Terrorism and Organized Hate Crime: Intelligence Gathering, Analysis, and Investigations. By Michael Ronczkowski; published by CRC Press, 800/272-7737 (phone), www.crcpress.com (Web); 280 pages; $71.96.
Like any perceived phenomenon or rapid growth area, global terrorism has inspired many authors to venture into the security and intelligence fields. That's not surprising given that there is an avid audience, not least in the security profession itself, keen to grasp the essential knowledge and skills needed to manage the current and emerging terrorist threat.
Many recent works provide a scant overview for the uninformed. Others provide excellent detailed reviews suited for reference only. This book tries to strike a balance between the two, but while it has flashes of excellence, it unfortunately succeeds at neither.
The problem comes after a useful introduction on the need for understanding crime and intelligence analysis. The work appears to drift from detailed and at times academic debates on definitions of terrorism to almost naïve views on emerging computer crime and terrorist threats. Most frustrating of all, when the author identifies a bona fide challenge, he fails to follow up with possible solutions.
Best described as a sound idea with disappointing execution, this book regrettably does not fulfill its potential. Excellent in some parts and poor in others, the book may have been developed in a hurry to capitalize on market demands rather than in the time necessary for the author to display his true abilities.
Reviewer: Crawford Robinson is detective chief inspector of the West Midlands Police in Coventry, United Kingdom. He is a member of ASIS International.