Review: Militant Islam in Southeast Asia–Crucible of Terror

5 Star, Religion & Politics of Religion, Terrorism & Jihad

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars

Superb Book, Shows what OPEN Sources Provided, Great Speaker,

January 25, 2004
Zachary Abuza
I have the advantage, in reviewing this book, of having heard the author present his views in a superb illustrated briefing that held 150 government intelligence professionals glued into their seats and fixated on the author’s rapid-fire compelling presentation.This man is a brilliant scholar who has returned to the almost lost art of combining persistent field work with foreign language open sources (both printed and oral), and thoughtful analysis.

Across the board, from his narrative to his footnotes to his bibliography to his index, this book is as good as it gets. This is a world-class contribution to our understanding in three areas: 1) what can be known about terrorism and militant Islam from open sources of information (but is being largely ignored by the so-called professional intelligence agencies that are obsessing on secret sources and methods; 2) what governments in Southeast Asia are and are not doing about it (in many cases, abusing American naiveté or being put off by American arrogance; and 3) where militant Islam is going in this area–be afraid, be very afraid.

If all academics were this good, we would not need spies. This book and this author represent the very best scholarship that one could ask for. The author is the Program Director for East Asian Studies and associate professor of international politics at Simmons College. Goggling him yields a fine selection of interviews and Congressional testimony.

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