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Dictionary of Terrorism

David Wright-Neville

ISBN: 978-0-745-64302-1 May 2010 Polity 224 Pages


One of the defining features of the post-9/11 world is the extent to which terrorism has become a key organising principle for domestic and international politics.

Introduced by an essay exploring the complex nature of terrorism and with more than 250 entries, each containing suggestions for further reading, the Dictionary of Terrorism provides an overview of the key themes, individuals, organizations and tactics that have shaped terrorism throughout history and into the contemporary world. It covers:

  • Events such as the 9/11 attacks and the 7/7 London bombings
  • Terrorist organizations from the Assassins of the first century to the modern Zapatista Army of National Liberation
  • Biographies of individual terrorists ranging from Abu Ayyub al-Masri to Abu Zubaydah with extensive coverage given to key figures such as Osama bin Laden
  • Terrorist tactics such as bombings, hijacking and hostage taking
  • Key international counter-terrorism conventions

The Dictionary of Terrorism is an easily accessible resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students, researchers, policy-makers and anyone seeking to understand the nature of political, ethnic and religious violence in the world today.

Defining Terrorism in Late Modernity.

Using this Book.

A-Z of Terrorism.

Additional Readings.


"A useful and interesting aggregation of introductory accounts and explanatory material relevant to the study of terrorism."
International Affairs

"An excellent, readable and very useful reference on terrorism. This should also be a standard reference on the subject."
Andrew Tan, University of New South Wales

"Written by one of the world's leading experts on terrorism and political violence (a former intelligence analyst and a world class scholar), and covering topics from the Zealots to Zarqawi, Zawahiri and beyond, David Wright-Neville's, Dictionary of Terrorism is a detailed, erudite and sophisticated guide to help readers navigate terrorists' subterranean worlds (and worldviews)."
Pete Lentini, Director and Co-Founder, Global Terrorism Research Centre, Monash University

  • Major new reference guide to a key area of international security
  • Includes over 250 entries on a wide range of issues, individuals, organizations and tactics that have shaped terrorism throughout history to the present day
  • Opens with an broad introductory chapter, which explores the complex and contested meaning of terrorism in the contemporary world
  • An invaluable resource for the growing number of students taking courses in international security and conflict studies