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Terror on the Internet: The New Arena, the New Challenges Hardcover – March, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1929223718 ISBN-10: 1929223714 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Read this book to understand the future of terrorism! In this cutting-edge analysis, Weimann examines the new psychology of terrorists and how they use the internet for their goals."
(―Marc Sageman, author of Understanding Terror Networks)

From the Publisher

Describes how terrorist organizations use the Internet to coordinate group action and publicize their ideology and their successes.

Assesses the cyberterrorist threat we face.

Suggests how to balance the competing concerns for cyber security and civil liberties.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 325 pages
  • Publisher: United States Institute of Peace Press; 1 edition (March 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929223714
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929223718
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,152,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Weimann's book is a good antidote to those oft-hysterical screeds on cyberterrorism. These might proclaim that nefarious scoundrels could launch attacks across the Internet, to disable power plants or chemical refineries. While not impossible, the technical obstacles are vast. Such fears are really warmed-over Y2K hysteria, transferred to terrorism after the Y2K bust and the events of September 2001.

Instead, Weimann points to more prosaic uses of the Internet by terrorists. [Sorry to disappoint some potential readers.] These mundanities involve communication between cell members, propaganda and fund raising. The first two are shown to be far easier than in the pre-Web era. Anonymous email accounts and an increasingly deep global reach of cybercafes and other Internet access points give what can be effectively anonymous communication. This reach of the Internet is true in developed countries and in the major cities of developing countries. Terrorists can operate in both, as is already known.

The use of a website to spread a terrorist message, to enemies and supporters, is also amply documented in the book. Far safer and more effective to those groups than having a smarmy member pass out flyers in bad neighbourhoods.

One conclusion is that for purely pragmatic reasons, terrorists have little incentive to attack the Internet itself. It's simply too useful to them.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on April 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I had heard that the various terrorist organizations around the world were using the Internet as a communications medium. But until I saw this book I never realized just how widespread that use is. The book says that they have identified some 4,300 web sites belonging to terrorist organizations. It further says that to keep the sites up they change URLs and hosting companies every few days. That would make sense as keeping it up very long would attract counter terrorist organizations pretty rapidly. The book does not give the URLs of very many sites, but if they change frequently, it wouldn't make sense to list expired URLs.

There seem to be three main uses of the Internet:

o to distribute information. The old days of publishing phamplets and the like are replaced by web sites that can be moved around from country to country with the speed of light. The new URLs could well be posted on the site. If you have a site hosted in Tahiti and run it for three days, then you shift it to Kenya it would be hard to track. The information on the site could be anything from a video of Osama to instructions on how to make a bomb.

o Research for Targets. I suspect a lot of companies, organizations and the like have their disaster plans on the net, a map on how to get to them, all kinds of stuff useful to a terrorist.

o Inter organization communications. If I am travelling I often go to a public library somewhere to check my e-mail. So do they.

Then there is the risk of cyber-terrorism. Beyond the normal malicious hackers, there's the opportunity for terrorists to do the same sort of thing with viruses and worms. This appears to be a potential use rather than a real one -- so far.

This is a frightening book. It clearly shows the result of a lot of research, and discusses things that the terrorists know but that the rest of us need to know.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Wise on May 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a scary book about the ways terrorists are using the Internet. It is very interesting, well documented, well-written (easy for people like me who are not sophisticated Internet users) and very alarming. The author knows well the dark sides of the Net and guides the readers to the darkest virtual streets modern terrorists take when using the cyberspace. The book is loaded with examples from various terrorist groups (all are now on the Net) and relates the findings to the framework of communication studies and psychological warfare. What to do about it? Well, read the book's last chapters...

I highly recommend this book though it left me troubled and scared.

Michael Wise
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. Jacobs on August 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good book to get a clear picture of how terrorists now use the Internet as a central part of their operations. Weimann is a well-respected scholar who cleary has his finger on the pulse of modern terrorism.
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