Suicide Terrorism

Overview

Suicide terrorism in its modern form made its first appearance in Lebanon in the early 1980s. Over the last quarter century, terrorist attacks perpetrated by suicide bombers have spread to many corners of the world and have become a major threat for both the governments and citizens of numerous countries. Can this devastating phenomenon be attributed to a specific religion or culture? What are the causes and motivations that lead ordinary people to embark upon suicide attacks? How are potential bombers trained ...

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Overview

Suicide terrorism in its modern form made its first appearance in Lebanon in the early 1980s. Over the last quarter century, terrorist attacks perpetrated by suicide bombers have spread to many corners of the world and have become a major threat for both the governments and citizens of numerous countries. Can this devastating phenomenon be attributed to a specific religion or culture? What are the causes and motivations that lead ordinary people to embark upon suicide attacks? How are potential bombers trained for their mission? And is it possible for democratic governments to effectively cope with this challenge?

In this compelling book, Ami Pedazhur investigates the root causes of suicide terrorism and its rapid proliferation in recent years. Drawing on a variety of sources, the book explores the use of human bombs in Lebanon, Israel, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Chechnya, Iraq, and the ostentatious attacks of Al-Qaeda and the global jihad. It is the only book to offer such an in-depth, up-to-date, cross cultural analysis of suicide terrorism in the twenty-first Century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Ami Pedahzur’s articulate and groundbreaking work not onlyaddresses how terrorism occurs, but also why terrorist groups havechosen suicide terrorism as a tactic throughout the globe ... anoutstanding examination of suicide terrorism."
Australian Journal of Political Science

"A noteworthy and essential addition to the body of literature.Pedahzur adds significant, accessible insight into suicideoperations that informs strategic, operational, and tacticalperspectives."
British Army Review

"Helps us understand the gendered nature of suicideterrorism."
Nicola Pratt, Democratiya

"Suicide Terrorism is among the most authoritative andincisive analyses of this subject available. Ami Pedahzur’smeticulous research and trenchant analysis coupled with his directexperience of suicide terrorism’s corrosive effects onsociety endow the book with a perspective and gravitas unique inthe literature. Suicide Terrorism is essential reading foranyone wanting to understand the emergence and growth of thistactic and the best means to counter it."
Bruce Hoffman, US Military Academy, West Point; author ofInside Terrorism

"This is a comprehensive approach to a difficult phenomenon bysomeone who knows his subject well. Pedhazur writes with the coolclarity of a seasoned social scientist, but with the sensitivity ofone who has lived through suicide attacks and can count formerstudents and colleagues among the victims. Comparing cases ofMuslim militants associated with Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hizbollah,with Sri Lankan Tamil separatists, Kurdish nationalists andJapanese kamikaze fighters, he derives a complex analytic frameworkwith cultural, political and socio-psychological dimensions. Thisbook brings our understanding of this increasingly familiar form ofterrorism to a new level of sophistication."
Mark Juergensmeyer, author of Terror in the Mind of God: TheGlobal Rise of Religious Violence

"Ami Pedahzur has established himself as one of the most astuteobservers of terrorist violence in general and suicide terrorism inparticular. In this work he answers all the crucial questionsconcerning the when, why and how of suicide attacks. This is anoutstanding book by an outstanding young scholar."
Leonard Weinberg, University of Nevada Reno

"Suicide Terrorism is an exhaustive study and providesincisive analysis of the subject."
Mia Bloom, University of Georgia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745633824
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/15/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Ami Pedahzur is an associate professor at the University of Texas, Austin and a senior research fellow at the National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa, Israel

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Table of Contents

1 What is suicide terrorism? 1
2 How can suicide terrorism be explained? 22
3 Turning to suicide terrorism : Hezbollah and the Palestinian organizations 43
4 Turning to suicide terrorism : the LTTE and the PKK 70
5 The transition to suicide terrorism : Al-Qaeda and the network of the Islamic fundamentalist groups 97
6 Who becomes a suicide terrorist? 118
7 The recruitment and socialization of the suicide terrorist 155
8 The consequences of suicide terrorism 182
Afterword 198
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