A New York Times bestseller!
This reference shows how to understand the history and tactics of the global terror group ISISand how to use that knowledge to defeat it.
ISISthe Islamic State of Iraq and Syriahas taken on the mantle of being the single most dangerous terrorist threat to global security since al-Qaeda. In Defeating ISIS, internationally renowned intelligence veteran and counter-terrorism expert Malcolm Nance, author of The Plot to Hack America and the forthcoming Hacking ISIS, gives an insider’s view to explain the origins of this occult group, its violent propaganda, and how it spreads its ideology throughout the Middle East and to disaffected youth deep in the heart of the Western world.
The group and its followers have struck repeatedly over the past few years: in Paris, Brussels, and Nice; at a center for developmental disabilities in San Bernadino, California; in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Defeating ISIS gives a step-by-step analysis of the street-level tactics the terrorists have employed in assaults against fortified targets, in urban combat, and during terrorist operations both at home and abroad. As much as ISIS is a threat to Western targets and regional stability in the Middle East, Nance describes not only its true danger as a heretical death cult that seeks to wrest control of Islam through young ideologues and redefine Islam as a fight to the death against all comers, but also how to defeat it.
Updated throughout and featuring a new afterword, Defeating ISIS is a highly detailed look into the organization by one of the world’s foremost authorities in counter-terrorism
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About the Author
Malcolm Nance is a globally recognized counterterrorism expert and Intelligence Community member who has been deployed to intelligence operations in the Balkans, Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa. He is the author of The Plot to Hack America, Hacking ISIS, and the Terrorist Recognition Handbook and appears regularly on MSNBC. Nance lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Malcolm Nance was named a Genius for the Third Annual MSNBC and 92Y "7 Days of Genius" Festival in March, 2016
Richard Engel is the award-winning chief foreign correspondent for NBC News and has been in the Middle East war zone for over twenty years. He is the author of And Then All Hell Broke Loose, War Journal, and A Fist in the Hornet’s Nest.
Read an Excerpt
ISIS is a cult that wants to transform Islam at gunpoint, and to defeat
it the world must understand the group on its own terms, according to
Malcolm Nance. As an analyst, historian, and counterterrorism expert,
Nance explains that ISIS has deep roots, stretching back to the earliest
days of Islamic history. He’s absolutely clear, however, that it was a very
modern event that allowed ISIS to burst onto center stage and show off
its brutality for the world to see.
“The invasion of Iraq,” he writes, “was not just an exhausting failure,
unsuccessful in stamping out insurgency and terrorism, it actually created
the entire legion of terror and tyranny that we know as the Islamic
In his detailed and informed study Nance argues that, in effect,
America’s War on Terror created a new breed of vicious terrorists who
wear the mask of Islam like actors in a Kabuki theatre while carrying out
horrifically un-Islamic acts like posing for selfies during battle, and burning
a hostage alive.
But as William Shakespeare scoffed, “the Devil can cite scripture for
December 23, 2015
Table of Contents
Foreword Richard Engel ix
Common Islamic Terms xiii
Part I Who They Are 3
Chapter 1 The Old History of the New Caliphate 3
Chapter 2 The ISIS Caliphate's Leadership and Members 23
Chapter 3 The Caliphate Organizational Structure 49
Part II Where They Are 69
Chapter 4 ISIS in the Levant 71
Chapter 5 ISIS in North Africa 83
Chapter 6 ISIS in West Africa: Boko Haram 121
Chapter 7 ISIS in Europe, North America, and Australia 137
Chapter 8 ISIS in Afghanistan, the Gulf States, Arabian Peninsula, and Asia 161
Part III What They Believe 183
Chapter 9 Shade of Swords: The ISIS War to Destroy Islam 185
Chapter 10 A Cult of Jihad: The Context of the ISIS War to Destroy Islam 199
Chapter 11 Life and Death in the "Islamic State" 219
Chapter 12 Punishments, Violence, and Police State Controls 245
Chapter 13 Paying for the Apocalypse: ISIS Financial Mechanisms 259
Chapter 14 ISIS Cultural Cleansing: The Precursor to Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide 277
Part IV How They Fight 299
Chapter 15 Global Strategy of ISIS 301
Chapter 16 The Weapons of ISIS 319
Chapter 17 ISIS in Battle and Terror 343
Chapter 18 Abduction, Hostage Environment, and Rescue 367
Chapter 19 ISIS Social Media: "Our Life in the Thrill Kill Cult" 379
Chapter 20 Defeating ISIS 405
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Excellent outline on the history of ISIS and its rise to power. The reason why it wasn't an excellent book, in general, for me was because it read more like an encyclopedia of who's who and what's what than a novel. It's more of a reference guide. Nicely researched.
Just ordered it, I will after I do my paper. Read by Felix Gregorian