ISIS: The State of Terror

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HarperCollins Publishers, Mar 12, 2015 - 416 pages
3 Reviews

The first major book on ISIS to be published since the group exploded on the international stage in summer 2014.

Drawing on their unusual access to intelligence sources and material, law enforcement, and groundbreaking research into open source intelligence, Stern and Berger outline the origins of ISIS as the formidable terrorist group it has quickly become.

‘State of Terror’ delves into the ‘ghoulish pornography’ of pro-jihadi videos, the seductive appeal of ‘jihadi chic’ and the startling effectiveness of the Islamic State’s use of social media as a means of luring and recruiting citizens from countries such as the United States, Great Britain, and France—using recent examples such as Douglas McCain, the American citizen from Minnesota who joined ISIS and died in combat fighting on the side of the Islamic State.

Although the picture Stern and Berger paint is bleak, ‘State of Terror’ also offers well-informed thoughts on potential government responses to ISIS – most importantly, emphasizing that we must alter our present conceptions of terrorism and react to the rapidly changing jihadi landscape, both online and off, as quickly as the terrorists do. ‘State of Terror: Jihad in the 21st Century’ is not only a compelling account of the evolution of a terrorist organization, but also a necessary book that attempts to answer the question of what our next move – as a country, as a government, as the world – should be.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - douboy50 - LibraryThing

I found this book very interesting. I was seeking knowledge about ISIS, which this work provided. My one issue was that of course the names of the people involved with the organizations are Arabic ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mumfie - LibraryThing

This book is full of facts and names and ought to be fascinating, but I kept reading a chapter and not taking in any of it. It's uninteresting and it shouldn't be. So I gave up early on. Read full review

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About the author (2015)

Jessica Stern is a Lecturer on Terrorism at Harvard University and serves on the Hoover Institution Task Force on National Security and Law. She was a member of the National Security Council Staff in 1994-95, and worked as an analyst at Livermore Lab. She is the author of ‘Denial: A Memoir of Terror’ (selected by the Washington Post as a best book of the year) ‘Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill’ (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year), and ‘The Ultimate Terrorists’.

J.M. Berger is the author of ‘Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam’, a critically acclaimed history of the American jihadist movement, and editor of ‘Beatings and Bureaucracy: The Founding Memos of al Qaeda’. He is a regular contributor to ‘Foreign Policy’ magazine, where he wrote in 2013 about his lengthy online interactions with American jihadist Omar Hammami. Berger is a consultant and instructor for private companies and government agencies on topics such as domestic extremism and the use of Big Data to analyze how extremists use social media. His website, Intelwire.com, has published thousands of declassified documents on the September 11 attacks and the Oklahoma City bombing.

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