In the world of terrorism, knowledge is a critical asset. Recent studies have revealed that, among international terrorists, there is a global sharing of ideas, tactics, strategies, and lessons learned. Teaching Terror examines this sharing of information in the terrorist world, shaping our understanding of, and response to, the global threat of terrorism. Chapters cover various aspects of individual and organizational learning, some using a general level of analysis and others presenting case studies of individual terrorist groups. These groups teach each other through a variety of means, including training camps and the Internet. Terrorist networks are also learning organizations, drawing on situational awareness, adapting their behavior, and, to give one example, improving not just their use of improvised explosive devices, but also rendering technology such as unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite phones ineffective. This book provides a wealth of insights on the transfer of knowledge in the world of terrorism, and offers policy implications for counterterrorism professionals, scholars, and policymakers.



"Terrorists are not born, they are taught and self-taught. In James Forest's volume, a fine group of contributors examines the most important characteristics and venues of terrorist learning and knowledge. I very highly recommend this first-rate contribution to the literature of terrorism as a must-read inside and outside the academic world."—Brigitte Nacos, Columbia University

“This book has a strong place in any undergraduate library of Terrorism Studies and I would urge lecturers in this area to purchase and recommend the book. Its factual descriptive focus will make a very sound contribution to the further development of students in the early phases of learning about terrorism, and students will find the book readable and interesting.” — Max Taylor, University of St. Andrews (review published in Terrorism and Political Violence, 22: 2, 318-320)

This volume was published by Rowman & Littlefield on May 17, 2006.


Order your copy using any of the following links:

Rowman & Littlefield
(via the Teaching Terror Bookstore page)



  1. Introduction
    James Forest, U.S. Military Academy
  2. How Terrorists Learn
    Michael Kenney, Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg
  3. Organizational Learning and Terrorist Groups
    Horacio Trujillo, RAND Graduate School and Brian A. Jackson, Rand Corporation
  4. Training Camps and Other Centers of Learning
    James Forest, U.S. Military Academy
  5. Virtual Training Camps: Terrorist Use of the Internet
    Gabriel Weimann, U.S. Institute of Peace
  6. The Media as a Showcase for Terrorism
    Cindy Combs, UNC Charlotte
  7. The Technical Challenges of Nuclear and Radiological Terrorism
    Anette Schaper, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt
  8. Al Qaeda's Lose and Learn Doctrine: The Trajectory from Oplan Bojinka to 9/11
    Rohan Gunaratna, Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies, Singapore
  9. Learning to Survive: The Case of the Islamic Resistence Movement (Hamas)
    Kim Cragin, RAND Corporation
  10. Renew to Last: Innovation and Strategy of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
    Román D. Ortiz, Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia
  11. The Making of the Jemaah Islamiyah Terrorist
    Kumar Ramakrishna, Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies, Singapore
  12. Conclusion
    James Forest, U.S. Military Academy





Dr. James JF Forest is the Director of Terrorism Studies and an associate professor at the United States Military Academy, where he teaches courses on terrorism and counterterrorism, information warfare and foreign policy, and directs several research initiatives for the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. He has published nine books on a variety of topics, including Teaching Terror: Strategic and Tactical Learning in the Terrorist World (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), The Making of a Terrorist: Recruitment, Training and Root Causes (Praeger, 2005), and Homeland Security and Terrorism: Controlling the Security Environment (McGraw-Hill, 2005), as well as articles in the Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Democracy and Security and the Journal of Political Science Education. Dr. Forest also serves as a guest lecturer for several government agencies in the U.S. and Europe, and maintains a top secret security clearance. He holds degrees from De Anza College, Georgetown University, Stanford University, and Boston College.



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