***** Science and Technology of Terrorism and Counterterrorism, Second Edition. Tushar K. Ghosh et al., editors; published by Taylor & Francis Group/CRC Press, www.crcpress.com; 604 pages; $99.95.
This 600-page volume may discourage the prospective reader with its sheer size and the scientific schematics seen when flipping through the pages, but the reader who takes up the challenge will find that the material is worth the effort. Intelligently presented and thoroughly referenced and indexed, the book offers a good balance of scientific and managerial information.
Through an examination of the history of terrorism, the editors present a series of questions to assist in the development of prevention and emergency management programs. The first chapter looks at the link between the use of technology and the larger concept of terrorism. This is a marked departure from the typical approach based on political science and warfare.
Subsequent, highly educational chapters explain biological, nuclear, chemical, agricultural, and cyber threats with ample definitions, tables, and diagrams. Each provides helpful perspectives for decision and policy makers regarding assessments, prevention, and intervention.
The editors state that the book primarily targets current and future “politicians and policy-makers” but also seeks to “appeal to a wider audience” by streamlining both the political and scientific elements of the topic. They achieve their objective. The text is highly recommended to security professionals who seek a broader understanding of terrorist threats and technical countermeasures.
Reviewer: Paul H. Aubé, B.Sc., CPP, CAS (Certified Antiterrorism Specialist), is an assistant director for security at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal and an independent consultant. He has been a security professional for the past 20 years and a member of ASIS International since 1996. He received ASIS’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 2003, he is a former chair of the Montreal Chapter.