- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 24, 2002

As the U.S. military campaign is succeeding in its objective of ridding Afghanistan of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network and its previous Taliban rulers, the next phase will be no less daunting: containing and apprehending the remaining al Qaeda terrorist cells around the world and eliminating their capability to carry out any further catastrophic attacks, especially ones employing weapons of mass destruction.
The following books are useful guides for understanding the magnitude of the remaining threats posed by radical Islamic fundamentalism, particularly in the highly volatile Central Asian republics, and the measures that need to be taken in reponse to terrorist attacks.
Ahmed Rashid's Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia (Yale University Press, $24, 281 pages, maps) is a brilliant discussion of many of the elements that are in contention in this unstable region. Mr. Rashid is a highly regarded correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review in Central Asia, and author of the bestseller "Taliban." Whereas in "Taliban" the author focused on Afghanistan, in "Jihad" he expounds on the problems presented by militant Islam in Central Asia.
After the horrific September 11 attacks, the troubled Central Asian countries of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan were thrust into prominence because of the close ties between the extremist Islamic movements in these countries and Afghanistan's Taliban and bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network. In this book, Mr. Rashid discusses the concept of jihad, which is central to these groups' power drive, and the rise of imported religious fundamentalist beliefs into Central Asia, which was previously dominated by Soviet communism.
Of particular interest is his description of the emergence of three new Islamic fundamentalist groups the Islamic Renaissance Party in Tajikistan, the pan Islamic Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami, which has become the most popular and widespread underground movement in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajijkistan, and the most violent of these groups, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), which wages a terrorist campaign against the Uzbekistan government and the risks that all these groups pose for Central Asia and the world.
As Mr. Rashid points out, instability in these societies is not solely caused by these militant Islamic groups, but is exacerbated by widespread poverty and societal underdevelopment. The prospects for regional stability are further aggravated by the increasing represssion practiced by governments in the region. In the midst of these conflicts and societal problems is Central Asia's untapped mineral wealth, which the militant Islamic groups and government elites are jockeying to control.
The resulting volatile atmosphere has provided fertile ground for charismatic leaders, such as the now-deposed Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar, bin Laden, and Namangani, the IMU's leader (who was killed in the recent military campaign) who wish to establish a radical Islamic Caliphate stretching from Afghanistan, through Central Asia, to the Middle East.

In his highly authoritative Chemical and Biological Warfare: A Comprehensive Survey for the Concerned Citizen (Copernicus Books, $27.50, 306 pages) Eric Croddy, senior research associate at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, provides a realistic assessment of the dangers we actually face from chemical and biological warfare (CBW).
The author uses his extensive knowledge of the technology and history of such warfare to survey key CBW agents and explain their characteristics and effects on humans. He recommends the response measures that can be taken to address threats of CBW attacks, including a discussion of how vaccines can be used, and analyzes the changing tactics of terrorists, and the role CBW armaments may play in their plans. In a concluding section he assesses the current state of CBW proliferation who has these weapons, and who is likely to use them.

The Counterterrorist Handbook: Tactics, Procedures, and Techniques (CRC Press, $75, 278 pages) by Frank Bolz, Jr., Kenneth J. Dudonis, and David P. Schulz, is a comprehensive "tool kit" for dealing with an entire range of possible terrorist incidents. Its clear presentation of material will appeal to first responders, policymakers, and security personnel. Aside from its comprehensive coverage, one of its great virtues is the inclusion of numerous tables, charts, diagrams and photos that illustrate the issues covered.
The handbook covers everything from bombing and hostage-taking, to nuclear terrorism and what needs to be done before, during, and after an event. Several sections are devoted to the common elements of terrorism, including religious groups and cults and their possible involvement in acts of domestic terrorism; defining terrorism; the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD); pre-and post incident planning, including the role of the commander, the command post, and interviewing victims; bomb defense planning and its aftermath, and kidnapping, hostage situations, and terrorism involving chemical and biological weapons.
The authors are well known security professionals and they offer unique, real-world insights based on their many years in the counterterrorism field.
First Responders Guide to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) (American Society for Industrial Security, $30, 211 pages) by Jeffrey A. Adams and Stephen Marquette, is one of the best of the recently published handbooks on defending against chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological attacks. It is a concise, "shirt-pocket" reference for the law enforcement and medical first responders who would be called to a site where a weapon of mass destruction may have been employed. It is also a primer for the average citizen desiring practical information on threat agents and procedures for surviving a terrorist attack involving WMD. The handbook presents straightforward, easily understood, and potentially life-saving information.
Mr. Adams, a retired U.S. Army Chemical Corps lieutenant colonel, and Mr. Marquette, a volunteer firefighter, are WMD analysts at ANSER, where I also am employed.

Joshua Sinai is a senior analyst
on terrorism issues at ANSER (Analytic Services, Inc.) and teaches a course on forecasting terrorism at American Military University.


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