Many of you who follow al-Qaeda may not be familiar with FFI, but you’re doubtless familiar with the excellent work of its members (e.g. Lia, Hegghammer, and Nesser). However, FFI has a secret weapon who only insiders know: Anne Stenersen. Anne is an outstanding Arabist (and Russianist) and has an unfair amount of knowledge about terrorist training and weaponry. She’s now published a book on al-Qaeda and WMD. Like everything else the FFI crew produces, I’m sure it’s going to set a new standard for study of the subject.
I’m sure it’s excellent, and I’d read it…but it’s $62! And I’m just a college student!
Not to be confused with the FFI of either the French Resistance or Faithfreedom International which has a number of Arabic-speaking members who can put anyone through a crash course in Islam. Of course, some amongst the latter may also be less well known for discussing pork dust bombs while being better known for setting some recent new lows in research.
Cheers for the heads-up, Will. Anne’s done a great job in the past – in the burgeoning FFI tradition of relying on empirical analysis rather than perceptions – of debunking a lot of the myths surrounding terrorist training and the internet, amongst other issues. I have no doubt this new book will do the same for WMD. I guess it should probably be read alongside John Mueller’s “Overblown”, in that case.
Look out in the near-ish future for another FFI “secret weapon”, Laila Bokhari. Her work on drivers of Islamist terrorism in Pakistan is likely to be a quality piece of research.
Tim – agree on Laila!
Ansar – ouch!
Patton – inter-library loan!