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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prescient Academic Study
As a Foreign Service Officer Sageman spent time working with the Mujaheddin in Pakistan during the war with the Soviet Union, he's also a qualified clinical psychiatrist and has a PhD in Political Science and as result brings an interesting mix of skills to this analysis. The empirical basis of the study are the biographies of around 170 identified al-Qaeda related...
Published on 21 Nov 2006 by Adorno

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3.0 out of 5 stars Networked Thinking - Beyond most
Sageman offers a analysis of terrorist networks that finds its basis in social cohesion and connectivity. The logical and evidence of his view is well presented and supported by evidence. My only critique is in the complicated communication required for some of the analysis. To maximise this thought process approach CT agencies/ actors will need to develop a much closer...
Published 12 months ago by Chrs Reid


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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prescient Academic Study, 21 Nov 2006
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This review is from: Understanding Terror Networks (Hardcover)
As a Foreign Service Officer Sageman spent time working with the Mujaheddin in Pakistan during the war with the Soviet Union, he's also a qualified clinical psychiatrist and has a PhD in Political Science and as result brings an interesting mix of skills to this analysis. The empirical basis of the study are the biographies of around 170 identified al-Qaeda related terrorists. Part of the book provides an overview of the ideological and organizational development of the global salafist movement focusing on the importance of Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization. However the key contribution is the way that Sageman uses to his empirical data to develop a picture of the type of people who became involved in al Qaeda, the group dynamic of radicalization and the emergence of links to the resources and expertise of the group around Osama Bin Laden. The process that he sees is essentially bottom up where relatively well educated but often unemployed and alienated men forge links with small groups of others of the same type. The competitive dynamic within these groups - what Canadian police surveillance of one such group labelled a "bunch of guys" - supports increasing radicalization within the group and isolation from non-members. These groups then seek to make the connection to the global jihad. Using network analysis Sageman explores the strengths and vulnerabilities of this type of network.

What is striking in the wake of the July 2005 bombings in London is the way in which what we know about that group fits with the type of process that Sageman identifies. Indeed he makes the point that the difficulty that global salafist mujaheddin faced in striking at the US after 2001 led to attacks in countries that they could access and this dynamic places the UK at increased risk.

This is a model for studies of terrorism that systematically seeks to make use of empirical data and to test alternative explanations. Highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Networked Thinking - Beyond most, 23 Oct 2013
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Sageman offers a analysis of terrorist networks that finds its basis in social cohesion and connectivity. The logical and evidence of his view is well presented and supported by evidence. My only critique is in the complicated communication required for some of the analysis. To maximise this thought process approach CT agencies/ actors will need to develop a much closer merger between analyst, collector and operator. The further along this continuum you go towards operations the less you'll get this. That said if you want to understand the inter connectivity of the modern terrorist and the mechanisms to support it this seems sound.

The Thoughtful Counter-terrorist
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Understanding Terror Networks (Hardcover)
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Understanding Terror Networks
Understanding Terror Networks by Marc Sageman (Hardcover - 16 April 2004)
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