Toxic Terror: Assessing Terrorist Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons (BCSIA Studies in International Security)

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0262700719
ISBN-10: 0262700719
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Editorial Reviews

Review

This insightful study of the motivations and patterns of behavior of individuals and groups that have acquired or used chemical or biological weapons is long overdue. There is little doubt that modern society is vulnerable to such attacks, but to prepare for and respond to the threat we must understand who may threaten us.

(Senator Richard G. Lugar, (R-Indiana))

Toxic Terror is a balanced and insightful assessment of the most serious threat facing the United States at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

(R. James Woolsey, former Director, Central Intelligence Agency)

About the Author

The late Jonathan B. Tucker was a Senior Fellow at the Federation of American Scientists. He was the editor of Toxic Terror: Assessing Terrorist Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons (MIT Press, 2000) and the author of Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox and War of Nerves: Chemical Warfare from World War I to Al-Qaeda.
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Product Details

  • Series: Belfer Center Studies in International Security
  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (February 25, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262700719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262700719
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #964,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Bondelli on March 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
Tucker's collection of case studies involving the use or attempted use of chemical or biological weapons is truly excellent. It not only gives in-depth histories for each of the cases, but it also presents an analytical approach to their interpretation. The book is concluded by comparing all of the case studies in order to determine potential patterns and characteristics that would be useful in identifying potential terrorists and thwarting their efforts before they could come to fruition. Each case profiles the people that are involved, including the personalities of leaders, technicians, and of the actual cadres. It evaluates where and why successes occurred, and also where failures prevented perfect execution. From this book you will learn what certain groups have targeted, what as led them to violence, and how they attempted to use CBW. The book also examines a few cases where it has been believed that CBW was used, but the evidence has indicated otherwise. This book is perfect for people who desire to study terrorism in-depth, and for the reader who would like to be informed of many cases of terrorism throughout the 20th century.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
Tucker's collection brings together analyses of all known historical usages of chemical and biological weapons (including toxins) by terrorists, as well as debunkings of three popular but apocryphal stories of such use. The book is absurdly thorough, and an invaluable historical resource, whether one agrees or not with the conclusions the editor draws from the collection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought the book expecting the usual dry textbook delivery. Instead I was taken through terrorist plots from start to finishn in a manner that was unlike any other case study I have read. At times I did not want to put the book down because I wanted to know how the plot turned out. The author explains why the claim that some plots involved chemical weapons is implausable instead of trying to inflate the seriousness of every incident.

And the last two appendixes where he discusses the psycology of terrorist groups and provides a brief but realistic discription of the different types of terrorist groups.

Although the book does remind us that it was printed prior the 9/11 with the relative assumption that biological attack was not likely because: "In contrast, the hundreds of anthrax hoaxesinvolving envelopes lacked a plausible delivery system and hence are more of a nuisance than a serious danger." This comment is a perfect example of the 'illusion of safety' we were all living our lives under prior to 9/11.
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By Dalya84 on March 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was required reading for a Bio Terrorism course and actually really enjoyed reading it. This is very informative about many different case studies that have happened involving terrorist activities. It tells you the story about what happen. Very good book and I normally hate required reading but this one is a keeper.
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I bought this book for the Aum Shin Rikyo attack chapter. This chapter was very informative. As some of the source material has either not been released, or is in Japanese, this is a very valuable resource.

I have not read the rest of the book, yet, but plan on doing so.
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