Magazine article New Internationalist

Radicalized New Jihadists and the Threat to the West

Magazine article New Internationalist

Radicalized New Jihadists and the Threat to the West

Article excerpt

Radicalized New Jihadists and the Threat to the West

by Peter R Neumann (IB Tauris, ISBN 9781784536732)

It has long been acknowledged that the Western powers' response to Islamist terror - that of 'decapitation', exemplified by the killing of Osama bin Laden - was fundamentally misconceived and counter-productive. It has led to a new wave of jihadist strategies, ranging from the establishment of the ISIS 'caliphate' in parts of Syria and Iraq, to 'lone wolf' terror attacks on European cities.

In his well-researched and thoughtful book, based on extensive interviews with participants, security expert Peter Neumann puts our present situation into an historical context. Building on the work of his mentor, the historian David Rapoport, Neumann characterizes this crisis as the 'fifth wave'. He posits four previous waves: Anarchist 'propaganda of the deed' in the late-19th century; the struggle against colonialism in the first half of the 20th century; the leftwing terror of groups such as Baader-Meinhof and Red Army Faction; and religious terror, ranging from bombing of abortion clinics in the US to death squads in Algeria. …

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