Perfect Enemy: The Law Enforcement Manual of Islamist Terrorism

By Dean T. Olson; Reviewed by Brian L. Royster, Ed. D.

***** Perfect Enemy: The Law Enforcement Manual of Islamist Terrorism. By Dean T. Olson; published by Charles C. Thomas Publisher,; 455 pages; $99.95.

While the intelligence and security communities form two pillars of counterterrorism, responsibility for investigating terrorist acts and apprehending the perpetrators remains with law enforcement. The 9-11 attacks only increased investigators’ resolve to better understand the terrorist mind-set, and why they “do what they do.” In his book Perfect Enemy: The Law Enforcement Manual of Islamist Terrorism, Dean Olson provides an in-depth view of the making of a terrorist from a historical perspective.

As a veteran law enforcement officer with experience serving on a regional joint terrorism task force, Olson brings the requisite experience lacking in other texts. Eleven well-written, thoroughly sourced chapters provide a complete over view of how religious fundamentalism evolves to manifest itself in terrorism.

The text features brief synopses of the numerous terrorist groups, providing the reader a broad view of the different aspects of radical Islamic ideology. Olson clarifies several common misconceptions held by non-Muslims, specifically misunderstandings about use of the word “jihad.” He provides the reader a basic understanding of Arabic name derivation and a clear awareness of the history of the Islamic fundamentalist. 

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I think this book would be great for everyone to read, not just law enforcement. Most people do not know who the enemies or the terrorist groups really are. They also don't know where they are.

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