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Antiterrorism and Threat Response: Planning and Implementation

Antiterrorism and Threat Response: Planning and Implementation. By Ross Johnson, CPP. CRC Press,; 296 pages; $79.95; also available as e-book.

There is a proliferation of books that address how to deal with threats and acts of terrorism. Some are rather brief manuals, while others are detailed texts. Antiterrorism and Threat Response falls in the latter category. Author Ross Johnson has extensive experience in the field as a military officer and then as the head of corporate security for a number of firms. He draws on his background to provide an excellent detailed guide for those who are responsible for preventing and responding to acts of terrorism in the corporate sector.

Johnson effectively uses what he calls “a toolbox style…that you can follow as a recipe when doing your own work.” It is a well-organized book that provides panoply of information to be applied throughout the whole spectrum of antiterrorism measures. The 15 chapters cover topics from “The Target Community” and “Antiterrorism Planning” to “Insider Threats.”

Each of the topic headings can essentially stand alone. The reader therefore can focus on a clear and practical discussion of particular aspects of planning and implementation. The author’s impressive background in intelligence can readily be seen in his various presentations on the key role of intelligence. His discussion of the Pattern Analysis Wheel demonstrates that it is indeed “…a powerful tool that allows the analyst to find routine in what appear to be random events.” The accompanying graphics of the wheel can be useful in identifying or responding to threats and incidents. Graphics throughout the book are helpful in addressing what security measures are needed based on the nature and intensity of the threat.

I was especially impressed with Chapter 13, “Maritime Antipiracy Operations.” It is one of the best succinct presentations that I have seen on dealing with a threat that will likely intensify in the years to come, despite the efforts of governments and corporations to address this, one of the oldest forms of terrorism. The author’s section on travel security planning should be required reading for the busy executive whether he or she is on assignment in the United States or overseas.

Ross Johnson has written a book that should be read and used not only by the security specialist, but by a broader audience that wants to understand how to deal with terrorism.

Reviewer: Stephen Sloan has been a member of ASIS for more than 30 years and is a professor emeritus at the University of Oklahoma. He is a special advisor to the ASIS Council on Global Terrorism, Political Instability, and International Crime.