Archive for December, 2012

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Book Description

September 11, 2012
 
This is an account of traveling through the West Bank and Gaza, into the prisons of Iraq, down the alleyways of the Casablanca slums, to Chechnya, into the radicalized neighborhoods of Belgium, the UK, France and the Netherlands, of sitting with the hostages of Beslan and Nord Ost, and of talking to terrorists. Dr. Speckhard gives us the inside story of what puts vulnerable individuals on the terrorist trajectory and what might take them back off of it. With more than four hundred interviews with terrorists and their friends, family members and hostages, Dr. Speckhard is one of the few experts to have such a breadth of experience. She visited, and even stayed overnight, in the intimate spaces of terrorists’ homes, interviewed them in their stark prison cells, or met them in the streets of their cities and villages. Dr. Speckhard gives us a rare glimpse of terrorists within their own contexts. From the mouths of terrorists, their family members, comrades-and even their hostages, we learn of the manipulation of human weakness that can lead to violent acts. Through careful research of culture and religion and a genuine desire to understand the factors that motivate individuals to embrace terrorism, Dr. Speckhard deftly defines the lethal cocktail that leads to the creation of a terrorist. An internationally recognized expert on the psychological aspects of terrorism and an expert in the area of posttraumatic stress disorder, Dr. Speckhard’s research also produces a knowledge of how to disengage, deradicalize, rehabilitate, and reverse the trajectory of a terrorist. Dr. Speckhard’s studies spanning over a decade provide us with a deeper understanding of one of the most dangerous and violent phenomena of our times.



Editorial Reviews

Review

Few academics can equal the breadth and depth of Anne Speckhard’s field research and the penetration of her specialist interviewing skills.”Robert Lambert, St. Andrews, UK
 
“A remarkable well-written, wholly unique and seminal study combining a deep understanding of the academic literature on terrorism with an extraordinary number of sensitive and revealing interviews with terrorists.  Everyone interested in terrorism will find this study fascinating and rewarding.” –David Rapoport, Journal of Terrorism and Political Violence

“Talking to Terrorists is the inside story of how to approach the mind through the heart. As advisors to Detainee Task Force 134, I watched Anne in action at Camp Cropper, the world’s largest detention center. Her empathy, smile, Belgian chocolates, and paper tissues for the occasional tears, worked to enlist the cooperation of even the most hard-hearted and unrepentant killers.” Rohan Gunaratna, Author, “Inside al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror”, Columbia University Press, New York

“She wisely understands the clear distinction between personal faith and belief tradition, and the possible perverted and brutal acts of a terrorist.” —Mokhtar Benabdallaoui Hassan II Univ. Morocco

“A daring woman with an open heart.” —Farhana Qazi, Counter Terrorism Expert

“A new approach for understanding the motivation of terrorists”Boaz Ganor, ICT

“Reads like a gripping documentary movie.”  —Joshua Sinai, Virginia Tech

“The embarrassing truth about Terrorism Studies is that most writers on the subject have never met a terrorist. Dr. Anne Speckhard is an exception; in the last ten years she conducted more than 400 interviews with terrorists … making her work highly original and, indeed, unique. With her empathetic approach, she makes clear that most terrorists are both shockingly normal and human–but also tormented souls. Nobody has gotten closer to the ‘heart of darkness’ than she has. An amazing achievement.” Alex P. Schmid, Director, Terrorism Research Initiative

“Provides critical new insights into the terrorist mindset.” Bruce Hoffman, Georgetown 

“Invaluable to those in the field of terrorism studies.”Yoram Schweitzer, Israel

“A fascinating study of pathways to violent radicalization” –Brynjar Lia, FFI

“A truly valuable read.” —Arie Kruglanski, START

“Evocative interviews that have illuminated the mind of the extremist.” –Jerrold Post, George Washington Univ

“An arresting, highly readable book”  —Stephen Sloan, MIPT

From the Back Cover

“The embarrassing truth about Terrorism Studies is that most writers on the subject have never met a terrorist. Dr. Anne Speckhard is an exception . . . Nobody has gotten closer to the ‘heart of darkness’ than she has. An amazing achievement.” –Alex P. Schmid, Director, Terrorism Research Initiative

 “A remarkable well-written, wholly unique and seminal study” –David C. Rapoport, Founding and CoEditor, Journal of Terrorism and Political Violence

 “Anne is one of a handful who goes alone and without security into the lion’s den to interview her subjects who most often have blood on their hands. This is a first-hand account and it’s sensational!”–Peter S. Probst, Former CIA Officer

“Invaluable to those in the field of terrorism studies, as well as to the general public.”  –Yoram Schweitzer, Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies

“Few academics can equal the breadth and depth of Anne Speckhard’s field research and the penetration of her interviewing skills”–Dr. Robert Lambert, Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, U of St. Andrews, UK

 “. . . her access to these incarcerated perpetrators and supporting communities is unsurpassed . . .”–Dr. Joshua Sinai, Adj. Associate Professor, Virginia Tech

 “Talking to Terrorists is the inside story of how to approach the mind through the heart. I watched Anne in action at the world’s largest detention center [as she] worked to enlist the cooperation of even the most hard-hearted and unrepentant killers.” –Rohan Gunaratna, Author, “Inside al Qaeda”

“Talking to Terrorists is an arresting, highly readable book that has made a major and classic contribution to our study and understanding of terrorism.”  –Stephen Sloan, The Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism

“. . . a fascinating study of pathways to violent radicalization, based on her very impressive fieldwork.” — Dr Brynjar Lia,  Norwegian Defense Research Est.

“. . . provides critical new insights into the contemporary terrorist mindset.” –Professor Bruce Hoffma

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