What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Terrorist Threat

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What can terrorists possibly hope to achieve by blowing up commuters, bond traders and tourists whom they have never even met?

Why do seemingly ordinary young men and women volunteer to turn themselves into human bombs?

What can we do to stop them?

In What Terrorists Want Louise Richardson investigates these crucial questions. She delves into the minds of terrorists and demystifies the threat we face today. She draws on her unique contact with real terrorists as well as years of teaching and research at Harvard to show that terrorists are not crazed criminals but rational people willing to exploit their own weaknesses to maximum effect. By introducing us to other terrorists in other times she shows that we must look beyond 9/11 and simplistic associations with Islam.

What Terrorists Want controversially but convincingly argues that only by understanding the forces that drive terrorism can we hope to contain it. It also shows us why the Global War on Terror is doomed to fail but how with a different strategy we can prevail.

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User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

This amazingly brief compendium of what we know about terrorists and terrorism ends with a to my mind very accurate critique of U.S. policies and actions to address terrorism since September 2001 and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Narboink - LibraryThing

"What Terrorists Want" provides a valuable academic perspective on the history and anatomy of terrorism as a social, political and military phenomenon. Relatively free of ideological posturing, Louise ... Read full review


The Terrorists
Where Have Terrorists Come From?
What Causes Terrorism?

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About the author (2006)

Irish-born Louise Richardson is one of the world's experts on international security and terrorism. She is Dean of the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. In addition to her research and teaching she gives lectures to audiences as diverse as corporate executives, the US senate and, most recently, the international conference held in Madrid to mark the first anniversary of the bombing there.

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