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A most useful work on terrorism, with a focus on the origins of the Salafi jihad His method He examines the biographical data on 172 terrorists to study this network He, in essence, debunks a number of theories of terrorists, e.g., psychological theories His thesis is clearly and simply stated thus page vii The data suggest.that this form of terrorism is an emergent quality of the social networks formed by alienated young men who become transformed into fanatics yearning for mar A most useful work on terrorism, with a focus on the origins of the Salafi jihad His method He examines the biographical data on 172 terrorists to study this network He, in essence, debunks a number of theories of terrorists, e.g., psychological theories His thesis is clearly and simply stated thus page vii The data suggest.that this form of terrorism is an emergent quality of the social networks formed by alienated young men who become transformed into fanatics yearning for martyrdom and eager to kill His study of the linkages among four networks, the Maghreb Arabs, Core Arabs, Southeast Asians, and Central Staff Osama bin Laden and his core supporters , leads him to describe the actual linkages in a nice diagram on page 138 He begins the volume with an historical analysis, tracing the roots of what has evolved into, as he puts it, the Salafi jihad He looks at early figures, such Mohamed ibn Abd al Wahhab He describes the emergence of a particular view of jihad He notes the emergence of groups across a number of countries and how some of these, over time, developed into his putative Salafi jihad network Then, to the heart of the matter Why do some people become jihadists within this movement and others not He ends up dismissing many standard theories and asserts, instead, that social networks are the key The basis for this conclusion, again, is the perusal of the biographical data set that he developed see the appendix listing those about whom he has gathered data on pages 185 189 In the final chapter, he speaks of how his analysis might assist in attacking the movement and reducing the odds of future terrorist actions from them Whether or not readers will be convinced will be a matter for each person to judge Nonetheless, he does make an effort to use his analysis to address strategy and tactics in the campaign against terrorism This is a useful book to read, in juxtaposition with others by Bloom, Pape, and so on As a package, these works help to illuminate the reality of terrorism not the often simplistic views depicted in the media [[ FREE DOWNLOAD ]] ⇱ Understanding Terror Networks ↜ For decades, a new type of terrorism has been quietly gathering ranks in the world America s ability to remain oblivious to these new movements ended on September ,The Islamist fanatics in the global Salafi jihad the violent, revivalist social movement of which al Qaeda is a part target the West, but their operations mercilessly slaughter thousands of people of all races and religions throughout the world Marc Sageman challenges conventional wisdom about terrorism, observing that the key to mounting an effective defense against future attacks is a thorough understanding of the networks that allow these new terrorists to proliferateBased on intensive study of biographical data onparticipants in the jihad, Understanding Terror Networks gives us the first social explanation of the global wave of activity Sageman traces its roots in Egypt, gestation in Afghanistan during the Soviet Afghan war, exile in the Sudan, and growth of branches worldwide, including detailed accounts of life within the Hamburg and Montreal cells that planned attacks on the United StatesUS government strategies to combat the jihad are based on the traditional reasons an individual was thought to turn to terrorism poverty, trauma, madness, and ignorance Sageman refutes all these notions, showing that, for the vast majority of the mujahedin, social bonds predated ideological commitment, and it was these social networks that inspired alienated young Muslims to join the jihad These men, isolated from the rest of society, were transformed into fanatics yearning for martyrdom and eager to kill The tight bonds of family and friendship, paradoxically enhanced by the tenuous links between the cell groups making it difficult for authorities to trace connections , contributed to the jihad movement s flexibility and longevity And although Sageman s systematic analysis highlights the crucial role the networks played in the terrorists success, he states unequivocally that the level of commitment and choice to embrace violence were entirely their own Understanding Terror Networks combines Sageman s scrutiny of sources, personal acquaintance with Islamic fundamentalists, deep appreciation of history, and effective application of network theory, modeling, and forensic psychology Sageman s unique research allows him to go beyond available academic studies, which are light on facts, and journalistic narratives, which are devoid of theory The result is a profound contribution to our understanding of the perpetrators of that has practical implications for the war on terror An incredibly interesting book, but the writing style made it somewhat difficult for me to get through Sageman s insights into the dynamics and evolution of terrorist global Salafi terrorist networks was groundbreaking at the time, and it still highly relevant But, as a historian, I found the protocols of technical writing in the social psychological discipline especially parenthetical references annoying and sometimes even boring So while this is definitely an important work, worth reading An incredibly interesting book, but the writing style made it somewhat difficult for me to get through Sageman s insights into the dynamics and evolution of terrorist global Salafi terrorist networks was groundbreaking at the time, and it still highly relevant But, as a historian, I found the protocols of technical writing in the social psychological discipline especially parenthetical references annoying and sometimes even boring So while this is definitely an important work, worth reading for anything seriously interested in the major Islamic terrorist groups of the last two decades, it is important to be aware that this is not an easily accessible work like Wright s The Looming Tower Al Qaeda and the Road to 9 11 or Coll s Ghost Wars The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan Bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 Many of the predictions that Sageman made have, ominously, come true such as the bombings in London in 2005 , but in many ways the work is dated A number of the points that he was stressing have becomeaccepted in the mainstream, the status of the US presence in Afghanistan and Iraq has definitely changed, and the status of many of the major terrorists he focused on especially bin Laden has also changed The main conclusions and overall drive of the work i.e that these terrorists are often drawn in through family friend connections, tight knit groups are important reference points, but one must go into the book knowing that much of what Sageman says will seem redundant or common knowledge, because by now they are This book is authoritative and well organized, but the author gave it a misleading title It should be Understanding the Global Salafi Islamic Terror Network Unfortunately, although Dr Sageman mentions some other terrorist groups, such the the IRA, the Rote Army Faction, and the Italian Red Brigades, that s all he does mention them In the entire book he gives less than ten pages to groups other than the Salafists, mainly Al Qaeda This is important and useful, but other groups are very di This book is authoritative and well organized, but the author gave it a misleading title It should be Understanding the Global Salafi Islamic Terror Network Unfortunately, although Dr Sageman mentions some other terrorist groups, such the the IRA, the Rote Army Faction, and the Italian Red Brigades, that s all he does mention them In the entire book he gives less than ten pages to groups other than the Salafists, mainly Al Qaeda This is important and useful, but other groups are very different in their motivations, organizations, and methods, and when I bought the book I expected coverage of them too.The most intriguing aspect of this book, for me, came near the end when the author was profiling the simplistic, black and white, us and them Manichean mindset prevalent among these fundamentalist terrorists, leading them to see everything as a titanic struggle of good versus evil with themselves on the side of good, of course , blinding them to nuance and making it easy to rationalize any means to serve their ends The striking thing was the degree to which they are precisely mirrored by the right wing Christian and Zionist radicals often called Dominionists, one of whom was unmistakeably former president George W Bush Although the radicals don t speak for the majority in any of these three faiths, Islam, Christianity, or Judaism, they re a threat to civilization in all three cases due to the destructive power modern technology makes available to small groups of determined people.I would like to see an author with Dr Sageman s experience and qualifications write a book that applies this quality of analysis to the gamut of terrorist networks instead of one subtype This is a book assigned to my Global Terrorism class It is a very easy read, and presents a lot of information with good research behind it The information leads toresearch, which is always a good thing What I don t agree with is presenting a book with a very general title that is really only about one specific thing The book focuses on al Qaeda and the only times it mentions other terrorist networks is in presenting psychological research on historical groups such as the Red Brigades This is a book assigned to my Global Terrorism class It is a very easy read, and presents a lot of information with good research behind it The information leads toresearch, which is always a good thing What I don t agree with is presenting a book with a very general title that is really only about one specific thing The book focuses on al Qaeda and the only times it mentions other terrorist networks is in presenting psychological research on historical groups such as the Red Brigades and Rote Armee Faktion It s fine for the book to focus, but a better presentation of the fact that it is focused would have been great A refreshingly research based explanation of the background, networks, and training of the 9 11 bombers Sageman sagely refutes the idea common in the media that the terrorists were uneducated, impoverished and super religious zealots Instead, they were upper middle class young men, all of whom came to the US or other western country to study They felt alienated and lonely in the west, so they met up with similar people, and began becomingandextreme The book is a bit dry but is wo A refreshingly research based explanation of the background, networks, and training of the 9 11 bombers Sageman sagely refutes the idea common in the media that the terrorists were uneducated, impoverished and super religious zealots Instead, they were upper middle class young men, all of whom came to the US or other western country to study They felt alienated and lonely in the west, so they met up with similar people, and began becomingandextreme The book is a bit dry but is worth a look The title implies a broader view of terrorist networks, but Sageman focuses primarily on the global Salafi jihad and how it differs from most other terrorist networks He assesses not only what brought about its rise but also its organization and function, all while tackling various misconceptions that political scientists and civilians alike have regarding its recruitment process and the motivation that drives its potential members to join Overall, it was a solid introduction to an incredibly The title implies a broader view of terrorist networks, but Sageman focuses primarily on the global Salafi jihad and how it differs from most other terrorist networks He assesses not only what brought about its rise but also its organization and function, all while tackling various misconceptions that political scientists and civilians alike have regarding its recruitment process and the motivation that drives its potential members to join Overall, it was a solid introduction to an incredibly complex and pertinent subject It s an important book to read as it starts to unravel the cell structure of the jihadist movement, but at the end of the day I wantedanalysis of how this structure could be unravelled An academic book, much like Terror in the Name of God, and easier to get into, but much less useful in the end. Haven t read the book yet, but I heard him speak at John Jay College and he is now a co principal investigator on a research project I m involved in Great stuff, really challenges the status quo about the characteristics of terrorists. This book changed my 2pm hour He argues that social bonds are ontologically prior to ideology and therefore terrorists are just like us they have friends, they develop in group love, the tend to develop out group hate, their friends tell coax them to do things, and they do them.