Monday, April 18, 2016

The United States of Jihad - Book Review

A few weeks ago, I saw author Peter Bergen on The Daily Show talking about his new book The United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists. The book intrigued me, so I jumped at the opportunity to read and review the book for free through the Blogging for Books program.

This is a book that could change your views on terrorism in today's world.

So many people think of terrorists based on a look, a religion, etc. But did you know that more than 300 Americans have been indicted or convicted of terrorist charges since 9/11? That's right. And they don't always have any connection to ISIS or al-Qaeda. These are "lone wolf" terrorists who become disillusioned by America and embrace the radical ideals of these organizations. So then they plan and carry out terrorist acts in support of those organizations, but they get no formal training from them or formal approval.

Luckily, because of 9/11, security measures in the United States are pretty good and in place to combat terrorist acts from the larger groups. But combating terrorist acts from these "lone wolves" who are right on American soil can be more difficult. Actually, it can be pretty difficult for the FBI, CIA, and other anti-terrorist organizations to detect and thwart terrorist acts by anybody before they happen, and you can read about why in this book.

Bergen goes through all the potential threats that America faces today and takes you through the most recent terrorist acts since 9/11 to show how radical Islam is converting some American citizens. Hint: the internet plays a huge role.

Because the book is brand new, it is very current, even including the upcoming presidential race and the stance that the candidates are taking over Syrian refugees and Muslims. So this is definitely a book that people should be reading right now.

The book reminds us that jihadists aren't the only ones killing Americans. Don't forget about extremists such as white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists, and anti-government militants who have killed "around the same number of people in the United States as have extremists motivated by al-Qaeda's ideology" (p. 270).

So who should we really be afraid of?

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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