Since September 11, 2001, terrorism has been an almost daily staple of the news and of instant analysis books. Yet, most people cannot tell the different terrorist groups apart and understand little of the complex historical background of Middle East terrorism. Aaron Mannes has done a remarkable job of summarizing a wide range of sources on the seven major terrorist networks in the Middle East: Al Qaeda, Abu Nidal, Hamas, Hizbullah, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the PLO and its affiliates. Each of the chapters is divided into sections on history, tactics, major operations, etc., with a particular focus on the international links between different terrorist groups. The book does not make for easy reading: although well-written and jargon-free, Mannes’s prognosis is that — to paraphrase Winston Churchill — we are not only not at the beginning of the end, but we might not yet even be at the end of the beginning. Biblio., chron., index.
Abraham J. Edelheit is an associate professor of history at Kingsborough Community College (CUNY) and the author, co-author, or editor of eleven books on the Holocaust, Zionism, Jewish and European history, and Military affairs. His most recent publication appeared in Armor magazine, the official journal of the US Army Armor and Cavalry Command.