Academic journal article Military Review

THE SEEDS OF TERROR: An Eye-Witness Account of Al-Qaeda's Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia

Academic journal article Military Review

THE SEEDS OF TERROR: An Eye-Witness Account of Al-Qaeda's Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia

Article excerpt

THE SEEDS OF TERROR: An Eye-witness Account of Al-Qaeda's Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia, Maria Ressa, Free Press, New York, 2003, 272 pages, $26.00.

Maria Ressa tells the real story of terrorism in Southeast Asia. Few journalists and, for that matter, few military and intelligence professionals are as qualified to assess the threats in Southeast Asia as Ressa is.

Ressa has fused information and analysis from many sources throughout Southeast Asia that are superior to those that intelligence services provide. Her access to high-level sources in and out of governments in the region and the trust she has established with many well-connected civilians from all walks of life allowed her to piece together the complex mosaic of how al-Qaeda has emerged as the overarching threat in Southeast Asia.

One of the book's most valuable contributions is Ressa's assessment of the West's weaknesses, which if not understood and addressed will allow al-Qaeda to continue to operate and expand its influence and connections within other terrorist organizations such as Jemaah Islamiyah, the Abu Sayyef Group, and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

While the world focuses on the counter-terrorism aspect of the Global War on Terrorism, Ressa understands that it must be viewed as an insurgency on a global scale and that the West must do a better job of fighting ideology with ideology. …

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