Thinking Like a Terrorist: Insights of a Former FBI Undercover Agent [NOOK Book]

Overview

As the fifth full year of America's global war on terrorism continues, statistics concerning terrorist attacks show a disturbing trend: from a twenty-one-year high in 2003, attacks tripled in 2004 and then doubled in 2005. And as the incidence of terrorist attacks increased, so has the number of terrorists. While the primary leaders of the Taliban, al Qaeda, and al Qaeda in Iraq remain at large, a 2006 Department of Defense study reportedly identified thirty new al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups that have been...
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Thinking Like a Terrorist: Insights of a Former FBI Undercover Agent

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Overview

As the fifth full year of America's global war on terrorism continues, statistics concerning terrorist attacks show a disturbing trend: from a twenty-one-year high in 2003, attacks tripled in 2004 and then doubled in 2005. And as the incidence of terrorist attacks increased, so has the number of terrorists. While the primary leaders of the Taliban, al Qaeda, and al Qaeda in Iraq remain at large, a 2006 Department of Defense study reportedly identified thirty new al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups that have been created since September 11, 2001. We may not have metrics that measure our success in the war on terrorism, but these realities certainly illuminate our failures.

In Thinking Like a Terrorist, former FBI counterterrorism agent Mike German contends that the overarching problem is a fundamental failure to understand the terrorists-namely, what they want and how they intend to get it. When our counterterrorism policies are driven by misunderstanding and misperception, we shouldn't be surprised at the results. Today's terrorists have a real plan-a blueprint that has brought them victory in the past-that they are executing to perfection; moreover, their plan is published and available to anyone who bothers to read it. Once the terrorists' plan is understood, we can develop and implement more effective counterterrorism strategies.

A former undercover agent who infiltrated neo-Nazi terrorist groups in the United States, German explains the terrorist's point of view and discusses ways to counter the terrorism threat. Based on his unusual experience in the field, Thinking Like a Terrorist provides unique insights into why terrorism is such a persistent and difficult problem and why the U.S. approach to counterterrorism isn't working.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…essential reading for any interested in terrorism issues.”

"In Thinking Like a Terrorist, Mr. German has provided not only a fascinating look into his infiltration of white supremacist groups in Los Angeles and Washington State, but also a scholarly and thoughtful discussion of terrorists in general. . . .Mr. German's command of history, of philosophy, of law, and his personal expertise in the workings of terrorism, make for an enjoyable and thought-provoking read."

Thinking Like a Terrorist is riveting, informative and insightful. Only someone who ‘was a terrorist’ could achieve this as well as warn of dangers to our way of life. Mike German was one of the FBI’s foremost authorities on terrorism with experience gleaned from years of working undercover with various terrorist groups. This should be required reading for those interested in terrorism and how to combat this twenty-first-century plague.”

“Forces of evil—BEWARE—Mike German is on the street again! However, this time not as a deep-cover FBI ‘counterterrorist’ agent. This time he is arming us all with the hard lessons he learned, sharing vital insights, providing a critical analysis, and offering his unique perspective gained from having lived with, and personally defeated, terrorists. German’s brilliant and heroic strategy to overcome terrorism may surprise all but the true patriots among us. Thinking Like a Terrorist is a timely and superbly conceived book, written by a champion of justice, that everyone should read and take to heart.”

Thinking Like a Terrorist is a mix of pragmatic insights gained via a stellar law enforcement career coupled with impressive scholarship. Mike German advances reasoned and convincing arguments that because we do not adequately know our enemies and understand their articulated and time-tested strategies, many of our current counterterrorist policies help facilitate the very terrorist gains we work to deny. More than five years after 9/11, this book should serve as a wake-up call for policy makers, national security bureaucracies, and concerned citizens.”

“By infiltrating them as an FBI agent, Mike German learned firsthand how terrorist groups work, and he brought their members to justice without violating the law or the Constitution. He now lays bare the fundamental errors made by the U.S. government after 9/11, showing how it has exaggerated the nature of the terrorist threat, reduced the effectiveness of the West’s response, undermined our core ethical values, and so increased future vulnerability. Written with the clarity of an airport thriller and the insight conferred by both operational experience and deep study, Thinking Like a Terrorist is a brilliant and necessary book that we cannot afford to ignore.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597973274
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/31/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,373,272
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Mike German left the FBI after blowing the whistle on the agency’s mishandling of a terrorism investigation. A former undercover agent and counterterrorism instructor at the FBI National Academy, he is currently a senior fellow at GlobalSecurity.org. He lives in the Middle Atlantic region.
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Table of Contents


Preface     vii
Prologue: An Unusual Education in Terrorism     1
The Trouble With Terrorism
The Difficult Definition     29
Getting Beyond Good and Evil     37
Compounding Confusion     55
Mind-set and Methods
Understanding Political Violence     75
Grading the Government     83
Methods and Motives     95
Case Study #1: A Successful Terror Campaign     111
Ranking the Resistance     123
Terrorism Types     133
How to Win
Case Study #2: The Ku Klux Klan     139
A Winning Strategy Against Extremist Terrorists     149
Case Study #3: Lessons of the IRA     159
A Winning Strategy Against Legitimately Motivated Terrorists     173
Analysis of the Global War on Terrorism     179
Our Constitutional Shield Against Terrorism     191
Notes     201
Bibliography     219
Index     231
About the Author     239
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