Terrorism Homeland & Security


The first chapter defines terrorism and its impact on policy. Jonathan White uses definitions based on Alex Schmid work. He uses common elements of scholarly definitions in the terrorism field. The chapter begins with conceptual issues that follow criminology of terrorism. According to White, there has been a transformation of terrorism over the past three years. Therefore, Dr. White claims that nobody can produce an exact definition of terrorism. Consequently, terrorism appears to mean different things to different individuals.


Terrorism seems to be changing in the course of history. At one point in time, terrorism was known as war or crime; while in other historical periods, it meant liberation. The term terrorism spawns heated debates. The book has updates on the heated debate of whether terrorism is a national security issue or a criminal justice. Social scientist, lawyers, policy makers, and security specialists do not agree on the definition of terrorism, but they argue on the meaning of the word.

Terrorism is a Threat to National Security

Terrorism is a threat to national security. From the chapter, one understands that terrorism involves violent acts to human life. They are acts of violation of the state’s criminal law. Jonathan White recognizes that terrorism itself and efforts to defend against it is a practice that would always be in transition. He defines terrorism, the tactics used, and the behavior of the people involved. The chapter reorganizes discussions on the ever-changing nature of war, internal conflict, and terrorism. Jonathan White discusses economic, social, political, and religious factors that forces to organizing and financing terrorism.

Lastly, the chapter tackles the problem of critical engagement feature of the war transformation in the 21st century. According to the book, the term ‘terrorism’ should be defined according to the political and social context. History, conflicts, repressions, political power, crimes, and mass media influence the particular form that terrorism takes. The meaning fluctuates, thus a simple definition is the best course for any action. It is the primary reason for the lack of accurate terrorism definition.

Social Underpinnings of Terrorism

The second chapter talks of the social underpinnings of terrorism. Jonathan white uses Donald Bordrero characteristics to distinguish criminal behavior from terrorist behavior. He reviews early research on domestic terrorism. The author provides political, religious, and criminal theories of terrorism. Jonathan White expands the explanations from the social science viewpoint and shows how they affect opinions on terrorism. The author uses various trails to radicalization using case studies. Homegrown radicalization is increasing, with violent elements emerging in the United States.

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Partially, it is because of the deep cultural divisions and the sagging economy. In Europe, terrorist groups want to unveil a Mumbai style swarm attack in an urban area. The violence is now Europe’s leading security concern. There are stronger organizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan. On the other hand, ethnic and religious conflicts are devastating Somalia. The author uses new examinations on terrorists in correctional systems. Lastly, Dr. White discusses global confrontations with religion, the critical engagement feature in the chapter.

The chapter describes terrorism as only fighting if to look at it from a tactical viewpoint. Violence is possible mainly in crowded places where people feel safe. Tactically, terrorism appears to have basic forms that include arson, bombing, assault, kidnapping, hijacking, disruption of services, and taking hostages. To sum it up, terrorists increase their attacking power by using force multipliers that include technology, media coverage, transnational support, and religious fanaticism.


Conclusively, Jonathan White provides detailed examples that enable the reader to understand the way terrorism functions and how it arises. The author analyzes essential historical backgrounds on terrorism and its roots for this contemporary issue. The book includes specific descriptions of modern and recent conflicts shaping world stage. It also presents concrete and theoretical information on Homeland security organizations. Jonathan White reviews relevant challenges and issues in “Terrorism Homeland & Security”. White has used the text to keep pace with terrorism in the world today.

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