Cover image for The future of terrorism : ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the alt-right / Walter Laqueur and Christopher Wall.
The future of terrorism : ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the alt-right / Walter Laqueur and Christopher Wall.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2018.
Physical Description:
vii, 261 pages ; 24 cm
Introduction: Terrorism and its future. The changes wrought by the fourth wave -- Part 1. History and the invention of terrorism -- 1. The history and emergence of modern terrorism -- 2. Writings on tyranny and the origins of the philosophy of the bomb. Russia's terrorism as a doctrine -- 3. Turkey, India, and the Russian example. Terrorism by Indian nationalists and former pacifists -- 4. Propaganda by the deed. Arms and the class struggle: Spain and the United States ; Terrorism and nationalism -- 5. The philosophy of the bomb and the Far Right. The Right Wing elsewhere ; The history of terrorism -- 6. Final remarks on the history of terrorism -- Part 2. Contemporary terrorism -- 7. The new face of terrorism. Why was IS successful? -- 8. A truncated history of IS. The Iraq War and the emergence of Al-Qaeda in Iraq ; How Iraqi politics created Islamic State ; The Arab Spring, Al-Qaeda, and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ; The Jabhat Al-Nustra threat, the Khorasan Group, and the co-optation of Islamic State's credibility ; Stymied Iraqi reforms, Islamic State's decline since 2014, and the future of terrorism -- 9. Beyond Islamic State. Religion and a globalized decentralized ideology ; Al-Qaeda and Islamic State: battle of egos in the process of final victory ; The (not) forever war: what is beyond Islamic State? -- 10. The battlefields of the future. Yemen: a regional cold war fought through proxies ; Libya: a mosaic civil war ; Afghanistan: a legacy of failed state reconstruction ; Where to next? -- 11. Terrorism in Europe and in the United States. The lone-wolf phenomenon ; The foreign fighter flow ; The Islamic State threat to Europe ; The terrorism threat in the United States ; Terrorism going forward? -- Part 3. Reflections on terrorism -- 12. The culture of modern terrorism. IS and the nature of evil ; Jihad cool -- 13. Terrorism misinterpreted. Terrorism and the psychiatrists -- 14. Economic explorations of terrorism. Terrorist organizations as industrial activity ; Why is terrorism effective?: the club goods theory ; Terrorism as theater and the macro/micro divide within conflicts ; The economics of terrorism -- 15. Religious violence and terrorism. Suicide terrorism ; Refugees -- 16. Terrorism: the future. Lessons from the current wave of terrorism ; When terrorism prevails? ; So what about this current wave of terrorism? -- Epilogue: Terrorism under President Trump.
An expert on terrorism and an expert on counterterrorism answer the two questions everyone is asking about the rise of terrorism today: why is this happening, and when will it end?
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363.325 LAQ Book Adult General Collection

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An expert on terrorism and an expert on counterterrorism answer the two questions everyone is asking about the rise of terrorism today: why is this happening, and when will it end?

Since the death of bin Laden in 2011, ISIS has risen, al-Qaeda has expanded its reach, and right-wing extremists have surged in the United States for the same simple reason: terrorism works. It's not caused by psychosis or irrationality, as the media often suggests. Instead, it's terrifyingly logical. Violent acts produce political results.

To show why, Walter Laqueur and Christopher Wall explore the history, rationales and precepts of terrorism, from the assassination of Tsar Alexander II, through the terror campaigns by Irish and Indian nationalists, and to the Nazis and Italian Fascists.

To explain why terror is on the rise again, they show how the American invasion of Iraq created the conditions for the emergence of al-Qaeda in Iraq, part of which metastasized into ISIS, while Russia's increasing intervention in Syria allowed both of the organizations to evolve.

The Future of Terrorism brings reason to a topic usually ruled by fear. Laqueur and Wall show the structural features behind contemporary terrorism: how bad governance abets terror; the link between poverty and terrorism; why religious terrorism is more dangerous than secular; and the nature of supposed "lone wolf" terrorists. Fear alone provides no tools to combat the future of terrorism. This book does.

Author Notes

Walter Louis Laqueur was born in Breslau, Germany on May 26, 1921. At the age of 17, he fled just a few days before Kristallnacht and found his way to Palestine, where he was known as Ze'ev. He worked briefly on a kibbutz before moving to Jerusalem, where he spent a year enrolled in the Hebrew University and covered the Middle East as a journalist. In 1955, he moved to London, where he was a founder and editor of The Journal of Contemporary History and a founder of Survey, a foreign affairs journal. From 1965 to 1994 he was director of the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide, a leading archive in London.

He became a scholar of the Holocaust, the collapse of the Soviet Union, European decline, the Middle East conflict, and global terrorism. He wrote numerous books including A History of Zionism, A History of Terrorism, The Terrible Secret, Putinism: Russia and Its Future with the West, and The Future of Terrorism: ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Alt-Right written with Christopher Wall. His memoirs included Thursday's Child Has Far to Go; Worlds Ago; Best of Times, Worst of Times; and Reflections of a Veteran Pessimist. He was also the editor of The Holocaust Encyclopedia. He died on September 30, 2018 at the age of 97.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Historian Laqueur and Wall, a counterterrorism instructor for the Navy, adeptly connect terrorism's current Islamist incarnations with secular, socialist forebears that plagued Russia and Europe in centuries past. A brief, fast-paced historical overview leads to probing and provocative ruminations on the multifarious factors that draw young men toward violence in the service of an ideology: "all manifestations of terrorism," the authors opine, "are connected with the rise of democracy and nationalism." Though ISIS has surpassed al-Qaeda in recent years, the authors contend that the latter remains more dangerous in the long term, as it has consolidated its resources and broadened its networks while lulling the world into the false belief that it is obsolete. The authors also highlight how, in the U.S., where far-right violence is much more common than Islamist violence, terrorism retains the ability to spark vast overreactions and abandonment of liberal values less often seen in Europe; they point out, for example, that, following the Boston Marathon bombing, constitutional protections were suspended and the entire state of Massachusetts was put on lockdown, though the death toll was small compared to that of the attacks in Paris two years later, to which the response was much less extreme. The authors' nuanced perspective on a complex phenomenon will appeal to readers interested in what lies beyond the headlines. Agent: Joe Spieler, the Spieler Agency. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Historian and terrorism expert Laqueur (No End to War), writing here with naval terrorism specialist Wall, promises readers a whistle-stop tour of the history and theory of terrorism, starting with a brief glance at the earliest appearance of the concept and ending with the latest developments as related to the Islamic State. The result is less than a resounding success; Laqueur moves so quickly that the text often becomes bewildering, and nonspecialists will be hard put to follow the arguments. There are also factual errors; for example, Laqueur puts the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland down to the planning of a group called "the Invincibles"-while members of this collective may well have been involved, most historians of Ireland would agree that they were responsible for two political killings in 1882 and little else. VERDICT A challenging and contentious read. Specialists in terrorism and related fields will want to examine this volume closely. General readers should probably try instead Charles Townshend's Terrorism: A Very Short Introduction.-Hanna Clutterbuck-Cook, Harvard Univ. Lib., Cambridge, MA © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Terrorism and Its Futurep. 1
The Changes Wrought by the Fourth Wavep. 7
Part I History and the Invention of Terrorism
1 The History and Emergence of Modern Terrorismp. 27
2 Writings on Tyranny and the Origins of the Philosophy of the Bombp. 42
Russia's Terrorism as a Doctrinep. 53
3 Turkey, India, and the Russian Examplep. 62
Terrorism by Indian Nationalists and Former Pacifistsp. 64
4 Propaganda by the Deedp. 68
Arms and the Class Struggle: Spain and the United Statesp. 72
1 Terrorism and Nationalismp. 75
5 The Philosophy of the Bomb and the Far Rightp. 78
The Right Wing Elsewherep. 80
The History of Terrorismp. 84
6 Final Remarks on the History of Terrorismp. 86
Part 2 Contemporary Terrorism
7 The New Face of Terrorismp. 93
Why Was IS Successful?p. 95
8 A Truncated History of ISp. 98
The Iraq War and the Emergence of Al-Qaeda in Iraqp. 100
How Iraqi Politics Created Islamic Statep. 104
The Arab Spring, Al-Qaeda, and Islamic State of Iraq and Syriap. 108
The Jabhat Al-Nusra Threat, the Khorasan Group, and the Co-Optation of Islamic State's Credibilityp. 110
Stymied Iraqi Reforms, Islamic, State's Decline Since 2014, and the Future of Terrorismp. 113
9 Beyond Islamic Statep. 118
Religion and a Globalized Decentralized Ideologyp. 121
Al-Qaeda and Islamic State: Battle of Egos in the Process of Final Victoryp. 128
The (Not) Forever War: What Is Beyond Islamic State?p. 131
10 The Battlefields of the Futurep. 132
Yemen: A Regional Cold War Fought Through Proxiesp. 133
Libya: A Mosaic Civil Warp. 139
Afghanistan: A Legacy of Failed State Reconstructionp. 146
Where to Next?p. 153
11 Terrorism in Europe and in the United Statesp. 155
The Lone-Wolf Phenomenonp. 156
The Foreign Fighter Flowp. 157
The Islamic State Threat to Europep. 158
The Terrorism Threat in the United Statesp. 163
Terrorism Going Forward?p. 173
Part 3 Reflections on Terrorism
12 The Culture of Modern Terrorismp. 179
IS and the Nature of Evilp. 183
Jihad Coolp. 189
13 Terrorism Misinterpretedp. 194
Terrorism and the Psychiatristsp. 204
14 Economic Explanations of Terrorismp. 206
Terrorist Organizations as Industrial Activityp. 209
Why Is Terrorism Effective?: The Club Goods Theoryp. 212
Terrorism as Theater and the Macro/Micro Divide Within Conflictsp. 214
The Economics of Terrorismp. 216
15 Religious Violence and Terrorismp. 219
Suicide Terrorismp. 225
Refugeesp. 228
16 Terrorism: The Futurep. 230
Lessons from the Current Wave of Terrorismp. 235
When Terrorism Prevails?p. 238
So What About This Current Wave of Terrorism?p. 241
Epilogue: Terrorism Under President Trumpp. 245
Acknowledgmentsp. 253