For four years, Jessica Stern interviewed extremist members of three religions around the world: Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Traveling extensively—to refugee camps in Lebanon, to religious schools in Pakistan, to prisons in Amman, Asqelon, and Pensacola—she discovered that the Islamic jihadi in the mountains of Pakistan and the Christian fundamentalist bomber in Oklahoma have much in common.
Based on her vast research, Stern lucidly explains how terrorist organizations are formed by opportunistic leaders who—using religion as both motivation and justification—recruit the disenfranchised. She depicts how moral fervor is transformed into sophisticated organizations that strive for money, power, and attention.
Jessica Stern's extensive interaction with the faces behind the terror provide unprecedented insight into acts of inexplicable horror, and enable her to suggest how terrorism can most effectively be countered.
A crucial book on terrorism, Terror in the Name of God is a brilliant and thought-provoking work.
A leading expert on terrorism and a lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, [Stern] has tracked down and interviewed an impressive range of activists in a variety of causes from Florida to Kashmir. On a subject that tends to be richer in rhetoric than in detail, a writer able and willing to get this close is hard to find … As a description of the problem, though, this is a serious and provocative beginning. Isabel Hilton