Terrorism Today: The Past, the Players, the Future / Edition 1

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Exploring a subject largely ignored by academic writers, this introductory book uncovers terrorist activities in the United States and around the world, drawing from the authors' blend of academic and professional experiences. Balanced treatment of practical examples, technology, history, and research. For anyone in law enforcement, criminal justice, criminology, justice administration, security, sociology, or political science.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780023017315
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 8/26/1999
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 7.96 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Table of Contents


1. Defining Terrorism.
2. A Brief History of Terrorism.
3. State and Religious Sponsored Terrorism.


4. British Isles and Western Europe.
5. Central and Eastern Europe.
6. North Africa and the Middle East.
7. The Persian Gulf.
8. Central and Southern Africa.
9. Asia and Southeast Asia.
10. The Pacific Rim.
11. Latin America.
12. North America and the Caribbean.


13. Countering Terrorism.
14. Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century.
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Terrorism Today: The Past, the Players, the Future


Sir Brian Hayes, CBE QPM

Although I have read dozens of books on terrorism and worked for many years on the subject in the police service, I have never previously been asked to write a Foreword. However, there was some logic in doing so for Terrorism Today. One of the co-authors, Jeremy Spindlove, had served in the Surrey Constabulary during the mid-seventies, when the IRA bombed two local pubs, killing and maiming innocent customers. I joined Surrey Constabulary in 1977 as an Assistant Chief Constable, coming from a strong anti-terrorist background in London. I was to be the Chief there in the late 1980s when the four IRA members convicted and imprisoned for those bombings were released on appeal due to improprieties in the original investigation

In the years between the mid-70s and the dawn of the new Millennium, Jeremy has become a close colleague of Clifford Simonsen, the other co-author. The two men have a wealth of experience combining the military, policing, private security, loss prevention, correction and investigation. Clifford Simonsen, a former full colonel in the US Army Military Police Corps, is already an accomplished author in his own right. Your two authors have enormous experiences in the "University of Life," which they have drawn on copiously in producing Terrorism Today.

It is absorbing to read this book and link it to one's own knowledge and experience and to note how some aspects of terrorism have changed over the years whereas others have remained comparatively constant.For example, when I was involved at operational level in anti-terrorism work—mostly in the 1960s and 1970s—it was the age of the aircraft hijacker. This is graphically illustrated by the authors' detailed description of the Dawsons Field incident in Jordan. Small terrorist units were highly active internationally and often operated as an offshoot or extension of a much larger organization. Thus the Baader Meinhoff gang, the Japanese Red Army (JRA), the Red Army Faction (RAF), Black September—all mentioned in the current book—were causing havoc, mostly to Western European democracies. The Irish and Spanish Separatists (IRA and ETA) were in full flow. Western European forces of law and order were uniting to fight the growing threat to political and commercial stability.

Not surprisingly, as soon as I was asked to write this Foreword, I scanned the newspapers to see what was current on the terrorist scene. The English press was full of the increase in kidnappings in Chechnya and Yemen, particularly because British "hostages" had been killed in both countries. Eight hostages, including Britons and Americans, had just been murdered in Uganda. The Irish violence, on the British mainland at least, has halted since the Easter 1998 Peace Accord…but the men of violence are still carrying out beatings, knee-cappings and other summary punishments in Ulster. To me, this typifies the absolute link between terrorism and criminality, which is well clarified in Terrorism Today.

It has always been a personal issue for me to underline all terrorist acts as out and out crimes. All terrorists should be viewed as criminals first and foremost and terrorists second. I have never felt that they should be accorded any form of celebrity status. This was particularly relevant in the early 1970s because Interpol, the worldwide police organization, struggled to deal with terrorism within its charter, which precluded its involvement in issues of a religious, political or racial/ethnic nature. Terrorist acts almost invariably fall into one or more of these categories; in Europe we had to develop other means of communication to circulate operational terrorist intelligence between law enforcement agencies. We eventually resolved most of the problems by classifying and prosecuting offenses committed by the main terrorist protagonists under the normal criminal law. Thus assassinations were murder, hostage-takings were kidnapping and so on. Almost all of our terrorist targets were guilty of immigration and passport offenses. Caution was still needed, however, because some of the Interpol member states were either sheltering terrorists or organizing training on their territory.

In those years, between the 70s and the 90s, various established terrorist groups spread their tentacles even further afield and copycat groups sprang up. North America, as your authors point out, remained insulated from terrorism at home for many years…although it was soon to suffer violent attacks on U.S. military and diplomatic targets abroad. The bombing of the World Trade Center in New York in 1993 and the Oklahoma bombing in 1995 brought the problem into the U.S.A.'s own backyard. During the 1970s I had a steady flow of FBI and other U.S. law and order personnel through my office at New Scotland Yard, thirsty for information on current terrorist trends in Europe and methods of combating them. The subjects were then rather academic to them, but that all changed dramatically as Terrorism Today illustrates.

Terrorism Today is a massive and brave attempt to chronicle the whole of terrorist activity across the world since the problem first reared its head sorting each country, group or individual in the appropriate historical context and seeking to explore and explain their "raison d'être." The authors rightly recognize the danger of superficiality in attempting a "tour d'horizon" of such a vast subject. They firmly make the point in the Preface that this is an introductory text on terrorism, recognizing that they have taken on a daunting task leading logically to a broad brush coverage. The authors attempt to counterbalance this with a very useful preface, previewing the main content of each chapter. Those 14 chapters in turn are each supported by a list of Terms to Remember, Review Questions, and Endnotes.

This is a long book but it achieves the authors' objective of being written in an easy to read, flowing style. By its format and content it is also intended as a didactic volume, geared to teachers, students and the casual reader alike. For me, it is not a book to plough straight through, but rather to pick chapters or even sections of chapters to concentrate on which are of particular current interest to the reader.

This is where the "terrorism bytes," "terrorism briefs" and "terrorism players" are very useful little icons in the text, giving examples and illustrations of particular groups, individuals and incidents. Additionally, the experiences of the two authors blend the operational and the academic/intellectual to render the subject matter light and enjoyable, informative and instructional. Having consumed a diet of books and articles on terrorism produced by the established authors and commentators on either side of the Atlantic, including those such as Richard Clutterbuck, Paul Wilkinson and David Yallop, all of whom are quoted from in Terrorism Today, I had to adjust to such a broad compendium of information gathered in one volume. But despite that difference, indeed almost because of it, Terrorism Today merits its place in the library of teacher or student and in the booklists of anyone seriously interested in extending their knowledge of this absorbing subject.

Sir Brian Hayes
March 1999

Sir Brian Hayes served as a police officer in England for nearly 40 years, retiring in April 1998. He rose to the second most senior post in The United Kingdom, that of Deputy Commissioner in the London Metropolitan Police Service, commonly know as "Scotland Yard." Sir Brian has lectured on terrorist matters in England, Scotland, Europe and the USA. He currently works as a management and security consultant and was Knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 1998 for services to policing. In the same year, he was also awarded the Meritorious Police Cross by the Spanish Government for services to Spanish Policing.

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