Friday, August 10, 2018

Profiles in Terror: A Guide to Middle East Terrorist Organizations Hardcover by Aaron Mannes ( Rowman & Littlefield Publishers )

Most books on terrorist groups and movements either come across as laboriously-researched, dry analytical tomes or sensationalistic 'heat-of-the-moment' rush jobs where fiction and editorialization fill in the factual gaps. This book doesn't fall into either category.A straightforward profile of twenty modern-day terrorist organizations operating in the Middle East and the regional groups affiliated with them. Including detailed descriptions of each group's ideology and objectives, history, leadership, organization, external relations, financial support networks, target and tactics, and much more, Profiles in Terror is filled with crucial information for anyone researching modern history, crucially interested in American security, or striving to better understand the darker side of world politics. Highly recommended

From reading 'Profiles In Terror,' it is obvious that Mr. Mannes has a well-grounded understanding of the Middle Eastern and Islamist terrorist groups that he writes about. Furthermore, much of his public-sourced information is extremely well-documented and, if anything, is a great suggested reading list if you want to see the extremely fine minutiae regarding these groups. Furthermore, the information is presented clearly and in an interesting manner such that the book is useful for professionals, but not at the exclusion of the average reader's interest.

All of the 'major' groups are covered: al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc, but Mannes also takes the time to discuss groups that are relatively unknown to the public, such as Jemaah Islamiya, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (KDP) and Force 17, amongst others. In addition to the well-written and thorough chapter on the terrorist groups covered in the book, the author included separate resource listing for each group (extremely valuable). Mannes also lays out a very specific chronology of significant events and attacks for each group. And thankfully, unlike so many other contemporary books on current events, there is a VERY detailed index, itself 31 pages long.

This book is definitely worth picking up, whether your interest is professional or just personal curiosity.

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