Book review
Terrorist Recognition Handbook,
Second Edition by Malcolm Nance ...
of this section—indeed, of the book
as a whole—is chapter 17, “point of
Danger: Law Enforcement Traffic Stops
and encounte...
of 2

BOOK REVIEW: Terrorist Recognition Handbook

The Counter Terrorist magazine reviewed CRC Press\' Terrorist Recognition Handbook, by Malcolm Nance.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Published in: News & Politics      Education      

Transcripts - BOOK REVIEW: Terrorist Recognition Handbook

  • 1. Book review Terrorist Recognition Handbook, Second Edition by Malcolm Nance reviewed by: chris graham a fter returning from my third tour of duty in Iraq, I generally avoided books on the ongoing war in that country. I was extremely unimpressed with the accuracy rather, he is a 20-year veteran of intelligence operations in the balkans, the middle east (including Iraq and Afghanistan), and Africa. As a result, the Terrorist Recognition Handbook is truly a discussion of critical awareness, including how to identify operatives, profile suspects, and understand terrorist training, motivation, and beliefs. This section is essential in that it demystifies and perspective of the accounts that a “practitioner’s manual,” as its subtitle the terrorist from a phantom-like enigma were provided by major news outlets indicates. broken into six sections, this while simultaneously discouraging the and many publishers. It often equally detrimental belief that seemed to me that the U.S. Central terrorists are incompetent human Command issued orders based on caricatures. this flawed reporting. The only thing Later portions of the text I was certain of was that little of expand on many of the topics the “conventional wisdom” seemed introduced in section one. For consistent with what I observed example, section two, “Identifying on the ground in Iraq, living with the Terrorist Group and Its Iraqis, conducting operations, and Cells,” explores how these groups patrolling. organize themselves, while section This changed when I encountered three, “Detection of Key Terrorist malcolm Nance’s book The Terrorists Activities,” examines the typical of Iraq. To my surprise, this volume signatures of terrorist actions. accurately captured my perspective Discussion of the processes by on encounters with members of which terrorists acquire safe various terror groups in Iraq and houses, money, and transportation provided additional information reveals the level of coordination I was unaware of. Nance’s book necessary to support their efforts. reflected lessons learned by “grunts” Also of particular note is Chapter in the field, even if this knowledge 12, which discusses equipment and hadn’t always filtered uphill. other indicators that may reveal Furthermore, Nance went into a group’s intended use of nuclear, significant detail, offering little biological, or chemical materials. that I could dispute. Thus, when I In section four, “Predicting learned that the second edition of an Attack,” the activities of our Nance’s Terrorist Recognition Handbook: volume offers a wealth of information for opponents are further revealed. After A Practitioner’s Manual for Predicting and any security, law enforcement, military, noting that attacks are preceded by Identifying Terrorist Activities (crc press/ or intelligence personnel involved in surveillance, Nance discusses the elements taylor and Francis Group, 2008) had counter-terrorism and anti-terrorism of surveillance in depth. Infiltration been released, I immediately requested a operations. techniques, as well as the decision-making copy. In section one of the Terrorist processes used by terrorist groups, are Nance did not gain his insight by Recognition Handbook, entitled “Know analyzed. Perhaps the most useful portion earning a phD and watching cNN; the terrorist,” Nance begins with 42 The Counter Terrorist ~ September/October 2008
  • 2. of this section—indeed, of the book as a whole—is chapter 17, “point of Danger: Law Enforcement Traffic Stops and encountering terrorists.” because the patrol officer is far more likely to encounter militant activity than other specialized personnel, this chapter provides a number of detection ideas that can be implemented in the field. Finally, this section concludes with chapter 18, “Point of Failure: Terrorist Operations and Tactics.” This chapter discusses the types of terrorist action that may unfold if not detected and interdicted in earlier stages. In doing so, this piece familiarizes the reader with a wide range of attack methods previously employed and likely to be implemented in the future. Nance closes out the textual portion of his book with section five, “The New Field of Terror,” which explores several key developments in modern terrorism. Individual chapters are devoted to the examination of al-Qaeda and related Circle 193 on Reader Service Card worldwide movements, to suicide terror and its implementation, and to major developments in the Iraq War between 2003 and 2008. Finally, in If you section six, Nance provides a number of supplemental resources, including read one a bibliography, a list of known global book on terror groups, and checklists for explosive materials. radical malcolm Nance has acquired a level Islam this of understanding that surpasses that of many senior government officials year, read with regard to the topics of terrorism, this! Iraq, and Afghanistan, and he shares his vast knowledge with us in the second edition of the Terrorist Recognition Handbook. Though Nance withholds $12.95 some technological details for security plus shipping purposes, this book is an excellent introduction to terrorist methodologies for both vigilant first responders To order go to: and personnel who are preparing for or deployment. • or, call Woodmont Publishers at 561-441-5484 Circle 249 on Reader Service Card The Counter Terrorist ~ September/October 2008 43