees: This work is a "persuasive, policy-oriented primer.... Seen through the prism of the 11 September attacks, Pillar's book holds up quite well." For Turner, IJI&C 16.4, Pillar's work is "a major contribution to understanding the terrorism phenomenon and the tepid American policy response to it."

Commenting on the second edition, Peake, Studies 49.1 (2005), finds that a "43-page introduction ... addresses post-9/11 questions.... Overall, this book presents a temperate and discerning analysis with practical insights aimed at dealing with" the problem of terrorism.

Piombo, Jessica R. "Terrorism and U.S. Counter-Terrorism Programs in Africa: An Overview." Strategic Insights 6, no. 1 (Jan. 2007). [http://www.ccc.nps.navy.mil/si/]

This is a general overview of "the basic arguments for why the United States is increasingly concerned with terrorism in Africa, the true nature of the terrorist and Islamist threat, and ... a basic outline of the major counterterrorism programs currently run by the U.S. government."

Pita, René. "Assessing al-Qaeda's Chemical Threat." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 20, no. 3 (Fall 2007): 480-511.

The author documents from open sources al-Qaeda's stated interest (and the interest of other supporters of the global jihadist movement) in -- and predisposition to use -- chemical weapons.

Posner, Richard A. Countering Terrorism: Blurred Focus, Halting Steps. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007.

Peake, Studies 52.1 (Mar. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), finds that the author "is convinced that creating a new MI5-like organization with only a security and counterintelligence mission is necessary to achieve effective domestic counterterrorism efforts." However, Posner does not consider "the level of personal and organizational disruption that creating another new intelligence organization would entail and the time required for it to become proficient." This work merits "very serious consideration."

Post, Jerrold M.

1. Leaders and Their Followers In A Dangerous World: The Psychology of Political Behavior. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004.

Peake, Studies 48.4 (2004), notes that "[t]he basic principle of the book is that in order to deal with terrorists, one must understand the world from their perspective." What this work makes clear "is how complex dealing with terrorist leaders can be, especially when they are motivated by religion and hatred in addition to politics. For that reason alone, it should be studied by all those charged with solving the problem."

2. The Mind of the Terrorist: The Psychology of Terrorism from the IRA to al-Qaeda. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

Sinai, Washington Times, 15 Apr. 2008, and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), says that this work "provides a framework for understanding modern-day terrorism's psychological mindset.... Dr. Post's book [is] especially valuable for its capsulated histories and profiles of the world's terrorist groups and their leaders.... Some of Dr. Post's assumptions about today's terrorists are out of date. The most glaring is his reliance on a typology of terrorism..., which has little contemporary relevance."

3. "Psychological Operations and Counterterrorism." Joint Forces Quarterly 37 (2d Quarter 2005): 105-110.

"There has been little attention to the potential of strategic PSYOP in undermining the enemy to prepare the battlefield.... Terrorism is a vicious species of psychological warfare waged through the media.... One does not counter psychological warfare with high-tech weapons.... [T]he way to counter psychological warfare is with psychological warfare, and PSYOP should be the primary weapon in the war against terrorism."

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