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Princeton Project on National Security
Terrorism

Readings

Bayes, Bugs, and Bioterrorists: Lessons Learned from the Anthrax Attacks by Kimberly Thompson et al. National Defense University, April 2005
An extensive risk management plan for the government to use in the event of a bioterror attack. The paper seeks to present logical and efficient ways to respond to attacks, rather than pouring money and time into efforts that may ultimately increase the risk of further pathogen spread.

"Stemming the Nuclear Tide, the Seven Myths of Nuclear Terrorism" by Matthew Bunn. Current History, April 2005.
If world leaders were convinced that the risk of a terrorist nuclear attack on a major city is substantial, and that there are actions they could take that would dramatically reduce that risk, they presumably would act, and act swiftly, to diminish this deadly threat. Here, Bunn and Wier discuss the seven myths of nuclear terrorism, which are crucial to building momentum for an effective response.

"Cyberterrorism: The Sum of All Fears?" by Gabriel Weimann. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, March-April 2005.
Weimann seeks to define cyberterrorism closely, excluding hacking activities commonly misidentified as acts of terror. After presenting a brief history of recent cyber terror events and explaining the debate on how best to address cyberterrorist threats, he argues that the risks of attacks by cyberterrorist are indeed often exaggerated but cannot be ignored.

"Ten Years Later" by Richard Clarke. The Atlantic Monthly, January/February 2005, Vol 295, Issue 1.
Clarke presents a guess at what a lecture on the tenth anniversary of September 11th might be. His lecture paints a picture of a US that failed to seriously address terrorism in the five years after September 11th; he predicts murders and suicide bombings in lightly defended cities such as Las Vegas. After numerous suicide bombings killing thousands of people, Clarke predicts severe government clampdowns on civil liberties and frighteningly frequent attacks on our homeland.

"Armed Groups: A Tier-One Security Priority" by Richard H. Shultz, Douglas Farah and Itamara V. Lochard. USAF Institute for National Security Studies, INSS Occasional Paper 57, September 2004.
Farah comments on the worldwide rise of non-state armed actors and how they seek to influence U.S. foreign policy. He establishes that these armed groups are not a temporary phenomenon but rather have become lasting fixtures on the global scene. After addressing the structure, organization, and common operating procedures of various groups like Al Qaeda, Farah makes recommendations on government-level changes (i.e. intelligence reforms) that would help the US combat armed groups.

Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe by Graham Allison. (Times Books, 2004)
Nuclear terrorism is the gravest concern society faces today. If one of the thousands of 10kiliton warheads unaccounted for in Russia were to be exploded in Times Square-perhaps hidden in one of the many bales of marijuana smuggled into New York each day-nearly one million people would be killed instantaneously. Allison argues it is inevitable that such an attack will be attempted, but also that, if the correct policy choices are made, there is a very high chance it could be prevented.

Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror by Richard A. Clarke. (Free Press, 2004)
Clarke, a counterterrorism advisor on the U.S. National Security Council when the 9/11 attacks occurred, criticizes U.S. counterterrorism efforts past and present.He asserts that the U.S. government did not fully appreciate the threat posed by al Qaeda prior to 9/11.

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 by Steve Coll (Penguin Books, 2004)
Coll recounts the history of the covert wars in Afghanistan that laid the foundation for Islamic fundamentalist militancy, as well as the 9/11 attacks. He examines to what degree the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community truly grasps the rising threat of Islamic fundamentalism.

"The Terrorism to Come" by Walter Laqueur. Policy Review, Aug/Sep 2004. No. 126.

"Al Qaeda, Trends in Terrorism, and Future Potentialities: An Assessment" by Bruce Hoffman. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, August 2003.
This article assesses current trends in terrorism and future potentialities. It examines first the presumed state of Al Qaeda today with particular reference to its likely agenda in a post-Iraq world. It then more broadly focuses on some key current terrorism trends in order to understand better both how terrorism is changing and what the implications of these changes are in terms of possible future attacks and patterns. The discussion is organized along three key questions: 1) What is the state of Al Qaeda today and what effects have nearly two years of unremitting war had on it? 2) What do broader current trends in terrorism today tell us about future potentialities? 3) How should we be thinking about terrorism today and tomorrow?

Terrorism, Freedom, and Security: Winning Without War by Philp B. Heymann. (2003)
This book examines the U.S. government response to terrorism. Heymann asserts that the phrase “war on terror” obscures the type of threat facing the U.S. and narrows the range of policies that could be used to deal with the terrorism threat. He argues that diplomacy, international law, and intelligence measures should play a greater role than military action in the U.S.’ counterterrorism policies.

Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror by Jason Burke. (I.B. Tauris, 2003)

Masterminds of Terror by Yosri Fouda and Nick Fielding. (Mainstream Publishing, 2003)

Terror in the Name of God by Jessica Stern. (Ecco, 2003)

The Jemaah Islamiyah Arrests and the Threat of Terrorism. White Paper by Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs (2003)

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