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Language of Violence: The Blood Politics of Terrorism - Edgar O'Ballance

Language of Violence: The Blood Politics of Terrorism - Edgar O'Ballance

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The discussion begins with a look at the origins and history of terrorism and at Hassan Ben Sabah's gang of hashish-eating assassins who terrorised the crusaders in the 11th century. Historical and political events behind the development of terrorist organisations are examined, such as the oppression of jewish people over time and the uprooting of Palestinians.

The education of a terrorist is described in the story of Carlos the Jackal, a well-known soviet-educated terrorist who came from a wealthy and marxist-oriented Venezuelan family. Specific terrorist organisations are detailed as to their history and development, their leaders and important figures, and their terrorist activities.

These include the Israeli Mossad, the Arab Fedayeen, the Japanese Red Army, and the Black September Organisation. Specific events covered in detail are the Entebbe incident; hijackings in the 1960's and 1970's by the popular front for the liberation of Palestine, the Palestine liberation organisation, and black September; terrorism by mail (letter bombs and threats), and the Israeli raids into the city of Beirut, Lebanon. The contacts and bonds, as well as the dissension, among groups of terrorists are examined, as are their various tactics, means of fundraising, and methods for being undetected.

Emphasised is the terrorist's conditioning to accept and expect death in pursuit of the cause and to kill on command. Finally, the book draws a profile of a terrorist, speculates on the consequences of nuclear terrorism, and presents recommendations for counteracting terrorist violence. A bibliography, index, and a guide to organizational abbreviations are included. 

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