At the Heart of Terror: Islam, Jihadists, and America's War on Terrorism

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Overview

This readable and deeply informed book examines the threat that Islamic extremists pose to the United States and provides a balanced and nuanced discussion of Iraq as a test case of America's war on terrorism. Explaining the basics of Islam and guiding the reader through the intricacies of each significant extremist group, the authors answer key questions: Who are the Jihadists and how do they fit within the broader context of the Islamic religion? What is their war plan and how do they operate? Who are their allies and what are their weaknesses? What is the experience of Israel, the Islamic world, and the United States in fighting Islamic extremists? How can they be defeated?

Drawing on decades of experience in the Middle East, the authors provide the only current analysis of the vulnerabilities of the Jihadists, linking those weaknesses to concrete strategies to defeat them. The Palmers trace the movement far beyond Osama bin Laden and the now-splintering al-Qaeda into a range of autonomous networks. The authors also provide extensive information on the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizbullah, and other extremist groups attempting to achieve an Islamic state by more-or-less peaceful means. Their relationship with the Jihadists and their potential for violence are explored in detail. The book also provides the first in-depth discussion of the evolution of a vibrant Hizbullah organization in Iraq.

This vitally important work reflects the authors' thorough understanding of the culture and history of the Muslim world. Careful in its analysis, its subtle observations pay tribute to the authors' thirty years of working with Middle Eastern organizations and conducting pioneering studies in the areas of Arab psychology and political behavior. The Palmers effectively combine an engaging writing style and extensive personal experience into an invaluable resource for both policy makers and general readers.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
[A] sensible and productive set of proposals for understanding Muslim extremism. . . . [The authors] analyze jihadi strategies with a nuanced common sense all too hard to come by in the sometimes sensationalist literature on the topic.
James A. Bill
Among the thousands of publications that address the subject of terror, this book is exceptional. Carefully researched, well-written, and impressively objective, this study convincingly concludes that force alone will not destroy the tentacles of terror that continue to spread throughout the world.
Hilal Khashan
A breakthrough in the scholarship on Islamic radicalism. This most readable and insightful book tackles previously unexplored facets of the radical Islamic agenda. The Palmers successfully diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of anti-American Islamic extremists, and offer a foolproof prescription for excising their threat.
Tony Allan
A compelling and extremely well-written analysis of topics that generally suffer serious distortion by the unthinking generalizations of policymakers and the media. The complexity of the Islamic world and the Middle East are made wholly understandable through this excellent and lucid work.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742536029
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/15/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 7.02 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Monte Palmer is professor emeritus at Florida State University. He directed FSU's Middle East Studies Center, as well as the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies at the American University of Beirut.
Princess Palmer is a former consultant for the World Bank.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Who is Attacking America?
Chapter 2: Islam, Muslim Extremism, and Anti-Americanism
Chapter 3: The Muslim Brotherhood and Hizbullah: Radical-Moderates
Chapter 4: The Jihadist Movement and How it Evolved
Chapter 5: The Jihadist War Plan
Chapter 6: The Jihadist War Machine
Chapter 7: The Allies of the Jihadists: Those Who Make Terror Possible
Chapter 8: How Israel and Its Middle Eastern Neighbors Fight Terror
Chapter 9: The Future: Winning the War on Terror

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