Islamic Radicalism and Global Jihad

Devin R. Springer, James L. Regens, and David N. Edger

"This book is a required read for those involved in counterterrorism, force-protection specialists, Middle East Foreign Area Officers, as well as intelligence officers."
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Jihadist ideology inspires a diverse and decentralized collection of radical groups to fight alleged enemies of Islam and to attempt to “restore” a holy caliphate to unite Muslim peoples across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Islamic Radicalism and Global Jihad provides unique insights into the philosophical foundations, strategic vision, organizational dynamics, and tactics of the modern jihadist movement—with specific attention to its primary driver, Al-Qa’ida.

Springer, Regens, and Edger draw heavily on Arabic language sources seldom seen in the West to explain what jihadists want and how radical thinkers have distorted the teachings of Islam to convince followers to pursue terrorism as a religious duty. With sophisticated and systematic analysis, the authors lead their readers on a fascinating intellectual journey through the differing ideas, goals, and vulnerabilities of the jihadist movement as it has evolved over time. The authors also impart wisdom from their own professional experience with terrorism, counterinsurgency, and intelligence to provide scholars, students, counterterrorism professionals, and general readers with this accessible overview of key radical Islamic thinkers and today’s jihadists.

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Call to Jihad

1: Philosophical Foundations

2: Strategic Vision

3: Organizational Dynamics

4: Recruitment and Training

5: Operations and Tactics

6: Future Directions

7: The Challenge of Credible Intelligence

Conclusion: Forging a Winning Strategy to Counter the Global Jihad






"[Islamic Radicalism and Global Jihad] has a high level of authority because all the contributors can read Arabic and have gone back to the primary sources. And it consciously eschews a simplistic 'bad guys-axis of evil' vision of what it insists is a diverse, complex and often contradictory collection of groups and philosophies."—The Sydney Morning Herald

"Though different readers may come with different questions, the book offers much for all. It is a useful source for everyone from students to teachers, to scholars and researchers, as well as policy and decision-makers."—Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 2009

"This book is a required read for those involved in counterterrorism, force-protection specialists, Middle East Foreign Area Officers, as well as intelligence officers."—Proceedings

"Highly readable, balanced study . . . Convincing arguments . . . The book is appropriate for any academic or public library serving researchers of modern Middle Eastern studies, political science, international relations, and of course, terrorism."—MELA Notes

"Islamic Radicalism and Global Jihad is the definitive study on the global jihad movement. To understand the evolving global threat landscape, there is no better book. A must read for scholars and practitioners!"—Rohan Gunaratna, author of Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror and head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, Singapore

"Absolutely the best survey of Islamic radicalism and its relationship to terrorism and the West. This single volume allows a lay reader to understand the religious and political origins of violent global jihad."—Donald Hamilton, executive director, Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism

"The authors have combined their very impressive area, operational, and academic experiences to make a major contribution to the understanding of Islamic Radicalism and Global Jihad. Their very insightful analysis of the origins, strategies, and organizational dynamics of a major threat to international security and their assessment of the key role of intelligence in meeting the challenge are right on the mark. Moreover they offer a strategy to counter the global jihadist that should be required reading for those policy makers who must not only prevent and deter, but take the offensive against contemporary and future terrorists."—Stephen Sloan, university professor and fellow, Office of Global Perspectives, University of Central Florida


Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Devin R. Springer is a research associate in the Center for Biosecurity Research at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and an Arabic linguist.

James L. Regens is presidential professor and founding director of the Center for Biosecurity Research at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He has served in senior government positions and on review boards for the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security.

David N. Edger is a visiting professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and a faculty member in the Department of Political Science. He also spent 33 years in the Central Intelligence Agency where his most senior position was head of operations of the Clandestine Service.

336 pp., 6 x 9
9 figures
ISBN: 978-1-58901-252-3
Jan 2009

336 pp., 6 x 9
9 figures
ISBN: 978-1-58901-253-0
Jan 2009

336 pp.
9 figures
ISBN: 978-1-58901-578-4
Jan 2009

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