In The Making of a Human Bomb, Nasser Abufarha, a Palestinian anthropologist, explains the cultural logic underlying Palestinian martyrdom operations (suicide attacks) launched against Israel during the Al-Aqsa Intifada (2000–06). In so doing, he sheds much-needed light on how Palestinians have experienced and perceived the broader conflict. During the Intifada, many of the martyrdom operations against Israeli targets were initiated in the West Bank town of Jenin and surrounding villages. Abufarha was born and raised in Jenin. His personal connections to the area enabled him to conduct ethnographic research there during the Intifada, while he was a student at a U.S. university.
Abufarha draws on the life histories of martyrs, interviews he conducted with their families and members of the groups that sponsored their operations, and examinations of Palestinian literature, art, performance, news stories, and political commentaries. He also assesses data—about the bombers, targets, and fatalities caused—from more than two hundred martyrdom operations carried out by Palestinian groups between 2001 and 2004. Some involved the use of explosive belts or the detonation of cars; others entailed armed attacks against Israeli targets (military and civilian) undertaken with the intent of fighting until death. In addition, he scrutinized suicide attacks executed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad between 1994 and 2000. In his analysis of Palestinian political violence, Abufarha takes into account Palestinians’ understanding of the history of the conflict with Israel, the effects of containment on Palestinians’ everyday lives, the disillusionment created by the Oslo peace process, and reactions to specific forms of Israeli state violence. The Making of a Human Bomb illuminates the Palestinians’ perspective on the conflict with Israel and provides a model for ethnographers seeking to make sense of political violence.
The Making of Terrorism
Michel Wieviorka University of Chicago Press, 2004 Library of Congress HV6431.W5313 2004 | Dewey Decimal 303.625
Revised and reissued in light of recent events, this classic and now increasingly important book is an exception in the literature on terrorism. Based on complex observations of actual movement participants, Wieviorka's book addresses a broad spectrum of terrorist activity—from Italian left-wing terrorists to Basque nationalist groups to the international terrorism of Palestine and the Middle East. The result is an incisive analysis of what terrorists believe and what they hope to achieve through their actions. For this new edition, Wieviorka adds new material that remaps the state of terrorism after the events of 2001.
The Making of Terrorism
Michel Wieviorka University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress HV6431.W5313 1993 | Dewey Decimal 363.32
In this innovative study, Michel Wieviorka applies interventionist sociology to a comparative analysis of Italian, Peruvian, Basque, and Middle Eastern terrorist groups. Through staged confrontations between terrorists and their targets, and extensive interviews with both parties, he throws new light on the terrorists and their relationships both to the movements they represent and the social institutions they attempt to destroy.
Wieviorka demonstrates that the truly terrorist actor has become alienated both from the collective movement and society. The actor turns to the blind violence when he finds himself cut off from the very ideology which legitimates his actions. Pure terrorism, Wieviorka concludes, is more than simply a break between those who use it and those it targets; it is also a relationship—between the individual and the collective he represents—which has been rendered unrealistic or artificial. Thus, terrorist violence should be understood not as the desperate act of a faltering movement but as a substitute for a movement which has fallen away from the ideology in which it was forged.
For the revelations it offers on the roots and motivations of terrorism, for its innovative methods, and for its useful comparative analysis of terrorist groups in recent history, The Making of Terrorism will be an important resource across many disciplines for anyone interested in terrorism or political violence.
This report examines Mali’s counterterrorism requirements in light of recent evolutions in the country’s security environment: The terrorist threat in Mali is growing, but Mali’s military remains largely ineffective. It is not possible to strengthen Mali’s counterterrorism capabilities in isolation from its general military capabilities, which are in need of fundamental reform.
In Maximum Harm, veteran investigative journalist Michele R. McPhee unravels the complex story behind the public facts of the Boston Marathon bombing. She examines the bombers’ roots in Dagestan and Chechnya, their struggle to assimilate in America, and their growing hatred of the United States—a deepening antagonism that would prompt federal prosecutors to dub Dzhokhar Tsarnaev “America's worst nightmare.” The difficulties faced by the Tsarnaev family of Cambridge, Massachusetts, are part of the public record. Circumstances less widely known are the FBI’s recruitment of the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as a “mosque crawler” to inform on radical separatists here and in Chechnya; the tracking down and killing of radical Islamic separatists during the six months he spent in Russia—travel that raised eyebrows, since he was on several terrorist watchlists; the FBI’s botched deals and broken promises with regard to his immigration; and the disenchantment, rage, and growing radicalization of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, along with their mother, sisters, and Tamerlan’s wife, Katherine. Maximum Harm is also a compelling examination of the Tsarnaev brothers’ movements in the days leading up to the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, the subsequent investigation, the Tsarnaevs’ murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier, the high-speed chase and shootout that killed Tamerlan, and the manhunt in which the authorities finally captured Dzhokhar, hiding in a Watertown backyard. McPhee untangles the many threads of circumstance, coincidence, collusion, motive, and opportunity that resulted in the deadliest attack on the city of Boston to date.
In recent years, it’s become increasingly clear that emotion plays a central role in global politics. For example, people readily care about acts of terrorism and humanitarian crises because they appeal to our compassion for human suffering. These struggles also command attention where social interactions have the power to produce or intensify the emotional responses of those who participate in them.
From passionate protests to poignant speeches, Andrew A. G. Ross analyzes high-emotion events with an eye to how they shape public sentiment and finds that there is no single answer. The politically powerful play to the public’s emotions to advance their political aims, and such appeals to emotion also often serve to sustain existing values and institutions. But the affective dimension can produce profound change, particularly when a struggle in the present can be shown to line up with emotionally resonant events from the past. Extending his findings to well-studied conflicts, including the War on Terror and the violence in Rwanda and the Balkans, Ross identifies important sites of emotional impact missed by earlier research focused on identities and interests.
The first comprehensive analysis of the full range of antiterror initiatives undertaken in the United States after the 2001 terrorist attacks
Unlike earlier books published shortly after the September 11 attacks that focus on the Patriot Act, More Secure, Less Free? covers the Patriot Act but goes well beyond, analyzing Total Information Awareness, Terrorist Information and Prevention System (TIPS), Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System II (CAPPS II), and a number of other "second wave" antiterror initiatives.
It's also the first book of its kind to go beyond federal measures to explain the devolution of antiterror policies to the states, and now to the military as well. Author Mark Sidel discusses the continuing debates on antiterror law at the state level, with a focus on the important states of New York, California, and Michigan, and explains how the military-through an informant program known as "Eagle Eyes"-is now taking a direct hand in domestic antiterror efforts.
The volume also discusses and analyzes crucially important aspects of American antiterror policy that have been largely ignored in other volumes and discusses the effects of antiterror policy on the American academic world and the American nonprofit sector, for example. And it provides the first comparative perspectives on U.S. antiterror policy yet published in an American volume, discussing antiterror initiatives in Great Britain, Australia, and India and contrasting those to the American experience.
More Secure, Less Free? is important and essential reading for anyone interested in an analytical perspective on American antiterror policy since September 11 that goes well beyond the Patriot Act.
Mark Sidel is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Iowa and a research scholar at the University's Obermann Center for Advanced Studies.
On March 16, 1978, the former prime minister of Italy, Aldo Moro, was kidnapped by the Red Brigades, and what followed—the fifty-five days of captivity that resulted in Moro's murder—constitutes one of the most striking social dramas of the twentieth century. In this compelling study of terrorism, Robin Wagner-Pacifici employs methods from sociology, symbolic anthropology, and literary criticism to decode the many social "texts" that shaped the event: political speeches, newspaper reports, television and radio news, editorials, photographs, Moro's letters, Red Brigade communiques, and appeals by various international figures. The analysis of these "texts" calls into question the function of politics, social drama, spectacle, and theater. Wagner-Pacifici provides a dramaturgic analysis of the Moro affair as a method for discussing the culture of politics in Italy.
Today, when a single person can turn an airplane into a guided missile, no one objects to rigorous security before flying. But can the state simply declare some people too dangerous to travel, ever and anywhere? Does the Constitution protect a fundamental right to travel? Should the mode of travel (car, plane, or boat) or itinerary (domestic or international) make a constitutional difference? This book explores the legal and policy questions raised by government travel restrictions, from passports and rubber stamps to computerized terrorist watchlists.
In tracing the history and scope of U.S. travel regulations, Jeffrey Kahn begins with the fascinating story of Mrs. Ruth Shipley, a federal employee who almost single-handedly controlled access to passports during the Cold War. Kahn questions how far national security policies should go and whether the government should be able to declare some individuals simply too dangerous to travel. An expert on constitutional law, Kahn argues that U.S. citizens’ freedom to leave the country and return is a fundamental right, protected by the Constitution.
Our contemporary celebration of difference, respect for pluralism, and avowal of identity politics have come to be regarded as the hallmarks of a progressive, modern democracy. Yet despite embracing many of its values, we have at the same time become wary of multiculturalism in recent years.
In the wake of September 11, 2001 and the many terrorist attacks that have occurred since then, there has been much debate about the degree of diversity that Western nations can tolerate. In Multiculturalism and its Discontents, Kenan Malik looks closely at the role of multiculturalism within terrorism and societal discontent. He examines whether it is possible—or desirable—to try to build a cohesive society bound by common values and he delves into the increasing anxiety about the presence of the Other within our borders.
Multiculturalism and its Discontents not only explores the relationship between multiculturalism and terrorism, but it analyzes the history of the idea of multiculturalism alongside its political roots and social consequences.