Drawing on their unprecedented access to intelligence sources and law enforcement, and on groundbreaking research, two of America's leading experts on violent extremism and terrorism explain the genesis, evolution, and implications of today's most barbaric jihadist army, Islamic State--and how we can fight it
In a world where terrorist groups have become a fixture of contemporary politics and warfare, the sheer brutality of the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or simply the Islamic State, has shocked even the most jaded observers. Its sadistic disregard for human life, sophisticated use of social media, acquisition of territory, and ability to attract foreign fighters--many from modern Western democracies--is unprecedented. ISIS: The State of Terror is an analysis of the methods ISIS uses to both frighten innocent citizens and lure new soldiers--including the "ghoulish pornography" of their propaganda videos, the seductive appeal of "jihadi chic," and their startlingly effective social media expertise.
While ISIS poses a significant threat, our response must be carefully calibrated, terrorism experts Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger warn; in many ways, ISIS has risen from the ashes of our attempts to combat terrorism so far. Although the picture Stern and Berger paint is bleak, ISIS: The State of Terror also offers well-informed thoughts on potential government responses to ISIS--most importantly, emphasizing that we must alter our present conceptions of terrorism and terrorists and react to the rapidly changing jihadi landscape, both online and off, as quickly as the terrorists do. ISIS: The State of Terror is not only a compelling account of the evolution of a terrorist organization, but a necessary book that attempts to answer the question of what our next move--as a country, as a government, as the world--should be.