Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century by Marc SagemanLeaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century by Marc Sageman

Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century

byMarc Sageman

Hardcover | January 3, 2008

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 163 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


In the post-September 11 world, Al Qaeda is no longer the central organizing force that aids or authorizes terrorist attacks or recruits terrorists. It is now more a source of inspiration for terrorist acts carried out by independent local groups that have branded themselves with the Al Qaeda name. Building on his previous groundbreaking work on the Al Qaeda network, forensic psychiatrist Marc Sageman has greatly expanded his research to explain how Islamic terrorism emerges and operates in the twenty-first century.

In Leaderless Jihad, Sageman rejects the views that place responsibility for terrorism on society or a flawed, predisposed individual. Instead, he argues, the individual, outside influence, and group dynamics come together in a four-step process through which Muslim youth become radicalized. First, traumatic events either experienced personally or learned about indirectly spark moral outrage. Individuals interpret this outrage through a specific ideology, more felt and understood than based on doctrine. Usually in a chat room or other Internet-based venues, adherents share this moral outrage, which resonates with the personal experiences of others. The outrage is acted on by a group, either online or offline.

Leaderless Jihad offers a ray of hope. Drawing on historical analogies, Sageman argues that the zeal of jihadism is self-terminating; eventually its followers will turn away from violence as a means of expressing their discontent. The book concludes with Sageman's recommendations for the application of his research to counterterrorism law enforcement efforts.

Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist, is a government counterterrorism consultant. He is the author of the bestselling Understanding Terror Networks, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.
Title:Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First CenturyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.91 inPublished:January 3, 2008Publisher:University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0812240650

ISBN - 13:9780812240658

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

Introduction. Understanding the Path to Radicalism
1. How to Study Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century
2. The Globalization of Jihadi Terror
3. The Jihadist's Profile
4. Radicalization in the Diaspora
5. The Atlantic Divide
6. Terrorism in the Age of the Internet
7. The Rise of Leaderless Jihad
8. Combating Global Islamist Terrorism


Editorial Reviews

"Politicians who talk about the terrorism threat . . . should be required to read this new book. . . . It stands what you think you know about terrorism on its head and helps you see the topic in a different light."—Washington Post