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THE NEAVE BOOK PRIZE 2019/20

THE NEAVE BOOK PRIZE 2019/20 LONG LIST

Inside Al-Shabaab: The Secret History of Al-Qaeda’s Most Powerful Ally by Harun Maruf, Dan Joseph, Christopher Anzalone

One of the most powerful Islamic militant groups in Africa, Al-Shabaab exerts Taliban-like rule over millions in Somalia and poses a growing threat to stability in the Horn of Africa. Somalis risk retaliation or death if they oppose or fail to comply with Al-Shabaab-imposed restrictions on aspects of everyday life such as clothing, media, sports, interpersonal relations, and prayer. Inside Al-Shabaab: The Secret History of Al-Qaeda's Most Powerful Ally recounts the rise, fall, and resurgence of this overlooked terrorist organization and provides an intimate understanding of its connections with Al-Qaeda. Drawing from interviews with former Al-Shabaab militants, including high-ranking officials, military commanders, police, and foot soldiers, authors Harun Maruf and Dan Joseph reveal the motivations of those who commit their lives to the group and its violent jihadist agenda. A wealth of sources including US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks, letters taken from the Pakistani hideout of Osama bin Laden, case files from the prosecution of American Al-Shabaab members, emails from Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state, and Al-Shabaab's own statements and recruiting videos inform Maruf and Joseph's investigation of the United States' campaign against Al-Shabaab and how the 2006 US-backed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia gave the group the popular support it needed to radicalize ordinary citizens and become a powerful movement.

The New Terrorism: Actors, Strategies and Tactics by Stefan Goertz, Alexander E. Streitparth

In light of asymmetrical security threats in western democracies as well as in conflict regions, this timely book examines the actors, strategies and tactics of Islamist terrorism and transnational organized crime around the globe. The authors develop an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the ideologies, forms of cooperation, and technological means used in new forms of terrorism. The book starts with an empirical analysis of the new Jihadism as a global Islamist theology and strategy. Furthermore, it investigates the interaction, cooperation and fusion of transnational organized crime and Islamist terrorism and highlights new communication technologies as vital tools for terrorism. Lastly, the book provides an analysis of asymmetrical strategies and tactics used by terrorist organisations, and of low-level terrorism. As such, it will appeal to all political scientists and criminologists studying terrorism, as well as to professionals at various national and international security services.

Information Wars: How We Lost the Global Battle Against Disinformation and What We Can Do About It by Richard Stengel

During the final three years of the Obama administration, Richard Stengel, the former editor of Time magazine and an Under Secretary of State, was on the front lines of the new global information war. At the time, he was the single person in government tasked with unpacking, disproving and combating both ISIS's messaging and Russian disinformation. Then, in 2016, as the presidential election unfolded, Stengel watched as Donald Trump used disinformation himself, weaponizing the grievances of Americans who felt overlooked. In fact, Stengel quickly came to see how all three players had used the same playbook: ISIS sought to make Islam great again; Putin tried to make Russia great again; and we all know about Trump. In a narrative that is by turns dramatic and eye-opening, Information Wars walks readers through of this often-frustrating battle. Stengel moves through Russia and Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and introduces characters from Putin to Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Mohamed bin Salman to show how disinformation is impacting our global society. He illustrates how ISIS terrorized the world using social media, and how the Russians launched a tsunami of disinformation around the annexation of Crimea - a scheme that became the model for their interference with the 2016 presidential election. 

Incitement: Anwar al-Awlaki’s Western Jihad by Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens

The definitive account of the career and legacy of the most influential Western exponent of violent jihad. Anwar al-Awlaki was, according to one of his followers, "the main man who translated jihad into English." By the time he was killed by an American drone strike in 2011, he had become a spiritual leader for thousands of extremists, especially in the United States and Britain, where he aimed to make violent Islamism "as American as apple pie and as British as afternoon tea." Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens draws on extensive research among al-Awlaki's former colleagues, friends, and followers, including interviews with convicted terrorists, to explain how he established his network and why his message resonated with disaffected Muslims in the West.A native of New Mexico, al-Awlaki rose to prominence in 2001 as the imam of a Virginia mosque attended by three of the 9/11 hijackers. After leaving for Britain in 2002, he began delivering popular lectures and sermons that were increasingly radical and anti-Western. In 2004 he moved to Yemen, where he eventually joined al-Qaeda and oversaw numerous major international terrorist plots. Through live video broadcasts to Western mosques and universities, YouTube, magazines, and other media, he soon became the world's foremost English-speaking recruiter for violent Islamism. One measure of his success is that he has been linked to about a quarter of Islamists convicted of terrorism-related offenses in the United States since 2007.Despite the extreme nature of these activities, Meleagrou-Hitchens argues that al-Awlaki's strategy and tactics are best understood through traditional social-movement theory. With clarity and verve, he shows how violent fundamentalists are born.

The Closed Circle: Joining and Leaving the Muslim Brotherhood in the West (Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare) by Lorenzo Vidino

 The Muslim Brotherhood in the West remains a mysterious entity. In the Closed Circle, Lorenzo Vidino offers an unprecedented inside view into how one of the world's most influential Islamist groups operates. He marshals unique interviews with prominent former members and associates from Europe, the United Kingdom, and North America, shedding light on why and how people join and leave Western outfits of the Muslim Brotherhood. Drawing on these striking personal accounts, Vidino weaves together the experiences of individuals who participated in and later renounced Brotherhood groups. Their perspectives provide a wealth of new information about the Brotherhood's secretive inner workings and the networks that connecting the small yet highly organized cluster of Brotherhood-influenced groups. The Closed Circle examines the tactics the Brotherhood uses to recruit and retain participants as well as how and why individuals make the difficult decision to leave. Through the stories of diverse former members, Vidino paints a portrait of a highly structured, tight-knit movement. His unprecedented access and understanding of the group's activities and motivations has significant policy implications concerning Western Brotherhood organizations and also illuminates the underlying mechanisms found in a range of extremist groups.

Lone Wolves: The New Terrorism of Right-Wing Single Actors by Florian Hartleb

As the attacks in Norway, Munich and most recently Christchurch have shown: a new threat is now shaking liberal Western societies. Radicalized right-wing extremists – so-called lone wolves – are engaging in individually planned terror attacks. Written by an expert on terrorism and populism, this book highlights the dynamics of this new breed of terrorism. By providing in-depth insights into the biographies of individual perpetrators, it illustrates the changing profile of the typical lone terrorist. This new kind of terrorist engages in violence without being a member of a party or organization, yet is radicalized by a global right-wing subculture that communicates in virtual networks. This startling and well-written book reveals the ideological roots of lone wolf terrorism and urges governments and civil society to take the threat seriously and implement suitable countermeasures.

Home Grown: How Domestic Violence Turns Men Into Terrorists by Joan Smith `

Terrorism is seen as a special category of crime that has blinded us to the obvious - that it is, almost always, male violence. The extraordinary link between so many tragic recent attacks is that the perpetrators have practised in private before their public outbursts. In these searing case studies, Joan Smith, feminist and human rights campaigner, makes a compelling and persuasive argument for a radical shift in perspective. Incomprehensible ideology is transformed through her clear-eyed research into a disturbing but familiar pattern. From the Manchester bomber to the Charlie Hebdo attackers, from angry white men to the Bethnal Green girls, from US school shootings to the London gang members who joined ISIS, Joan Smith shows that, time and time again, misogyny, trauma and abuse lurk beneath the 'justifications' of religion or politics. Until Smith pointed it out in 2017, criminal authorities missed this connection because violence against women is dangerously normalised. Yet, since domestic abuse often comes before a public attack, it's here a solution to the scourge of our age might be found. Thought-provoking and essential, Home-Grown will lift the veil on a revelatory truth.  

The Price of Paradise  by Iain Overton

We live in the age of the suicide bomber. The suicide bomb itself takes more lives than any other type of explosive weapon. Moreover, in the last 5 years more people have been killed by suicide attacks than at any other time in history. How has this descent deep into the heart of terror escalated in such a way? What drives people to blow themselves up and what are the consequences? More importantly perhaps, what can be done to combat the rising spread of this form of violence? Investigative journalist Iain Overton addresses the fundamental drivers of modern-day suicide attacks in this fascinating and important book, showing how the suicide bomber has played a pivotal role in the evolution of some of the most defining forces of the modern age - from Communism and the Cold War, to the modern-day War on Terror. Interviewing Russian anarchists, Japanese kamikazes, Hezbollah militants, survivors of suicide bombings and countless other sources of valuable information, while travelling to places such as Iran, Iraq and Pakistan, Overton skilfully combines historical narrative, travelogue, interviews and testimonies, and brings his research alive thanks to potent facts and visceral storytelling.

Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow's Terrorists by Audrey Kurth Cronin

 Never before have so many possessed the means to be so lethal. The diffusion of modern technology (robotics, cyber weapons, 3-D printing, autonomous systems, and artificial intelligence) to ordinary people has given them access to weapons of mass violence previously monopolized by the state. In recent years, states have attempted to stem the flow of such weapons to individuals and non-state groups, but their efforts are failing. As Audrey Kurth Cronin explains in Power to the People, what we are seeing now is an exacerbation of an age-old trend. Over the centuries, the most surprising developments in warfare have occurred because of advances in technologies combined with changes in who can use them. Indeed, accessible innovations in destructive force have long driven new patterns of political violence. When Nobel invented dynamite and Kalashnikov designed the AK-47, each inadvertently spurred terrorist and insurgent movements that killed millions and upended the international system. That history illuminates our own situation, in which emerging technologies are altering society and redistributing power. The twenty-first century "sharing economy" has already disrupted every institution, including the armed forces. New technologies are transforming access to the means of violence. Just as importantly, higher-order functions that previously had been under state military control (mass mobilization, force projection, and systems integration) no longer are. Cronin closes by focusing on how to respond so that we both preserve the benefits of emerging technologies yet reduce the risks. Power is flowing to the people, but the same technologies that empower can imperil global security, unless we act strategically. 

Your Sons Are at Your Service: Tunisia's Missionaries of Jihad (Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare) by Aaron Y. Zelin

Tunisia became one of the largest sources of foreign fighters for the Islamic State-even though the country stands out as a democratic bright spot of the Arab uprisings and despite the fact that it had very little history of terrorist violence within its borders prior to 2011. In Your Sons Are at Your Service, Aaron Y. Zelin uncovers the longer history of Tunisian involvement in the jihadi movement and offers an in-depth examination of the reasons why so many Tunisians became drawn to jihadism following the 2011 revolution. Zelin highlights the longer-term causes that affected jihadi recruitment in Tunisia, including the prior history of Tunisians joining jihadi organizations and playing key roles in far-flung parts of the world over the past four decades. He contends that the jihadi group Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia was able to take advantage of the universal prisoner amnesty, increased openness, and the lack of governmental policy toward it after the revolution. In turn, this provided space for greater recruitment and subsequent mobilization to fight abroad once the Tunisian government cracked down on the group in 2013. Zelin marshals cutting-edge empirical findings, extensive primary source research, and on-the-ground fieldwork, including a variety of documents in Arabic going as far back as the 1980s and interviews with Ansar al-Sharia members and Tunisian fighters returning from Syria. The first book on the history of the Tunisian jihadi movement, Your Sons Are at Your Service is a meticulously researched account that challenges simplified views of jihadism's appeal and success.

Assassins: The KGB's Poison Factory Ten Years On by Boris Volodarsky

This book is a result of several ground-breaking private investigations conducted by a person who is uniquely qualified for this role. Boris B. Volodarsky is a former special operations officer of the Russian GRU Spetsnaz and at the same time a bestselling author, British academic and intelligence historian, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. His book The KGB s Poison Factory: From Lenin to Litvinenko, first published by Frontline Books in 2009, received international acclaim and was translated into several languages. It is a brief outline of the long history of Soviet poisonings starting from the first secret laboratory right by the side of the office of the founder of the Soviet state, Lenin, to the most sophisticated poisoning in London of the dissident Russian defector Alexander Sasha Litvinenko. Resident in Surrey, England, Boris helped the official Metropolitan police investigation and took an active part in the media war between the pro-Russian and pro-Putin journalists, television channels and PR companies directly or indirectly sponsored by the Kremlin and independent international press, TV and radio broadcasters. Boris acted as the chief consultant for the BBC Panorama s How to Poison a Spy aired at prime time shortly after the events and for the ITV News series about the Litvinenko murder. Now, Assassins is a sequel to what became the first volume primarily concentrating on the Litvinenko operation in London in 2006. Already in Poison Factory, the author offered an unconventional version of the events different from what became widely known from the media reports, books and films that appeared in Russia and in the West covering the Litvinenko story. He supported his conclusions by examples from other similar special operations conducted by Russian Intelligence Services in different parts of the world and at different times. Some of them became known from the publications while others are presented for the first time. In the new book, Volodarsky offers his version of the most high-profile cases of the past ten years: the poisoning of the former GRU officer Sergey Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, the mysterious hanging of the former Russian business tycoon Boris Berezovsky in Ascot, the strange death of the 43-year-old financier Alexander Perepilichny in Weybridge, the story of the British double agent Oleg Gordievsky and even the war in Ukraine. And, of course, the life and death in London of Sasha Litvinenko is also here but seen in a new light it appears dramatically different. With academic precision, Dr Volodarsky studies the case and meticulously analyses the Litvinenko inquiry report finding plenty of flaws in the official investigation and coroner s conclusions. 

Jihadist Infiltration of Migrant Flows to Europe: Perpetrators, Modus Operandi and Policy Implications by Sam Mullins

This book explores one of the most topical and controversial issues of recent years –jihadist terrorist infiltration of irregular migrant flows to Europe. Utilizing robust sampling criteria, more than a hundred such cases are identified and rigorously assessed. The analysis reveals the characteristics of offenders, their travel patterns and operational activities, and critically evaluates subsequent law enforcement and judicial responses. The author draws upon interviews with a range of European security officials, as well as non-governmental organization employees, and a recent refugee, in order to provide a series of practical recommendations.