A Practitioner's Way Forward: Terrorism Analysis

by David W. Brannan

Book cover for A Practitioner's Way Forward: Terrorism Analysis

This book provides practitioners and analysts in the field with effective tools for conducting analysis of terrorist groups and other violent substate groups. Free from unnecessary jargon and presented in a user-friendly format, the book offers analytical perspectives and techniques that are practical as well as intellectually rigorous; accessible and instantly applicable, while also based on solid social science theory and methodology. Part handbook, part reference book, it identifies the major obstacles to effective analysis, examines the most commonly used interpretations of terrorism, and goes on to present a unified model for analysis. This model, based on insights from social psychology, is highly adaptive and can be applied by the analyst to violent substate groups across the ideological and geographical spectrum. The final chapter contains a number of such applications—ways of doing analysis using real examples—to which the reader can refer for clarification and guidance.

“A Practitioner's Way Forward: Terrorism Analysis is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand and analyze terrorism. Authoritative and clear, the book is equally useful both as an instructional guide and reference work. Its commendably straightforward approach and authoritative imparting of information make it the single most reliable source for law enforcement personnel, first responders, and other professionals engaged in the investigation, research, and analysis of terrorism.”

-- Professor Bruce Hoffman, Director, Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University

“This book will make you stop and level set your thinking. It is remarkable—particularly for those at the state and local level charged with countering terrorism, and even more so for those assigned to fusion centers who are required to think critically on this subject—because it moves well beyond the traditional frames for assessing terrorists and terrorism… this book provides a methodology for understanding terrorism by first recognizing and interpreting intergroup behavior.”

-- Ray Guidetti, Law Enforcement veteran and former Vice President of the National Fusion Center Association

“A Practitioner’s Way Forward is a powerful tool for counterterrorism practitioners. It is eminently readable and impressively substantive, and provides a thoughtful way for practitioners to think about terrorism, conduct analysis, and utilize methodologically-sophisticated approaches. It is also widely accessible: user-friendly for the beginner, but rigorous enough for the advanced analyst.”

-- Seth G. Jones, author of Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa’ida Since 9/11

"This is one of the rare books on analytical tradecraft that has relevance to the challenges facing domestic law enforcement today…the research provides the practitioner a guide to help construct, explain and potentially predict the intent and actions of our modern day adversary.”

-- Michael McClary, Assistant Sheriff (Ret), Law Enforcement Investigations & Homeland Security, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

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