5 Great Books about Counterterrorism

The cultural scourge of terrorism has changed the face of the modern world, but the modern world has also developed incredible new methods to detect and eliminate terrorist cells around the world. Technological advances have been behind many of these improvements, but an increased understanding of these organizations and the psychology of their adherents has played no small role either. Here are our choices for the five best books about counterterrorism.

1. Find, Fix, Finish: Inside the Counterterrorism Campaigns that Killed bin Laden and Devastated Al-Qaeda, by Aki Peritz

Our selection for the best counterterrorism book is Find, Fix, Finish. Even the other great counterterrorism books don’t present their information in as readable and compelling a way as Peritz does here, detailing the specific counterterrorism techniques that brought down members of various terrorist organizations. Anyone interested in the rise and downfall of Al-Qaeda, as well as their similarities to current worldwide issues with the Islamic State will find Peritz’s book to be a must for their counterterrorism bookshelf.

2. Countering Terrorism and Insurgency in the 21st Century, by James J.F. Forest

This is one of the best books about counterterrorism, but it’s pretty difficult to find. It’s one of the most comprehensive counterterrorism books, because it focuses on many different groups and the distinctions between them. It’s probably a little to “heady” for beginners, but for knowledgeable readers, it’s hard to find a better author to walk you through the ever-changing world of counterterrorism techniques like Forest does here.

3. The Counterterrorism Puzzle, by Boaz Ganor

Subtitled A Guide for Decision Makers, this is one of the most informative books about counterterrorism ever published. Ganor’s practical and pragmatic counterterrorism strategies are presented in such a way that makes this text invaluable for students, experts, as well as military and law enforcement professionals–highly recommended.

4. No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden, by Matt Bissonnette

Next on our list of five great counterterrorism books is No Easy Day. This military memoir was written by one of the members of the US Navy’s Special Warfare Development Group that helped to conduct the mission that killed the notorious terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. It’s an enthralling read with many fascinating revelations about the counterterrorism techniques that brought this kingpin down. Anyone curious about what day-to-day life is like for counterterrorism experts in our military should take a look at Bissonnette’s book.

5. Islamic State: The Digital Caliphate, by Abdel Bari Atwan

Knowledge is one of the best weapons when it comes to counterterrorism, which is why our last installment in the five great books about counterterrorism details the history and psychology of arguably the modern age’s most pernicious terrorist threat: ISIS. Their mastery of the digital world makes them a much different (and more formidable) opponent than other terrorist threats we’ve faced in the past. This is a scary, but extremely informative read.

Related Resource: 5 Great Websites About Cybersecurity

There are lots of informative, great counterterrorism books in the world, but these are our choices for the most interesting, actionable, and essential. What’s your opinion of our list of the best counterterrorism books currently in print? If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions of your own, feel free to let us know in the space below!