Terrorism: The Basics

Terrorism: The Basics

Terrorism: The Basics

Terrorism: The Basics


Terrorism: The Basics is an ideal starting point for anyone interested in one of the most discussed, written about and analysed aspects of modern life. Common misconceptions are dispelled as the authors provide clear and jargon-free answers to the big questions:

  • What does terrorism involve?
  • Who can be classified as a terrorist?
  • What are terrorists trying to achieve?
  • Who are the supporters of terrorism?
  • Can there ever be an end to terrorist activity?

These questions and more are answered with reference to contemporary groups and situations allowing readers to relate theory to what they have seen on the news. Written with clarity and insight, this book is the perfect first book on terrorism for students of all levels.


When we first started writing and research on terrorism in 1998, we were concerned that too much attention was focused on terrorism in the Middle East. It appeared that many writers have already forgotten about the Red Brigades, the Baader-Meinhof Gang, and similar groups in Western Europe and Latin America. As we continued researching in this area, the focus on the Middle East increased after the attacks of 9/11 on New York City and Washington, DC. Now, quite naturally, the focus has been on Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists. Much has been written, some good and some not so good, on the subject of Islamic terrorism. What has sometimes been lost in the discussion is the fact that terrorism involves more than Islamic groups and more than the Middle East.

Our contribution to the Routledge basics series is designed to provide information on the underlying issues involved in terrorism and to help place Islamic political violence within the broader perspective of global terrorism. There are other groups that have engaged in terrorism, and these organizations will be discussed. This book will provide the essential basic information on terrorism. It will also present an appropriate context for understanding global terrorism today and in the future.

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