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Book Review: Counterterrorism

CRC Press;; 241 pages; $69.95.

This comprehensive study of terrorism also offers a realistic perspective of the future. Counter-terrorism: Reassessing the Policy Response considers acts of terror based on the information provided by governments and media. Author Benoit Gomis looks at current policies from a perspective of overreaction.

The book is an incredible resource of statistical data from around the world; each chapter includes an in-depth reference page that provides insight into geographical regions and the impact terror has on everything from economies to public opinion. Major terror groups, significant acts of terror, and the associated policies are closely examined in an effort to determine their effects.

Of particular interest is the chapter “Negative Consequences of Overreaction.” Gomis addresses the controversial topic of enhanced interrogation techniques. He suggests that politicians use acts of terror to justify policies they want in place because the psychological impact of such events can change the public mind-set so that people become supportive of such techniques.

This text drills deeper into the knowledge base on terrorism than the typical security practitioner would need. However, it serves to open one’s mind to different aspects of the topic.

Reviewer: Michael D'Angelo, CPP, is director of security for South Miami Hospital. He is a retired captain from the South Miami, Florida, Police Department. D’Angelo serves on the ASIS Healthcare Security Council and the ASIS Transitions Council.